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CHILD WATCH

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American Exceptionalism at Its Worst

Washington, DC- On March 15, a terrorist carrying two semi-automatic weapons and three rifles attacked worshipers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 50 men, women, and children—some of them refugees who had fled war zones seeking safety. In the hours that followed nearly 70,000 New Zealanders signed petitions calling for gun control reform, and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern led the nation’s elected leaders in vowing to take swift action. On March 21, less than a week later, Prime Minister Ardern announced the introduction of a national ban on all military- style semiautomatic weapons and assault rifles, high-capacity ammunition magazines, and parts that allow weapons to be modified into semiautomatic guns, as well as provisions for a government funded buyback of existing assault weapons. In her announcement, she said, “I absolutely believe there will be a common view amongst New Zealanders— those who use guns for legitimate purposes, and those who have never touched one—that the time for the mass and easy availability of these weapons must end.”

Read More, Scoop USA Media, April 5, 2019

Standing up Against the Death Penalty

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently took the strong step of declaring a moratorium on the death penalty in California, saying: “Our death penalty system has been, by all measures, a failure. It has discriminated against defendants who are mentally ill, black and brown, or can’t afford expensive legal representation. It has provided no public safety benefit or value as a deterrent. It has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars. Most of all, the death penalty is absolute. It’s irreversible and irreparable in the event of human error.” California now joins three other states—Oregon, Colorado and Pennsylvania— with governor-imposed moratoria on the death penalty and the 20 states and the District of Columbia that have already abolished it. I am grateful to Governor Newsom for being the latest courageous political leader to stand up and reject the death penalty’s shameful legacy and continuing toll. It should be abolished all across our land.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, April 12, 2019

Change the currency to reflect all of us in America

Every day I wear a pair of medallions around my neck with portraits of two of my role models: Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth. As a child I read books about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. She and the indomitable and eloquent Sojourner Truth represent countless anonymous slave women whose bodies and minds were abused and whose voices were muted by slavery, Jim Crow, segregation and sexism throughout our nation’s history. Although Harriet Tubman could not read books, she could read the stars to find her way north to freedom. And she freed not only herself from slavery but returned to slave country again and again across forests, streams and mountains to lead other slaves to freedom at great personal danger. She was tough. She was determined. She was fearless. She was shrewd and she trusted God completely to deliver her and other fleeing slaves from pursuing captors who had placed a bounty on her life.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, April 19, 2019

Out of sight, out of mind

Baby dolls, tiny trucks, toy food and dress-up capes. Scattered about the ballroom of a motel in Northeast Washington, D.C., and captured in a Washington Post column by Petula Dvorak, these hallmarks of child’s play are not merely a sign of productive imaginations—they’re evidence of a larger child and family poverty crisis that must end in our affluent nation.

Twenty minutes outside the city’s downtown, a stretch of budget motels along a major highway serve as overflow shelters for homeless families in the nation’s capital. They have strict rules about where children are seen and heard. Signs dotting the hallways announce “No Playing on the Hotel Premises” and children are forbidden from gathering in common spaces. The Homeless Children’s Playtime Project, a local nonprofit, reserves event spaces to carve out areas where children can be children. However, the lack of space and high cost of reserving ballrooms and conference halls means pop-up playtimes are much too limited.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 3, 2019

Ending Child poverty now

“I would come home and there would be no electricity, I would have no water to bathe in. Sometimes there wouldn’t be food, there would just be water in the refrigerator.”

–Taylor, honored by the Children’s Defense Fund-Texas with a Beat the Odds® scholarship No child should have to worry where her next meal will come from or whether she will have a place to sleep each night in the wealthiest nation on earth. Yet more than 12.8 million poor children in America face these harsh realities every day. It is a moral disgrace, a costly injustice and a profound economic threat that nearly 1 in 5 children are poor in our boastfully wealthy nation. Nearly 4 in 10 of our children spend at least a year in poverty before their 18th birthday and more than 1 in 10 struggle through at least half their childhoods in poverty. More than 2 in 3 poor children are children of color. Most shamefully, our youngest children are our poorest during their years of greatest brain development. Permitting millions of children to live in poverty—many denied basic human needs of housing, enough food and a chance to get ready for school and attend schools with equal funding and quality—is unjust. We are failing our children and our nation.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 10, 2019

You cannot win like that

“I can’t do a lot of the extra stuff that I would like to do for my kids or with my kids because I just can’t afford to. No vacations. There’s not too much going to the movies or little outings. Even getting school uniforms together is expensive. Sometimes they have to wear stuff from last year. I have a lot of guilt because I can’t provide for them the way that I want to.”

