New Trailer for Jurassic World Dominion

Jurassic World Stomps Into Theaters This June!

Via Universal Press Release-

This summer, experience the epic conclusion to the Jurassic era as two generations unite for the first time. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are joined by Oscar®-winner Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Sam Neill in Jurassic World Dominion, a bold, timely and breathtaking new adventure that spans the globe.

From Jurassic World architect and director Colin Trevorrow, Dominion takes place four years after Isla Nublar has been destroyed. Dinosaurs now live—and hunt—alongside humans all over the world. This fragile balance will reshape the future and determine, once and for all, whether human beings are to remain the apex predators on a planet they now share with history’s most fearsome creatures.

Jurassic World Dominion, from Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment, propels the more than $5 billion franchise into daring, uncharted territory, featuring never-seen dinosaurs, breakneck action and astonishing new visual effects.

The film features new cast members DeWanda Wise (She’s Gotta Have It), Emmy nominee Mamoudou Athie (Archive 81), Dichen Lachman (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Scott Haze (Minari) and Campbell Scott (The Amazing Spider-Man 2). The film’s returning cast includes BD Wong as Dr. Henry Wu, Justice Smith as Franklin Webb, Daniella Pineda as Dr. Zia Rodriguez and Omar Sy as Barry Sembenè.

Jurassic World Dominion is directed by Colin Trevorrow, who steered 2015’s Jurassic World to a record-shattering $1.7 billion global box office. The screenplay is by Emily Carmichael (Battle at Big Rock) & Colin Trevorrow from a story by Derek Connolly (Jurassic World) & Trevorrow, based on characters created by Michael Crichton. Jurassic World Dominion is produced by acclaimed franchise producers Frank Marshall p.g.a. and Patrick Crowley p.g.a. and is executive produced by legendary, Oscar®-winning franchise creator Steven Spielberg, Alexandra Derbyshire and Colin Trevorrow.

Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment present, in association with Perfect World Pictures, a Colin Trevorrow film.

Via Universal Press Release-

theGrio Commemorates April Ryan’s History-Making Milestone as Longest-Serving Black Female White House Correspondent

After covering five U.S. presidential administrations, theGrio’s April Ryan celebrates 25 illustrious years of service, thus making her the longest-serving Black female White House correspondent.

April Ryan made history this January as the longest-serving Black female White House correspondent and longest-serving African American reporter covering Black news. Her tenure spans five U.S. presidential administrations and many extraordinary historical events. When reflecting on this career milestone, a modest Ryan says, “I’ve questioned five American presidents [and] they’ve called me by name,” an honor many will never experience.

April Ryan defines this pivotal moment in her career as “humbling.” She goes on to tell theGrio, “I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, where some would say the word failure is built into our very existence.” “But as fate would have it, the Morgan State University graduate would go on to become one of the most recognizable and accomplished Black journalists covering Black issues at the White House.”

As Ryan recounts her illustrious career as a Black woman in the White House, she admits to theGrio she “stands on the shoulders of Black history trailblazers like Henry McAlpin, the first African American reporter to attend a U.S. presidential news conference; Alice Dunnigan, the first African American female reporter to receive White House credentials; and Ethel Payne, who was coined the “First Lady of the Black Press.” April Ryan’s tenure also comes on the heels of Wendell Goler, the longest-serving Black male reporter to cover the White House, retiring after 28 years.

From traveling with Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama to Africa to visiting New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina with President George W. Bush, Ryan has used her reporting chops and charisma to build long-lasting relationships in Washington.

As April Ryan is honored by peers, colleagues, and distinguished political figures like former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, everyone agrees April Ryan is passionate, hardworking, and tough yet fair!

Jerry Lopes, Ryan’s former boss at American Urban Radio Network, fondly shares with theGrio that “April was always comfortable in her own skin [and kept] it real. I think newsmakers loved that about her and, as a result, bonded and confided in her – that’s part of what I call the April magic.”

Former President Barack Obama shared warm words in a statement saying, “Every day, you help keep our democracy alive by relaying timely, accurate information to the American people. Through multiple administrations and countless news cycles, you have asked tough questions to hold the White House accountable- all while ensuring that issues affecting Black communities get the attention they deserve. You have my enduring gratitude, and I look forward to seeing all you will accomplish in the next chapter of your unparalleled career.”

Former President Bill Clinton praised the White House correspondent with a tweet reading, “Congratulations on your anniversary, @AprilDRyan! I’ve appreciated you and your reporting since the time I was President — tough but fair and totally on the level. Here’s to many more years of good work.”

In another congratulatory tweet, White House Press Secretary Jennifer Psaki said, “I have known @AprilDRyan now through working on press team[s] for two Presidents. She is smart, tough as nails, passionate, has a great sense of humor, and pushes every day (believe me!) for more information for the American people. congrats @AprilDRyan”.

Allen Media Group Founder/ Chairman/ CEO Byron Allen doted on theGrio’s April Ryan in a celebratory social media tribute video, saying, “April’s an icon … she is a phenomenal, phenomenal reporter and correspondent. The work she’s done in D.C. over the last 25 years has just been outstanding and what I love about her is that she’s unapologetically Black about making sure politicians stay focused on what we need as Black people in America. She is simply a great American because her point of view is best for all Americans.”

theGrio’s moving tribute video also featured Representative Maxine Waters, Ben Crump, Dr. Martha Kumar, and Bernice King. All offered April Ryan high praise, deep appreciation, and encouragement as she continues her career!

As with most, all of April Ryan’s success didn’t come without some tribulations. During her time covering the 45th Presidential administration, April had viral exchanges with then-President Donald Trump and his staff, as she persistently sought the truth. While April said she doesn’t like to relive those moments, she emphasizes, “I’m still here.”

“I stand on the pillars of the Founding Fathers, who I’m sure were slave owners. They didn’t expect April Ryan to be here [but] I’m still here, reporting,” says a reflective Ryan. Even in April’s moments of adversity, she continues to climb to unimaginable career heights!

All year long, join theGrio as they celebrate the history-making and history-chasing April Ryan! Head over to theGrio.com to read their full editorial tribute or to their Instagram page @theGrio to view their social video highlighting April Ryan’s distinguished career and some of her remarkable White House moments!

 

Source: PR Newswire

Arriving in time to kickoff Black History Month, “Cooking with OhSoBella” premieres Feb. 1. on Paradox Universe.

The show—catering to an audience mainly of young African-American women—gives Brown “the chance to be herself and have fun creating great dishes in the casual, ‘regular folk’ way,” Mbah said.

The fun unfolds in a conventional TV studio kitchen, but that’s the only thing conventional about “Cooking with OhSoBella,” he promised.

“There’s no hiding the blemishes—sometimes Christine’s ingredients don’t all end up in the mixing bowl, sometimes she blurts out profanities when things don’t go right, sometimes she even does spit-takes while drinking bottled water when she can’t believe what she’s just seen or heard from her guests,” Mbah explained. “Christine makes mistakes and laughs about it and we keep it all in. The bloopers are baked into the show, which is an embrace of everyday cooking’s imperfections.”

Mbah—who is also the CEO of Paradox Universe—said Brown has long hungered to serve up this type of program.

“But everyone she collaborated with to make her ideas a reality kept trying to push her into formulaic presentations that have been overdone and that audiences are tired of seeing,” Mbah offered. “All Christine wanted was a show where she could truly be herself and have a grand old time creating magic in the kitchen. Paradox Universe alone was able to catch her vision and make it happen.”

Mbah said he believes “Cooking with OhSoBella” (OhSoBella is Brown’s Instagram handle) will be a ratings success because “we’ve all had it up to here trying to be ‘perfect’ in the kitchen and in other aspects of our lives. This show is about being normal and appreciating that normal is cool.”

Each episode isn’t just about food, Mbah indicated. “Christine will also be sharing stories about her life’s journey,” he said. “The food is her way of exploring different cultures—and doing so by taking a unique, healthy, and soulful approach.”

In the debut episode, Brown demonstrates how to make drunken fried chicken, a favorite from her childhood in the Deep South.

 

 

Cooking With OhSoBella Season 1 Poster

Candyman

Oscar® winner Jordan Peele unleashes a fresh take on the blood-chilling urban legend: Candyman. Filmmaker Nia DaCosta (Little Woods, upcoming Captain Marvel 2) directs this contemporary incarnation of the cult classic.

For as long as residents can remember, the housing projects of Chicago’s Cabrini-Green neighborhood were terrorized by a word-of-mouth ghost story about a supernatural killer with a hook for a hand, easily summoned by those daring to repeat his name five times into a mirror. In present day, a decade after the last of the Cabrini towers were torn down, visual artist Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II; HBO’s Watchmen, Us) and his partner, gallery director Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris; If Beale Street Could Talk, The Photograph), move into a luxury loft condo in Cabrini, now gentrified beyond recognition and inhabited by upwardly mobile millennials.

