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Exclusive Interview With Author/Jurist: Michelle T. Johnson J.D. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Friday, 28 September 2012 19:27

Michelle T. Johnson was born and grew up in Kansas City (in the state of Kansas). She wears many hats: diversity consultant, certified mediator, speaker, legal analyst and writer. She was also a former journalist and a labor lawyer for several years. More specifically about her journalistic path, Michelle T. Johnson received her degree in this field in 1986. She became a commentator on National Public Radio (“NPR”) and a diversity columnist in the Business section of the Kansas City, Missouri’s daily newspaper as of January 2008 called “Diversity Diva”. She also worked as a newspaper journalist at the Philadelphia Daily News, the Louisville Courier-Journal and the Austin American-Statesman.

Michelle T. Johnson attended the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, where in 1994 she was named by the Missouri Supreme Court as the Top Moot Court Oralist of her law school. She received her juris doctorate in 1995 from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. From 1995 till 1999, she was a law associate for Husch Blackwell Sander LLC, one of the largest firms in Missouri.  From 2000 until 2003, she held the position of counsel attorney for Fisher & Phillips. From 2006 until 2010, she was an independent contractor/legal analyst for the law firm Shook Hardy Bacon. She also represented companies and organizations in employment litigation, such as Hallmark Cards, the Kansas City, Missouri School Districts, Deffenbaugh Industries, DST, Kansas City Power and Light, and Interstate Brands Corporation (IBC). Johnson did mediations for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Missouri Human Relations Department and private mediations, etc. Morevover, she has been appointed by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to be a member of its Kansas Advisory Committee. Later, she opened her own law firm and briefly worked as a solo practitioner.

Michelle T. Johnson speaks on diversity issues and conducts diversity workshops for several organizations, businesses and colleges across the country, including H&R Block, Hallmark Cards, and several municipalities. She is very open-minded and this year presented a workshop to ex-offenders who were preparing to enter the workforce. In other words, she offers her expertise to businesses of all kinds, schools, governments, organizations, and individuals who often need guidance in managing issues of diversity in their workplaces. In this regard, Johnson has a Diversity Diva Consulting firm which specializes in providing customized diversity training to fit the budget and goals of an organization or individual. It also mediates conflicts related to employment issues and conducts workplace investigations as well as helping organizations with their writing and communication needs.

Johnson, a certified mediator, is the author of articles and books on diversity, including the compelling Working While Black, published in 2004 and re-edited last year. The former president of Bennett College for women, Dr. Julianne Malveaux, wrote the foreword of this book. Dr. Cornel West endorsed Working While Black as did Keith H. Williamson, President of Pitney Bowes Global Credit Services, who was named by Fortune as one as the Top 50 Black executives in the U.S. This book, a career guide for African-American employees in the workplace, has been mentioned and reviewed in several national magazines.

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Exclusive Interview With The Political Veteran: Bobbie L. Steele PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 15:33

Mrs. Bobbie L. Steele wears many hats. She is a former president and commissioner (for the 2nd district of Cook County, the fifth largest employer in Chicago, Illinois), a community activist, a former teacher, a mother and grandmother. Mrs. Steele comes from the Lawndale Community of Chicago1 by way of Cleveland. She was born on October 18, 1937, in Mississippi, to Mary and Abraham Rodgers. She is the oldest of seven siblings. In 1954, the same year as the Brown2 case, which transformed the nation in terms of race relations, she graduated from Cleveland Colored Consolidated High School. Subsequently, she went to Alabama A. & M. College in Huntsville, Alabama two years before moving to Chicago in 1956. Mrs. Steele worked many odd jobs (in Chicago) to gain tuition so that she could return to college. During her lengthy job search, she met and espoused Robert Steele (a loving relationship that lasted 52 years until his death in 2009). The marriage did not stop Mrs. Steele from losing sight of her goal. After the birth of her first two children, Steele went to evening school at Chicago Teacher's College and after ten years of schooling and five additional children she finally accomplished her objective by receiving a B.S. Diploma in Elementary Education in 1966. She was determined to complete her degree by studying every night between 3 and 6 AM while everybody was sleeping. Seeing that Mrs. Steele was passionate about helping to educate children, she thought later of becoming an elementary school principal. Hence, she enrolled in Roosevelt University evening graduate program, where she got a Master's Degree in Supervision and Administration of Education in 1983.  In 1982, Mrs. Steele's teaching reputation and community organizing activities caught the attention of Congressman Harold Washington who wanted to run for Mayor of the City of Chicago. He picked Mrs. Steele as his running mate in the 24th Ward. When the late mayor of Chicago, Harold Washington was running for office, Mrs. Steele was one of the Deputy Registrars who gathered signatures. Thus, she became a major player in the Harold Washington mayoral campaign. Mrs. Steele didn’t win the election for Alderman, but was appointed by Mayor Washington to the Commission on Women Affairs for the city of Chicago. As a member of the commission, Mrs. Steele could interact with females from all over the city and was soon asked by Cook County Democratic Women to run for Commissioner on the Cook County Board.

