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2018 NNPA DTU Journalism Fellowship

How Idris Elba saved a fan’s life

ROLLINGOUT.COM — Idris Elba rushed to the aid of a fan who was in distress during a performance of his stage play, Tree. The “Luther” star leaped off stage to help Amanda Bilington when he saw she was having a seizure in the audience at the Upper Campfield Market in Manchester during the preview the production on Wednesday, July 3, 2019.

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Idris Elba (Photo Credit: Bang Media)

By Rollingout.com

Idris Elba rushed to the aid of a fan who was in distress during a performance of his stage play, Tree.

The “Luther” star leaped off stage to help Amanda Bilington when he saw she was having a seizure in the audience at the Upper Campfield Market in Manchester during the preview the production on Wednesday, July 3, 2019.

The 33-year-old theatre-goer who suffers from regular seizures didn’t realize the 46-year-old actor was standing by her side until she regained consciousness a little while later. Elba continued to stay with her until the paramedics arrived to take over her care.

“I would love to thank him personally but doubt I will cross paths with him, he’s very famous,” Bilington told the Daily Mirror newspaper.

Meanwhile, although Elba is busy with the play at the moment, the Mountain Between Us actor who is married to Sabrina Dhowre and has children Isan, 17, and five-year-old Winston from previous relationships, is working to spend as much time as possible with his loved ones.

“Everything’s a balance in life. I have to do the work, because it’s a popular time for me, and it’s best to have that. But also: I’m madly in love with my wife and my children,” he said in a recent interview with Vanity Fair.

“At home, I’m not famous, I’m me. And to my team and my family and the people that I work with every day when we build what we build, we’re not famous. You know what I mean? It’s day one every day,” Elba said.

This article originally appeared in Rollingout.com
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2018 NNPA DTU Journalism Fellowship

Church Ministers Through Little Library

THE AFRO — St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church/ Iglesia Episcopal San Mateo in Hyattsville, MD. is using books as a means of bringing education, entertainment and hope to the community.

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St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church/ Iglesia Episcopal San Mateo in Hyattsville, MD. officially dedicated the first Little Library solely for children on June 30. (Photo by: Micha Green)

By Micha Green

St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church/ Iglesia Episcopal San Mateo in Hyattsville, MD. is using books as a means of bringing education, entertainment and hope to the community.

Two days after St. Matthew’s church member Bernard Jarvis, 25, was gunned down in nearby Brentwood in Northeast, D.C., the parish unveiled a Little Library for children in the neighborhood between services on June 30.  While the planning of the Little Library had been in the works for months, Rector Rev. Vidal Rivas and Associate Priest Sister Elena Thompson remembered Jarvis during the Little Library dedication.

As the community mourned the loss of Jarvis, the birth of the Little Library brought a clear sense of joy to those who attended its unveiling.

“I think this is a little hope, to say as we remember the member that passed away, we can still continue to support those little kids that are growing up and contributing to this Little Library in his memory as well,” Hyattsville City Council member Edoard Haba (Ward 4) told the AFRO.

Haba shared that he felt the creation of the Little Library was important to children’s education and thus kids’ overall growth.

“Education is important in youth and kids’ development,” he said.

The City Council member is so inspired by the Little Library concept that he is working to have more built throughout Hyattsville.

“As part of my vision for the community, I also plan to install a couple more of these Little Libraries throughout the community.  We have three that are slated to be installed by the end of this month,” he said.

While Hyattsville already has a Little Library, according to Sister Thompson explained that the St. Matthew’s location is the only one solely dedicated to young people.

“The Little Library is a movement that is all across the country now, and they’re about a dozen Little Libraries already in Hyattsville, but this is the first one specifically dedicated to books for children,” she told the AFRO.

Thompson shared the logical and historic reasons why having a Little Library made sense for the neighborhood surrounding St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church/ Iglesia Episcopal San Mateo.

“We got the idea to put the Little Library here in two ways. One of which is that we have many children, when school gets out, walking right past our building. And the second is that this parish has a history of providing library services to the community, that goes back to the years in which the Hyattsville library was racially segregated,” she said.

According to Thompson, parish families worked to create an inclusive library.

“There was a family here named Hotchkiss who wanted to be sure that reading and books were available to all children. And so they and others established a parish library.  The family of Owen Thomas gave a large grant, when this building was built in 1953, to make sure that there’d be a dedicated library space to which everyone could come,” she told the AFRO.

However, overtime, the demand for an inclusive library affiliated with the church became less as the public library eventually integrated.

