Here’s a look at African American people and issues making headlines throughout the country.

California
Yvette Hollingsworth was recently named chief compliance officer for Wells Fargo & Co. Hollingsworth, who most recently served as managing director and global head of operations compliance and financial crimes compliance & risk management for Barclays Corporate & Investment Bank, will begin her new role on June 1, 2012. Hollingsworth will be based in San Francisco, and will report to Caryl Athanasiu, executive vice president and chief operational risk officer in the corporate risk group. As chief compliance officer, Hollingsworth will be responsible for ensuring that all areas of the company meet compliance management responsibilities and abide by all applicable laws and regulations. Her team will continue to provide independent oversight of business-based compliance management activities.

District of Columbia
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) issued the following statement after the Senate voted to confirm Los Angeles attorney Paul Watford to serve on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals: “It is great news that the Senate has confirmed Paul Watford, an exceptionally talented attorney, to serve on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He has a breadth of experience as a former prosecutor and a top appellate litigator and will make an excellent addition to the federal bench. However, I am very disappointed that more of my Republican colleagues did not join us in backing this highly qualified nominee.” When Watford is sworn in, he will be only the second African American serving on the Ninth Circuit.

Florida
South Florida will hold the 2nd annual Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) “Distinguished Young Leader” (DYL) Awards on June 7. This event will be held at the Westin Colonnade in Coral Gables, Fla., and will feature a dinner and cocktail reception, followed by an awards program. Calvin Hughes of ABC Local Channel 10 will be the host for the evening and the event co-chairs are Shelia Dudley, Burger King’s director of inclusion & community engagement, and Ira Hall, retired financial executive. The 2nd Annual South Florida Distinguished Young Leader Awards is part of a nationwide effort to inform the broader community about the Thurgood Marshall Fund, its member schools/programs, and to raise funds to aid scholars who attend any of the TMCF institutions law and medical schools. The DYL honorees are outstanding local individuals under 45 years old who are deserving of community recognition for their efforts in the South Florida area, as well as in their career fields.
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South Florida native Jonathan Spikes, 42, recently read from his new novel, “I Know What I Am and I Am Not What You Call Me” during a book-signing party at the African American Research Library and Cultural Center in Fort Lauderdale. Spikes is a multi-talented writer and respected youth advocate who speaks to the core of readers. “I Know What I Am and I Am Not What You Call Me” is the story of Damon McBlessed, a young man who is constantly at war with himself as he attempts to define who he is, not only to himself, but to God, his family and his culture.

Massachusetts
The family of disco songstress Donna Summer, who was responsible for hits such as “Last Dance,” “Love to Love You Baby” and “Bad Girl,” released a statement, saying Summer that they “are at peace celebrating her extraordinary life and her continued legacy. Words truly can’t express how much we appreciate your prayers and love for our family at this sensitive time,” the statement read.

New Jersey
Energy Edge Technologies Corp. recently announced that Benjamin Chavis has accepted an advisory board and consulting position with the company. Over the past 40 years, the corporation said, “Chavis has become one of the world’s most effective leaders and strategists, having served previously as the executive director and CEO of the NAACP and currently working with a variety of organizations, including the United Nations, to further develop renewable and sustainable energy sources.” In the 1960s, Chavis worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in North Carolina and throughout the South, and has since been a leader of humanitarian, civil rights, environmental, and economic development causes around the world. He also has a degree in chemistry from the University of North Carolina and has been a leader with Environmental Justice Movement. President Clinton appointed Chavis in 1994 to serve on the President’s Council for Sustainable Development, which focused on enhancing the nation’s energy, economic and environmental policies.

Oklahoma
Prime Time Promotions LLC has released Entertainer Jammin’ Jay Lamont’s new DVD project entitled “Entertainer Jay Lamont Live Back Down Memory Lane.” Originally released on Feb 15, 2012, the DVD reportedly sold out, but more have just arrived. On the DVD, Jay performs parody music from such artists such as Ronald Isley, Patti LaBelle, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Anita Baker and many more. As an impressionist, he impersonates some of the greatest entertainers of yesterday and today such as Prince, Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross and even President Barack Obama.

International
A South African art gallery that exhibited an explicit painting of president Jacob Zuma with his genital exposed has come under fire for the depiction. This week, the Goodman Gallery announced it was temporarily closing due to threats of violence. In addition, according to Lara Koseff, spokeswoman for the gallery, the artwork titled “The Spear,” was defaced by vandals early Tuesday. The work by Cape Town artist Brett Murray has divided South Africa and ignited a debate on artistic freedom. The African National Congress had sued the gallery to remove the painting and the newspaper City Press to make it remove a picture of the work from its website. The painting depicted President Zuma posed like Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin with his pants unzipped and genitals exposed. The two men who defaced the painting were arrested and charged with malicious damage.
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Africland is a social network that is meant for Africans, both in the continent and the Diaspora. This site offers an opportunity for people with African ancestry to link up, learn and network with one another all over the globe. Launched on April 7, the site reportedly has had positive feedback. Founder and administrator Lorenzo Were said he came up with the idea after realizing how out of touch African descendants were with each other and seeing the misconceptions, misunderstandings and suspicion they have of one another. Were said he knew that not everyone was in a position to travel back and forth between the continents to interact and network, so he thought it best to bring the networking and interaction into homes. The site is intended to bring more of cultural awareness, professional and business networking that would lead to development among the African families both in the continent and abroad, he said.

compiled by Juliana Norwood