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Exclusive Interview With One Of The Top Cardiologists In The U.S.: Dr. Manshadi MD PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Friday, 07 September 2012 16:06

Dr. Ramin Manshadi, MD, FACC, FSCAI, FAHA, FACP is an Interventional Cardiologist who treats patients from prevention to intervention. He is a CMA (California Medical Association) member since 2001. He is a Board-Certified physician with the American Board of Interventional Cardiology, American Board of Cardiology. He combines private practice with Academic Medicine. Presently, he serves as Associate Clinical Professor at UC Davis Medical Center and as Clinical Professor at University of the Pacific among other positions. In addition, he is the Chair of Media Relations for American College of Cardiology, California Chapter.

The multi-faceted physician is licensed and certified in nuclear medicine, a subspecialty of radiology. In this regard, he is a member of the American Board of Nuclear Cardiology.

It is noteworthy to mention that in his practice, he likes to use innovative tests. For instance, he was the first cardiologist in Stockton to offer MTWA (Microvolt T-wave alternans) and one of the first to provide CVP (Cardiovascular profiling). The MTWA test helps identify the risk of life-threatening heart rhythm problems that can lead to sudden cardiac death. CVP is used to assess a patient’s cardiovascular health, and determines their risk for blockages in the arteries and/or heart attack. In addition, Dr. Manshadi is known to offer state-of-the-art interventional procedures that are excellent alternatives to open-heart surgery and carotid artery surgery, which are long-proven and highly successful.  The competencies of Dr. Manshadi in his intervention include cardiac catheterization, coronary artery stenting, renal artery stenting, iliac stenting, drug-eluting stents, balloon angioplasty, pacemaker implantation and defibrillator implantation. Dr. Manshadi performs interventional procedures — the majority of which are done on an outpatient basis — at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Dameron Hospital.

The physician is also known for his expertise in athletic heart evaluation.  He has provided outstanding care to more than 10,000 patients in and around Stockton. Dr. Manshadi intends to continue researching the latest advances in cardiology in order to provide the highest level of care possible.

Dr. Manshadi is open to the world. He speaks several languages: English, Spanish & Persian. Being multilingual is definitely a great asset for his practice. Moreover, he has a website http://www.drmanshadi.com/ which gives an innovative worldwide platform to share his expertise. The internauts can also connect with him via social media such as Facebook and Twitter. In addition, Dr. Manshadi has his blog and he is on LinkedIn.

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Exclusive Interview With The Librarian: Dr. Jessie Smith Ph.D PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Friday, 31 August 2012 15:52

Dr. Jessie Carney Smith was born on September 24, 1930 in rural North Carolina, the segregated South, during the Jim Crow era. She grew up after the onset of the Great Depression. Her parents, James and Vesona (Bigelow), graduated from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College. Her father had a small business in Greensboro, North Carolina. Dr. Smith, who also had a twin brother, is one of four children. She began her formal education in 1935, at the tender age of four, as a "primer" student in a schoolhouse part of the small community Mount Zion, near Greensboro. As a precocious child, she was double promoted from first grade to third grade and continued at Mount Zion through the seventh grade before going to James B. Dudley High School in Greensboro. 