 

With Anthony’s painting career on the brink of stalling, a chance encounter with a Cabrini-Green old-timer (Colman Domingo; HBO’s Euphoria, Assassination Nation) exposes Anthony to the tragically horrific nature of the true story behind Candyman. Anxious to maintain his status in the Chicago art world, Anthony begins to explore these macabre details in his studio as fresh grist for paintings, unknowingly opening a door to a complex past that unravels his own sanity and unleashes a terrifying wave of violence that puts him on a collision course with destiny.

Starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Colman Domingo

Directed By Nia DaCosta Produced By Ian Cooper, Win Rosenfeld, Jordan Peele Executive Produced By

David Kern, Aaron L. Gilbert, Jason Cloth

 

 

 

Congratulations Wyatt Cenac

Wyatt Cenac

Burbank, CA (August 16, 2021) – Warner Bros. Animation (WBA) and Cartoon Network Studios (CNS) have set an exclusive, multiyear cross-studio overall deal with Emmy® Award-winning producer, writer, and performer Wyatt Cenac.

 

Under his deal, Cenac will develop and produce original animated programming at both WBA and CNS intended for a variety of audiences including preschool, kids, adult and family/co-viewing across all WarnerMedia platforms, as well as external outlets and services. Currently, Cenac has two projects in active development at the studios – an animated longform movie and adult animated series – in addition to assisting on other various series development. Cenac joins Looney Tunes Cartoons executive producer and showrunner Pete Browngardt as the second overall cross-studio deal at WBA and CNS which allows for maximum creative flexibility to develop original material and access to the extensive character and franchise libraries at each studio. As a producer, this marks a return to the medium for Cenac who began his career in animation writing for four seasons on King of the Hill beginning in 2002.

 

SING 2

 

On Independence Day weekend 2021, Buster, Meena, Rosita, Gunter, Johnny and Ash prepare for a bigger stage and a brighter spotlight as they leave the Moon Theater for the big city in SING 2. Returning Director  Garth Jennings and an all-star cast Academy Award Winners.

Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon, alongside Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton, Nick Kroll and Tori Kelly. Sing 2 is produced by Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime producing partner Janet Healy.

 

Catherine Zeta-Jones announces the launch of her women’s Ready-to-wear collection for spring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Casa Zeta-Jones clothing collection started with conversations between Catherine and Universal Alliance about the ethos of the brand, who they wanted to dress, the aesthetic and direction of the collection.

“It took the course of a year to develop the collection. We have created a collection that not only embodies my vision, but speaks to my customer, a multi-faceted, modern, and confident woman who’s living a dynamic life,” said Catherine.

“We wanted it to represent a real lifestyle, that dresses women  from morning to night, as we like to say from ‘everyday to extraordinary.”

“Before I met Catherine I knew she had exceptional personal style, but as we spoke more I began to realize Catherine really understands design, color, finishing, proportion, and fabric, ” said Fred Tutino, creative director of the Casa Zeta-Jones collection. “We would start talking about one idea and then as the conversation progressed we would come up with twenty more. It is a very fluid partnership.”

The Collection is made using luxurious natural fabrics such as silks, cotton, and cashmere. Whether it’s for easy day dresses, chic yet casual sweaters and knit lounge pants, or your new favorite go-to luxurious blouse and perfect form fitting pants for an evening out, everything has a premium look and feel. The collection is fashion-forward but designed to convey the effortless style. Catherine likes to describe it as “timeless classics with a feminine sensibility”.

The spring collection Future Natural by Casa Zeta-Jones collection takes its inspiration from the colors, shapes, and textures found in nature mixed with an edge of modern luxury.

 

Congratulations are in order for Ms. Rosalind Brewer she is slated to become the CEO of Walgreens

Congratulations are in order for Ms. Rosalind Brewer she is slated to become the CEO of Walgreens.

On March 15, 2021, at that time she will be the only black CEO  of a Fortune 500 company she is currently the coo of Starbucks and the former president and CEO of Sam’s Club In 2018 she was listed as the 34th in Forbes ranking of the most powerful women.

Issue 14 – Mothers Day

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This interview is about mothers. A mother is a sacred person to all ethnic groups. She holds a special place in all our hearts. A true mother is awesome and there is no one like a true mother. She is a nurturer, a peacemaker, a meal planner, and all round special.

Most people hold mothers up to a very high pedestal which no one can touch. You can talk about anybody but someone’s mother. The word mother is the closest thing we have to perfect on this earth. I Googled the word mother and I found several different definitions. Here are some of them.

To give birth to a child. To produce, supplied the egg. Raise a child. Maternal tenderness or affection.

Mother is a woman who has the responsibility of physical and emotional care for specific children. Mother is a woman in authority, a superior in a religious community of woman. What is your definition of the word mother? Mother is someone who loves unconditionally and places the needs of the children above her own. I was so surprised by some of the definitions but my favorite definition is what your definition of mother is to you.

When I thought about it for many days, my definition of mother is someone who takes care of her family.No matter what her family looks like. Also no matter if she has to give tough love, she is willing. If this helps her loved one to make better choices. She gives her love unconditionally. If a mother has to give up her life she will, if she needs to give advice or be a counselor then she is. A mother is not just a person who gives birth because we all know some women who have given birth and are not mothers.

A mother comes in many forms, she could have given birth to the child, she could have adopted a child, she could be the mother of the church, or she could be a female who loves children and does everything she can to be a mother to all children who will let her. I have run across so many women who naturally have the instincts of being a mother and some have to be taught how to be a mother. But what they all have in common is that they want to be a mother from their heart. I interviewed four mothers. They represent what we term as mothers.
Here is my first interview.

The first mother I interviewed is Carrie Rand. She is married and a young mother of one little girl. She is a Lead Educator at a cosmetology school. She works a full time job and a part time job in a salon near her home. Carrie spends as much time as she can with her daughter and she doesn’t go to work until 1:30 p.m. and leaves at 10:15 p.m. four days a week. She has a very busy schedule like most parents but every time you see Carrie she is sharing stories or pictures of her daughter.
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Joyce: Carrie when you found out you were expecting what were your feelings?
Carrie: I was in complete shock! I had always imagined what this day would feel like and I couldn’t believe someone choose me to be their mommy!
Joyce: Carrie, as a new mother can you tell us something that surprised you about being a mother?
Carrie: I was surprised, no matter how little bit of sleep I got; I always was awake when I was needed. I feel like when you’re a new mother your body knows you have to have energy to push through each day.
Joyce: Carrie now that your daughter is one what has it been like between you and your husband?
Carrie: We don’t take time for each other like we used to, but I would say that we are much stronger. We have become more of a team. We are very opposite, so we balance each other out.
Joyce: Carrie can you tell us what you like about being a mother?
Carrie: I love the simple day-to-day things. Picking her up from day-care and she squeals and runs to me or when she is tired and she only wants her mommy. I think my favorite thing is watching my husband with her. The love you feel as a mother watching your husband with his little girl takes my breath away.

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The second mother I interviewed is a divorced mother name Joyce Reeves with two children. She was married and divorced when her children were 4, 8 and 2 years old. She has been divorced since 2003. She also work part time as a receptionist and works every Saturday.

Her ex-husband lives in another state. She has to make sure her daughter who is in a lot of after school activities get to the activities and bring her home this type of responsibility she does on her own. Joyce has a bachelors degree in accounting. She wants to get a job in what she has a degree for. Times may have been hard for her without the support of a loving husband but Joyce did what so many other single mothers do,get an education to improve her situation. Here is some of her reality of being a single mother.

Joyce: How old are your children now?

Joyce Reeves: I have a nineteen year old son and a twelve year old daughter.

Joyce: What do you like about motherhood?

Joyce Reeves: One thing I find gratifying about motherhood is the bond that was created with my newborns. I also enjoyed the laughter that came when my children were in preschool. I believe the greatest adhesive to mother hood is love and inspiration. I watched my children develop and grow into their very own unique characteristics.

Joyce: What do you dislike about motherhood?

Joyce Reeves: The thing I dislike the most about motherhood was watching my son become a young man and move away to college. It’s a bittersweet crossover into the next realm of motherhood.

Joyce: Do you find yourself being like your mother?

Joyce Reeves: My mother grew up in an era “where children were meant to be seen and not heard”. She was a very strict mother. My brother, sisters and I were very disciplined. I am the baby in my family and I always believed that children should be reared, molded and shaped through love.