The Children’s Defense Fund recently released our latest report on Ending Child Poverty Now once again showing just how much poverty is hurting our children and nation and sullying our pretensions to be an equal opportunity society. As part of their coverage of this new report The Guardian spoke with several parents struggling to raise children in poverty today including New Orleans mother Sarah Davis. As their story explains, Davis lost her home in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 17, 2019

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Staying viligant on Brown

As a teenager, many of Barbara Johns’ wildest dreams were about a surprising subject: a new school. “My imagination would run rampant—and I would dream that some mighty man of great wealth built us a new school building or that our parents got together and surprised us with this grand new building and we had a big celebration—I even imagined that a great storm came through and blew down the main building and splattered the shacks to splinters …” Then a day came when 16-year-old Barbara decided to put her dreams into action. “It was time that Negroes were treated equally with whites, time that they had a decent school, time for the students themselves to do something about it. There wasn’t any fear. I just thought—this is your moment. Seize it!”

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 24, 2019

i.c.a.r.e. academy

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Rest in Power Nipsey Hussle

by Brandon Laws

The world lost a hip hop legend, father, husband and community activist.

On March 31, 2019, rapper Nipsey Hussle was gunned down in front of his Marathon clothing store in Los Angeles. This sudden news sent a shockwave throughout the hip hop community, leading to an outpour of tributes and condolences from his peers and supporters. Prior to his death, Nipsey Hussle had just come off the best year of his long career. His 2018 debut studio album Victory Lap received critical acclaim, resulting in a GRAMMY nomination for Best Rap Album at the 2019 Grammys. Although he was just beginning to gain the mainstream recognition he deserved, he spent his whole rap career telling the truths about growing up in the hood and how to make it out.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, April 5, 2019

PHILLY BEAT (YANINA CARTER)

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Smollett charges dropped

Hey you guys! This week I am just giving you the gossip in the Entertainment business. There is so much going on I got to share and give you my input on the issues or my thoughts. Starting with Wendy Williams to whom I have met on several occasions during her stunt here on Power99FM. I have been in her presence, interviewed her, read her book and shared a moment with her and Patty Jackson at her book signing event here in Philly some years ago. Ten years ago when she acquired her own talk show, I was glad for her. The Oprah Winfrey Show was no longer being aired and it was a good time for new comers to try it as talk show hosts. It’s 10 years later and Wendy is still rolling strong. But the talk show host recently had a public meltdown and took a leave of absence from her highly successful show. Upon returning, Wendy revealed to her audience about her battle with addiction and relapsing. According to Wendy, each day she leaves the show and goes straight to a rehab facility which is her home for now. Well hats off to you Wendy for getting help! Unfortunately while doing so it was announced early this week that her husband Kevin Hunter’s mistress gave birth to his baby in Philadelphia. It is reported that he was dating this mistress for 10 years.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, March 29, 2019

The PhillyBeat

On Monday, May 13, 2019 Men of Baca Scholarship Golf Outting on the Links will have Who’s Who on the field in an effort to raise money for their Bronze Association for Cultural Advancement Scholarship Fund. This annual event will feature many other activities including a silent auction, longest drive, closest to the pin, hole-inone contest and team prizes. Non-golfers may register to join us for cocktail hour and dinner. This is a perfect way to entertain clients and network with like-minded people in a relaxed atmosphere. A Brief History of … “MEN OF BACA” The Bronze Association for Cultural Advancement was founded in 1960. 

Read More, Scoop USA Media, April 12, 2019

NEW students enjoy special screening of Little

Have you seen the hilarious comedy “Little” which is just a start for Marasi Martin, the mind behind the movie, who plans to do more movies. But “Little” is drippin’ with Black Girl Magic! with the amazing stars Marasi Martin, Regina Hall and Issa Rae.

While Marasi stole the show, Issa Rae was a great counterpart for the little actress, together they had viewers rolling in their seats. I know Marasi was special, well she showed how special she was in this Universal Pictures production. If you haven’t seen it you must.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, April 19, 2019

August Wilson’s play “Fences” at University Delaware

Congratulations to my dear friend of 48 years Kym Smith who was one of the models for the in the Bloomingdale Goes Red Fashion show on April 18, 2019 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Bloomingdale ‘s King of Prussia. The event featured several women heart attack survivors who were able to strut their stuff down the runway for a good cause. The purpose of the event is to shop for the perfect red dress or accessories at the 16th Annual Go Red for Women Luncheon while enjoying a runway presentation of this spring’s very best styles all modeled by survivors. Ten percent of all sales will go to the American Heart Association‘s Go Red for Women movement. The women looked fabulous and Kym shined with this funky one piece jumper. Hats Off to you all!

