Kara J. Brown is The 2017 Carl R. Allen Memorial Scholarship Winner

Scholarship was presented duringthe scholarship luncheon forum on “Journalism in the Age of Fake News: Is the News Still for You?” Les Trent, senior correspondent for Inside Edition and a former Buffalo reporter and weekend anchor, was the keynote speaker.

  Kara J. Brown 

  Kara J. Brown 

Kara J. Brown discovered her love for writing when she won a high school essay contest. Now, as a Binghamton University senior, she also recognizes that the written word has power. Her goal as a journalist is to use that power to reshape perceptions, particularly of people of color and other marginalized populations. “The media has the power to shape the way people think. From their view of the world to their view of themselves, everyone has at some point been swayed by something they saw in the media,” says the Buffalo native.

Brown is the 2017 recipient of the $1,000 Carl R. Allen Memorial Scholarship sponsored by the Buffalo Association of Black Journalists with support from The Buffalo News and the Newspaper Guild. The award was presented during a scholarship luncheon forum on “Journalism in the Age of Fake News: Is the News Still for You?”

  Les Trent

  Les Trent

Les Trent, senior correspondent for Inside Edition and a former Buffalo reporter and weekend anchor, was the keynote speaker. Trent, who spent his formative years in Canada, has been with the nationally syndicated "Inside Edition" for the past 17 years, covering major news stories ranging from the historic election of Barack Obama to 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the unrest in Ferguson and last year's presidential campaigns. During his years in Buffalo, he worked in radio at WGR-55 and WBLK, was a producer and reporter at WIVB-TV in the mid 1980s and a weekend anchor at WGRZ-TV. The scholarship luncheon was held from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday and also included a panel discussion and Q&A on “fake news.”

At Binghamton, Brown has been assistant editor for the arts and culture section of Pipe Dream, the student-run newspaper, and also has been student editor of Harpur Perspective, an on-campus magazine. She enjoys writing feature stories that educate and inspire by shining a light on the accomplishments of others. “We live in (such) a delightfully eclectic world that it is irresponsible for one to ignore the beauty found in diversity. Yet ignorance, discrimination and bigotry persist. The best way to convince someone of a truth isn’t by telling them – it’s by showing them,” she said in her scholarship essay.

Brown wants to use her journalistic skills as a writer and storyteller to paint those portraits, recognizing the unique perspective she brings as a female journalist of color. She also recognizes the ability of African-American journalists to tell stories that others might ignore – stories that help dispel stereotypes and provide more balanced media coverage. She wants to combine that awareness with her fluid writing style to change the way her readers view the world around them. “As a black woman, I possess a lens that is different from that of the average journalist,” Brown said. “The way I see the world and the way I feel the impact of certain events will inevitably shape the way I approach a story. I wish to use my unique perception and voice to paint a brighter, more colorful picture for the future and help unite a world divided.”

Congratulations Kara ! 

Buffalo’s Amber Simone Makes Sensational Appearance on National TV

Buffalo's amazing young vocalist Amber Simone made a sensational appearance last Wednesday (September 27) on the nationally syndicated talk show HARRY with Harry Connick, Jr. Framed as "a singing sensation," after she wowed the live audience with a song she wrote herself, Connick interviewed Amber and her mother, Shellonnee Baker Chinn.

Her story is as inspirational and amazing as her incredible talent. When Amber Simone Chinn was born, doctors told her parents she would never talk. Born with a birth defect known as craniosynostis, in which one or more of the joints between the bones of a baby’s skull close prematurely, Chinn had to have an intense procedure at only 6 months old. A true nightmare for any parent, her mother and father were even more devastated when they were told their newborn baby girl would not likely recover from the procedure. They said she wouldn’t be able to breathe on her own and in addition to likely not being able to speak. But Amber Simone didn’t just beat the odds, she completely ravaged them. And her family calls her a miracle.

Today the lovely young Buffalo native can speak perfectly and has blossomed into an extremely talented singer. In 2015 Amber was attending a friend’s graduation when she put on an impromptu performance of the song “The Worst” by Jhene Akio. She had no idea that posting a random video of her by the pool would go viral. Practically overnight, the video of this incredibly talented young woman received more than 2 million views. Also appearing on the HARRY show along with Amber and her mom, was Dr. Shirley Anain a cosmetic and plastic surgeon, who works at the CranioFacial Center at Buffalo’s Women and Children’s Hospital.

Amber, a graduate of Buffalo Seminary, is now 22 and currently attends Buffalo State College. She is also the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ivor and Shirley Baker. Video clips of Amber’s beautiful performance on national TV can be found on Facebook: #AmberSimone.

Congratulations Amber!

Trinity Bryant Wins National American Miss New York Competition

Trinity Bryant has earned the prestigious title of the 2017 National American Miss New York at the state pageant held on August 19. The daughter of Derell and LaMonica Bryant of Buffalo, New York, Trinity will be attending the National Pageant to be held in Anaheim, California at Disneyland during Thanksgiving week, representing the great state of New York, where she will have the opportunity to win her share of over $500,000 in cash and prizes!

Trinity is a recent graduate from the Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Arts high school where she studied theatre. She currently attends the State University of New York at Fredonia with a major in Music. Since childhood, Trinity’s had an avid interest in the Arts. She could often be found watching old movies or singing along to a Roger’s and Hammerstein musical. At the tender age of 12 Trinity penned her and recorded her first single “Energy,” which garnered rave reviews and radio airplay in Western New York. Soon Trinity’s talents were seen in the locally produced film, “Thy Will Be Don” where her acting skills blossomed.

Although she plays an active role in her community by mentoring young girls and participating in various religious and civic programs, Trinity values her time spent with family and friends. It has been Trinity’s dream to be a National American Miss contestant from a young age and she cannot wait for her reign to begin and represent the great state of New York.

Trinity’s motto is: “The best thing a girl can wear is her Confidence.” Congratulations Trinity! If you would like more information or to book Trinity Bryant for interviews and appearances please contact Derell and La Monica Bryant at 716 603-4103 or email lamonica500@gmail.com

More About The National American Miss Pageants

The National American Miss Pageants are dedicated to celebrating America’s greatness and encouraging its future leaders. Each year, the National American Miss Pageants award 1.5 Million dollars in cash, scholarships and prizes to recognize and assist the development of young women nationwide. National American Miss has added the ultimate door prize to Nationals 2017. Each girl that qualifies for the national pageant has a chance to win a new 2017 Ford Mustang Convertible.

For more details, visit 222.namiss.com/car National American Miss is dedicated to developing the success of young women across our nation with a program that is designed to be age-appropriate and family-oriented. Pageants are held in each star for girls ages four to eighteen in five different age divisions. The National American Miss Pageants are for “Today’s Girl” and Tomorrow’s Leaders.” The pageant program is based on inner beauty as well as poise, presentation and offers an “All American Spirit” of fun for family and friends. Emphasis is placed on the importance of gaining self-confidence, learning new skills, learning good attitudes about competition and setting and achieving personal goals.

The pageant seeks to recognize the accomplishments of each girl while encouraging her to set goals for the future. 