As I grew older I began to understand that my mother only raised us through the knowledge that was passed on to her by my grandparents. The only time I find myself being firm like my mother is when I feel my children are putting themselves in harm’s way.
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Our third interview is with a young lady name Carolyn Quinn-Allen who is a mother to any young person she meets. She also takes a personal interest in their lives. She is the director of the Youth Choir at Messiah Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She works in a lot of youth programs in her church. Carolyn is currently working on obtaining a masters degree.

Joyce: Carolyn do you have any biological children?

Carolyn: No, I have no biological children. I have godchildren and I have a lot of nieces and nephews.

Joyce: Since you do not have any biological children why do you believe you can be called a mother?

Carolyn: That’s a good question. I asked God that when I started feeling a maternal love for other people children. I guess my one concept of a mother’s love when my one sister had a daughter, her name is Patrice.

The first time I laid eyes on her I understood love in a unique way. I never felt that way about anybody in my whole life. How you can go out a do things for another person other than your mother or father. So that was real new for me understanding sacrifice or what you would do for yourself and others you love.

Joyce: Why do you believe you are the mother to so many youth in your church?

Carolyn: I am also a Sunday school teacher to the youth at my church. I believe God lead me to sit in this Sunday School class and there were only a few students there. All of a sudden the teacher left and went to another church, leaving them without a teacher. So I became the teacher for that age group and I believe that position called me. I fell in love with that age group.

So I just became the mother of the different age group. I believe the saying, “that it takes a village to raise child”. With the world the way it is we need every person who is willing to love and cherish our children to take a personal interest in them.

Especially with some of our children who do not have their biological parent raising them some may have their grandmother, another relative or someone else having responsibility for them. I try to help direct some young ladies with how to dress appropriately without making them feel embarrass.

Joyce: Why do you think the youth look at you as a mother to them?

Carolyn: Sometimes I don’t know why they think of me as a mother because they say I’m mean and a bully. But the core of it has to be rooted in love and you need to have passion for them. You got to love them like Jesus Christ love us and that’s with grace, kindness, and that is with mercy. I have worked with youth for 25 years.

Some of them are grown now with children of their own and some went on to college. They felt they had a safe place when they were with me. I never violated there trust in me. The young people’s parents respect me even if they did not like me because they knew I had boundaries.

Those boundaries protect me, the youth and their parents. Nobody judged anybody in my room. Whatever was said it had to be said in love and the young people knew this, so they felt the unconditional love here.

Joyce: Carolyn what advice could you share with mothers?

Carolyn: Remember nobody comes in this world with instructions on how to be a mother. There is no college that does a 101 f class for being a mother and if they did, I believe no one would graduate saying they were ready. Know that motherhood is a minister.

The Bible says in II Timothy 2: 15, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”.

You ask what does that have to do with being a mother? When a child comes into your life it is your job to minister that child for the rest of their life. Once they turn 18 years old your ministry has not stop. Know that this will be the most important job you will ever do in this world.
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My fourth and final interview is with Marie Tolliver who is an adoptive mother of two children. I wanted readers to get something from all types of mothers. I believe I would have been remiss in this article if I had not interviewed an adopted mother. Marie is a college graduate and she had a master degree. She works part time and both of her children is grown and she is the mother of two grown children. Marie’s interview is interesting to me because I also am an adoptive mother.

Joyce: What was the best pieces of advice you ever received?

Marie: One of the best pieces of advice I heard was from my mother-in-law when she told me even thoughthey are children, they still having feelings like an adult. I admired my husband also because he had no problem apologizing to our children if he believes he was in the wrong. I know he learned that from his mother. That made me examine the way I thought that I had the right to treat children differently than adults by not taking their feelings into consideration when I had to punish or talk to a child.

Joyce: Marie when you were a young lady did you dream about being a mother?

Marie: Yes, I wanted to have 12 children because I was a only child and I wanted my children to have plenty of brothers and sisters. But that dream did not come true. I had to have a hysterectomy after a few months of marriage. At first I was devastated. When some of my friends and family members were having children, I wondered way I had to be the one that didn’t. Since then I know I was truly blessed like my friends and relatives but in a different way.

Joyce: What do you mean by that last statement Marie “but in a different way”?

Marie: I mean we all had children but just in different way. My husband and I adopted our children. Nobody could ever tell us that they are not our children.

Joyce: Do you feel like people treat you different then someone who had children naturally?

Marie: No, I would not let anyone treat me differently than any other mother. A true mother is just a woman who loves her family and tries to do the best for them.

Joyce: Marie how many children do you have?

Marie: I have two a sons and a daughter.

Joyce: What has given you the most joy being a mother?

Marie: I’m not sure Joyce because I just love every
aspect of being a mother. I even love having to discipline
my children. My children gave me so much joy when they relied on me for everything. But if I had to choose any particular time it would be when they were the ages of one year old to five years old.

Joyce: What advice to do you have for the next generation of mothers?

Marie: Wow! What advice do I have for the next generation of mothers? Trust your instincts and have a few mothers who have raised some children share their experience with you. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge you need some help. If anyone tells you that they never needed any help, don’t listen to them. It does take a village to raise a child.

I really enjoyed interviewing these mothers and I hope you enjoy them too.

 

Issue 14 – Chocolate Blossoms

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Mission Statement: Here in our sweet world at Chocolate Blossoms, we are committed to bringing you style, elegance and great tasting creative cupcakes, cakes, cookies and more to any event, party, or occasion you plan. We love what we do here and want to make your event memorable above all others with custom flavors and creations tailored for you for your exquisite, historical day. When you want to stand out amongst the rest, call Chocolate Blossom and put us to the test!

My Story

It started with a simple, “Mommy can I help?” At the tender age of 4, I was under my mom’s feet, where she seemed to always be, in the kitchen. watched with a heart full of curiosity at how great my mom was at cooking and baking. For the longest all I could do watch, but eventually, she let me get my hands in the cookie batter and the rest was baking history. I come from a long line of woman who had secret super powers in the kitchen. My maternal grandmother was a domestic to a rabbi, a priest and a doctor.
The doctor’s wife was a socialite who lived having friends over. She was also an avid traveler and often called on Granny,Ms. Emily, to make things that she’d had in her travels.
After my granny let her know that there were some things she didn’t know how to make, she sent Ms. Emily to take lessons from hotel chefs and I got to tag along on many of those lessons, with some tips and techniques that I still use to this day. My paternal grandmother, Annie Mae, worked in the kitchens at Dayton Juvenile Detention Center and various kitchens around the city. But what Mama Grant, as she was affectionately called, was known for was her Scratch Batch Flip Rolls for which she had lines all day on every holiday for.

I was blessed to be glued to the hip of each of these women when they were in ‘bake mode.’ I learned and collected sacred recipes that are a part of the baking arsenal of Chocolate Blossoms. While I smile, now, Chocolate Blossoms was birth out of great adversity. I sold cookies and cakes in college, had always had good business around the holidays and people who would order cakes for loved ones for various occasions. For the longest time, I only did home-styled cakes-neat three layer cakes in a barrage of flavors. But in 2005, began a painful journey that would end in better days. After being on a career path that I once loved, I transferred into a position with an extremely manipulative and uncompromising boss. I had the pleasure of starting from the bottom and was promoted for 10 years straight until I landed in the last position. After an emergency surgery from stress and three years of the working with this supervisor, I walked off the job to save my sanity and health. One month later I was in the throes of a wicked divorce.

Once the dust settled, I went back to what I had done all of my life: baking. First it was a cakes for my girlfriend ZsaZsa Strozier with whom I catered with for 13 years. The it was cookies every now and then, and as the holidays came people start ordering cakes and pies. Zsa started bringing me pictures and saying, “Can you do this?” I was always up for a challenge and every time I was successful, it turned my creative buzz up on high. Then it was, “Do you do cupcakes? Do you do cake pops?” Sure I do! I figured if I do cakes, how could I not do cupcakes and cake pops? So I started with simple cupcakes and the rest is history as cupcakes became the rave for events. Cake pops had a slow start, but they are requested often as well. I am of the notion that, “We eat with our eyes. If the isn’t pleasing when you look at it, why would you want to eat anything off of it?” I learned that principal while catering with ZsaZsa and from the days spent with Granny at the various hotels were we learned start-to-finish application. The table should be a work of beauty, while their taste buds leap with satisfaction from all of the delectable treats. And because I had come from women who always made the table full and lovely to eat from, it wasn’t hard to apply the same notion to dessert buffets created by Chocolate Blossom. Each table is custom crafted after a very detailed consultation with the dessert client. Colors, decors, venue and purpose of the event all go into planning a perfect table that will be remembered for years to come. I could say this is all me and my feminine ‘life depositors’, but it would not be a true statement. I am ever so grateful to God for first giving me the desire that never died with time, age, or circumstances. I give Him praise for giving me great women to look to on the journey to Chocolate Blossoms Edible Creations. I thank my mom for my first Easy Bake Oven and then bringing me on into the kitchen with her when she realized my interest would not be contained to a toy. I will always love her for helping shape the gift she gave me.