Read More, Scoop USA Media, April 26, 2019

Singleton remembered through his movies

I was saddened when I heard the Filmmaker John Singleton had passed at 51, following a stroke. I        had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Singleton several times during his brilliant career. He made a point to stop in Philly to promote some of those awesome movies, particularly,  “Boyz n the Hood”,  and  “Four Brothers.”    

I remember him talking about how he wanted to write stories about the African American experience. And no one could really tell that story unless they were a part of the experience.   Well, what he set out to do he accomplished with his powerful debut movie, ”Boyz n the Hood”, for which earned him a nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director, at age 24, the first African American and youngest person to have ever been nominated for that award. A native of South Los Angeles, Singleton  continued to make statements with films, such as “Poetic Justice”, “Higher Learning,” and “Baby Boy”, as in addressed the  implications of inner-city violence. He also directed the drama “Rosewood” and the action films “Shaft”, “2 Fast 2 Furious”, and “Four Brothers.”   

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 3, 2019

Young actors making a name for themselves

I am going to make this week’s piece short and sweet. Here are a few folks you need to keep a look out for because they are blowing up.

Well of course I have to start with Marsai Martin, the mastermind behind the sensational movie, “Little,” and the youngest executive producer in Hollywood. Girls Trip's Regina Hall and Black-ish's Marsai Martin both star as Jordan Sanders - Hall as the take-no-prisoners leader, adult version of Jordan and Martin as the 13-year-old version of her who wakes up in her adult self's penthouse just before a do-or-die presentation. Issa Rae plays Jordan's long-suffering assistant April, the only one in on the secret that her daily tormentor is now trapped in an awkward tween body just as everything is on the line. “Little” is an irreverent new comedy about the price of success, the power of sisterhood and having a second chance to grow up - and glow up - right. Look out she has more projects under her belt, we will let you know what’s up her sleeves as we find out.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 10, 2019

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Lillian McCray: One of Philadelphia’s finest is called home

One of Philadelphia’s finest, Lillian Mildred Edmunds McCray spent her life helping others, was called home on Friday, April 26, 2019 and will be missed by all.

Lillian Mildred Edmunds McCray also known as Mommy, Lil, and GG (Great-Grandmom) to her family and Ms. Potato Salad and Miss Lil to her friends and co-workers. Lil was born in Philadelphia, PA on August 18, 1945. She was the second daughter and fourth oldest of eight children born to the late Gerald Ransome Edmunds, Sr. and Fannie Mae Edmunds.

Lil was educated in the Philadelphia Public School system and graduated from West Philadelphia High School in December 1962. She also attended Peirce College and the American School of Banking in the late 1960’s. Lil married her childhood sweetheart, Donald Roy McCray and four children were born from this union; Lisa, Donna, Dionne and Donald II. She enjoyed and loved being with her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, brothers and sister and many family and friends.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 17, 2019

SOCIAL SECURITY (PATRICK ROBINSON)

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Your Social Security

For generations, Social Security has been evolving to meet your changing needs. In April, we celebrate National Social Security Month by letting you know what you can do online with a my Social Security account. Replacing a lost or stolen Social Security number (SSN) card has never been easier. You can request a replacement SSN card online in most states. There’s no need to sit in traffic or visit a local office or Card Center. As long as you’re only requesting a replacement card, and no other changes, you can use our free online service from anywhere. All you need to do is log in to or create a my Social Security account at

www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, March 15, 2019

Resources for women you care about Your Social Security

March is Women’s History Month. It’s a time when we reflect on the achievements and contributions of our nation’s remarkable women. Many of these heroes might be people close to you: mothers and daughters, aunts, and grandmothers. Each of them plays a special role in our lives as they provide love and support.

Social Security plays an important role in providing economic security for women. Nearly 55 percent of the people receiving Social Security benefits are women. In the 21st century, more women work, pay Social Security taxes, and earn credit toward monthly retirement income than at any other time in our nation’s history.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, March 22, 2019

Medicare: Rules for those with higher income

If you have higher income, the law requires an upward adjustment to your monthly Medicare Part B (medical insurance) and Medicare prescription drug coverage premiums. But, if your income has gone down, you may use form SSA-44 to request a reduction in your Medicare income- related monthly adjustment amount.

Medicare Part B helps pay for your doctors’ services and outpatient care. It also covers other medical services, such as physical and occupational therapy, and some home health care. For most beneficiaries, the government pays a substantial portion—about 75 percent--of the Part B premium, and the beneficiary pays the remaining 25 percent. If you’re a higher-income beneficiary, you’ll pay a larger percentage of the total cost of Medicare Part B, based on the income you report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You’ll pay monthly Part B premiums equal to 35, 50, 65, 80, or 85 percent of the total cost, depending on the income you report to the IRS.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, March 29, 2019

Social security helps people like you

Part of what makes our nation unique is our diversity. Social Security touches the lives of nearly all Americans; so, we’re accustomed to serving a diverse population.

