Vanessa Williams. (31142)


A majority of the board of directors of the National Conference of Black Mayors (NCBM) has called for the resignation of the organization’s executive director, Vanessa Williams, after receipt of initial findings from a forensic audit report. The audit was ordered by the board, along with creation of a Special Task Force, in May to identify legal, operational, and financial issues of the NCBM. This action followed the election of Mayor Kevin Johnson as president; he has vowed to restore transparency and accountability to the 39-year-old organization. Previously, Williams and former NCBM president Mayor Robert Bowser were found to have not acted in “good faith” by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Christopher Brasher who ordered them to release records they had withheld from the audit and pay attorney’s fees of the new leadership of the NCBM which had to file a lawsuit to obtain the records.


Two members of Xavier University of Louisiana’s board of trustees—Dwight Bush Sr., and Carla Harris—have been nominated by President Barack Obama for positions in his administration. Bush, president of D.L. Bush and Associates, a financial advisory and business consulting firm in Washington, D.C., has been named U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco. The nomination must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Harris, vice chairman of Global Wealth Management, managing director, and senior client advisor at Morgan Stanley, has been appointed chairperson of the National Women’s Business Council, a non-partisan federal government council created to serve as an independent source of advice and counsel to the president, Congress and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women entrepreneurs.


Maryland health officials announced this week that they will partner with the Baltimore Ravens football team this fall to help spread the word about Obamacare and the state’s health insurance marketplace that will allow consumers to shop for health insurance starting in October. The Baltimore Ravens have previously been involved in promoting Maryland health efforts including a 2008 expansion of Medicaid. Research conducted for the state suggests 71 percent of uninsured people watched, attended or listened to a Baltimore Ravens game in the past 12 months. About 800,000, or 14 percent of the state’s population of 5.8 million, is uninsured. 

New York

A 1-year-old Brooklyn boy was killed by a bullet that police sources say, was intended for his father. Antiq Hennis was riding in his stroller when the shot pierced his head just a block from the family’s Riverdale Ave. home, cops and witnesses said. The child’s father Anthony Hennis — the intended target, according to law enforcement sources and family members — was unharmed. At least four shots rang out. The child was the only person hit. Antiq was rushed to Brookdale University Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The Harlem School of the Arts (HSA) hosts its 2014-14 open house at The Herb Alpert Center, 5 St. Nicholas Ave., on Saturday, Sept. 7 from 12-4 p.m. HSA faculty and students will be on hand to share details about the new school year, and will offer free, 30-minute introductory classes in music, dance, theater, visual arts, and musical theater to give attendees the chance to try something new before enrollment. The free event will also feature performances and other activities.

North Carolina

An African American pastor in Charlotte is being accused of racism after she sent an email asking that only White members of the congregation stand in front of the church to greet newcomers. The email, sent by Pastor Makeda Pennycooke of the Freedom House Church, claimed that with fall being a time for heavy influx of newcomers, White members should come forward in order to “give a good first impression to new visitors.” Pennycooke sent out a second email apologizing for the racist implications of her original email.


The International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC) trains ICTC Full Circle Doulas to serve as birth companions in labor and postpartum care and to provide emotional support, support good nutrition and exercise, and the use of traditional comfort measures to assist mothers and their partners for a happy and healthy pregnancy. The doula philosophy, “It takes a village to nurture the pregnant woman,” is a spin-off of the African Proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Studies have shown that when pregnant women feel supported by their community, they have reduced stress and a healthier pregnancy experience. The ICTC is looking to train African American, high quality, professional doulas in the physiology of birth and traditional comfort measures to improve the birth experience for all women. Visit to register.


On the heels of the 50th anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and the March on Washington, renowned civil rights and social justice leaders and scholars will be at Southern Methodist University (SMU) to discuss the future. The event themed, “The End of Civil Rights in America? Reflections on the Future of Economic Justice from the Perspectives of Law and Religion” will be held Friday, Sept. 6, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Karcher Auditorium, SMU Dedman School of Law Storey Hall, 3315 Daniel Ave., Dallas. The day-long symposium will focus on efforts to overcome economic injustices tied to racial inequality; and examine what work still needs to be done. Rev. James Lawson, a legendary civil rights activist who worked closely with King and was influential in shaping the movement’s nonviolent resistance strategy, is the keynote speaker.


The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, a global leader in providing programs, products, and services that empower educators to support the success of each learner, has released the book “Closing the Attitude Gap” by award-winning educator and best-selling education author Baruti K. Kafele. “Attitude is everything,” explains Kafele, and “closing the attitude gap that affects underperforming students is a precursor to closing the achievement gap.” In this book, Kafele draws from more than two decades of experience working in inner-city schools to help K-12 educators focus on five areas that will help them achieve remarkable results for their students. Readers will focus on their attitude toward students, their relationship with students, their compassion for students, the learning environment, and cultural relevance in instruction. A motivational guide for all educators of underperforming students, “Closing the Attitude Gap” explains how to get results by first helping students develop a foundational “attitude of excellence.”


Over the past 18 years, Prudential Spirit of Community Awards have been given to more than 100,000 middle and high school students for helping the less fortunate, promoting health and safety, protecting the environment, and serving their communities through volunteer activities. Today the search begins to identify thousands more who have made meaningful contributions to their communities over the past 12 months, as the awards program kicks off its 19th year. These awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial Inc. in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), honor outstanding community service by students in grades 5 through 12 at the local, state and national level. Volunteers can apply online at or at Applications must be completed by Nov. 5, and then submitted to a middle or high school principal, Girl Scout council, county 4-H agent, American Red Cross chapter, YMCA or HandsOn Network affiliate.

The 2013-2014 Denny’s Hungry For Education Scholarship program is back, and aims to recognize students by awarding deserving high school and college students with scholarships for their ideas to help Denny’s efforts to fight childhood hunger. The scholarships will be given away in partnership with many organizations in 12 states including the Tom Joyner Foundation, Urban League of the Upstate (South Carolina), and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). For the Tom Joyner Foundation scholarships, the applicant must be a full-time enrolled student, and have one of the qualifying declared majors—business management, accounting, marketing, hospitality management or food science. He/she must also have a demonstrated financial need, and be in good academic standing. For the Urban League scholarships, applicants must be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. Grades and academic performance will serve as indicators of potential; however, an emphasis may be placed on the individual’s essay submission. For more details about the Denny’s Hungry For Education Scholarship program, visit:

Compiled by Juliana Norwood.