50th Commemoration of MLK’s Freedom Walk

 Martiin Luther King III, Rev. Al Sharpton, Roslyn M. Brock and Rev. Jesse Jackson (2nd-R) march in the 50th Anniversary Commemorative Freedom Walk June 22, 2013

Martiin Luther King III, Rev. Al Sharpton, Roslyn M. Brock and Rev. Jesse Jackson (2nd-R) march in the 50th Anniversary Commemorative Freedom Walk June 22, 2013

On June 22, 2013, thousands were asked to “Take a Step” in the 50th anniversary march in honor of the original Walk to Freedom/Freedom Walk led in Detroit by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I was able to be one of the thousands, with the Rainbow PUSH Youth League… [Yay Road trip!] Martin Luther King III, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton participated in Saturday’s march and rally.

SONY DSCIT was a day that was of great importance to experience the walk and also the rally after. One common theme was the road is not yet over. The fight is not yet won and all that Dr King fought wanted in this walk is not yet over.

Detroit is still in state of need of reconstruction. There is much progress needed.

“If you don’t take the march to Lansing, if you don’t take the march to D.C., if you don’t take the march to your own neighborhood – then marching don’t mean nothing,” said President of the Detroit branch of the NAACP, Reverend Wendell Anthony.

But Why Detroit?

On that day 50 years ago, in what is considered to be the original debut of his now-famous “I Have a Dream Speech,” King told tens of thousands of people that it was time for the government and society to get serious about providing opportunities and parity in employment, education, housing and the overall quality of life for persons of color.

It was great to be apart of something like this and to be able to discuss it with people my age after. It was also a learning experience to be able to organize this trip (of course with help) and to see that our generation can mobilize and is ready to lead.

Celebrating #42 Jackie Robinson

feature_jackieTonight like many nights was a night to remember! I was able to celebrate Jackie Robinson day with the Chicago Cubs in Wrigley Park. Jackie Robinson’s legacy was memorialized on April 15, 2013, by fans, players and Major League Baseball, marking the 66th anniversary of the Hall of Famer breaking baseball’s color barrier. For the fifth consecutive year, all uniformed personnel at 15 different ballparks were asked to wear Jackie’s retired #42.

Where red heels have never gone before! on the field

Where red heels have never gone before! on the field

This year was especially a great time to remember Jackie Robinson as recently his movie 42 came out this month.  Baseball legends were announced and greeted the Jackie Robinson scholarship recipients. Reverend Jesse Jackson threw the first pitch in this historic game. During the game there was a reception where sports favorites such as Ernie Banks,  Billy Williams and Richard Dent (NFL), attended the reception along with Tom Ricketts, Rev Jackson & his family. The Rainbow PUSH Coalition also invited the family of the 15-year-old killed from King High School , Hadiya Pendleton, who attended the game and reception.

It was also a great experience to walk to my car with ex NFL Player Richard Dent. You get special treatment when you are with certain people. Sad, but true. I was even invited inside of a fire station while walking with him (guess they though I was his daughter). Meh… What a way to end the night.

WVON 50th anniversary

This year I was honored to go to the 50th Anniversary of WVON! How amazing! The historic program featured top personalities who shared the WVON Story and featured a performance by Grammy Award winning R&B Artist, Toni Braxton. Many came out to celebrate the city’s pre-eminent African-American radio station marking its 50th anniversary.

“This is an absolutely incredible night,” said WVON President Melody Spann Cooper. “It’s spectacular. It brings tears to my eyes.”

The star-studded gala was a veritable who’s who of Chicago’s African American community, as well as its entertainers, and politicians. And yay me! I was there!

Good Food + Good FoIks = Good Fun

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 9.57.10 AMThe Good Food Festival and Conference is the leading food event in the country! It includes a Financing Conference, Trade Show, School Foodand Food Policy Summits, and a Saturday Festival that celebrates Good Food. There truly was something for everyone! 