 

However, I think the greatest moment came last year in September when my mom helped me with a wedding in Ohio. Since 2005, my mom had been screaming at me to get a job back in corporate America. I was too drained to go back and I had really started making good money baking. She always said it was not a real job and it used to eat at me, but I kept pressing on. When I went home to do the wedding, she watched me tear into the long list of things that were to go on this dessert bar and she started helping me. While my mom is great in the kitchen, she couldn’t see my vision for the buffet. I stood back, assessed my area, formulated the plan and went to work. She was more nervous than me! By the time we finished, she stood back and said to me, “This is a job!!! I could have never seen that from the perspective of just desserts. You really are good and I am really proud of you. Keep at it.” Every little girl wants the approval of her mom when she takes a learned hobby and elevates it to a business. When my mom gave me her stamp of love, Chocolate Blossoms Edible Creations went to a new level. I am now in search of the new stratosphere where I do things with desserts and buffets that are historical!!!! As God continues to grow me, keep your eyes on me as Chocolate Blossoms can’t do anything but get sweeter as the days go by.

Contact Info:
Chocolate Blossoms Edible Creations
404-839-7148

On Face Book:
https://www.facebook.com/ChocolateBlossomslovesbaking

Issue 12 – Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson

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Issue12-mayorRita: Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, Good morning, I am Rita Moore and I am representing JO Magazine. We thank you for granting us this much anticipated interview with the first female African American mayor of the city of Gary, Indiana. The first question is what is your motivation for even wanting to be the Mayor of the City of Gary?

Karen: Well, I had a number of motivations. One was you know it’s hard to see an issue and know that you might be in a position to make a difference and not do that.

I saw so many of the challenges that we had and I have been blessed to have a number of experiences that I could likely utilize here and so it motivated me to try to bring all those experiences together and run for Mayor.

Rita: Okay, I know you have run for Mayor a couple of times before, so it was obvious you had that stick-to-itiveness , and you went forth and did it again, and we’re better for it, the City of Gary is better off for it.

Karen: Well, I certainly appreciate that. To be frank, I was pretty much sure I was not going to run a third time; was pretty clear on that. Had an experience, I went to the Woman Thou Art Loosed Conference for the first time.

Rita: The Bishop T.D. Jakes conference?

Karen: Yes. Bishop T. D. Jakes and Cindy Trimm preached a message about Deborah, but her topic was: Why are you sitting by the tree waiting for something to happen?

And I took at that as a message that I should stop sitting by the tree and while I had pretty much determined that I was not going to run, that was something that I needed to do, I guess the truth of that message was that it had been easier this time, the third time than all the others time than in the past and that was clearly a message from God.

Rita: Who has been your mentor(s) in the past or do you have any at this time?

Karen: You know, I have been very fortunate to have a number of mentors. Of course, one my earlier mentors was my mother because she was always doing something in the community, whether it was the NAACP or through her job at Gary Neighborhood Services, or whether it was a variety of social clubs that had community missions, so that was an early influence on me. Then during my professional life I had an opportunity to encounter Pam Carter, she was a tremendous mentor to me. She was the first African American Attorney General in the state of Indiana. She also worked in the Bayh administration and she encouraged me to work in the Bayh administration. We have been friends for the entire time and I have always been able to run things by her.

Rita: Let me share this with you. When you were in Indianapolis serving as the Attorney General, my son was at Ball State in Muncie, IN and I was looking for some advice, which you freely gave me and you offered to meet him and talk to him personally. (You did not know me, we had never spoken before, and all you knew was that I was a Gary resident) I have never forgotten that.

Karen: I think it’s important to share because you know we all have challenges in life. I have a daughter in college now and I would hope someone would help her in a time of need.

Rita: If you had an opportunity to meet someone famous or not so famous to the rest of us, who would that be living or dead and why? I must tell you I would love to meet Nelson Mandela.

Karen: What an interesting question. Great question. It would be Barbara Jordan. She is one of my favorite persons in history. I think the way she was able to navigate the Texas political arena and then the national political arena is very admirable and I would just like to talk to her.
Rita: Okay, Mayor thank you for that answer. Inquiring minds want to know, especially fans of this feature of the magazine called, ‘Testify’ which can help JO Magazine readers in our walk of faith and that question is … How has your faith played a part in what you have done in the past and what you are doing right now? I know there are days when you have to say, ‘Help me Jesus.‘

Karen: ‘Absolutely, most days, everyday.’ My faith is sort of the basis of what causes me to make the decisions I make. ‘You can’t do it without faith.’ You can’t undertake a challenge like this one, because on a daily basis there are people telling you that you can’t do this, you can’t do that, you’re never going to be able to change anything, they’re not going to allow us to do that etc. and it requires faith to respond to doubters in a way that is not harsh, but is firm. It also requires faith to continue to persevere in the face of those who do not believe it can be done.

Rita: Is there any situation that you care to share where you really had to use your faith?

Karen: We are in the process of tearing down the Sheraton and there are a lot of people who understand it is a very costly undertaking, but they were convinced that we would not have the money and then it seemed as if out of nowhere once we announced that we were going to do it and I initially said we would ask people to donate their services, we realized that was not going to work, but after working with the federal government we were able to come up with the money, it seemed almost effortless so that ‘s really . . .you’re talking about over a million dollars.

-The Sheraton is a dilapidated hotel that has been an eye-sore standing in downtown Gary, unoccupied, unusable for over 20 years-

Rita: Wow! Do the people of Gary know that?

Karen: Well, you know we have shared it in some venues, but once we get ready to knock it down we are going to tell the whole story and people will understand that?

Rita: Now here’s the question, are there any aspirations for Washington?

Karen: Absolutely Not! In fact, I spent five years working in Washington and that is not a functional environment and so the thought of going back to that is not a good idea from my perspective. I enjoy seeing things happen, getting things done, seeing the results of your labor, getting a chance to talk to people to find out what their needs are. When someone comes to me and says the light is out in front of my house and I can make a phone call or write an email or talk to a representative inside or even outside the city and get something done, then you feel like you have accomplished something. Certainly, when you see the Affordable Care Act out of Washington, that’s something that is accomplished but it’s not the same sense of accomplishment from my perspective. While the Affordable Care Act is a major thing, the fact that someone has a light in front of their house also means something and I prefer the light verses the policy.

Rita: Well, I guess we can stop the rumor mill that our Mayor is going to be leaving for Washington.

Karen: Yes, I know it’s out there but I have no plans for Washington.

Rita: As an African American woman, especially involved in politics, what would you say about where we were and where we are now? How we are received?

Karen: There are times when I say we have come a long way; especially when you look at women like Shirley Chisholm, Barbara Jordon, and Maxine Waters, you know that we have more numbers; but the numbers are at certain levels so you have more African American women in Congress than you did previously, but when you look at Mayors you have fewer; so it is sort of an ebb and flow and what I
would like to see is the day where this is the norm and not the exception but the rule that is just as easy for an African American woman or man to get elected as it is for a person who is not of color. I think that we have a long way to go both as a country and certainly as a state.

That doesn’t mean we ought to stop trying and what I try to do is inspire younger women to get involved and I’m talking about teenagers and young women to get involved. It’s not just going and knocking on doors, but its money, you have to have the right literature, you have to have the right message and those are the things I try to instill in younger women so they can get involved.

Rita: So what kind of response do you get?

Karen: Very positive. You know my daughter is one and her peers they are interested. She knows a lot more about public policy than I ever knew at her age, she’s 19 now and that’s the way that we can ultimately have an impact.

Rita: Let’s talk about family. I know that you are married and you have a daughter and maybe other family members that have poured into your life.

Karen: Yes, family is extremely important to me. I am married, my husband and I just celebrated 22 years of marriage and we have a 19 year old daughter. We are empty nesters for the first time. Our daughter is a freshman at Howard University. I’ve been so blessed because my mother had five brothers and sisters; three of them are living now but they have had a tremendous influence in my life, from everything as a kid growing up, in fact my father was dead by the time I married so my uncles walked me down the aisle, from that to just helping me with my mom who is bed-ridden in our home. 

When I am away from home during the day my aunts take care of my mom and it makes it that much more easy for me. We support each other. Every time I have an opportunity to support my aunts, uncles, cousins I do and they support me. We’ve always been a close knit family and that’s because of my grandparents who have always instilled in us the importance of family.