“So we still have some of those old books, and we got into a discussion about what we should do with our old books from our old library and the children who are here in our church, in our day school and in the public school who come walking past us,” Thompson said. “And we brought up the idea of a Little Library and the Junior Warden immediately said, ‘I would like to build that.’  His name is Jose Ramirez. Jose went to his workshop, and over the next three months, built this library from scratch, and last Monday installed it.”

The need for a Little Library was further emphasized once installed, as community members began using it  before the formal dedication.

“The community already responded- brought books, taken books and we are looking forward to a big outreach as well as an internal ministry for the Parish,” Thompson explained.

Using the ministry of education, the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) group at  St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church/ Iglesia Episcopal San Mateo will be sharing the Little Library idea.

“Our ECW is going on a visit to another parish that has another school, and we hope to be able to tell them our story, and help them to begin a Little Library ministry of their own.”

This article originally appeared in The Afro

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2018 NNPA DTU Journalism Fellowship

Jay-Z’s Album Inducted Into Library Of Congress

DEFENDER NEWS NETWORK — It’s undeniable that rap legend Jay-Z has left an indelible mark on the music industry and he recently received a huge honor for his contributions to hip-hop and beyond. According to Billboard, his album The Blueprint has been inducted into the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry; making it the 10th hip-hop recording to join the collection.

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Jay-Z (Photo by: defendernetwork.com)
By Defender News Service

It’s undeniable that rap legend Jay-Z has left an indelible mark on the music industry and he recently received a huge honor for his contributions to hip-hop and beyond. According to Billboard, his album The Blueprint has been inducted into the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry; making it the 10th hip-hop recording to join the collection.

The project—which was the rapper’s sixth studio album—was released in 2001. The body of work included songs like “Izzo (H.O.V.A.),” “Heart Of The City (Ain’t No Love),” “Song Cry,” “Renegade,” and many other memorable songs. “I’m a person that believes that everything that happens to you in life will shape you as a person. Every struggle and every challenge that’s placed in front of you is to see how strong of a person you’re going to become,” said Carter in a rare interview before The Blueprint album was released. “The Blueprint is like the blueprint of my life. It’s the things that made me the way I am; shaped me and all my beliefs and ideas. It’s also a blueprint for rappers in this business.”

His album was one of 25 influential pieces of music that were inducted this year. Others that were selected included Curtis Mayfield’s “Superfly,” Earth, Wind, & Fire’s song “September” and the song “Mississippi Goddam” by Nina Simone. “The National Recording Registry honors the music that enriches our souls, the voices that tell our stories and the sounds that mirror our lives.”

Carla Hayden, who serves as a librarian at the Library of Congress, said in a statement. “The influence of recorded sound over its nearly 160-year history has been profound and technology has increased its reach and significance exponentially. The Library of Congress and its many collaborators are working to preserve these sounds and moments in time, which reflect our past, present and future.”

Other hip-hop projects that have been added in the past include Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” Run-D.M.C.’s Raising Hell, “Dear Mama” by 2Pac and Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Carter has been making headlines for the work that he’s doing surrounding criminal justice reform.

This article originally appeared in Defender News Network.

Defender News Service

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2018 NNPA DTU Journalism Fellowship

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Program seeks to empower next generation of women leaders

WAVE NEWSPAPERS — Founded in 1996 by four women who wanted to offer girls in their community the opportunity to dream big, Girls Today Women Tomorrow (GTWT) has been a guiding light for hundreds of young girls, ages 11-21, who want to be leaders and change agents for their generation.

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Girls Today Women Tomorrow

By Angela Nicole Parker

Founded in 1996 by four women who wanted to offer girls in their community the opportunity to dream big, Girls Today Women Tomorrow (GTWT) has been a guiding light for hundreds of young girls, ages 11-21, who want to be leaders and change agents for their generation.

Based on four pillars: education, leadership, wellness and service, the organization utilizes mentors to facilitate a variety of workshops that include college prep, wellness workshops, cooking classes and chat nights. Mentors and volunteers have also come together to offer participants outdoor team building experiences that include rope-courses and camping trips in Joshua Tree.

“Girls Today Women Tomorrow empowers girls to create their own opportunities for life success by contributing to their community as young leaders, guided by mentors dedicated to expanding their horizons,” said Denise Villamil, chair of the Board of Directors of GTWT. “[For that to happen], it is important that we ensure that our young girls have safe and open spaces where they can come to us for comfort and with questions they might have … and know they are supported and respected.”

As an alumni of the program, Villamil knows firsthand the difference the program makes in the lives of young girls.

