Daily Archive: April 13, 2012


PACE takes on youth issues at annual luncheon

At the 4th Annual Inclusive Voices community exchange luncheon, youth issues took center stage. Hosted by the Program to Aid Citizen Enterprise, the yearly event brings together some of Pittsburgh’s most influential leaders and voices. “PACE was formed upon the assassination of (Rev. Dr.) Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil unrest that followed in our community. We noted some of the concerns youth had at two different points in time, but they remain critical issues today,” said Bob Nelkin, president of the United Way and who served as master of ceremonies. “You have the same opportunity today. You may have a wonderful conversation today and you may have a very powerful conversation.” JUDGE LIVINGSTON ­JOHNSON Although each table in the Omni William Penn grand ballroom March 30 veered in different topic directions, many found themselves discussing the direction today’s youth are headed in. Led by a group of 29 conversationalists, the guests also talked about issues like government, public safety and development.


Former drug addict creates program to help others

For more than 20 years Denise Zellous struggled with drug addiction and its ills. Due to her addiction, she spent 11 years of her life being homeless. But it was in 2000 that she found an organization willing to help her and now, on April 29, Zellous will celebrate 12 years of sobriety. With her found hope for the future, she is now working to share that same hope with other women who were once in her situation, through a new initiative called the Helping Other People Excel Project. DENISE ZELLOUS The HOPE Project, in partnership with Dress for Success Pittsburgh, is a community action project that presents hope chests of household items to women transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing. The project currently works with participants from Bethlehem Haven, a non-profit organization that provides support services to women in the Pittsburgh area.


Engineers conference focus on Leadership, teamwork, inspiration

More than 40 years ago, the concept for the Black Society of Engineers was conceived. With the purpose to establish a student organization to help improve the recruitment and retention of Black engineering students, today the concept has matured into an organization totting a membership of close to 30,000. Currently known as the National Society of Black Engineers, it is one of the largest student-governed organizations in the country. NSBE’s mission is “to increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically, success professionally and positively impact the community.” A FINE LEADER—President and CEO of Chester Engineers, Inc., Robert O. Agbede receives the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Dyinkansola Dina NSBE Pittsburgh Chapter convention speakers and workshop chairperson. In 1975, 48 students representing 32 schools attended the organizations first national meeting.


Nelson takes readers on cosmic journey

When most people read the newspaper, watch the evening news, or daydream, they usually don’t come up with vivid characters to base books around. But for Clairton’s Barry K. Nelson, all the above proves fodder for good science-fiction novels. “I always had a good enough imagination and I said I may as well put it on paper. I grew up watching Star Trek and other science fiction shows and you took the good with the bad and you say to yourself, ‘I can do better than that’,” said Nelson, 52. COSMIC JOURNEY—Barry Nelson with both of his books in the cosmic series. (Photo by J.L. Martello) He’s on his way to making that statement fact. Nelson has written two science-fiction tinged novels: “The McKenzie Files,” in 2008 and “Assassination Anxiety The McKenzie Files Book 2” in October 2011.


Harlem renaissance artist Catlett dies at 96

(NNPA)—Power exudes from the raised fists in the sculptures “Homage to My Young Black Sisters.” Endurance and dignity from the stark simplicity of the portrait, “Sharecropper.” In all her work, African-American sculptor and graphic artist Elizabeth Catlett celebrated the heroic strength and endurance of African-American and Mexican working-class women, elevating them in societies that often overlooked or ostracized them. FAMED SCULPTOR DIES—In this 2005 photo, sculptor Elizabeth Catlett arrives at the Legends Ball, an award ceremony hosted by Oprah Winfrey honoring Catlett and 18 other women who paved the way in arts, entertainment and civil rights, in Santa Barbara, Calif. (AP Photo/Michael A. Mariant, File) “You can really see life and history unfold in her work,” Isolde Brielmaier, who curated an exhibition of Catlett’s work last year at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, told National Public Radio.


Documents: 2 suspects confessed in Tulsa shootings

by Justin JuozapaviciusAssociated Press Writer TULSA, Okla. (AP)—The two suspects arrested in a shooting rampage that terrorized Tulsa’s Black community and left three people dead have confessed, according to police documents given to The Associated Press. The documents given to the AP on Monday say Jake England, 19, confessed to shooting three people and Alvin Watts, who turned 33 on Monday, confessed to shooting two. INJURED—Deon Tucker, wears an arm sling while returning to his home in Tulsa, Okla., April 9. Tucker was injured in the shooting rampage April 6, that left three people dead and terrorized Tulsa’s African-American community. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki).


Angels’ Torii Hunter confronted at home by cops with drawn guns

(NNPA)—Los Angeles Angels outfielder Torii Hunter was shaken but unharmed after two police officers entered his Newport, Calif. home April 4 to investigate a security alarm and drew their weapons on him. According to the Associated Press, Hunter had just returned home from the Angels’ final exhibition game against the Dodgers when he mistakenly triggered a security alarm. SHAKEN BUT UNHARMED—Hunter hits a single to score two runs against the Los AngelesDodgers April 2, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Lewis) A short time later, two Newport police officers entered his home and escorted the athlete upstairs so he could retrieve his identification.


Burger King ad with Blige stirs criticism

NEW YORK (AP)—Burger King is apologizing to Mary J. Blige and her fans for releasing an ad that garnered the singer serious fan backlash. The clip featured Blige soulfully singing about the fast-food chain’s new chicken snack wraps. But as the video went viral April 2, some in the Black community criticized the ad as stereotypical. The Black women-oriented website Madame Noire likened it to “buffoonery.” BURGER KING APOLOGIZES TO BLIGE—In this Jan. 15 photo, singer Mary J. Blige arrives at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, file) Burger King pulled the ad April 3 over what the company said was a music licensing issue. The company explained last Wednesday the spot was unfinished.



Who do you say you are?

I have read numerous studies and listened to untold numbers of reports that focus on those with lack of self-esteem. There generally is a consistent belief that these persons are uneducated, undereducated, below poverty line, single parents, welfare recipients, section eight, alcoholics, drug addicts. These conclusions are accurate to a degree, but it is not inclusive enough, because I have encountered and know persons who are entirely the opposite and they suffer from serious lack of self-esteem. Over the years I have engaged in conversations with Blacks who are making six figure incomes that are living the American dream, but are as insecure as a welfare recipient. A meeting I attended recently and 75 percent of those being questioned had at least a master’s degree and 25 percent of them were totally insecure.