Online, our People Like Me pages help inform the many different people we help. From people with disabilities to students and military veterans — Social Security is here for you. These pages are easy to share with friends and family or on social media. Here are just a few that might speak to you or someone you love.

Do you know someone who is just starting their career?

Now is the best time for them to start preparing for retirement. The sooner we begin to save, the more we’ll have when we reach retirement age. Share this page with a young worker you know. www.socialsecurity.gov/ people/earlycareer.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, April 5, 2019

See what you can do online during National Social Security month (part two)

In April, we celebrate National Social Security Month by letting you know what you can do online with a my Social Security account.

Last month we featured how you can replace a lost or stolen Social Security card, get a copy of your 1099 (SSA1099), and check the status of your Social Security benefit application or claim. This month we share three more advantages.

If you already receive Social Security benefits, you can set up or change direct deposit information online with a my Social Security account. In most cases, you are required to receive federal benefits electronically, so when you choose direct deposit, we will electronically deposit your funds directly into a bank account. If you do not have a bank account, you can choose Direct Express® and your funds will be electronically deposited into a prepaid debit card account. Direct Express® has no enrollment fee or minimum balance requirement to open or use the account.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, April 12, 2019

Financial literacy month, a perfect time to plan for your future

April is Financial Literacy Month and there’s no better time than right now to begin to save for your future. The earlier you start saving, the more you can accrue in a 401k individual retirement account and other types of IRAs. Social Security helps secure your future, but Social Security is only one part of a more complete retirement plan.

Financial literacy includes having access to not just the correct general information, but also to your personal financial information. You can open your own personal my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount/ and quickly have access to your information from anywhere. 

Read More, Scoop USA Media, April 19, 2019

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Connect with Social Security on Social Media

We strive to keep you informed with accurate and helpful information. Over the last decade, Social Security’s communications strategy has evolved to include electronic messages, through our social media channels.  You can share Social Security information, including links to our online tools, with a click of a button.  Using Facebook, we can reach millions of people on a platform they’re familiar with and comfortable navigating. We can cross generational divides as we encourage users to share their personal experiences with Social Security programs, such as disability, survivors, and retirement benefits. You can follow us and repost our articles at www.facebook.com/socialsecurity. Our newest social media outlet is our Instagram account. As we do on Facebook, we share stories and resources that can help you and your loved ones. Check out our new Instagram page at www.Instagram.com/SocialSecurity Have you seen us on YouTube? Our diverse collection of videos covers veterans’ benefits, online services, retirement, Social Security scams, and much more. 

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 3, 2019

Social Security announces top 10 Baby names

Each May, Social Security releases the top 10 baby names of the previous year. We are the leading source for America’s popular names because almost every newborn gets a Social Security number at birth. In a way, your name is your first “personal” information — a piece of identification that you have for the rest of your life.

Having a Social Security number provides the foundation for vital benefits to that child if they need them in the future and when they retire. Saving early is key to having enough money to live on in retirement. Because we're living longer, healthier lives, we can expect to spend more time in retirement than our parents and grandparents did. Achieving the dream of a secure, comfortable retirement is much easier when you plan your finances.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 10, 2019

Social Security

In May, we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week and honor all of the educators who are preparing students for the future. Social Security knows that a well-informed instructor is usually the best one suited to educate others. That’s why we have online resources that are easy to access and share.

Social Security’s Educator Toolkit is a rich resource for teachers and advocates. Our Information for Educators page contains information and resources to engage students and to educate them on Social Security. It includes: Infographics and handouts for each lesson plan. Links to Social Security webpages, talking points, quiz questions and answers.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 17, 2019

Social Security honors and supports military members

Every year, on Memorial Day, the nation honors service members who have given their lives for our freedom. 

Social Security acknowledges the sacrifice of our military’s service members, and we honor these heroes and their families who may need help through the benefits we provide.  Widows, widowers, and their dependent children may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits. You can learn more about those benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov/ survivors. 

It’s also important to recognize those service members who have been wounded. Social Security offers benefits to protect veterans when an injury prevents them from returning to active duty or performing other work. Wounded military service members can receive expedited processing of their Social Security disability claims. For example, Social Security will expedite disability claims filed by veterans who have a 100 percent Permanent & Total Compensation rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 24, 2019

THE ARTISTS UNITED

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"Verbosity “The Verbs”

by Ibn Faruq

A Hip-hop/R& b trio based out of Philadelphia uniquely fusing rapping and singing into a musical collage of intellectual lyrics with an urban twist.