Rita: And your immediate family members are?

Karen: My mother is Delores Freeman, My father is Travis Freeman, my daughter, Jordan and my husband’s name is Carmen Wilson.

Rita: The last question I have for you. Give us an ‘ah ha’ moment . . . You know the light bulb came on, what would that be?
Karen: Goodness gracious! You know I‘ll tell you what my ‘ah ha’ moment was and it had to do with running for the election. I had run the two times before and I was almost baffled, I said clearly, ‘I am more qualified than the other candidates, I’ve had this wide range of experience, educated at the best institutions, what’s the problem?’ And then ‘I had this epiphany. I was spending so much time telling people how much I knew, they did not understand how much I cared.’ 

So people have to understand that not only did I have the knowledge and the expertise, but that I cared about what happened; and really this occurred when I went through the experience of caring for my mother, when I became a caregiver and had to negotiate the health care system and had to work with individuals; I think we refer to them as the working poor, but people who had challenges in terms of where they were going to live and what they would eat and the cost of those things.

After getting a birds-eye view of that and experiencing it firsthand it made me more compassionate even though I had always considered myself to be a pretty compassionate person. I served in the community but it is not until you go through something like that, that you really realize how blessed you are and how challenged some others are.

Rita: I know I said that was the last question, but this really is. Tell us something funny, something along the trail that made you laugh.

Karen: She says, “Goodness gracious” again (as she and her assistant laugh) There have been so many. There is not a day that passes that we don’t just fall out laughing about something. I’m trying to think (and Ms. Whittington chimes in with a pretty humorous reminder) ‘Oh yes!’

You know every year the Red Hat Society has an event, well they made me a hat and I’m not a real hat wearer, so this hat is like this box, a pill-box hat, a modified version of a pill-box hat, it’s a beautiful hat but it looks funny on my head (and Ms. Whittington agreed as evidenced by her continual laughing, still envisioning the look) That was last year.

Now they’re coming up on their time in April and the thought of having to wear that hat is just enough to make you laugh. I guess the other thing is somebody made me this jacket and it looks like a gang jacket, I mean it’s spray painted and it’s got like an almost RIP (rest in peace) logo and that was very thoughtful and I was very appreciative but that jacket was really something.

Rita: I did not get to see you when the Harlem Globe Trotters were at the Genesis Center downtown, but I guess you suited up with them. My husband and our son did and they said, “Yeah she really did.”

Karen: I did. I did. It was fun.

Rita: Thank you very much for taking the time to share with JO Magazine readers a little bit about Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, the Mayor of the great City of Gary, Indiana.

Karen: Well, thank you to JO Magazine for the opportunity. This was an enjoyable interview.

Rita: Praise God and I pray for you often.

Karen: Keep praying, it’s working. I tell people often I am probably one of the most prayed for Mayors and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.

 

Issue 12 – Hey Mr. DJ

Hey Mr. DJ

By, Yvonne L. Lander

Times have certainly changed for the better, when we turn on our radios we here people speaking our language. The music has a beat to it and your body is rocking along going down the road.

Let us give Doug Banks a hearty “What’s Up!” our man on the airwaves in the afternoon. Mr. Banks began his career early in life starting in high school on their radio station. Banks was offered a national syndicated show after much success in the mornings. “The Doug Banks Morning Show” took off and millions of listeners made it a top-rated show.

Along came 2008, Banks revamped his show and made it an afternoon radio show, Doug Banks was taken off the airwaves in a lot of different cities. “The Ride with Doug and DeDe” hit the airwaves keeping listeners entertained as they head home in the evenings. Two years later landing with Urban Radio Networks; “The Doug Banks Show was back in Chicago on WVAZ.

No matter how much talent the radio host has having someone to bounce off commentary with is always a winner. Joining Doug Banks is independent woman DeDe McGuire giving women a powerful voice on the radio.

Rounding out the crew is “The Stress Reliever” George Willborn. He brought his own brand of laughter to the afternoon drive. Willborn appeared on stage in 1987, since then he has ridden the comedy ladder. He also is a comedy writer for comedian ‘Monique.’

“The Doug Banks Show,” brings us each afternoon a wonderful way to drive home; interviews with stars from all works of the entertainment industry, De De’s five things, Adult Conversation and Dear Doug.

This is the first ‘DJ’ JO Magazine will be highlighting in upcoming issues, keep an eye out for your favorite ‘DJ”.

 

Information for this article was taken from
The Doug Banks Radio Show website

Issue 12 – Spotlight On: Kel Lind

Producer Kel Lind

Interview By L. Crawford Norman

Generation NOW

Meet Kel Lind, a 22 year old student at Wright State University. He is a junior in their prestigious B.F.A. Motion Pictures Program. Kel has just finished producing his first and largest effort with the short film, To The Rescue.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background in film.

Lind: For the last two years of high school I was in an interactive media program where I checked off all of the things I didn’t want to do and film was one of the things that I saw myself doing as a profession, so I went to Wright State. Just recently we finished our junior thesis film called, To The Rescue, which is a film about a woman going through relationship issues.

From your experience what is the definition of a Producer?

Lind: I found that when being a Producer you make stuff happen in pre-production and then follow that through for the actual production. The Producer watches to make sure everything happens when it needs to happen. I organized casting auditions all over the state, booked meeting rooms, handed out flyers and organized the budget. That’s something that carried over for the actual production.

Every day we’d consult our receipts and make a detailed spreadsheet explaining where each of those things were so we could keep track of them so we didn’t get to the end and ask “Where did that $5,000 go?” I was in a unique situation because I was also the Assistant Director. I’m not entirely sure if that’s a unique situation or not but they’re two really different jobs.

Tell us about your experience on your first big short, To The Rescue, as a Producer.

Lind: I think I could probably be a Producer again but Assistant Director, I probably couldn’t do again. You have to be the guy that’s in charge of making things happen on time, which requires you to be aggressive and if you’re working on a set with all of your friends it’s kind of hard to pressure them to move along. You have to play the bad guy.

I found I was actually okay with being the Producer and pre-production stuff and also keeping track of budgets. My whole life I’ve been able to just approach anyone and talk to them and start a conversation. That’s pretty useful when you’re walking into a pancake house (one of the locations for the film) and saying “Hey, want to let some film people shoot movies in your pancake house?” Being approachable and able to express your ideas and what you want to people, I could do that.

Was there a moment when you felt overwhelmed or that you almost gave up?

Lind: You have this idea of how much stuff will cost but when you’re finally looking at it, and you’re renting a $2,000 camera and you realize that one of your meals is going to cost $280, and that’s one meal. Also, when you’re setting the budget out and seeing $3,000 for food, all of the numbers are super intimidating. It was a dark day when we did our initial budget. It all worked out, we still have almost $1,000 left, and that’s a good place.

Did you ever feel insecure about the project? Was there a moment when you really came into your own and felt confident about it all?

Lind: The situation that we’re in is kind of unique, we’re not just making this film in a vacuum, we’re making it in a class with three total projects, and we’re one of them.

I know there was some doubt in other groups because of our subject nature being more of the human angle. A lot of these movies tell big sweeping stories, but this is a pretty personal, small story that fits the short film nature pretty well.

A lot of the other ideas that you see in the program, you can tell they’re these big feature film ideas compacted down. But I guess there is also insecurity because I realize I’ve never done this before.

When I realized I had to be the one to make this stuff happen or it wouldn’t happen. If there’s a day where I decide to be lazy that could screw us over for the perfect location. This worried me because I’m a procrastinator. Knowing I held the power to make it happen or not, that’s terrifying, that’s too much power. I think I could probably do it again, but it’s a lot.

After our final audition in Cincinnati we were driving back and we were all super tired since it was finals week. Our cinematographer, Yassir Sousiri was asleep in the backseat and our Director, Brandi Perrine was driving and we were just quiet for a good 10 to 20 miles. You could view it as this really depressing scene where we’re almost defeated by all of this but all I could think of was “I don’t have to schedule any more auditions, this is mostly done. We pretty much can just make the movie now.” This was a big relief.

Can you tell us a little bit about the producing process for the film specifically in a college setting?

Lind: It was easier to name drop Wright State. On past shoots when I’ve asked to shoot there they’re really concerned about the subject matter. When you hear student film it could be anything, it was definitely beneficial to say that.

What was your favorite moment on To The Rescue?