A Dynamic Platform For Male Mentorship At UB

Judge Craig Hannah Delivers an Empowering Speech

To The Gentlemen of Guy Talk

 Guest Speaker Judge Hannah (center left) and UB Campus Minister Marchon Hamilton II (far right rear) with some of the event attendees of Guy Talk.   photos contributed by Benjamin Blanchet 

By Deon Walker

A very inspiring, empowering and memorable event called Guy Talk was recently held at the University at Buffalo

Guy Talk is a forum of discussions created by UB Campus Ambassadors and Campus Minister Marchon Hamilton II . It’s purpose is to educate, honor and empower minority males and men of all backgrounds to succeed in society through weekly interactive sessions;  drawing upon the success of men in the past and present to inspire brilliance in the men of the future.  

The guest speaker at this event was Buffalo City Court Judge Craig Hannah. He navigated us through his life journey from humble beginnings to success. He had a rough childhood growing up in the inner city of Buffalo and said that the last thing he ever imagined was that he would one day be a judge. He received his undergraduate degree at the University at Buffalo and went on to pursue and complete his legal education from the UB Law School, demonstrating that an education from the University at Buffalo can be the beginning of a great and successful future.

Judge Hannah strongly believes in the importance of mentorship. Using his own experience as an example, he shared how on one his first jobs, it was a co-worker and mentor who exemplified the importance of professional appearance by teaching him how to tie a tie!  Judge Hannah emphasized the importance of building and keeping relationships with people at the developmental stage in our lives. He also encouraged the young men to make sure to participate in activities and surround themselves with individuals who will bring value to their lives and to be there for them. In turn, we add value to their lives as well, ultimately uplifting one another.

"I would definitely speak at an event like this again. I really appreciated the invite. This event and program shows that they have people on campus like Marchon who are committed to the whole student. Most of the time when you go to school they want you to be a student committed to class, but they don't talk to you about the other rigors in life that happen. You have stresses and other things on campus that transpire so you want to make sure you are focused and armored with all the skills that you would need to be able to handle everything correctly.You have to be grounded in faith too, because going to school and working for a profession, that is all based upon faith." Say'sJudge Hannah .

Prior to Judge Hannah’s presentation, UB Communications student Cletus Emokpae gave the audience an informative and relatable speech on networking. He explained the importance of being socially productive and making sure that relationships are created with people who will help bring one’s life to the next level while also making sure you give them a helping hand in the process.  

There was a great step performance and inspiring speech from the Christian Men of Alpha Nu Omega. The Brothers of Omega Psi Phi were in the audience bringing a strong presence to the room. Judge Hannah is also a brother of Omega Psi Phi and stressed the importance of brotherhood. Whether you are in a fraternity or not he said,  having people around you who will always have your back is a powerful tool for life.

This Guy Talk event was the finale to a semester full of influential and educational sessions and a great way to end the Spring Semester. I want to thank Marchon Hamilton II for providing young men, especially minority men, this great opportunity to learn, network and grow. It gives men like me enlightenment to a much more positive future, in a world that is so desperately pushing for us to fall into a negative one.  I can sincerely say I felt more inspired for greatness in my legal studies than I ever have been before!

For More Information on Guy Talk and how you can contribute or get involved please contact Marchon Hamilton II at 716-994-7775 or mch24@buffalo.edu

(Deon Walker is a UB Pre-Law Student.)

The Annual Family Fishing Day! 

( Happening June 24 & 25th 2017 ) 

2017 Marks Nearly a Decade of Bringing Youth, Families and Community Together in Unity and Peace...

George Johnson, an avid fisherman with a talent for organizing community activities focused on the youth, started fishing when he was about 11 or 12 years old.

“It was one of the ways of keeping us out of trouble over the years as a youngster,” he recalled.

When he became an adult, it was his love for fishing – as well as his love and concern for the youth impacted by violence in the inner city – that led him and his friend, fellow fisherman Sam Smith, to establish Family Fishing Day in the City of Buffalo.

Johnson, the president of the community-based Buffalo United Front, which currently spearheads the event, and Smith, who heads the WNYAnglers Association, decided several years ago to take advantage of the state’sdesignated “Free Fishing Days” and take agroup of 20 or so young men from the communityto the foot of Ferry to fish and to expose them to a different environment.

It was perfect timing,” he said in reference to the establishment of thefree days. “At that time we only had some used fishing rods and were able to purchase only about 10-15 to give to the kids who didn’t have any,” recalled Johnson.     

The rest is history. 

Family Fishing Day is still going strong, as this year marks nearly a decade of bringing thousands of youth,  families and community together in unity and peace.

“After the first year we went from 20 kids and a few rods to attracting thousands last year and giving away 900 fishing rods that were purchased or donated, thanks to sponsors and companies we solicited to give us the things we needed,” said Johnson. Family fishing Day was also eventuallyexpanded from one day to two. And participants have become more diverse thanks to Buffalo’s unique and growing immigrant community.

This year the 9th Annual Family Fishing Day, willtake place June 24 and 25 at Broderick Park from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. And like years before, thousands are expected to participate.

“The fishing is just the hook to bring the kids down to have some sort of conversation with them; to offer encouragement, mentoring and to celebrate family and community,” Johnson continued.  “We have had members of the police and fire department join us. We have collaborated with the African American Cultural Center and a number of different groups to help with the educational component." He continued, "The F.A.T.H.E.R.S. Group is involved and added their toy gun exchange program; No More Tears organization makes sure all the food is serviced and the Peacemaker volunteers help with the direction of crowd control and mentoring the young man; all lending invaluable contributions to the success of the event.We're very appreciative." 

In addition, there is a veryimportant and significant   historical aspect of being at Broderick Park noted Johnson. “This park is sacred ground for African Americans,”  he said. “ It was the departure point for our ancestors who fled enslavement on the Underground Railroad, to freedom in Canada.”

Everything is free to the community. And because Family Fishing Day   is not a funded organization, it relies entirely on contributions and donations from businesses, individuals, organizations and elected officials.

“We realized after the first two years that we were going to need more money," said Johnson,  "so we decided to host a Fathers Day Fish Fry Herculean Men Awards Scholarship Banquet to help fund the Fishing Program. We always do it the weekend of the holiday to encourage and recognize those men who are doinggood things in our community.”

This year the annual banquetwill take place on Friday, June 16 from 6-9 p.m. at the Schiller Park Center, 2057 Genesee Street. Tickets are $50. The keynote speaker will be Rev. Mark Blue, President of the Buffalo NAACP. 

“When we first started we did it at Mr. Olive Baptist Church with a group of about eight men,” Johnson recalled. “Within three years we had to get a bigger place. This is our 7th year and we’re up to 30 awardees!’

The community is encouraged to get involved by attending the Awards Banquet to support Family Fishing Day or thru donations (monetary or other ways i.e. fishing rods and gear). Gifts should be   made to the Buffalo United Front Inc., P.O. Box 1306, Buffalo 14215; or to The Buffalo United Front’sheadquarters: 291 E. Delavan, Buffalo 14208. 

(For more information call 716-818-3410.)

2017 Drill Team Championship Results

For the 6th straight year, Hutch Tech High School won first place in the high school division in the annual Drill TeamChampionships& Step Show at Kleinhans Music Hall.  Twenty-one precision “high techies” showed up and showed out with a powerful performance. (Pictured on the cover).

The Guppies (6-8 year olds) always manage to steal the show no matter who “wins!” The cuties representing the Aloma D. Johnson Charter School rocked it with their “JuJu on That Beat”  dance number before exiting the stage. All of the guppies received winning medals.