“It is very rewarding to see how so many girls who have gone off to college, return not only as volunteers for the program but as service providers in our community,” Villamil said. “Many of our girls come back to social service careers and work with youth and families.

“As for myself, that has been my personal trajectory, where I now work with a nonprofit in the same community that I have participated with GTWT working with families. I have a daughter and I want to be an example to her and ensure GTWT is a program accessible to her.”

In fact, “Girl Power” is at the heart of everything Girls Today Women Tomorrow does. The organization specifically works with inner-city girls from low-income communities in the Eastside of Los Angeles to build up their leadership skills and ensure that they let their voices be heard on the various issues that affect their present and future.

“It is our goal to be the preeminent organization that prepares inner-city girls for achievement and leadership,” Villamil said. “We have been around for over 22 years in a community with limited gender-specific programming. There are currently no other programs like ours in the community of Boyle Heights.”

With the establishment of the program in Boyle Heights, GTWT has cultivated and grown its relationships with neighboring organizations and continues to partner and collaborate with community members on various projects. The GTWT Community Empowerment Center currently serves as a place for youth, community members and families to develop the skills they need to build a strong community.

“We are most proud of the servitude and commitment that the girls in our program have to each other and the program,” Villamil said. “We have had girls come back after college and continue to volunteer. We have alumni on the board and staff who were youth participants.”

Although the center is located in Boyle Heights, they have girls who come from other neighboring communities and the organization is actively seeking funding to expand the scale and the scope of their work.

“As a gender-specific program, we would like to implement the same pillars and programming in other schools, expanding and giving opportunities to girls that cannot access our site in Boyle Heights,” Villamil said. “With the funding, we are able to work with schools and educators around the city to implement the same model and have a school-based program.”

Villamil is proud of the well-rounded girls that the program produces.

“We provide girls with the best and most fulfilling opportunities, but we encourage that the girls give back to the community, whether it be helping at the local retirement home or helping clean up their neighborhood,” Villamil said. “The girls who come through this program expand their knowledge and learn about what their future could look like, if they are willing to work hard enough for it.”

INFORMATION BOX

Chair of the Board of Directors: Denise Villamil

501c3 Number: 68-0606918

Organizational budget: $150,000

Years in operation/Founded in: Program founded in 1996; became 501(c)3 in 2005

Website: www.gtwt.org

This article originally appeared in Wave Newspapers

posted by Wave Staff

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#NNPA BlackPress

Ford, GM and Toyota Rank Highest on Automotive Diversity Scorecard

NNPA NEWSWIRE – Rainbow Push released the rankings on Friday, Nov. 2 as part of the 19th Annual Rainbow PUSH/CEF Global Automotive Summit held in Detroit. Ford, GM and Toyota each reflected “best practices” in ethnic diversity in employment, marketing and philanthropy.

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Ford, GM and Toyota each reflected “best practices” in ethnic diversity in employment, marketing and philanthropy.

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Toyota Motor North America ranked high on the Rainbow Push Coalition 2018 automotive diversity scorecard.

The annual ranking serves to hold automakers accountable and make minority representation in the automotive industry more than a trendy talking point, according to the organization, headed by the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

The scorecard reveals the findings from a survey completed by the top 12 automotive manufacturers and grades them in six different categories including employment, advertising, marketing, dealership, procurement and philanthropy.

The qualitative instrument is a color-coded system of red (least favorable), yellow, and green (most favorable).

Rainbow Push released the rankings on Friday, Nov. 2 as part of the 19th Annual Rainbow PUSH/CEF Global Automotive Summit held in Detroit. Ford, GM and Toyota each reflected “best practices” in ethnic diversity in employment, marketing and philanthropy.

While lagging slightly behind Ford and Toyota’s rankings for diversity in advertising and procurement, GM demonstrated best practices for diversity among dealers, according to the scorecard.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles ranked in the middle among 12 automakers. Volkswagen and BMW were at the bottom of the list for diversity across the company.

“We will continue our collective work with automakers that desire internal and external culture changes that embrace diversity. When we do that everyone wins,” Jackson said.

While Ford and Toyota have done a lot to demonstrate best practices, GM has worked directly with the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) – the trade organization that represents 220 African American-owned newspapers and media companies around the country – to head a program that helps young aspiring journalists.

The automaker and the NNPA provide HBCU students an exciting opportunity to “Discover the Unexpected” (DTU) about themselves, their communities and everyday people making a real difference in a fellowship program.