Verbosity are three childhood sister friends merging together for a common good – “Music.” Individually, they are Macky Monea, Niyah Iman and Breezii Lashayee. In the beginning, there was no exact plan of action, just three sisters with similar desires to be a part of and make a difference in today’s music.

Influenced by their parents to make education a priority in whatever direction they chose to go in. Verbosity equally shared the thought of rapping and singing about subjects that would impact their public in positive and thought-provoking ways. Verbosity has performed throughout Philadelphia and in the Tri-State area, taking pride in being able to connect with audiences of various age demographics.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, April 5, 2019


PRLM CHLD

by Ibn Faruq

PRLM CHLD [prob-luh m chahyld]: What does it mean to be a “PRLM CHLD?” A “PRLM CHLD” is a child who is considered difficult. The term is also used as a metaphor for a persistently trying or demanding person, thing, or responsibility.

Three members hailing from similar backgrounds and equipped with a multitude of diverse talents, powerhouse group, PRLM CHLD is destined for a music industry takeover. Performing music since a child, Pride Zu is the definition of a warrior. Enduring the divorce of his parents, adolescent bad behavior directed him to music. His grandmother brought him a keyboard and his music interests begin developing. Pride Zu joined NSL, a rap group at 17.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, April 19, 2019

Smithsonian

Born and bred in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Isaiah Smithsonian is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, pianist, composer, producer, actor, and model. His sultry soulful voice is reminiscent of the legendary artists who have inspired him. The stylistic influence of pioneers like Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra, Nat “King” Cole, James Brown, and Chuck Berry all play a role in his uniquely crafted sound. Isaiah vocally favors the likes of Lenny Kravitz, Prince, Babyface, Maxwell, Usher, D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Khalid, and Chris Brown.

Growing up in house constantly filled with music, it was hard for Isaiah not to be emerged in the industry. At the age of eleven, Isaiah began to define his sound as well as receive formal training on the guitar and piano and later attended Harcum College. As Isaiah continued honing his vocal dexterity, he stepped away from practice and onto the stage. He began performing before audiences and garnering media buzz and devoted fans.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, April 26, 2019

Meet Tonya Williams

Tanya Williams (Miss T.) is a songwriter and radio personality (as Tahari London on The London Lockdown - The Right Mix of New & Old School R&B on Jungle773.com) whose music is only limited by her imagination as she is not married to any specific genre.  Her writing licks the foundations of contemporary and classic R&B, rock, pop, jazz, gospel, blues and so much more.  Tanya was born into and influenced by a rich musical family legacy of singers, drummers, trumpeters, and a pianist who entertained the troops in World War II.  She was also inspired by her father’s lush collection of legendary greats – Sam Cooke, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Queen, Joe Williams, Ella Fitzgerald, Earth, Wind & Fire, KISS, and many more.

She is currently featured on the single End Times (released 10/13/17) as a singer, one she co-wrote and helped produce.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 3, 201

Let the Music Play on!

by Ibn Faruq

 This past weekend The Philadelphia Orchestra had an amazing performance at the Strawberry Mansion located in Fairmount park. They highlighted the youth of the Strawberry Mansion Learning Center, which is headed by Kevin Upshur. He converted his family’s establishment which used to be a bar in North Philadelphia into a community center for the youth.The students had an opportunity to open the show on Saturday with an uplifting drum ensemble. The Philadel- phia Orchestra donated

instruments to the SMLC last summer for them to teach the youth musical presentation. 

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 10, 2019

The Reading Quilt (Marilyn Kai Jewett)

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Family Values

Family is an integral part of the African American culture often celebrated in pop culture television shows and movies like “Everybody Hates Chris,” “Blackish,” and “Soul Food”.  These shows epitomize the strong African American mother who is eclipsed by the stronger African American grandmother both flanked by supportive husbands, precocious children, and nosey aunts and uncles. The African American family, depicted in the media in myriad ways, is iconic.

We laugh at the silly sitcoms of the African American family on TV,  but do the media images hold some semblance of truth? We see the staunch, yet regal, hardworking  mother who is the mouthpiece of the family, quick to throw her house shoe at her “smart mouth” kids. She is sassy on her own, but a force to be reckoned with when her sisters show up only to give lip service to the husband who gets the big piece of chicken at family dinner. These images of the African American family illustrate family values the most prevalent being “family is everything.”  The importance of family and the values the entity brings has a long history. 