Dr. Smith was raised with a strong work ethic and managed to turn adversity into opportunity during segregation. It is noteworthy to mention that despite segregation, Dr. Smith’s parents ensured that she and her siblings attended concerts, art exhibits, and other cultural events available to them in Greensboro. These experiences definitely shaped Dr. Smith and enabled her to develop a knowledge of different cultures. Not pursuing a higher education was not an option in Dr. Smith’s familial environment. In this regard, she attained degrees during a time when females, especially African-Americans, were not expected to achieve so well. She is the author of several publications: books, edited works and research articles. In addition, she is recognized for her work as a librarian and educator.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in home economics from North Carolina A&T and began graduate study at Cornell University. She soon married and had a son. She then attended Michigan State University where she obtained her master’s degree in 1955 in child development. She also received a master’s degree in library science from George Peabody College at Vanderbilt University in 1957, and a Ph.D. in library science from the University of Illinois in 1964. Dr. Smith distinguished herself by becoming the first African- American to receive a Ph.D. in library science from that institution, and she is part of the American intelligentsia. In addition to her outstanding academic accomplishments, Dr. Smith has managed to read two languages, French and German.

Dr. Smith was a consultant to the Office for Civil Rights in the desegregation of higher education institutions in Florida, Kentucky, Missouri and North Carolina. She also served as consultant and proposal reviewer for the U.S. Office of Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1965, she joined the library administration and faculty at Fisk University, succeeding Arna Bontemps as head librarian, and built a lifelong career. Later, she was named Dean of the Library. Other educators and librarians generally refer to her as “Dean of Black Libraries.”

A widely published researcher and writer, Dr. Smith began exploring her passion for writing as a means of bridging the gaps in scholarship. Once she created a niche for herself in the American academic community, she immersed herself in researching the history of African-American people. Armed with a great pride of her heritage, she increasingly turned toward writing and editing books that showcased the accomplishments of Black individuals throughout history. She also espoused the habit of collecting news items that recorded the accomplishments and contributions of contemporary African Americans in America and abroad.

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN OLYMPIAN CHAMPION IN ALPINE SKIING: BONNIE ST. JOHN PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Friday, 17 August 2012 14:43

 

Mrs. Bonnie St. John is the first African-American to win medals in a Winter Paralympic competition as a ski racer. This accomplishment was the first for a Black Olympian whether for the Paralympic or Olympic. In the 1984 Winter Paralympics in Innsbruck, Austria, Mrs. St. John obtained a bronze medal in the slalom, a bronze medal in the giant slalom, and a silver medal for overall performance. Thus, she became the second fastest female in the world on one leg that year.

Mrs. St. John grew up in San Diego, C.A. She had pre-femoral focal disorder which resulted in the amputation of her right leg above the knee when she was 5-years-old. Despite this challenge, and thanks to her resilience, she excelled as an athlete, a scholar, a mother and a businesswoman. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1986. Mrs. St. John won the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship for Oxford University where she got her M.Litt. diploma in economics in 1990.

During the Clinton administration, she worked in the White House as Director of the National Economic Council. Mrs. St. John is the CEO of Courageous Spirit, Inc. She is also a best-selling author, having penned and published six books: Succeeding Sane: Making Room For Joy In A Crazy World, Getting Ahead At Work Without Living Your Family Behind, Money: Fall Down? Get Up!, How Strong Women Pray, Live Your Joy and How Great Women Lead.

In February 2007, Mrs. St. John was honored at the White House by President George W. Bush for Black History Month. The former President said: "[Mrs. Bonnie St. John] is the kind of person that you really want to be around, and the kind of person that shows that individual courage matters in life." She has been featured on a nationwide Starbucks beverage cup with the quote "I was ahead in the slalom. But in the second run, everyone fell on a dangerous spot. I was beaten by a woman that got up faster than I did. I learned that people fall down, winners get up, and gold medal winners just get up faster."

NBC Nightly News declared that Mrs. St. John is "One of the five most inspiring women in America". She was featured on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, Montel, Charles Kuralt, the Discovery Health Channel, The Tavis Smiley Show, etc. Leading publications such as The New York Times, People, Essence, Ebony, O magazines have profiled Mrs. St. John and noted her extraordinary achievements. Dennis Kimbro and Napoleon Hill’s best-seller, Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice tells the inspiring story of Mrs. St. John who is a highly sought motivational speaker and author.  She has won several awards. In this regard, she is an Essence honoree.