Hats off to Marcus Brown, the NCYO and Drill Teams United of Buffalo and Western New Yorkand to all the young people and their coaches or another great year! All of theyoung people were winners! Following are the results of this year’s competition:

•Elementary Division - 1st place King Center Charter Women of Excellence, 2nd place Futures Academy 

•Grammar/Elementary Division - 1st place King Center Charter Minis, 2nd place Dr. Lydia T Wright School of Excellence, 3rd place Aloma D. Johnson Charter School

•High School Division- 1st place for the 6th consecutive year Hutch Tech High School, 2nd place Health Science Charter School, 3rd place Oracle Charter School

•Elementary Independent Division- 1st place The Cobra Crusaders Marching Unit, 2nd place A Little More Different 

•Junior Independent Division- 1st place The Jr. Crusaders Marching Unit, 2nd place Jr. Gospel Difference

•Senior Independent Division- 1st place Sr. Gospel Difference, 2nd place The Sr. Crusaders Marching Unit

Special Awards

•Most Outstanding- Elementary/ Dr. Lydia T Wright, High School/ Hutch Tech, Junior Independent/ The Junior Crusaders Marching Unit, Senior Independent/ Sr. Gospel Difference.

•Most Original- Elementary/ The Cobra Crusaders Marching Unit, High School/ Hutch Tech, Junior Independent/ Jr. Gospel Difference, Senior Independent/ The Sr. Crusaders Marching Uni

2017 Beautillion 

On Saturday, April 22, Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated Buffalo Chapter requests the presence and support of the community to celebrate and uplift 12 honorable young kings as we honor their accomplishments and completion of the 15th Biennial Beautillion Extraordinaire Leadership Program: Brandon Barksdale, David Brown Tahir Cook, Christian Cowart, Brendon Garrett, Davon Hardy Jr., John Lane, Keith Norward, Dominik Patton, Jordon Smith, Kaleb Walker and Dorian Withrow. 

The Black Tie celebration will begin promptly at 6 p.m. at the Westin Buffalo located at 250 Delaware Avenue . 

This leadership program is designed to instill empowering tools which are necessary to approach any situation with confidence and success into young men who are juniors and seniors in high school.  Through the utilization of the community, participants will be provided diverse experiences. Beautillion Extraordinaire Leadership program members received training regarding speech, etiquette, leadership, introduction to various professions, nutrition & health education, violence & abuse, networking, fiscal management, fundraising, college preparation, self-esteem and self-image development, African history, community service experience, rites of passage ceremonies and mentorship.  Not only did each young man gain knowledge which is needed for success, but also developed friendships which will last a life time. 

This year’s ceremonial program will not only honor the accomplishments of these fine young men but the evening will also include a the formal presentation of these young men to the community;  a dramatic historical performance which pays homage to influential leaders from various time periods in African and African-American history while showcasing the talents of our beautillion participants;  a traditional mother son dance;  and the first oratorical contest finals. The program will also be filled with inspirational words by the dynamic NYS Regent, Catherine Collins, community leader Officer Armonde Badger and the Honorable Demone Smith. The evening will conclude with dancing. This evening will serve as a monumental time in these young men lives and a moving experience for all of the family, friends and community supporters in attendance.

The cost to attend this Black Tie Dinner Gala is $55 per person. The deadline for all ticket sales is Sunday April 9. All profits benefit the post collegiate pursuits of the Beautillion participants.

Should you have any questions or to purchase a ticket, please contact the Beautillion Steering Committee by calling 830-1024. 

New Era Dental 

After receiving a world class education at the prestigious Howard University in Washington, D.C. Dr. Jessica Blakely and Dr. Camille Megna-Acorlor could have gone anywhere in the country to begin their practice  But the two beautiful young Buffalo professionals decided instead to return home to fulfill their dream of becoming dental practice owners. 

Both products of the Buffalo Public School System (CityHonors) Drs. Blakely and Menga-Acorlor, who are in their 30's say they are proud to have the opportunity to invest in their hometown's future. "We're excited to bring a new level of professionalism and personal dental care to the heart of the City of Buffalo"! they said in a joint statement announcing the grand opening of New Era Dental at 2746 Main Street. 

On Friday March 24 they held a celebration kick off with free patient screening, and the next day March 25 surrounded by family friends and supporters, the official ribbon cutting ceremony took place followed by office tours, giveaways and refreshments. 

For Dr. Menga-Acorlor, the office surroundings are very familiar. She is the daughter of retired dentist professor Dr. Elaine Menga, who occupied that same building for decades. her father, Dr. Ralph Menga is a local attorney. Dr. Blakely is the daughter of Rev. D. Douglas Blakely and LaVerne Blakely of Promiseland Baptist Church. 

New Era Dental, a full service general dental practice, is now open for business, offering personalized care for the entire family. 

For more information or to make an appointment call 716 249-4999 or email them at neweradentalny@gmail.com

Girl Scouts of WNY Citywide Cookie Rally   This Weekend!

Girl Scouts of Western New York is hosting a FREE Girl Scout Citywide Cookie Rally for girls kindergarten through 12th grade in Buffalo on Saturday March 4 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at Bennett High School, 2885 Min Street.

The event will celebrate the nostalgic Girl Scout Cookie Program and 100 year anniversary of the first known sale of a cookie by a Girl Scout

Current, Girl Scouts and non-Girl Scouts will enjoy a fun-filled morning of interactive cookie workshops, giveaways, and learn what it means to be a Girl Scout as they engage in team-building and leadership development activities. Girls will also learn entrepreneurial skills that are central to the Cookie Program like, goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics.

As an added bonus, girls will hear from keynote speaker Zandra Azariah Cunningham who is a 16 year old entrepreneur from Buffalo, NY and Juliette Girl Scout, followed by a question and answer period. Girls who bring a friend will receive a special gift and the first 35 girls to arrive will receive a cookie swag bag.

Space is limited, RSVP by calling Michelle A. Martin at 1.888.837.6410.

To learn more about Girl Scouts of Western New York, visit gswny.org.

“We’ve got to focus on these young people we’re burying, so we bury less and see more success!”-Bishop Darius Pridgen

Bishop Darius Pridgen and True Bethel Baptist Church prepareddinner for 200 young men and women on one late January evening  in the city of Buffalo togive them an opportunity to discuss their feelings about the senseless acts of violence occurring in our city.

“This night is for young people to come together and express their frustrations, thoughts and solutions on how we can work together to make things better in our community,” : said Bishop Pridgen. The turnout was tremendous and the give and take between youth and adult mentors was productive and encouraging. Bishop Pridgen hosted the boys and men in one area and first Lady Pridgen met withthe girls and women in another section. Bishop Pridgen said he called the gathering because he feels thattoo often “we as adults are concerned about adult interests and neglect our children.” 

He made it clear that thecallfor conversation to seek solutions was not “a Pridgen thing or a True Bethel thing,” and encouraged community churches andmosquesto have conversations with youth throughout the cityand “to focus on these young people we’re burying so we bury less and see more success!”  Aplanned “Stop the Madness Basketball Tournament” is in the works he said, details to be made available soon.  Confessing to the youth that as adults “we’ve failed you at times,” he continued, “We can’t give up hope…we’ve got so much to do!”