Each student receives a $10,000 scholarship for an 8-week journalism journey focused on sharing inspirational stories in the African American community.

DTU Fellowship candidates are HBCU students with an interest in journalism who are up for a road trip driven by hands-on experience, exciting challenges and discovering inspirational stories from African-American communities, according to officials at GM and the NNPA.

This year, using NNPA’s professional resources and the all-new 2018 Chevrolet Equinox’s innovative technology, DTU Fellows are sharing stories that shatter perceptions, jump-start their journalism careers and encourage all to Discover the Unexpected.

Each team of DTU Fellows travel to two cities to work with two different NNPA newspapers with the use of the all-new 2018 Chevrolet Equinox and its innovative technology.

During the Automotive Summit, Jackson also announced a new collaboration between Rainbow Push and Wayne County Community College to train students to work on the new technology automakers are preparing to deploy in the near future.

“It’s not about grease anymore,” Jackson said. “It’s about high-tech.”

The program, which Jackson did not offer many details on, would target 1,000 students through a specialized, two-year program at the college. The curriculum would be designed by Silicon Valley-based African-American technology professionals.

Jackson said details would be offered on the program in about a month.

Meanwhile, BMW’s top leader in North America met this week with Jackson to discuss the German automaker’s efforts to promote diversity in its ranks. However, the civil rights leader has encouraged people to stop buying BMWs until the company reveals more about current efforts to diversify its management.

Eleven percent of BMWs sold in the United States, Jackson said, are purchased by black Americans. Five of 340 BMW dealerships nationwide are black-owned, BMW confirmed.

“They once had 12 dealerships. They’ve gone backwards,” Jackson said.

Stacy M. Brown

A Little About Me: I'm the co-author of Blind Faith: The Miraculous Journey of Lula Hardaway and her son, Stevie Wonder (Simon & Schuster) and Michael Jackson: The Man Behind The Mask, An Insider's Account of the King of Pop (Select Books Publishing, Inc.)

My work can often be found in the Washington Informer, Baltimore Times, Philadelphia Tribune, Pocono Record, the New York Post, and Black Press USA.
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2018 NNPA DTU Journalism Fellowship

MLB Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem Is Working to Increase Diversity on the Field and in the Front Office

NNPA DTU Journalism Fellows Tyvan Burns of Norfolk State University, Diamond Durant of Morgan State University, and Denver Lark of North Carolina A&T University, interviewed MLB Deputy Commissioner for Baseball Administration Dan Halem about diversity in Major League Baseball during All-Star Week in Washington, D.C.

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By Tyvan Burns, Diamond Durant, Denver Lark (#TeamOptimistic, NNPA DTU Journalism Fellowship)

Dating back to 1947, when Jackie Robinson became the first African American Major League Baseball (MLB) player for the Brooklyn Dodgers, increasing diversity and inclusion continue to be two of the league’s most important objectives.

As the league’s Deputy Commissioner for Baseball Administration, Dan Halem has taken on those missions.

Growing up in central New Jersey, Halem played, watched, and loved baseball.

Now Halem oversees legal affairs, labor relations, baseball operations, human resources, the Department of Investigations, and diversity efforts for the league. Halem said that he wants to bring baseball to areas and kids that otherwise would not be exposed to it.

“We are encouraged by our draft results and we have had more African Americans players drafted in the last five years than we’ve had in [previous] years,” Halem said. “The way to have more diversity amongst our players is to create as many opportunities for kids to play baseball, as possible.

Halem continued: “African American [children] will play baseball, if you bring it to them and organize it, just like any kids. The league needs to organize things to make it easier for them; if we take away the barriers…they’ll play.”

The league’s efforts to increase diversity on the field and in the front office come at a time when 42.5 percent of all players in the MLB are minorities, according to The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES). However, less than eight percent of MLB players are Black, African American or African Canadian. In 1991, nearly 20 percent of all players were African American.

In 2016, the league launched the Fostering Inclusion through Education and Leadership Development (FIELD) program to increase minority participation in professional baseball. The Undefeated reported that, “FIELD offers its participants access to a vast network of sports professionals, from the commissioner’s office to individual minor league clubs.”

Last year, the league created a fellowship program designed to advance diversity in the front office, The Shadow League reported.

Halem acknowledged that, over time, baseball has evolved tremendously.

“Baseball has become more sophisticated and has really begun to understand that it’s an entertainment product that competes with other products for people’s attention,” Halem said. “[Baseball] has to adapt to stay relevant and competitive in this market place. The league has been much more focused on promoting our players, as individuals, and using social media more.”