Lind: I know exactly what it was. The first day of shooting, it had been a long night of stressing out, doing the budget spreadsheet looking at all of our money and just not knowing how any of it could work and that night I was driving our grip truck (a U-haul™ with all of the equipment in it) we turned the corner where we were shooting the very first scene, the very first anything and I had this lingering worry in my mind that even though we told all the crew to be here what if no one shows up? I turned the corner and there’s 30 people standing outside of this establishment that we’re going to film in. It was just this big pile of people. Just pulling into that place and looking at all of those faces and saying to myself, “those people are all here to help us make this movie.” That is crazy; there are 30 people that are going to be spending the next six days to help us make this thing real. That was a cool moment I’m not going to forget anytime soon.

Where would you like to see yourself in the film industry? Still producing?

“I think at the end of the day I like to tell stories.”

Lind: The Producer angle is kind of removed from that. I don’t expect to initially go in and tell my stories right off the bat; you have to work your way up. The end goal is to be able to write my own stories and even if I’m not directing them, I think screenwriting is probably where I’m going to try. I picked this medium because it combines storytelling with visual and is a medium that people are really welcome to seeing and experiencing your stories.

 

Issue 12 – Meet: Nicole Richter

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DISCLAIMER: Dr. Nicole Richter can (and just about has) done everything. So if you read something that sounds somewhat far-fetched, well, that’s just a sign that you may not be on her level. This may be an interview on a movie producer, but we just wanted to be the brave explorers that chart the mysterious endeavors of a Minnesotan film professor. 

Issue12-nrBorn in Minnetonka, Minnesota and educated at Concordia College and the University of Miami. Dr. Richter has degrees in the fields of Psychology, Philosophy, Communications (film emphasis) and Film Studies.

Her time at Miami didn’t cost her a dime, one of the rewards of being on a competitive debate team.

Even though Dr. Richter was a semi-finalist for a job in the Wright State University Film program, Ohio didn’t look like much fun when she was about to sign the contract on a teaching job in Miami, but the smart and eager students (Dayton’s strong art community, and Yellow Springs’ unique and vibrant atmosphere) reeled her in.

Dr. Richter said, “I realized I didn’t know anything about Ohio, anything real about Ohio.”

Dr. Richter’s roots are in Film Theory writing, the first article she wrote covered the Feminist Poetics of Sofia Coppola; the piece was published in Feminism at the Movies. She has also written an article on Tila Tequila published in the Journal of Bisexuality.

Dr. Richter has a passion for writing about feminism and sexuality and its intersection with popular culture. Dr. Richter has founded multiple film journals, one entitled, In Short, from her time in Miami, devoted to short films music videos, and YouTube© videos. Up until now everything has been interesting, if not impressive.

Now brace yourself for something you might not have heard of before. Dr. Richter has published a variety of articles on different subjects in her field. Such as: An article about Lesbian vampire films for the Journal of Bisexuality, an article on transgender romance narratives for the book, ‘Queer love in film and television’ and an article about documentary in short film studies.

She has also done pieces for Women’s Multimedia Encyclopedia and has even more articles to come. Dr. Richter doesn’t just write brilliant philosophical pieces that redefine popular and little-known cinema, she also writes scripts and music videos. Now she is writing and directing a music video for her new band. The video is inspired by Nosferatu the iconic vampire from the German expressionist film of the same name. Instead of a male, they will use a female to play with the genre while referencing the classic horror film. Her main focus is the upcoming Film Dayton Festival, where she is on the board, and works with filmmakers.

For film

At Wright State University, the professor started Kino Femme, a women’s filmmaking collective that writes and directs their own films. A documentary Billy Lin is about a sculptor and her work that lives in Miami. Dr. Richter is currently editing an artist profile.
Experimental video
In February, Dr. Richter made her way back to Walker, Minnesota to shoot a documentary covering the Eelpout Festival, which is held near a cabin she grew up in. The festival embodies the culture of the state, and her family. Dr. Richter’s uncle was also named, Mr. Eelpout, so she decided to really capture the culture of a small town that found a way to bring tourists during the coldest part of the year. Think of Eelpout as Mardi Gras on ice – 10,000 people with trucks and RVs, tents and camps, bars and theme camps, where people can party for days on end. She shot 20 hours a day for 4 days with her husband on sound and only her cousin for a second camera.

Dr. Richter is also married to a musician, Jacob, who has scored for films and composes for musicals, choirs, bands, and gives private lessons for bass, piano, voice, and guitar. In his free time he plays in a band with his wife called, Curse of Cassandra (that’s right Dr. Richter). They’ve played some gigs with more to come this summer and are working on their first album.

Where did this come from? Well, her husband Jacob has already been in a band, but wanting to write music with a more electric sound worked with his wife (who plays bass and keyboards), vocalist Jill, and drummer to form the band. They play all original music and have already played shows in Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton Ohio.

Curse of Cassandra just wants to have fun, dance, and put on a good show.
While it’s mostly a dilapidated city trying to rebuild, Dayton’s arts community flourishes with help from groups like Film Dayton, which is devoted to making a film community in Dayton, through education and community outreach.

The mission is exemplified through their annual film festival, which is hosting an open submission for short films for the first time. The goal is to bring people to watch films they wouldn’t normally watch and bring them together to debate and talk about films made in Ohio. The festival showcases all local and national films on August 23rd through the 25th. Dr. Richter heads up the Rewards Committee for the entire festival in order to celebrate filmmakers working in the Dayton region. The filmmakers exemplify innovation in filmmaking, a career devotion to filmmaking, or a service to the filmmaking community (people involved in multiple projects).

This woman works hard. On top of this, Dr. Richter is working on an article about Wes Anderson’s short films, a book about independent film, a book on the French filmmaker Catherine Breillat, and a book on Tim Burton and Johnny Depp and their collaborative authorship.

Not to mention the editing on the continued projects as well as the music video.

Not only is Dr. Richter in the radio training program for local NPR station, WYSO she is also writing a feature for their community voices, where she’ll be producing content.

I was afraid to ask my next question because someone who’s doing so much
couldn’t possibly watch TV
or head to the movies, but like all producers this professor had her own favorite and disapproval of television shows and films.

While her continuing knowledge of film helps her to find something to appreciate in all pieces, D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation‘s message is definitely hate-able. Her favorite movie of the moment is The Watermelon Woman by Cheryl Dunye, a black lesbian filmmaker. Dr. Richter said, “It’s a one of a kind film. It’s very well made and it speaks from her perspective and it’s a point of view we don’t often see represented in film.”

When her TV is on its tuned to True Blood, The Voice or anything with Gordon Ramsey. Dr. Richter also watches The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Breaking Amish, Arrested Development, Project Runway and cooking.

Issue 12 – The Adams Project

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Issue12-adams2The Adams project was founded in 2008 by Jerome McCorry he did it as a consequence of his own experience. 15 years ago McCorry did a three year term for a crime that he did not commit. And that was an eye opening experience for him.

 

When I came back to Dayton a number of years ago I went with a major corporation as a CEO the thing that continued to play on his heart was given the roughness of my experience. He tells folk he took the long way around where God intended for him to be. McCorry says He holds know one responsible for his experiences except himself with God in his mercy allowed him to live through that process.

McCorry has been involved in ministry for over 40 years pastured some wonderful churches in the Dayton community and in Atlanta but he found himself displaced in terms of not living to the full potential of his calling because he wasn’t doing what he felt called to do. And that is what he is doing now. McCorry talked about his experience being in prison and he stated You are either going to come back from that experience bitter or better but he decided that he needed to be better giving the loftiness of his decision that he excepted as CEO he begin to think about other folks that have gone through that terrible experience who were coming home disfranchised couldn’t find work they would continually be identified by that number and instead of their name. McCorry felt that it was his responsibility and the missing element in his ministry was to help men and women to find their way back home again. But also found that it was important for him to have the Adam project be different and not just another re entry organization. Similar to the story of the protocol son Part of the mission to the Adam project had to be to deal with the protocol son that stayed home so that we will be able and ready to receive the people back home. And that became the main focus of the Adam project.

How does one get into the Adam Project?

1. Adam project has three different prone we do re entry but in a very untypical kind of way for us it does not mean to come home and find a job they deal with men and women some have never had a legitimate job in their life so mentoring is a huge piece of what they do in the program mentoring for life we are concerned about the state of the black family we are concerned about the displacement Adam project Adam was displaced in biblical times are men are displaced in prison are men are displaced selling drugs are men are displaced because we are often targeted and so with that we have taken the ministry to the entire family we think we have to help men understand his place in the lives of our women we have to teach them and its necessary for our women but also in the lives of their children .