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A Tête-à-Tête With The CEO of FUBU: Daymond John PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Green   
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 15:44

 

"The new rules we passed restore what should be any financial system's core purpose: getting funding to entrepreneurs with the best ideas. ... After all, innovation is what America has always been about."

President Barack Obama State of the Union Address Jan. 24, 2012
* * *

Just before President Obama spoke to Congress and the nation in his State of the Union address, I sat down with Daymond John, founder of FUBU and one of the stars of the ABC reality show, "Shark Tank," to talk about entrepreneurship, angel investing, job growth, education and... transforming Silicon Valley.

MG: Do you consider yourself an angel?

DJ: Yes, I do. I'm not friends and family and I'm not part of a venture fund.

MG: Steve Blank, professor of entrepreneurship at Stanford University, says without a culture of risk capital in Silicon Valley, the global innovation hub it has become would instead be little more than a place with a bunch of smart engineers working out of their garages. That speaks volumes about the value of risk capital investment in developing an innovation ecosystem. You are part of that ecosystem. How important do you think it is for job growth and wealth creation?

DJ: I think it is by far the most important aspect of our ecosystem to have risk-taking investors and (access to) capital. The reason people come to us is because guys like us do not have the restrictions and the same amount of requests that the banks and the financial institutions have.

We do risk investments and 10 percent of our capital ends up creating a return, and the return is greater than all the risks taken. But there's a lot of capital put into the system that traditionally would never be deployed to these startup companies and we never get a return on it.

These companies and individuals often don't have to risk a lot of their personal finances. And once we deploy the capital and things do not go well, they are still in a position to move forward and create different and new entities after learning what has happened in the past. So, for various reasons, I think it's extremely valuable.

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Exclusive Interview With Songstress: Rena Scott PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Tuesday, 26 June 2012 15:15

 

Mrs. Scott is a Detroit native. She started singing at age 12 for her local Baptist congregation. She won her first talent contest when she was 13 via a performance with The Temptations. Soon after, she had two to three gigs per night on weekends at local R&B clubs. She opened for well-known performers such as The Temptations (aforementioned), The Four Tops, The Originals and many others. She recorded her first song, “I Just Can’t Forget That Boy”, while she was in high school. The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin (also a Detroit native), made sure that giving her amazing voice Rena Scott would become her third backup singer for a few gigs. This experience allowed Rena Scott at 18 to perform for audiences at Carnegie Hall, etc. The young chanteuse loved the experience especially performing with an orchestra backing up one of her childhood idol. This opportunity fueled her musically and spiritually. People started to call her “Little Aretha”. She also did backup on Franklin’s albums.  Throughout the years, Rena Scott developed her own style, performing for crowds of over 50,000 people. The language barrier never mattered since music is a universal expression. Her public doesn’t need to understand English to be touched by her powerful soulful voice. In fact, music creates feelings and emotions that need no translation. She has appeared at top R&B and Jazz festivals in the U.S. and Europe, including the famous Montreux Jazz festival and Montrose musical events. She also performed with George Benson, Natalie Cole, Ashford & Simpson, etc.

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Exclusive Interview With Dr. Alvy Ph.D PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Sunday, 10 June 2012 17:07

        Clinton congratulating Dr.  Alvy for an Award for Enhancing the Status of Parents, National Parents' Day, Oval Office, 1995

 

 

Dr. Kerby T. Alvy has decades of experience in clinical child psychology.  His approach focuses on preventing child abuse, drug abuse, juvenile delinquency and other problems--often intertwined--in which parent-child relationships are deemed a crucial factor.  It is important to note that 2 million kids were abused and neglected in the U.S. in 2008 (1).  Thus, Dr.  Alvy, an advocate of the welfare of children, is the executive director of the Center for the Improvement of Child Caring (CICC), based in North Hollywood, California.  The Center provides help to more than 20, 000 parents a year.  Dr. Alvy lends his expertise on child rearing on a regular basis to government and civic bodies.  He also appears on television and radio programs on child, family and parent training issues. In addition, he serves as a consultant to governmental agencies, corporations, news departments, film and television companies on these matters. He is a frequent keynote speaker and workshop leader at events nationwide.