Last week, on Impresario Radio we spoke with Jim Slama from Familyfarmed.org. Slama is the creator of this awesome festival, has  desire to promote environmental sustainability. His mission is to expand the distribution and production of locally grown produced food to enhance not only our consciousness, but the health of our communities. [Listen to that Show Here]

I went to the Saturday Festival with my co-host of Impresario Radio, the Downtown Diva and had a blast! The festival and conference brought together the “best of the best” in global brands like Google and Clif Bar, celebrity chefs such as Paul Virant and Rick Bayless, local  farmers from around the Midwest, game-changing businesses like Door to Door Organics, and scrumptious vegan restaurants (The Chicago Diner and B’Gabs Goodies) to further the conversation surrounding how we must transform our eating as well as thinking as it relates to power food and produce.  

Paul Virant pickling turnips!

Paul Virant pickling turnips!

I was able to go to some amazing workshops  to watch and learn about making cheese at home and also pickling from the awesome chef Paul Virant. During the festival, we talked with Jim Slama again about how fantastic the event was Saturday.

 

 

Speaking Out Against Gun Violence: A Press Conference.

Mayor Emanuel looks at the people standing with him against gun violence who have lost loved ones in his city.

Mayor Emanuel looks at the people standing with him against gun violence who have lost loved ones in his city.

January 3rd I was on the first line of seeing some of chicago prominent figures discuss the need for gun control in the city. After the Homicide rate was already outpacing that of 2012 in the first week of 2013, something had to be said…. Even more something had to be done. While I have not known anyone in my personal circle that has lost a loved one due to the horrific tragedy lack of gun control has caused, I feel deeply hurt every time I hear if another shooting. And even more hurt when the mother of a victim fights back tears as she talks about her would be 25-year-old son… (the same age I will soon turn next month)… But I digress…

The press conference, January 3rd 2013, was held at Saint Sabina Church. During this time Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced their new plans for Chicago’s community policing program and also their desire for gun control…

“Gun Control not Guns taken away” says McCarthy

McCarthy believes that with stronger gun control people will not be able to legally buy guns in bulk and then illegally sell them to others where they are used in crimes then face no consequences if they say.. “oh the gun was stolen”. A brief clip of McCarthy speaking is in the Youtube Video following this post.

One point McCarthy, Emanuel, Reverend Jesse L. Jackson and Father Michael Pfleger all agreed upon was that assault weapons were not needed period.

“high-capacity magazines are not designed to hunt animals but to hunt humans”

Behind the four promenant figures stood the some families of the some 500+ victims in the city of Chicago killed due to gun violence in 2012. Many held pictures or momentos of their lost loved onces. This image and the though behind who each victim was, the family they left behind, their children.. and their “what-if” stories should be enough to touch anyone’s heart.

“Chicago is the scene of this international crisis. Now we have Guns in jobs out we need more from the police, we need home land security.” – Rev Jackson

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BUFI Awards Gala

An event titled Celebrating the Year of the Man is an night any girl would dream of attending… It is an celebration full of successful MEN! But on a more serious note this event was truly inspirational.

Black United Fund of Illinois hosted the night to celebrate the Living Legends and also those to whom they were passing the torch.

Some of the recipients of the Ember awards with Emcee Darlene Hill of Fox News Chicago

During the reception the Ember Awards were given to Author Dr Khalil Gabran Muhammad, Chef Clifford Rome, ESPN Columnist Robert ‘Scoop’ Jackson, Kurt Summers, Dr Gerrard McClendon, Sharif Walker, Radio Host Kendall Moore and Carl West.  Later in the evening the Torchbearers (aka Living Legends) were celebrated with a short presentation of their many accomplishments. These Torchbearers include: Abe Thompson, Richard Barnett and Mack I. Julion.

This night was full of great appetizers, deserts and a full meal by the Rome’s Joy

Some of the appetizers for the night

Catering and the Parkway Ballroom staff. Besides the awards the night’s festivities also included a silent auction to benefit BUFI.  This is a wonderful idea for BUFI to celebrate the Black Community’s legends while they are living and I look forward to attending the event in the future.

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For More Pictures of the BUFI Event visit the Facebook Album.