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 3, 2019

National Small Business Week May 5 – May 11: Support Black Businesses

More than half of the people living in the United States work for or own a small business. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses create two out of every three new jobs in the nation annually. For more than 50 years, each May the SBA has celebrated National Small Business Week, which recognizes the important contributions of the nation’s small business owners.

Congrats to Philly’s own Cassandra W. Jones, Ed. D., CEO/President of Next Step Associates, LLC that was named the SBA’s Eastern Pennsylvania District Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year. For 15 years, Next Step, a premier training company for public and privatesector and government agencies, has helped clients increase skills and overall performance in the areas of accountable leadership, workforce development, diversity and inclusion, curriculum development, executive level coaching, and more.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 10, 2019

Black Philanthropists: Then and Now

I’m sure everyone has heard about the generous gift of billionaire Robert F. Smith who during his commencement speech at Morehouse College, announced his pledge to pay-off student loan debt for the entire 2019 graduating class of the prestigious HBCU.  However, since colonial times African people in America have used philanthropy to free themselves and uplift their communities. Black philanthropy grew out of the entrepreneurship of both enslaved and free Africans in this nation. Early Black philanthropists used their financial power to fight against slavery, fund education and establish intuitions.  

Stephen Smith, born in Pennsylvania around 1795, bought his freedom by the time he was 21, and made his fortune in the lumber and real estate business in Pennsylvania. He also was an abolitionist and funded the Freedmen’s Journal and the Emancipator newspapers. Smith hid runaways in railroad cars he used to transport coal and lumber on the railroad line he owned. He also supported Philadelphia’s Institute for Colored Youth, Home for Destitute Colored Children, and established the Home for Aged and Infirm Colored Persons which was renamed the Stephen Smith Home after his death in 1873.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 24, 2019

To Be Equal (Marc H. Morial)

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It’s time to sign Colin Kaepernick

Marc H. Morial, President and CEO National Urban League

“Though this legal battle with Kaepernick has been resolved, he isn’t going away either. The league will forever have to live with the fact that it was complicit in destroying someone’s career simply because he wished to bring attention to the injustices suffered by his people. If owners and Roger Goodell believe that they no longer will have to face questions about why Kaepernick isn’t in the league, they’re wrong. No matter what an arbitrator rules, how the NFL treated Kaepernick will always be the mistake they can never amend.” -- Jemele Hill Over the last several weeks, two incidents have served to remind us of the hypocrisy and racism that still permeates the National Football League.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, March 29, 2019

One Year Out, Efforts to Sabotage 2020 Census Must Be Defeated

Washington, DC -“The same folks who don’t want people of color to vote don’t want us to be counted. The Census is about three things: money, power and information. And unless we rise up to save Census 2020, this rigged, intentional undercount will cost us political power at all levels; billions in federal funding; and vital information to help lift up the communities that we fight so hard for.” – U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay The principle of “one person, one vote” is enshrined in the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. It means that one person’s voting power should be equivalent to another person. While the Electoral College and the U.S. Senate give far more voting power to the citizens of sparsely populated states than densely populated ones, the one place where “one person, one vote” comes closest to being true is in the U.S. House of Representatives. But we can’t achieve equal representation without a fair census. 

Read More, Scoop USA Media, April 5, 2019

Congratulations to Chicago’s First Black Woman and LGBTQ Mayor, Lori Lightfoot

by Marc H. Morial, President and CEO National Urban League

Washington, DC-“ Out there tonight, a lot of little girls and boys are watching. They’re watching us and they’re seeing the beginning of something, well, a little bit different. They’re seeing a city reborn, a city where it doesn’t matter what color you are and where it surely doesn’t matter how tall you are. Where it doesn’t matter who you love, just as long as you love. Let me say that again: where it doesn’t matter who you love, just as long as you love with all your heart. In the Chicago we will build together, we will celebrate our differences. We will embrace our uniqueness, and we will make certain that all have every opportunity to succeed.” —Lori Lightfoot, Mayor-Elect of Chicago The National Urban League is proud to congratulate Lori Lightfoot, not only the first Black woman elected as Chicago’s mayor, but the first openly LGBTQ person to serve in that office.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, April 12, 2019

Find out how your state was graded on the National Urban League Report cards for education equity

“This bill upholds the core value that animated the original Elementary and Secondary Education Act signed by President Lyndon Johnson -- the value that says education, the key to economic opportunity, is a civil right. With this bill, we reaffirm that fundamental American ideal that every child, regardless of race, income, background, the zip code where they live, deserves the chance to make out of their lives what they will.” President Barack Obama, upon signing the Every Student Succeeds Act in 2015 The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the 2015 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, establishes civil rights standards for educating students from historically underserved populations – like children of color, students with disabilities and those learning English as a second language – receive the resources they need Not every state is meeting its obligations. However, the National Urban League reviewed the plans states are required to submit to the federal government, outlining how they will meet their commitments to ensure equity and excellence to every student and every community. We found that only nine states’ plans qualified as “Excellent.”