Buffalo Girls In Science

Winning Science Project Will be Launched Into Space Next Tuesday!

CONGRATULATIONS! Gabriella Melendez, Toriana Cornwell and Shaniylah Welch

CONGRATULATIONS! Gabriella Melendez, Toriana Cornwell and Shaniylah Welch

Gabriella Melendez, Toriana Cornwell and Shaniylah Welch were all students at Hamlin Park School #74 during the 2015-16 school year when they won the 2016 NASA Student Spaceflight Experiment. This month, their experiment will be launched to the International Space Station on the Falcon 9 SpaceX CRS 10. 

The girls’ project, titled “Tuber Growth in Microgravity,” will be tested by astronauts on the International Space Station.to seewhether a potato can sprout in a small tube inside the orbiting laboratory and survive the return to Earth for planting – a particular area of interest these days for NASA. The Falcon 9 SpaceX CRS 10 is scheduled to launch on February 14, 2017, at 11:34a.m. from Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

TheScience Department will be sharing activities with middle level science teachers prior to the February 14th launch date to provide a deeper understanding of the International Space Station (ISS) and NASA’s space program.

Last Saturday the trio was amongthe students who attended   theprivate screening of the Academy Award nominated film “Hidden Figures” for more than 250 Public School students and Girl Scouts who are interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related education and career paths.   Also at the screening were girls who participated in last summer’s It’s Your World! Develop It! Powered by AT&T, computer coding camp, the region’s first program exclusively for girls.

In addition to Mayor Brown, Assembly member Crystal Peoples-Stokes attended the screening and encouraged girls to- like the three women profiled in the movie –follow their dreams and remember that they can do anything. She exclaimed, “Girl Power!” to the delight of the audience. 

Mayor Brown proclaimed Saturday, Feb. 4 “Girls Coding Day in Buffalo,” prior to the screening.

Emerging Philanthropists Of Color Award Inaugural Grants To Two Local Youth-Serving Organizations At Signature Event

SERVING THE YOUTH: Representatives from  Ballin for a Cause (pictured above)  and The College Simulation Experience were awarded a grant of $2,500 each

SERVING THE YOUTH: Representatives from  Ballin for a Cause (pictured above)  and The College Simulation Experience were awarded a grant of $2,500 each

The Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative’s (CGLI) new grant opportunity under the Emerging Philanthropists of Color (EPC) giving circle, announced in November two grant awards of  $2,500 each to two Western New York youth-serving nonprofit organizations including: Ballin for a Cause and The College Simulation Experience. Both organizations focus on providing services for students in Buffalo, Lackawanna and Niagara Falls that: support and promote diversity, improve educational achievement for students living in low-income communities and increase racial/ethnic equity.  

Ballin for a Cause, an organization that utilizes sports as a tool to engage youth in year-round positive programs, features four core areas in their programming efforts including: education, youth sports, health and community giving in their programming efforts.  
Lindsey Taylor is  Executive Director of Ballin for a Cause. “This grant allows us to support our new programs for 2017 and enhance our current programs,” she said.

The second organization receiving the grant called The College Simulation Experience, provides an interactive curriculum that enhances knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of college and adult life as students’ transition from high school to collegiate life.  
“As we enter our second year of programming, we’ve been afforded the opportunity to impact a total of 1,700 Western New York students to date,” said April Baskin, Executive Director of The College Simulation Experience. “For the last eight months we’ve desired to widen our curriculum and reach more students and now with the EPC grant, we are on the road to reaching our new goal.” 

The EPC presented the two grants during the CGLI’s fourth annual Pay It Forward Awards event ceremony on November 16, 2016. The CGLI’s Pay It Forward Award recognizes individuals and organizations for their commitment to cultivate positive change in the lives of trailblazing youth of color in Western New York. This year’s Pay It Forward honorees included:    Mr. Charles E. Balbach,  Ms. Tracy J. Cardwell and  Buffalo Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
For more information about the EPC program and membership details, please visit

Aloma D. Johnson Charter School National Scholastic Chess Team

Chess Tournament 2016 .jpg

The Eagles of Excellence National Scholastic Chess Team and Chess Club is the first officially recognized Chess program from a Charter School in the Buffalo Public School District.  Aloma D. Johnson Charter School is a Title I, charter elementary school for students in grades K to 4 located at 15 Jewett Parkway in the City of Buffalo, NY.

The K-4 chess players meet in the After School Enrichment Program three times per week from 3:45 to 5:30pm under the direction and supervision of Michael A. Mc Duffie, graduate of Geneseo State University, BS, Class of 1976, a certified United States Chess Federation Chess Coach and Tournament Director.

Each student is a member of the United States Chess Federation, the governing body of all Chess in the United States.  The yearly membership allows them to compete in sanctioned local, regional and national tournaments, which earns them a national ranking. 

The team is led by Captain Aniyah Neasman, member of the National Honor Society, violin student with the Muhammad School of Music and performs in African dance. Other members are Kenji Jones Jr., Kamara Sikes, Jim’mir Darby and Cameron Josey.  The team is training and making preparations to compete at the super national VI Scholastic Chess Championships on May 12 – 14, 2017 held at the Opryland Resort in Nashville, TN.

Coach McDuffie’s students from East High School, Charles Upson, St Gregory the Great, George Southard and Country Parkway have received special recognition from the City of Lockport Common Council, Mayor Anne McCaffrey, former Buffalo Public School District Superintendent Dr. James A. Williams and Mayor Byron W. Brown for their outstanding performance at the NY State Chess Championships, National Elementary Championships and National High School Championships.

Natania Parker Accepted Into Prestigious

American Musical and Dramatic Academy

The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (New York City)/ AMOA College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts (Los Angeles) is pleased to announce that Natania Parker has been accepted for the 2016- 2017 academic year. Admission to AMDA is extremely competitive. Students come from all over the globe and are selected from auditions held in more than 35 cities throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, England, Argentina, Brazil, Israel and South Korea. The full-time enrollment at the two AMDA locations is approximately 1,300 students. AMDA was founded in 1964 as a premier performing arts conservatory. With campuses on New York's Upper West Side and in the historic Hollywood district of Los Angeles, AMDA sits in the epicenter of two entertainment communities, making it uniquely suited to offer intensive full-time training and BFA programs in acting, music, theater, performing arts and dance theatre. AMDA graduates have performed in host of Broadway productions. Natania is the daughter Desiree Parker and Donald Allen of Buffalo. Congratulations Natania!

AKA Gamma Phi Omega Chapter

To Hold Biennial Debutante Pageant and Ball December 3rd


Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Gamma Phi Omega Chapter, Buffalo,  will hold   its 38th biennial Debutante Pageant and Ball,  Saturday,  December 3at   theBuffaloNiagaraConventionCenter, 153 Franklin Street.   The Pageant will be held   from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.   followed by   dinner and the ball from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m.   The theme for the 2016 pageant and ball is “Elegant and Beautiful Pearls.” The Pageant and Ball are the culminating activities for the ten months of sequential preparation and experiences for the presentation and debut of sixteen extraordinary, promising, sophisticated young ladies from the   Western New York area. 

