Charlotte P. Morris, who has been part of the staff at Tuskegee University for more than 25 years, was recently named the interim president of the institution. Morris is the first female to hold the position of president of the university.

Famed music ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock, recently released a song entitled, “Are We A Nation” as part of the fight against Arizona’s new immigration law SB1070. The legislation allows officers to interrogate individuals suspected of being in the country illegally. Sweet Honey in the Rock is known for their conscious musical selections that document happenings in the world.

Edwin Edebiri created the “I Am Happy Project”, a non-profit charitable organization that encourages people to shift focus to faith, family and friends in the midst of the recession. The organization will hold its first Global Happiness Summit Oct. 10.

District of Columbia
Singer and actor Tyrese Gibson set aside time from taping his newest film “Transformers 3” recently to talk to students at Ferebee-Hope Community School Complex, one of the nation’s largest dropout prevention programs, about the importance of education and its positive impact on his life. He also to helped pass out certificates of completion at the school’s 21st Century Community Learning Center Afterschool Program’s commencement ceremony.

The 2010 Servant Leaders Awards Dinner at Atlanta Technical College Institute for Males Call to Action Conference recognized Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves, Providence Missionary Baptist Church pastor Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley and NBA Hall of Fame Referee and ATC Advisory Board member Ken Hudson.
Former ambassador and civil rights icon Andrew Young served as the keynote speaker.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation recently shut down seven banks in Illinois, some of which are African American owned, which brings the number of banks that have failed this year to 57 nationwide. Last year, 140 banks failed, and the FDIC speculates that this year’s numbers will surpass that. In 2007, only three banks went under.

Gary Mayor Rudy Clay hopes building a museum honoring native son Michael Jackson will bring as many visitors as Elvis Presley’s Graceland does. Preliminary research indicates 500,000 to 750,000 visitors a year could visit Gary as a result of the development. Clay says the completed project could bring up to one million people to the city each year, noting that Jackson’s childhood home has seen a steady stream of visitors since his death last year.

More than 130 participants from all parts of New Orleans had the opportunity to embark on a 20-hour journey back to the past. The second annual Birmingham trip took New Orleans youth to Birmingham, Ala. to teach them about baseball and civil rights. They learned first-hand about an important chapter of U.S. history, including the struggles encountered by so many, and the importance of equality, both on and off the playing field. The trip was sponsored by New Orleans City Council President, Arnie Fielkow, who himself came into public office with a vast background in sports.

Baltimore recently hosted the African American Heritage Festival complete with live performances, historical exhibits and art that highlights Baltimore’s rich Black influence. Musical performances included the sounds of Ryan Leslie, Robin Thicke, Patti LaBelle, the Sears Choir and Donnie McClurkin.

Detroit school board President Otis Mathis, who was accused of fondling himself in public, has admitted in engaging in “inappropriate actions.” Detroit Public School police were investigating allegations by school Superintendent Teresa Gueyser, that during a recent 5 p.m. meeting, Mathis touched himself for 20 minutes then unzipped his pants. Gueyser said the incident was not the first and that there had been a long history of inappropriate behavior. Mathis resigned following the incident, effective immediately. In his resignation letter, he cited health issues as the reason for his resignation. However, he is seeking to rescind his resignation.

About 150 Canada geese, which were to be euthanized, will instead be moved from the Ross Barnett Reservoir to a sanctuary. Apparently, the people who run the reservoir wanted these birds euthanized due to the mess they were leaving. However, the United States Department of Agriculture will likely move the birds to a farm in either Warren County or South Mississippi. The owners volunteered their land for the birds. Relocation may not be a permanent solution for these geese, because there is a possibility that some of the birds will likely fly back to their home on the reservoir as quickly as they are taken away.

Liberian refugee Junior Harry, who is now 19, has overcome war, prison, solitude, grief and pain in his short life. In April 2007, Harry performed his first rap at a show through the International Playground Performing Arts Group for refugee teens. However, four days after the show, he was arrested for statutory rape and was placed in St. Louis City Justice Center, an adult jail, at age 16. The arrest came because he had a child with his 14- year-old girlfriend, and her parents were not pleased and decided to press charges against him. However, if his lawyers could prove he was 16 rather than 18, like his birth certificate said, he would have been placed in a juvenile detention center. Due to a language barrier, his grandmother was unable to tell immigration officials his correct birthday when he was brought to the U.S. in 2004.

New York
God is a Brown Girl Too, an organization dedicated to providing women of color with lessons in self-love, self-esteem and self-empowerment, recently held its “Awakening to Love” retreat at the Mariandale Retreat Center in Westchester County. It featured workshops and hands-on activities geared to promote unconditional love of themselves for women of color.

American Idol winner Ruben Studdard gave a free performance recently at John Hay High School. In addition to his performance, Studdard spoke about the importance of education and how we can best support youth today. The event was hosted by Open Doors Academy, a developmental enrichment academy designed to provide a safe and nurturing environment. Open Doors promotes emotional, social, academic, and developmental fulfillment for middle school students.

The annual Portland Juneteenth celebration, with its Freedom Parade occurred over Father’s Day weekend. During the event, Rep. Lew Frederick served as grand marshall and Mayor Sam Adams took the time to introduce new Portland Police Chief Mike Reese. Miss Black Oregon, Sable Scott, and Multnomah County Commission candidate Loretta Smith also appeared during the celebration. A gospel concert was also held. Portland State University, also took this time to host the Day of the African Child 2010, which supports progress toward health and the education of African children.

South Carolina
More than 100,000 South Carolina residents voted for Alvin Green-an unemployed man who is currently facing felony charges for pornography, has never given a campaign speech, has no website, and no signs posted around the state-yet somehow, he still has managed to become the Democratic party nominee for the U.S Senate. Skepticism and speculation have arisen, and people believe that he may be a Republican party plant. Because Green spent virtually no money on his campaign, and there is only $114 in his campaign bank account, there will be investigation into the source of the 10,000 ballot fee.

The Cy-Fair Chapter/ National Women of Achievement hosted the Sister II Sister Health and Wellness Breakfast to better inform the public about women’s issues. Eighty participants attended the event that was filled with not only health tips, but also humor, inspiration and a meal.