Over the years, Dr.  Alvy has created, delivered and disseminated model parent training programs. All of the activities and projects of the CICC are designed to bring coherence and strength to the nationwide Effective Parenting Movement in order to improve the overall quality of parenting in the United States.  He and his organization work primarily with African-American and Latino children.

Dr. Alvy has been a Principal Investigator on research projects sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.  He designed and advocated a federal government-led effective parenting initiative which he presented at a White House Briefing in December 2006.

Dr. Alvy has founded and directed several community service projects to increase parental effectiveness and reduce child abuse, drug abuse, juvenile delinquency, school failure and gang involvement. His projects have gained the support of various state and local funding agencies, and the support of over 75 private foundations and corporations, including the Ford Foundation, AT&T, Xerox, Annenberg, Mattel and Hearst.

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A Conversation With The Great Actress: Keshia Knight Pulliam PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kam Williams   
Friday, 01 June 2012 14:21


Born in Newark, New Jersey on April 9, 1979, Keshia Knight Pulliam entered showbiz at an early age, making TV commercials as a toddler and already landing a recurring role on Sesame Street by the age of 3. But it was on The Cosby Show that she wormed herself into America’s hearts as adorable Rudy Huxtable, the baby of the much-beloved television family.

In 1984, she earned an NAACP Image Award for her work on that celebrated series, and a couple of years after that she became the youngest actress ever to be nominated for an Emmy. When Cosby’s 8-year run ended, Keshia turned her attention to academics and eventually attending prestigious Spelman College in Atlanta where she majored in Sociology  (with a concentration in film) and graduated with honors 2001.

Soon after graduating, she returned to the limelight as a contestant on a couple of game shows, emerging victorious on celebrity versions of both Fear Factor and The Weakest Link. In an effort ostensibly-designed to shed her little girl image, Keshia next posed for a swimsuit/lingerie layout in Black Men’s Magazine in 2005.  Since then, she successfully made the transition back to acting, appearing in such movies as The Gospel, Beauty Shop and Death Toll, before returning to TV to join the cast of House of Payne. She won another NAACP Image Award for her performance on that Tyler Perry hit sitcom. Here, she talks about co-starring as Candace, a college student-turned-prostitute, in Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail, the #1 film at the box-office two weeks after its release.

[This interview was conducted in 2009] 

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Exclusive Interview With The First Novelist Of The Great Olympian Dr. John B. Taylor DVM: Craig Williams PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Sunday, 20 May 2012 16:17

A New Jersey native, author Craig T. Williams wore many hats before becoming a writer. At Syracuse University, Williams earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. He is equipped with 20 years of personal experience in the construction industry. He comes from a family unit of thriving entrepreneurs and started his uphill path working as a laborer in the family business precisely for his uncle during summers. He moved on to help build a new family enterprise when his father made the keen decision to leave Corporate America and  to develop his own construction empire. As such, Mr. Williams is a second generation General Contractor/Construction Manager, working for Pride Enterprises, Inc., a business he started in 1996 providing construction services to the public sector throughout the U.S. Clients include the Department of Defense, Department of the Interior, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the General Services Administration.

Pride Enterprises’ services comprise renovations, infrastructure, design/build projects and so on. Today, this leading firm handles all aspects of Construction Management, Consulting and Building. In just ten years since its inception, Pride Enterprises Inc. holds 21 active projects with a total contract value of over 20 million dollars. As President and CEO, Williams was honored as the  Small Business Administration’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2005. He has also established a protégé firm, Fidelis Design and Construction, LLC, which has exhibited an explosive growth. It has an inclusive and diverse staff. It is noteworthy that Williams joined the committee of YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School, which provides high school dropouts with the opportunity to earn a diploma and attain vital job skills. Being involved in this youth organization helped Williams to realize his devotion to giving back to the community and mentor others. Besides working as an entrepreneur, Willliams is propelled by a passion for research; his signature is Historical/Fiction. Having always been inspired by classic heroic tales like King Arthur, Robin Hood, and The Lord of the Rings, Mr. Williams became exceedingly aware that most of these stories did not feature heroes that he resembled. 

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