The sixteen young ladies who will make their debut are:  Jenelle Benton, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Steven & Crystal Jenkins,  12th grade at Nardin Academy, escorted by Devin Ford; Iyanna Coleman, daughter of Leequisha Volious & the late Yusef Coleman/Stepfather Koby Volious, 11th grade at City Honors; Jensen A. Daniels, daughter of Dr. Jonathan D. and Mrs. Janessa Givens-Daniels, 12th grade at Sacred Heart, escorted by Anthony Williams; Kai Ellis, daughter of Cashmere Ellis, 11th grade at Buffalo Seminary, escorted by Keith Norward; Nia Ellis, daughter of Cashmere Ellis, 11th grade at Buffalo Seminary, escorted by Justin Evans; Courtney Harris, daughter of Angela McNeal, 12th grade at Nichols H.S., escorted by Davon Hardy; Ahmari Jenkins, daughter of Calandra Payne, 12th grade at Niagara Falls High school, escorted by John Chiarella; Dayonna Johnson, daughter of Davette Wright & James Johnson, 11th grade at Frederick L. Olmstead, escorted by Emmanuel Trueheart; Danielle Lewis, daughter of Mr. Daniel & Mrs. Kimberly Lewis, 11th grade at Mount Mercy, escorted by Devin Garey; Kennedy T. McGriff, daughter of Melaney Agahiu & Keven McGriff, 12th grade at Performing Arts, escorted by Michael Brooks; T’Najah Meeks, niece of Vanessa Jones, 12th grade at East High School, escorted by Alonzo Rodriguez-Spencer; Daneva Moncrieffe, daughter of Mr. Roan & Mrs. Dana Pryor-Moncrieffe, escorted by Jonathan Figueroa; Gabrielle Outling, daughter of Alisa Adams & Darius Outling, 12th grade at Performing Arts, escorted by Ahmad Randall; Leah M. Price, daughter of Mr. Leonard & Mrs. Carolyn Price, 11th grade at Leonardi DaVinci, escorted by Marquel Hampshire; Lilithann L. Thompson; granddaughter of Mr. Richard & 

Mrs. Nancy Thompson, 12th grade at Nichols High School, escorted by Xavier Kyle; Nyasia Wilson, daughter of Mr. Darrell & Mrs. Inderia Wilson, 11th grade at City Honors, escorted by Mickel Woodruff.

Highlights of the debutantes evening of gala will be the introduction of each debutante, the debutante’s special curtsy,  the introduction of the parents, the father-daughter dance,  the cotillion danced by the debutante and her escort,  and the special presentation by each debutante to her mother.

Many activities have preceded the 38th Debutante Pageant and Ball. Among the activities is the Rites of Passage Ceremony that was held   Friday,  November 4th   atEastHighSchool,  820 NorthamptonStreet.   This activity biennially chaired by JanetE. Barnes is an African presentation and ceremony for   the parents to name and present their daughters to the elders and community.

Other activities and their chairmen were:  Mother- Daughter Tea ( Ottilie M. Woodruff)  Father- DaughterCook-Off ( Gerri Horton) Washington, D.C.  Tour (Nancy Thompson) Etiquette( JohnnieMayo)  LeadershipDevelopment ( Tanya Staples)  Pageant( Gina Mayo –Hawk)   Sleepover (  Alisa Officer and Alicia Officer) Community Service ( Teena Jones and Carmen Snell). Mrs. Teena M. Jones and Mrs. Carmen Snell are the 2016 Debutante Co-Chairman.   Ms. Edith M. Terrell is president of Gamma Phi Omega Chapter; Ms. Sharon Bradley, vice-president.  Tickets are $55.00 and can be purchased by calling 716-235-8840.


Generations Eagles of Excellence.jpg

The Eagles of Excellence National Scholastic Chess Club at the Aloma D. Johnson Charter School, the first recognized Charter school chess club and chess team for the City of Buffalo NY, has named its November Chess Team members.  The AfterSchool Enrichment students receive chess training, chess instructions and tournament preparations from Michael A. Mc Duffie, United States Chess Federation Chess Coach

Pictured (l-r) are Jimmir Darby, Kamara Sikes, Team Captain – Aniyah Neasman, Kenji Jones, Jr. with USCF Chess Coach Michael A. Mc Duffie.  New members Jimmir and Kamara and Mariah Marks of Montessorri #32, received chess set, chess board, chess bag and tournament entry fees donated by the National Black MBA – WNY Chapter to help encourage, support and grow chess with the Archangel 8 Chess Academy students.  

The team recently participated and competed at the November Chess Open House at the Erie County Central Public Library on last Sunday and will compete in the 9th Annual Erie County Scholastic K-12 Chess Championships held on Saturday, November 19 at the Old First Ward Community Center.

Fundraising efforts are being established to help fund each player and a chaperone to compete at the 2017 National Elementary Scholastic Chess Championships in Nashville TN. Donations can be sent to the Aloma D Johnson Charter School Chess program, a 501c3 organization. Aloma D. Johnson Charter School is located on Jewett and Main Street in Buffalo NY.

If you would like to become a member or Educational Partner of the Archangel 8 Chess Academy, please check out our website, WWW.Knightof64.com.(Submitted by Michael A. Mc Duffie, USCF Chess Coach)

Pleasant Making History at RIT

Andrew Pleasant Jr., a musician, songwriter and producer, started his musical career at a very young age as a member at the Colored Musicians Club on Broadway Street in Colored Musicians Club for many years. Now he’s graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology(RIT) and will be the first student that ever had a chance to go to Japan and work with Yamaha. We would like to give a special thanks to Clarence Lot and the late James Pappy Martin also to Carole McLaughlin. These were his music teachers through the years. A going to Japan Beat Band Live Concert is coming to Buffalo soon. We need all the support we can get! We are also having a fundraiser for his going to Japan trip, to give money to some local schools that have music programs. –Submitted by Andrew Pleasent III.

Pictured from left Cancer Survivors, Cherries Walker-Betts Founder of Our Curls Inc.; Gina Davis , founder of Jes Breathe c.A.G..and Tamyara Brown, Chairperson Board of Directors Our Curls Inc. These three brave women, after winning the battle against breast cancer, went on to start their own support groups dedicated to promoting awareness and providing encouragement and resources to women during the breast cancer survivorship process; taking their survival one step further by reaching back to share knowledge, resources and blessings, with others.

Pictured from left Cancer Survivors, Cherries Walker-Betts Founder of Our Curls Inc.; Gina Davis , founder of Jes Breathe c.A.G..and Tamyara Brown, Chairperson Board of Directors Our Curls Inc. These three brave women, after winning the battle against breast cancer, went on to start their own support groups dedicated to promoting awareness and providing encouragement and resources to women during the breast cancer survivorship process; taking their survival one step further by reaching back to share knowledge, resources and blessings, with others.

Our Curls Inc.”:  “I Stand Here Today as a Voice of Victory!”

                      Cherrise Walker-Betts ( in her Angels Pose)

                      Cherrise Walker-Betts ( in her Angels Pose)

My name is Cherrise Walker-Betts and at the young age of 43 I was diagnosed with stage 2breast cancer. The cancer was discovered during a regular mammogram at Windsong Radiology A few days after the tests I received the call at work and was told “you have breast cancer.”  After that most was a blur, slow motion but moving at the speed of light all at the same time. One of the hardest things was telling my family, my children   was an extremely difficult time for not only me but my family emotionally, financially and spiritually. I wanted to give up. But I thank God that He kept me! I found solace in gospel music and prayer.  Talking to my survivor sisters was a light and helped me make it through. Through all of my turmoil I had to do something that help others so they would not suffer and get to the dark place that I was in because no women should have to suffer alone! 