Halem also said that he wants to create scholarships and training opportunities for aspiring journalists interested in writing about baseball, in an effort to increase awareness about the sport and grow the league’s fan base.

Tyvan Burns (Norfolk State University), Diamond Durant (Morgan State University) and Denver Lark (North Carolina A&T University) are 2018 Discover The Unexpected Journalism Fellows representing #TeamOptimistic. Check out more stories by #TeamOptimistic at nnpa.org/dtu.

NNPAFreddie

Freddie Allen is the Editor-In-Chief of the NNPA Newswire and BlackPressUSA.com. Focused on Black people stuff, positively. You should follow Freddie on Twitter and Instagram @freddieallenjr.
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2018 NNPA DTU Journalism Fellowship

Hip-hop Icon MC Lyte Talks about her Role as National Spox for the NNPA’s Discover The Unexpected HBCU Journalism Program

Hip-hop legend MC Lyte is the national spokesperson for the NNPA’s Discover The Unexpected Journalism Fellowship program. The NNPA DTU Journalism Fellowship was designed to give HBCU students practical experience with the Black Press.

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By Tyvan Burns, Diamond Durant, Denver Lark (#TeamOptimistic, NNPA DTU Journalism Fellowship)

Hip-hop pioneer MC Lyte is the national spokesperson for the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s (NNPA) Discover The Unexpected (DTU) Journalism Fellowship program.

Her passion about education and her desire to create opportunities for HBCU students are two of the many reasons she partnered with the NNPA and Chevrolet, the program’s sponsor.

As she continues her great acts of philanthropy, MC Lyte said that music and journalism are much alike, as they are both used to tell stories.

MC Lyte became great friends with Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., the president and CEO of the NNPA, through his work in hip-hop and civil rights.

When she got the call about the NNPA’s DTU program, she said that she was happy to help out; she said that representing the DTU program is a great fit.

When it comes to her philanthropic work that grew out of her music career, MC Lyte said that she always wanted to give back. That sense of altruism manifested early on in her music career with her hit single “I Cram to Understand U,” which included a strong anti-drug message, geared towards the Black community.

MC Lyte made it her responsibility to advocate for young people and to shed light on the deluge of heroin and crack cocaine that flooded her Brooklyn neighborhood in the 70’s and 80’s.

“I don’t think that I really do anything for me, per se,” MC Lyte said. “It’s about getting out there, [using] the MC Lyte name, to form partnerships with bigger entities and to gain access to resources and sharing those resources with the people who need them the most.”

Hip-hop pioneers like Salt-N-Pepa and Rakim inspired MC Lyte to partake in the music industry at such an early age. MC Lyte also vividly remembered how the Bronx-born, hip-hop group Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five helped to shape her storytelling rap style.

MC Lyte said that “The Message,” the Furious Five classic featuring Melly Mel, painted a picture of life in the Bronx that was very different from her life in Brooklyn, where she was born and raised. “The Message” influenced MC Lyte to gravitate towards the storytelling aspect of hip-hop. MC Lyte described “Lyte as a Rock,” her first album, as “a book of poems and short stories.”

“It was easy to get into a [creative] space and just write,” MC Lyte said. “My mother made me write an essay for whatever I wanted to do.”

MC Lyte said that young artists, who are pursuing careers in the entertainment business, should educate themselves about royalties, build a trustworthy team and seek legal advice when necessary.

“Never sign anything without counsel and always sign your own checks,” MC Lyte advised.

Reminiscing about her career in the music industry, if given the opportunity to change or do anything different, MC Lyte said that she would have said “yes” more often and been more open to trying new music genres and collaborating with unexpected artists.”

Although, MC Lyte is often credited as a pioneer in hip-hop culture, her passion to ignite change on a greater scale was alive from the very beginning. She was one of the first female rappers to speak out against sexism and misogyny in the industry. Her voice shook up the male-dominated hip-hop scene and helped pave the way for female MC’s that followed in her footsteps, like Queen Latifah and Missy Elliott.

Tyvan Burns (Norfolk State University), Diamond Durant (Morgan State University) and Denver Lark (North Carolina A&T University) are 2018 Discover The Unexpected Journalism Fellows representing #TeamOptimistic. Check out more stories by #TeamOptimistic at nnpa.org/dtu.

NNPAFreddie

Freddie Allen is the Editor-In-Chief of the NNPA Newswire and BlackPressUSA.com. Focused on Black people stuff, positively. You should follow Freddie on Twitter and Instagram @freddieallenjr.
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