Read More, Scoop USA Media, April 19, 2019

Hate crime surge continues with racially motivated burning of Black churches

'A lot of people want to make it a hate thing. Well, we don't represent hate. We represent love. Togetherness. Peace. Long suffering. Hope. That's what we're here today to say, not just to our community, but to our country. Be strong.'

-- Rev. Gerald Toussaint, pastor of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, one of three Louisiana churches burned down over 10 days this month.

Though they were more than 100 years old, Greater Union Baptist Church, St. Mary Baptist Church and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, were nowhere near as grand and ancient as Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Tourists never flocked to admire them. The flames that burned them to charred ruins were not observed in horror by an international television audience.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, April 26, 201

Foreign interference in American Democracy

“In the days leading up to the election, the IRA [Russian Troll Farm] began to deploy voter suppression tactics on the Black-community targeted accounts … As the election became imminent, themes were tied into several varieties of voter suppression narratives: don’t vote, state home, this country is not for Black people, these candidates don’t care about Black people.” – U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Report, “The Tactics and Tropes of the Internet Research Agency”

The U.S. Intelligence community announced it was “confident” that it happened.

A Senate Intelligence Committee report confirmed it.

And now the Mueller Report has documented its scope in breathtaking detail.

Russia interfered to disrupt American democracy on a massive scale.  An administration official recently falsely downplayed this unprecedented act of sabotage as “a few Facebook ads.”

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 3, 2019

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Judge Damon Keith: The Nation mourns a Peerless Champion of Justice

Washington-DC-“ By denying the most vulnerable the right to vote, the Majority shuts minorities out of our political process. Rather than honor the men and women whose murdered lives opened the doors of our democracy and secured our right to vote, the Majority has abandoned this court’s standard of review in order to conceal the votes of the most defenseless behind the dangerous veneers of factual findings lacking support and legal standards lacking precedent. I am deeply saddened and distraught by the court’s deliberate decision to reverse the progress of history. I dissent.” -- Judge Damon J. Keith, dissenting in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decision on Northeast Ohio Coalition, et al. v. Husted, et al.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 10, 2019

2019 Unveiled Amid an Increased Push for Voting Rights, Protection from Foreign Interference State

“This is not Russia. This is the United States of America. And I will fight until the death to make sure every citizen— whether they’re Green Party, whether they’re Freedom Party, whether they’re Democrat, whether they’re Republican, whoever – has that right to vote. Because it is the essence of our democracy. For so many people, their rights are pulled away from them, then they’ve got to put in laws to get them back. What does that mean? They cannot progress rapidly. They cannot progress with the rest of society. All they’re trying to do is control their own destiny.” – U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, Chair, House Oversight Committee.

The National Urban League’s 2019 State of Black America ® report, “Getting 2 Equal, United Not Divided,” an unprecedented examination of the state of the Black Vote, was unveiled this week amidst a new push in Congress to protect voting rights and secure democracy.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 17, 2019

Graduation Season: Celebrating Accomplishments, Committing to Equality

“You are young, gifted, and Black. We must begin to tell our young, ‘There's a world waiting for you, Yours is the quest that's just begun.’” -- James Weldon Johnson

Each year I have the privilege to speak at commencement ceremonies at colleges and universities large and small, across the country.

Most recently I had the honor to address Grambling State University – an HBCU that is experiencing a resurgence under President Rick Gallot – most notably for its cutting-edge new cybersecurity program.  As an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. I’m proud to join the “Gram Fam.” 

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 24, 2019

WORD ON THE STREET (SHELLY WILLIAMS)

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Are You Lov’n My Curves?

I remember when fashion for the plus size woman had no fashionable details; no shape and everything had the same color or print, with the price tag being triple the cost of missies or juniors. I have been plus size from childhood (with the exception of the quick diets where the weight loss lasted …about a minute.) I look back at the pictures from my clothing options back in the day and geesh, I’m so glad that designers are now Lov’n my curves and women like Dr. Marquita Williams creating platforms to highlight Plus Size Designers. As I arrived there was already a huge line outside of proud supporters anxiously waiting to enter the 2300 Arena when the doors opened at 2pm. The venue was decorated with white and gold sparkle and VIP catering by Chef Rashaun Scudder of On the Marc Catering (by the way, I said forget the diet, I have to enjoy this delicious food.) The Lov’n my Curves fashion show was hosted by Ya Big Girl Dezzie who opened the show with some crowd participation; she asked the audience Are You Lov’n My Curves? And the audience responds Yeah Yeah!! As the show began the crowd cheered in anticipation as they announced the first designer “Ashley Stewart.” As each model graced the runway with fashions fit for the curvy women. 