I founded the not-for-profit Our Curls, Inc. (www.ourcurlsinc.org) to help women of color with cancer .This mission was born out of my very difficult experience.  Every woman should be represented and not have to settle with a product or service that does not sustain nor represent their sense of culture and our mission is “to provide women of color battling cancer with top of the line ethnic beauty care & services.” It is my goal to take Our Curls nationwide to other areas. Among the products and services provided are:  free ethnic wigs and wig trimming, distributing chemo care bags to cancer treatment facilities, support group, free makeover sessions ( pamper me), providing referrals, sponsor women to attend oncology camps, assistance with family and more.  It is my sincere hope that all women receive the support they so desperately need with no hesitation so that our services are in place when cancer comes knocking on anyone’s door and we are allready to engage in the fight! 

I never doubted that I would survive cancer, it was the process that scared me. 

GINA DAVIS/ JES BREATHE: From the Heart of a Survivor

I was at work when I received my “results” from the routine test my doctor ordered.  “Yes, you have cancer” and I went numb. Questions zipped through my mind: What do I do? How do I tell my family & friends? Am I going to survive? My journey was soon to begin. More testing began then surgery, chemotherapy, and or radiation.  Not a clue what to do, who to call first, or know exactly where to go for the best care and I knew time was of the essence and was able to keep my mind positive and filled with all the faith that I knew I had. This was a time where strength came from prayer, supportive loved ones & plenty of laughter. 

                                                                                                                                 FAITH OVERCOMING FEAR

   Gina Davis Founder Jes Breathe  in Her power pose

   Gina Davis Founder Jes Breathe  in Her power pose

There was so many side effects that I was told that could happen, while going through chemotherapy and I thought it would be over after the treatments but it was not. I learned there are many phases you can go through, not only while going through treatment but also after treatment is completed.  Physical, Psychological, Emotional & Spiritual. I knew my body would never be the same. I started asking myself more questions; “How do I look”? “Will people stare at me”? “Will I be able to handle the comments, the ignorance of others”? My hair had gone bald, my breasts were two different sizes.  Some days were better than others and when depression set in, it almost won but I fought hard and learned to accept the New Me before introducing her to the world.

At the “5 year” mark I was told, I’d be medically monitored closely for 5 years for a re-occurrence and learned that having no re-occurrence after that time meant a greater chance of survivorship. Thankfully, all tests were good and I was in the “clear”. However, my faith told me different. I was healed and I just needed to do what I had to do to survive! It’s been 7 years of Survivorship and as a Survivor, I have learned more about Love and Loyalty and most importantly the difference of “Darkness” from the “Light” . I had to learn to respect the Power of Life and realized it was more than working 9 to 5, paying bills and going shopping.  Every day is a gift from God and not a second of my New Lifewas to be taken for granted. 

 While I was on my journey to heal, I was taught how to deep breathe.  Never knew “breathing” would have so many health benefits!  Wow! After completing a therapy session, I went to my room, laid across the bed, and began doodling on a pad, writing, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus….Breathe, Breathing, Breathe…..Jes Breathe.  Then said to myself, “Hmmmm, I’m going to do something with this.  At that moment, Jes Breathe Was Born!  “Jes” Jesus gives us every breath we take. I believe I was spared to help others faced with the journey I traveled and wanted to give hopeand support to help those in our community who are faced with this challenge called cancer. 

For almost 1 year, I met all types of cancer patients; we would meet often, sharing stories of our journey. I began to think about our lives after our treatments and wondered if we had cancer awareness groups for all types of cancer and If they were available for the under insured, no insured, inner city, 24/7 for me and my family. I wanted to create a movement for women and families in the community not just to educate and support those with breast cancer but all cancers.  Listening and Interacting with survivors helped me develop a support system for those in our community that works.


For support after a cancer diagnose, or if you are currently on your journey, in Survivorship, or if you are a Caregiver, our services for the patient include: 

•Guided Imagery counseling

•Hold your Hand Program

•B.I.G. (Beauty Inside Greatness) Program 

•Y.A.W.Y.E. ( You Are What You Eat) Program 

•T.T. … Boom! (Testimonial Time) Program 

•L.I.V. (Laughter Is Vital) Program.

Gina's 7 Key's For Your Journey

1. Keep your faith strong: Positive energy only!

2. Inquire about all options for your diagnoses: testing surgery, chemotherapy, radiation

3. Eat Healthy & Deep Breathing Must be included

4. Do not own this disease. Do not say "my cancer'...

5. Never use the word "Remission". To me, remission means cancer is still there sitting dormant somewhere. Say to yourself: I AM Healed! 

6. Continue to change your lifestyle after treatment. Be mindful of the words that you use and the thoughts you put in your mind.

7. Laughter is good for your soul so Laugh

For support after a  cancer diagnoses or if you are currently on your journey in survivorship or as a  caregiver call: Jes Breathe cancer awareness group at 1-855-HOPE ( 533-4073) or write to Jes Breathe c.A.G. p.o. box 341 Buffalo ny 14209 you can also email us at jesbreathe@yahoo.com check us out on online at  www.jesbreathe.info or on facebook

~everyday is a survivors journey~

Gina Davis / Survivor and Founder of Jes Breathe c.A.G.

Kristen Redd: My Miracle Story

Name: Krissie Redd •Age: 46 • Diagnosed: 45 

On February of2015 I was informed that I had a rare, aggressive form of breast cancer called HER2 Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Its aggressiveness is due to the fact that it provides no ‘lump’ in the breast to indicate a problem and therefore many women die without detecting the cancer.

  I was told that I would immediately need to begin chemotherapy, followed by surgery and then radiation. The cancer was classified as Stage 4 and had fully metastasized as it had spread to my adrenals, lymphs and bones.

  Due to the aggressiveness of the disease, my husband and I thought it best to go ahead with the Chemotherapy.  In addition to that,  we accessed a broad range of medical professionals and resources that helped us put together our own integrated plan that comprised of lifestyle changes that complemented the impact of the chemotherapy. We focused the dietary part of the plan on nutrition,  herbal resources, supplements and exercise. We took a mind, body, and soul approach to produce the very best results possible. Each day became its own victory as I fought to overcome the diagnosis.  The primary chemotherapy treatment ended in June of 2015 and the supplemental cocktail continued.

   Fast forward to the present. I am grateful to report that surgery nor radiation was required. My lymph nodes and adrenals are clear, tumor markers are normal, and my bones have begun to heal! I am stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally than I have been in years!

  Cancer is not a death sentence!  I believe cancer presents itself as the result of a series of imbalances in our bodies and in our lives we have yet to recognize. The diagnosis of Cancer made me take a long, hard, look at my life and realize where I needed to make changes. Here are the 5 things that helped me through my journey:

  1.Faith: First and foremost, I am a firm believer in the healing power of God and know that I have been blessed.  I know that He sent His Son and “By His stripes I am healed”. There are countless scriptures in the Bible that refer to God’s healing. It is a choice to believe and receive.  As for me, at the point of diagnosis, I chose ‘life and it more abundantly’!

