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Kym Whitley to host Merge Summit; Jessye Norman awarded Spingarn Medal; Mossvile residents get relocated

OW Staff Writer | 7/25/2013, midnight
African American news briefs for the week of July 23, 2013.

Louisiana

The people of Mossville, living in the shadow of chronic toxic chemicals exposure from 14 petrochemical facilities, will have the opportunity to voluntarily relocate, according to a statement announced by the South Africa-based energy and chemicals company Sasol. Mossville is a historic African American community located in the southwest portion of the state. A Sasol representative announced plans to introduce the Voluntary Property Purchase Program. A third party contractor, Community Interaction Consulting Inc. (CIC), will administer the program, opening an office in the community in early August and will launch a website to provide program specifics, timelines and contact information. Sasol has said that CIC will host small-group information sessions at the program office for prospective participants around mid-August.

Illinois

First Lady Michelle Obama and Mayor Rahm Emanuel will visit Urban Alliance Chicago, a year-long career education and employment program for underserved high school seniors that enriches students’ lives through paid internships, formal training, and mentoring. The visit is part of the Obama’s focus on youth empowerment and providing more opportunities for young people to achieve their full potential. Over the course of the year, Urban Alliance students participate in more than 750 hours of work and professional development training. In its first year in Chicago, Urban Alliance served 71 students from six Chicago Public High Schools in south and southwest neighborhoods with a 100 percent high school graduation rate and more than 95 percent of students college-bound this fall.

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Alia Jones-Harvey

New York

Stephen C. Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey of Front Row Productions have joined the team of producers for the Broadway revival of “Romeo and Juliet,” which is set to open at the Richard Rodgers Theatre this fall. The award-winning producers will join Susan Bristow in presenting this retelling of one of William Shakespeare’s best known and most beloved plays. International film star Orlando Bloom (“The Lord of the Rings”) and two-time Tony Award nominee Condola Rashad (“Stick Fly,” “The Trip to Bountiful”) will play the star-crossed lovers in this new production of Romeo and Juliet, which will be directed by five-time Tony Award nominee David Leveaux (“Arcadia,” “Cyrano de Bergerac,” “Nine,” “The Glass Menagerie,” “Jumpers”). The production also features Tony Award nominees Jayne Houdyshell (“Follies,” “Dead Accounts”) as the nurse and Tony Award winner Chuck Cooper (“The Life,” “Chicago,” “Finian’s Rainbow”) as Lord Capulet. The new production will mark the first time in 36 years that “Romeo and Juliet” will be produced on Broadway.

National

Students looking for a virtual internship position in the healthcare field are encouraged to apply for a Zuriworks for Women’s Health internship. The position is looking for online community manager interns who can work from home. Interns will be involved in efforts to increase communications and knowledge of Zuriworks, a new organization that provides support services to women affected by cancer. Responsibilities will include various activities that connect the organization to communities. Interns may write articles and blogs, manage Facebook and Twitter editorial schedules and podcasts, and attend weekly virtual team meetings. Interns work 10 hours per week and are unpaid. The internships are from August through October. Applicants must have good writing, communication and interpersonal skills. They must have a strong desire to contribute to a health advocacy environment. Strong computer skills and a knowledge of social media are necessary. For more details about this internship and/or to apply, visit: FindInterships website.

Compiled by Juliana Norwood.