2. Alternative sentencing or diversion we lobby the courts to allow us the opportunity to work with folks instead of sentencing them. Prison clearly is not a catch all, the United states houses more people in prison than any country in the world that includes Russia China Japan we have more people incarcerated in this nation and it’s not because we have more criminals we know that prison began in its popularity to keep black folk in check and as a consequence it has consistently and constantly have been misused and abused as a result of that we lobby with the courts and say that if prison was working recidivism wouldn’t be as high and we would not have more people incarcerated give us an opportunity to work with men to work with women who we believe are ready to change their lives we have been able to help people to find themselves to learn about themselves. Our first young man came to us from the federal system he was facing sixty four years of prison time as a king pen 44 years old he had already spent half of his life locked up and clearly that wasn’t working for him. That was the first person that the system decided that we are going to take a chance I think they did that because they thought we would fail but at least we would go away. That young man today five years later is a deacon is his church he owns two legitimate businesses in Montgomery county he started a t shirt business in his church. Our violence prevention and initiative Alternative sentencing program our first young man came to us from the federal system. This young man was facing sixty four years of prison time as a king pen at forty four years old he had already spent half of his life in lock up and clearly that was not working for him that was the first person the system decided that were going to take a chance and I think they did that because they were thinking that were going to fail but at least we would go away that young man today five years later he is a deacon at his church he owns two legitimate businesses in Montgomery county. And he just started a t shirt business in his church where he serves as a deacon for the youth department and he is teaching them entrepreneur skills. So we know alternative sentencing can work.

3. Our violence prevention initiative we teach our guys s responsibility teach them that they have a responsibility to go back in to work with the folks that you may have preyed upon weather that was selling drugs or committing of the crime when our young people see these same guys who they know from the streets coming back from the messenger of hope and peace and living together it makes those young people realize there is away and there are some alternatives of the at risk behaviors that many of them have engaged in that has kind of been our approach to this thing.

4. We have men and women we originally started out with me. The Adam project Adam who was placed in the garden he left his woman uncovered. Adam who God asked where are you. When we began to supply services to men the success rate was there, our beautiful sisters began to come to us and say listen. If you have contacts anywhere, if you are successful were not going to let you leave us out. That’s the beauty of a sister and so we said you’re absolutely right were not going to leave you out. Our services now are extended to men and women. We have a presence in two of Ohio ‘s prisons which is DCI here in Dayton and also Pickaway which is in orient OH, which is now being used for a pre release program. We have now developed curriculum, we are preparing people to come home even while they are still locked up and it’s because of our belief and concept about re-entry you can now began the program until six months before you are ready to come home thinking about what you are going to do when your prison sentence is over.

We have fatherhood classes and manhood training spiritual preparation we talk about entrepreneurial training we have met some of the most talented people in our lives that our locked up I’m talking about artist craftsmen, people who make mother’s day sweetest day valentine’s day cards the writing as well as art work could stand with the best of this type of business. We are working towards trying to have a farmers market type of situation the work from prisoners but we would sale it on the outside were people are able to purchase these great works money can go back on the ladies or men’s book s there not hustling on the yard the problem that a lot of them are having is engaging in solicited activities while locked up in prison can go away because they are making their own money we are teaching theme entrepreneurial skills imaging on a child’s face of an incarcerated parent that realized their mother or father supplied the money for that new bicycle of for whatever their needs were in school while they are still incarcerated we think that this is an idea that will work in OH prisons .

A little know fact that is not talked about the African American women’s is the fastest growing prison population in America today our women are being incarcerated know at a much higher rate than men we still have more African American men incarcerated however more of our women are being incarcerated than ever before and that is something that we have to stay on top of people look for our visits they look for us to be there it gives them someone to identify with but not only that I’ve been taught that Jesus himself said I was incarcerated and you visited me not I was hungry you didn’t feed me I was naked and you didn’t clothed me it is our reasonable service .

I can the experience that I went through was preparing me for this moment had I been a little more obedient when God calls us to ministry you have to know what he has called you to do I spent seven years working for Don King Production and was assign to Mike Tyson and it’s ironic that I would leave Mike Tyson’s employer Don King when Mike went to prison even then I understand that God was preparing me to do exactly what it is that I did today so after all of my music minority I am the happiest I ever been I am the poorest but I am the happiest I’ve ever been because I am 100 percent sure that I am doing what God has assigned to do so the three years away I tell people that it was a part of my graduate experience and God was preparing me is I decided to get better not bitter but I lived to serve his people who have suffered some tough stuff and for me that is what the Adam project is all about it is not a job it is a ministry and it is what keeps me going and I am dedicated to it 100 percent .

 

Issue 12 – In Style: Blue’s Barber Shop

Handing off a business 1302
to the next generation

There’s more to the successful transition of a business that is vital in the community and surrounding areas than just turning over the keys to the new owner. It includes balancing of the past and future along with a commitment to barbers and customers according to Rahsaan Reid “Rock,” the new owner of BLUE’S.

 

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Rossi Blue “Blue” is the founder and previous owner of the long lasting Barber Shop that cuts classic and new generation styles and any style in between. Blue started the barbershop over fifty years ago. Rock is the new owner of BLUE’S Barber Shop.
Rock stated, “I had a chance to work along side of Blue for years and I enjoyed the time of being just a barber. When Blue mentioned that he was thinking about selling the shop, wheels started turning in my head about purchasing the Barber Shop and when he was ready to sell, I was ready to purchase and take on the commitment as owner.”

As the New Generation owner, Rock believes in putting out great service.

“I take pride in making sure that my customers leave the shop satisfied.”

unning a strong successful Barber Shop with rich history which is also well-known for the service that it has provided; Rock had some big shoes to fill. Rock has added additional services.

 

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BLUE’S is a full service shop where you can get facials, eyebrows and eyelashes, color, cuts and more. You will have five barbers to choose from and be prepared to receive top notch service.

 

Giving Back Once a year BLUE’S Barber Shop gives back by providing Back-to-School cuts for kids. Rock says this is well received by the community. You can meet Rock when you stop in at BLUE’S. The full service shop is located at 3500 Hoover Avenue in Dayton, Ohio.

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Jason Dunn

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JO: What do you consider your greatest achievement so far?
Dunn: You know without being flighty, I think my book is yet to be written. What I will say is the greatest contribution to Cincinnati ,is that I have had the pleasure of being a part of earning the NAACP National Conference in 2008. The Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau brought the NAACP, Politicians, Media, Corporations , Grassroots Leaders, Professional Organizations, Faith Leaders and the Cincinnati Police Department together for best practices and implementation of collective goals.Based off of the responses, the team was successful and credited for hosting one of the best conferences in recent memory. In fact, we are gearing up to bid on the national conference in the near future. We have also leveraged the success of the NAACP to earn more conferences and currently use the collective template for other bidding opportunities..JO: How do you keep yourself motivated every day to go out and sell Cincinnati to out of town vendors or organizations to get them to bring their event to Ohio?
Dunn: I grew up in the church and have a very large family. So my DNA has always been to help other people and bring people together regardless of the situation.My motivation stems from our industry’s ability to change cities, people’s lively hood, strengthen organizations and create jobs.The core value of our industry, lies in the ability to provide fresh revenue to local economies, that help stimulate and create economic opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t exist.To make it more personal; my career allows me to give back, contribute to the economy with integrity and support the two most precious people in my life, my wife and daughter.
JO: Now you’ve mentioned that you are married? 

Dunn: I am yes, very happily.

JO: And are you from the Cincinnati area originally?

Dunn: No, I was born and raised in Columbus Ohio and my wife is from Youngstown. We have a 9 year old daughter. We met at The University of Cincinnati , as resident advisors. I often times pinch myself when we are out, because they are so beautiful.

I guess my irresistible charm overwhelmed my wife, while listening too Frankie Beverly and enjoying my famous cooking in college.

JO: So that’s how you swooned Mrs. Dunn?

Dunn: Absolutely

JO: What do you contribute your success to?

Dunn: My network, favor, my wife and my ability to usher groups to their individual agendas or goals. I don’t take myself to seriously and really try to make decisions with my conscience and collective input. I believe in the power of socialization, meaning everything is about conversation.

If you can find a medium amongst people, a solution or agreeable terms are near. It’s really that practical. Surrounding yourself with good people, keeps you humble, because you can be up today and down tomorrow. I know better than anybody else, that you must stick to what you believe in and stay rooted in your base.

I also have an extremely engaged President, whom has taken me under his wing and poured over 20 years of industry experience into me. Coupled with mentors, just to name a few: Ako Kambon, (Former State of Ohio Rep) Larry Price , State Senator Eric Kearney, Rev. H.L Harvey, Howard Bond , Herb Brown, Judge Tyrone Yates , Dr. Chester Pryor, Charles Hales, Sydney Broadnax, Dr. Eric Abercrombie and my Uncle Bruce seem to keep me on the right track.