  2. Family: Family support made all the difference! My husband has been my rock, and by my side since day one. The love from my children and family encouraged me.

  3. Forgiveness: Cancer caused me to reflect and realize that I had a lot of unresolved hurt, bitterness and unforgiveness in my heart. I needed to ask for forgiveness and also needed to forgive.  In the scheme of things, waiting for an apology from ‘back in the day’ was not so important anymore. Once I made the choice to love, forgive and let past issues go, a tremendous burden lifted from me; my mind, body and soul were at peace.

  4.Food/Fitness:  Hippocrates said “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine thy food”. My husband and I put together a nutrition and exercise plan complete with the right components to fortify my immune system and rebuild my body to be able to fight!

  5. Future: Whether diagnosed with cancer or not, each day is a gift and a chance to be a better version of ourselves. Tomorrow is not promised for anyone. Envisioning your future self speaks life to your situation.  I chose to see my distant future self as a healthy and strong person.  

  It’s not about fighting cancer, I’ve moved on. I’m fighting the good fight called life!

“For Our Daughters” : I Was Diagnosed With

Stage 2 Breast Cancer at Age 28

          Mercedes Holloway

          Mercedes Holloway

I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at the age of 28 in 2011.  My greatest fear in all of that was having my children grow up withoutmother and that came second to actually losing my life. Once you have had cancer, it’s a always in the back of your mind that it could come back, but I place my hope in the fact that I am still here for a reason and I want to go after my purpose harder than ever before.  

We actually came up with the idea of For Our Daughters while I was going through cancer and started doing galas the very next year!  We haven’t looked back since. My advice for any woman that wants to complain about the “pain” of a mammogram will always be the same, it feels better than chemotherapy!  We are responsible to teach our daughters/ granddaughters what they need to know and be open enough to deliver it their way!  Listen to them and what they are going through andbe open and honest.  So many young women that we speak to say the same thing “we know it all and don’t listen to them.”
   Our young women will be open to learn their family history and about their health if they 1. see us practicing it and 2. feel comfortable enough talking to us about it.”

Mercedes Holloway 

Founder of For Our Daughters

“Keep positive thoughts negativity

will just tear you down and make you sicker.

Jessie Ector Age: 68 Diagnosed: age 66

       Jessie Ector

       Jessie Ector

Words of encouragement: Just take care of yourself. If you can eat right, exercise, and watch changes in your body because any little change can mean something might be wrong. It is not easy. But try to always have positive thoughts….Keep positive thoughts, negativity will just tear you down and make you sicker. (Jessie is living proof of the power of prayer and positive thinking…at the same time she was going through her personal journey to rid her body of cancer, sheand her sister Cheryl were taking care of her mother who died as she was completing her chemotherapy. Shortly afterwards her mate also passed.  Today she is thankful and feeling fine. Jesse is strong. She isa survivor. 


Words of Encouragement, Profiles ofCourage, Faith and Victory

            Averl Anderson

            Averl Anderson

Averl Anderson: On my journey with cancer, I’ve learned to cherish every moment every second, with my family and friends and moving forward. I am enjoying my life still fighting the fight and Never Giving Up! No matter how tough, do your best to continue to live laugh and love!  Diagnosed at 54 •Cancer Free 8 years 




                                                   Catherine M. Roberts

                                                   Catherine M. Roberts

Catherine M. Roberts:  You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have. Celebrated my 5 year cancer-free anniversary October 18th - a significant milestone for me and true gift from God. Today, I feel like I can conquer the world but I never take for granted that every single day is a victory. My very first mammogram saved my life so I pray that my testimony can save others. This journey has made my life so much richer, so much fuller and so much more meaningful because now, I'm intentional in making every day count. When you see me smiling, know that I am grateful to be here, to serve my community and be a blessing to others. It was my faith that gave me the strength, confidence, courage and the power of positive-thinking to overcome cancer and today, I walk unapologetically in my God-given purpose, because of it. Diagnosed age 41 * 5 Years Cancer Free

         Cynthia L. Peach

         Cynthia L. Peach

Cynthia L. Peach:  I suspected I had breast cancer after doing self-examinations and finding lumps that kept growing. I strongly urge Black women to do self-examinations and take the time to get checked by a professional to know what’s going on because knowing gives you the power to make a choice and take action to beat this disease. Choose Life because you deserve to live. Diagnosed age 57 Cancer Free 10 months

          Marcella Overton

          Marcella Overton

Marcella Overton: God immediately touched me with the strength, and the mind to know who is in control of these unwanted cells within our body, and to understand why they function the way that they do. Our bodies are really His “temple” and we do have to take care of our body. This(cancer cells) journey starts with God which starts with a step and it is one step at a time. He doesn’t expect us to run the mile--but He promises to give us strength to live each day for HIM. Some people only know how to make a living, With God as your Father, you can know how to make a life! Diagnosed atage 54 • 5 years cancer free

Tamee Ebo Although it was life changing and scary being diagnosed with stage 3 triple negative breast cancer I wasn’t willing to go! I fought hard and with strength and will from secure support systems and outstanding medical professionals I became victorious in being Cancer free without any medication. I learned that you are exactly who you say you are and Angles walk in the pathways of obstacles and come out victorious! You were an Angle from start to finish so start hard and finish strong! DiagnosedAugust 2013 •  Cancer Free Au

               Tamyara Brown

               Tamyara Brown

Tamyara Brown: I know for me the biggest was fear. Fear of the diagnosis of breast cancer and would I die. My ex -boyfriendLoyd was the one to reminded me to remember, “I was the most valuable person in the room. My health matters.” Cancer taught me that fear shouldn’t be a factor. I had to stay to care for my children, to become an author, and watch my son beat his kidney disease. I became a survivor the moment I didn’t let fear defeat me. I want to empower women to never let fear stop them from being diagnosed!  Tamyara Brown Chairmen Board Our Curls Inc. 

“Sister, We Win Gala”

The 2U ABC Support Group presents “Sister We Win Gala Overcome ThroughCourage & Strength” on Friday, October 28 from 6-10 p.m. at Four Point Sheraton Hotel, 7001 Buffalo Avenue, Niagara Falls. Donation $50. For tickets and info: 201-7831, 298-0150.

ART FROM THE HEART EXHIBIT: The Delavan Grider Community Center, 877 East Delavan Ave. Will host the opening reception of the “Art From The Heart of the Community Exhibit”  at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 25. The talented featured artists include Bessie Pope, Marian Ester, Durhilda Ann Brown, Yvonne Isome, Gail Hudson, Margaret Boykin, Harriet Joes and featuring Gerald Seals. John Baker is instructor/curator. The special guest will be Mayor ByronBrown.


By Renae Kimble

In 1993, then President William Clinton proclaimed the third Friday in the month of October as National Mammography Day.  On this day and throughout the entire month of October women are encouraged to make a mammogram appointment with their health care provider.

Women lead extremely busy lives – raising families, pursuing careers, chauffeuring their children, contributing time and talent to church and civic organizations and so much more.  With all of this busyness, we sometimes make excuse after excuse for putting off a much needed mammogram, saying that we don’t have time to go and get our breast cancer screening. By placing our own health on the back burner, we put ourselves at risk of failing to catch this disease in its infancy when it is most easily and effectively treated

National Mammography Day is a reminder to all women that the best defense against breast cancer is early detection. Routine cancer screenings that lead to early detection and treatment not only contribute to better health care outcomes, they reduce overall health care costs.