Read More, Scoop USA Media, March 15, 2019

4th Annual Founders Black Gala

Oh what a night! The 4th Annual Gala held on March 16, 2019 at the American Jewish Museum was an incredible evening filled with love, laughter and amazing African American men and women. Can you say sold out, that’s right the 4th Annual Gala was sold out and that was real! If you were one of those last minute responders, you missed it and you missed being in a room filled with genuinely kind, humble and loving people, not to mention the OPEN BAR and CATERED MEAL! The Theme for the Gala was 'Building a Legacy' and I thank Dorothy E. Brunson Foundation, the first African American women to own a TV station, for allowing us the opportunity to carry on her legacy. Had it not been for her contributions to media I would not have been able to be the Executive Producer of Urban X-pressions along with her son Edward Brunson. I’m honored and grateful to be the receipient of the Media Mogul Award presented by The Founders. To God Be the Glory!! Receiving honors and awards for the work you love is incredible and I am grateful to those who thought of me. I appreciate you! Thank you to the Founders and HEAT 100 Radio’s, Simply Monica! I personally would like to thank Monica Mason for all of her love and support. She is a powerhouse in the media industry and the owner of Heat 100 Radio station. She was a sponsor and women of purpose alumni who was one of the presenters at this year’s Black Gala Awards. I could go on and on about this event, but I’d rather you hear from the Founders and some of the award recipients.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, March 22, 2019

Leaving Still Here: The Stage Play focused on Mental Illness

Community Education Center located at 3500 Lancaster Ave, is the home of PQRadio1.com however inside you will also find a charming performing arts theatre. This weekend; writer and director Sherod Lee-Smallman of IDNI Productions had a sold out crowd for the stage play “Leaving Still Here.” “Leaving Still Here” is a moving stage play that explores the difficulties, issues, and struggles of a family dealing with the realities of mental illness as well as the social stigmas associated with schizophrenia. Paranoid Schizophrenia is a battle thousands of families fight every day. However, in our communities it’s not a topic of common discussion. A lot of families think they have to secretly go through the fight in fear of being ridiculed or shunned. The main characters of this play Sean and Kay are a married couple who deal with mental illnesses within their family. Kay and her family has hidden her struggle with schizophrenia from her husband for years. When it comes to dating we seem to miss some of the red flags that arise because we are in love.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, March 29, 2019

You want to be a comedian? There’ a college for that! Philadelphia Comedy College

You want to be a comedian? There’s a College for that! Philadelphia Comedy College. People often ask us “What happened to Urban X-pressions? The answer is nothing happened we are all still here expressing ourselves in different forms and still coming together to do special projects for Urban X-pressions. You’ve seen KeithFromUpDaBlock on Dr. Phil, on stage with Jay Z and for many years he was the host and creative director of Urban X-pressions but now he is the founder of The Philadelphia Comedy College. Contributing writer Nathanial Lee had the opportunity to sit in on a few classes to get the full vision behind the Philadelphia Comedy College.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, April 19, 2019

Simply Monica celebrates six years in Media


Monica Mason aka Simply Monica is Owner of Heat100radio, Radio and Reality TV Personality, Motivation Speaker, Artist Consultant; committed to setting and achieving what most think can never be achieved, through hard work and dedication; we can do anything as long as God comes FIRST.

Simply Monica is not only owner of Heat 100 Radio she is also the award winning host of the Morning Rush that airs daily on her station, Heat 100 Radio. Monica is one of the most supporter sista/friends one can have, and she is an absolute motivator. Today, I’m happy to celebrate Simply Monica’s sixth year in Media.

Read More, Scoop USA Media, April 26, 2019

Entertainment Guideline Girls Grand Opening on Germantown Ave

Where is the book? It’s sold out; yet again! As supporters entered the brand new office for Guideline Girls; everyone wanted to get a copy of the 2018/2019 Best Selling Book “He Can Be Faithful.” The books keep selling out according to Author Kel’li Sherrene. However, you can preorder them and they will be here next week. Congratulations Kel’li, what an awesome feeling to have books selling out!! I got my copy!!! The honors keep coming for Kel’li Sherrene, she received the 2019 Founders “The Community Cares” award and 2019 Women of Excellence Local Sheroes award by WDAS. Kel’li doesn’t want to keep all this “Black Girl Magic” to herself. Her motto, “We seek to produce a nation of informed leaders, build opportunities and cultivate legacies.” 

Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 10, 2019