JO: Do you have any future goals that you don’t mind sharing with us?
Dunn: Interestingly, I didn’t plan to get here. All I know is, I hope God continues to bless me and bless the people that come in my life. I also hope, I’m doing what he has planned for me and he continues to bless my family. Stay Tuned

 

 

JO: Amen, do you attend church in Cincinnati?Dunn: Yes! I am a member of Allen Temple A.M.E, but have many surrogate fathers in the faith. I need all the help, I can get. Seriously, I attribute a lot of my success through that family of ministers or faith leaders who have adopted me like their own son.JO: Can you tell us about the best part of your work?Dunn: The best part of my career is knowing, I’m involved with something bigger than me. In 2001, the city was up in flames ,the communities morale and Cincinnati’s image was negative. In 2013, while we still have our challenges, we are much further than we were.For me, being a part of the change while bringing the city together and increasing morale is unbelievable. New restaurants, Development, Hiring of the first African American Police Chief and the creation of the first African American owned restaurant on The Banks speaks to measurable accomplishments.

JO: I was just reading not too long ago about the events that have been going on at the convention center and I remembered that I attended one of the events, a Baptist convention, a couple of years ago.
Dunn: Yes we just re-booked them, they are coming back again.

JO: I really enjoyed it; it’s great to have this type of events close by.

 

Dunn: It’s not all me, I would be remiss if I didn’t give the entire hospitality industry credit. I’m just a spoke on the wheel and simply try to do my part.

Eventually I want to go back to school to get my post graduate degree, and I want to grow my family. I’m excited about what’s next you know there’s always more conventions, there’s always more festivals. But I think personally I want to grow to become a better father and a better husband. To grow in my walk in life is my biggest project I guess.

JO: Right, I understand.

 

Dunn: The next project is myself how’s that?

JO: That’s good, I know for me I can use some work. Do you have a favorite quote?

Dunn: My Bishop at my home church in Columbus say’s “ Say it until you see it”. If you believe in speaking as though your tongue speaks life or death, this quote is extremely powerful. I would like to speak life, success and blessing to those around me.

So I’ll keep saying positive things, until the things I say come true and the people I meet are empowered.

JO: That is a great quote I love it.

Dunn: The quote is by Bishop Jerome H. Ross

JO: Before you go can you give some words of encouragement to help other young men succeed.

Dunn: My story is complicated. I couldn’t read on the appropriate level, when I arrived at West Virginia State. I lacked study skills and school wasn’t really that important to me. When I arrived on campus to play football; I was prepared to be an athlete not a student. Although, I had a strong base around me and many resources to succeed; my reading skills got lost in my contagious personality.

I learned to compensate for not being able to read ,by being the center of attention. However, there came a point where my personality wasn’t enough. After spending a summer at home, my mentors helped get me into The University of Cincinnati.

That’s where I met my wife, who not only graduated top of her class; but guided me to graduation. Just so we are clear, I wasn’t at the top my class! I say that to say, brothers find someone who can look past all of your fought and sincerely has your best interest in mind. Also stay close to the Elders ,pace yourself and always stay within the bounds of your conscience.

JO: That’s great advice is there anything else you would like to share?

Dunn: As an African American man I think we often get discouraged and may not feel that we fit in certain circles of life but I’ll say this and I’ll say it to all the brothers out there who are struggling with being a family man, being driven in their professionalism and trying to find peace within their own life. It lies in your ability first to be grounded with your family and if your home life is well your professional life will follow and then peace will be the ultimate goal.

JO keep moving, keep going, keep teaching the people, keep reaching the people and you control your success.

Dontay Savoy

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LaShai : You were born Matthew, so where did the name Dontay Savoy come from?

Dontay: I made it up. This is one of those things of me being over-the-top. Clearly it has nothing to do with the name I was born with, except my middle name is Don. I just really hated that because it sounded like a 90 year old man and it didn’t match my personality so I changed my name.

LaShai : Did your sex appeal play a role in the doors that were opened for you?

Dontay: I really don’t know, I would like to think my talent and drive, a opportunity, or a blessing, opened doors. I do think it’s easier for gay black male stylist to get along with female clients because their personalities are similar and woman usually agree.

I know a lot of male stylist but they are good so I don’t really look at it that way, but I have had clients say to me that they wouldn’t want another female hairdresser touching their hair so who knows. I think my work speaks for itself and being sexy is always a plus.

LaShai : Sounds like a win win situation and I think it is an advantage or sexy to have a male hairdresser. Men know what looks good on women and men are who women are trying to please. I just thought your looks and personality may have opened more doors because you have a fairy tale experience in a very competitive field.

Dontay: I think it takes the right person because I do know some women stylist who have advanced quickly as well, so again, it takes that right person to connect with another right person.

LaShai : Tell me about how you met Kim Kimble

Dontay: After I graduated I was approached by the owner of the institute who knew that Kim was looking for an assistant. She and I both went to the same school just at different times. Now that was back in 2003, so I didn’t know her and her resume included Beyonce, so of course I wanted THAT job. (we shared laughter and excitement)

So the owner set-up a meeting and I didn’t know what to expect, I was dressed in my Sunday best, girl, I wanted to really make a good first impression. We met at this restaurant and I brought what I considered to be a portfolio back then.

She saw my work but half of the meeting, she was on the phone setting up business meetings and confirmations and she managed to squeeze in some details about her salon and hired me on the spot.

LaShai : Wow, just like that, you did the Biggie Smalls and went from ashy to classy. Fresh out of hair school and right on to celebrity hair styling.

Dontay: At the same time, what ended up happening was after the meeting we set a date to meet at the salon and when I showed up, the receptionist tells me that she was out of the country, so my first impression was ummmm, this might not be right. During the whole time she was out of town I was going to different salons in the hood trying to figure out what I’m going to do with myself. I had worked in about seven salons before I really became a stylist.

So when Kim gets back in town the receptionist calls me, I go back to the salon, she was very apologetic, and explained the emergency situation. My attitude was, I really can’t complain nor did she have to explain so I was just happy t o have the opportunity.

The first day I started working, Kim would never tell me who was coming in the shop, which is something I could appreciate because it showed me that she believed in my work and abilities. She really didn’t want stylists that were all about the hype, then Stacey Dash walked through the door and I was like, “Oh shit” I had to go to the restroom and get my mind right real quick.

Then Gabrielle Union and Vanessa Williams walks in and ever since it has been a pleasure, I love my job. At first I think they got tired of me asking questions trying to make sure everything was perfect, because some clients are very demanding. But over time I think I found my personality when it came to dealing with celebrities because it’s not always easy but it is fun and rewarding.

LaShai : What has been your worst experience working with celebrities?

Dontay: Child, I really can’t say a worst because the reward outweighs the demands plus I have dealt with worst clients in the hood.

I remember doing a music video and the person, I’m not gone say no names, but she was being hurried back to the set and was wearing a lace-front but it was not glued down on her head, and I brushed it right off, talking bout embarrassed. Again that’s when my bubbly personality kicks in.

LaShai : How hard is it to stay professional being attractive and working with entertainers that are also beautiful?

Dontay: It always gets personal with me. I can’t do the professional thing, I tried in the beginning but once I feel a person’s personality I loosen up then they loosen up and now we more like friends. I think that for some people professional works for them but I have to feel comfortable when I’m being creative.

LaShai : Do you have the same clients every week because where I’m from we get our hair done weekly or at least twice a month, we have the same day scheduled and we need our hairdo to last close to the next appointment.

Dontay: Well that would be the biggest difference, because Hollywood hairstyles might be for that day or that shoot, or that video. They need perfection for hours not days or weeks. We don’t really retain the same clients but they will come back if or when they are in town.

Reason being, celebrities usually get their hair done for movie or video appearances and most don’t live in Hollywood. Celebrities have hair stylist all over the place.

LaShai : I have to admit to being a reality TV junkie. I wanna watch shows that expose what’s really going on, so how much of the show is real?

Dontay: I will say that the emotions is real. It depends on certain scenarios but yes its real. we are shooting season two right now and hopefully the viewers can tell the difference between how hairstylists really act. You have to read between the lines but when the camera turns on, it’s Showtime and that’s exactly what we do, put on a show.

LaShai : I have really enjoyed this interview, I felt like I was catching up with an old friend or classmate. Is there any advice you would like to offer?

Dontay: If you have a dream or ideal, continue to pursue it because eventually it will reach the right person. Just don’t let yourself get in the way, you can do ANYthing if you put your all into a project.

LaShai : Nicely put. I really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to JoMagazine, we wish you the best.
Again, you can watch Mr. Dontay Savoy on L.A. Hair on Wednesdays at 10p.m. on the WE TV Network.
He currently owns an upscale salon in West Hollywood and works as a stylist on the television show Access Hollywood.