Breast cancer is most commonly found in women 50 years old or older.   Any woman or man who has symptoms or changes in their breasts should schedule an appointment with their doctor immediately.  While very rare, it is possible for men to get breast cancer. Mammograms remain the best way to detect early stage breast cancer.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “Mammography can find 85 percent to 90 percent of breast cancers in women over 50 and can discover a lump several years before it can be felt. In addition, mammography can provide several benefits. It can detect small breast cancers at early stages, greatly improving chances for successful treatment and survival. Breast cancers found by screening mammography in women in their forties are generally smaller and less advanced, with less spread to lymph nodes or other organs, than cancers found in women not having annual mammograms.”

Studies have shown that the lack of health insurance is a tremendous barrier to regular mammogram screening.  Screening is underutilized by women with no regular source of health care.  Other contributing factors are a lack of transportation to and from the screening site, a lack of flexible screening hours and a lack of paid leave time from work for a cancer screening.

That is why New York state is expanding access to breast cancer screening by requiring hospitals to extend their hours for mammograms and eliminating insurance costs. Legislation signed in June by Gov. Andrew Cuomo requires more than 200 hospitals across the state to offer evening and weekend hours for mammograms.  Insurance companies are now prohibited from charging deductibles or co-pays for them.

There is absolutely no excuse for a woman to not have a mammogram in New York state.  The enactment of these new breast cancer initiatives – the most comprehensive in the nation – eliminates the barriers to women putting their health care needs front and center in their lives.

The color pink reminds us that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Women, whenever you see the color pink it should trigger a subliminal message of remembrance to get your mammogram. 

October 21 is National Mammography Day.  Always remember to make your appointment on or by the third Friday in October.

We can help.  If you are an uninsured woman between the ages of 40-64 and due for a breast, cervical or colon cancer screening, call the Cancer Services Program of Niagara County, a service of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center funded by the New York State Department of Health.  Uninsured men ages 50-64 are also eligible for a free colon cancer screening. 

Call us today at (716) 278-4898.

"Our Lives Matter": Deltas to Host Male Youth Symposium and Community Town Hall

Outstanding Role Models Bring Critical Information To Teen Young Men

As part of its EMBODI initiative, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Buffalo Alumnae Chapter will presentan “Our Lives Matter”  Male Youth Symposiumfeaturing a Call to Action: Leadership and Vision Community Town Hall Forumon Saturday, October 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bennett High School,  2885 Main Streetin Buffalo. 

EMBODI stands for Empowering Males to Build Opportunities for Developing Independence. To register call 716. 564.9675.  Communityleaderswho will dialogue with young men duringthe Town Hall Forumwill include :

Dr. Kriner Cash, Superintendent, Buffalo Public Schools 

Arthur Duncan, Esq., Author and Attorney

Dr. Mattie L. Rhodes, President, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Buffalo Alumnae Chapter

Workshop Presenters and their topics are:

John Elmore: What to do When Stopped by the Police

Dr. Jevon Hunter- Dangerous Readings and other Literacy Practices that Work with Buffalo’s Black Adolescent Males

Daniel Robertson and Will Green: Say Yes to Mentoring

Lamont Williams: Are You Ready to Work?

Frank Williams: I’m Destined for More

Dr. Jonathan Daniels: STD and HIV 101

Rasheen Powell: Mental Health and the Prison System

Other speakers include: Jamil Crews, Oswaldo Mestre, Thomas Beauford Jr., Samuel Radford, Kevin Donovan, Rashaad Thomas, and Avery Bates.


African American males have the lowest graduation rate of any demographic group in the nation.  Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. has designed the EMBODI (Empowering Males to Build Opportunities for Developing Independence) to be implemented in local chapters all over the country.  The Buffalo Alumae Chapter has planned a day of workshops and a town hall forum to address education, leadership, healthy lifestyle choices, character, relationships, college readiness, job readiness, and civic engagement.

“Our goal is to inspire, compel and empower the young African-American males in our community to become successful, independent leaders locally and beyond.,”said chapter President, Dr. Mattie L. Rhodes. “ We recognize that a key missing ingredient for many is the presence of positive male role models.  Obviously, as a group of college educated women, Deltas cannot be the male role models, but we have put our energy toward organizing and convening a group of adult male leaders who can speak directly to the needs of our young men.”  

Added EMBODI program chair Lorenda Williams :“As a school administrator, I see the hurt and emptiness in some of our young men who need inspiration, guidance and direction that they have not found at home, nor at school.  Mentoring and role model relationships begin to bridge this gap.  Our workshops and town hall will build relationships, provide dialogue for community solutions and be the beginning of a stronger community.”

Merea World Transportation

Created in Honor of a Beloved Daughter’s Memory

Marquita Nailor ( left) and belated daughter Sh'Merea who inspired Merea Transportation

Marquita Nailor ( left) and belated daughter Sh'Merea who inspired Merea Transportation

My name is Marquita Nailor. I amtheproud mother of a beautiful daughter and wonderful teenage girl whose earthly life was taken all too soon.

                  Sh'Merea L. Nailor 

                  Sh'Merea L. Nailor 

On October 9, 2014 my daughter Sh’merea L. Nailor lost her life tragically to senseless gun violence. Although I continue to mourn her passing, I feel the strength of her spirit with me everyday. Sh’merea, or Merea, for those of us who knew her, was very passionate about her love and relationship with her father, for basketball and her sense of fashion. After reflecting on these things that made Merea the wonderful person she was, the idea and need for Merea World Transportation was born. 

Sh’merea’s father ( like many of our youths fathers) is incarcerated. Despite his unfortunate circumstance, I always felt the need to help and encourage her to nurture the relationship and bond they shared and over the years did my best to take her to visit with him. That is when I learned first hand the difficulties that children and family members face obtaining a means of transportation to see their loved ones who are incarcerated . 

Merea loved basketball but when she could she participated in all sports . Asa “sports mom” for many yearsI’ve become more and more aware of the various sports events and tournaments our children wish to experience and take part in that often takes place in other cities or states. Its not unusual fora team or individual youth to have to obtain their own means of transportation to get to these events or forgo the opportunity to participate because there is no means of transportation available to them.

When I reflect on Sh’merea and all of the things that she was passionate about, I’m inspired and motivated by her to positively impact our community in her name and hopefully aid in the prevention of further senseless crimes that plague our communities and take lives in the process.

It is my belief that Merea World Transportation will act as a two edged sword by providing families with a means of transportation to see and visit loved ones in prison and give children a chance to build a relationship with and learn firsthand from the mistakes of an incarcerated parent, while at the same time giving incarcerated people from our community a positive reinforcement and motivation to return to society and be productive.

With these among other things in mind, I have founded Merea World Transportation, with the hope and goal to strengthen family ties and relationships; to provide our children and youth opportunities to pursue their athletic aspirations wherever the venue may be; experiences that will open their eyes to see beyond more than just what is in the street; and to go farther than what’s within walking distance or where public transportation will take them. Merea World Transportation, Text or Leave a Message (716)939-8892 or www.facebook.com/mereaworldtransportation