Exclusive Interview With The Canadian Filmmaker: Dawn Wilkinson PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Wednesday, 21 November 2012 15:28

Dawn Wilkinson was born in Montreal (Canada) and raised in Toronto. Her father is from Barbados and her mother is a Jewish-Canadian (from Montreal). Dawn Wilkinson is proud of her Bajan and Jewish origins. She wears many hats: filmmaker, writer, director, producer and entrepreneur. She owns her production company, Afterlife Films Corp. in Toronto. The short comedy, Instant Dread (1998), is one of Afterlife’s previous productions.

Wilkinson studied at the Canadian Film Centre Director’s Lab1 and Short Dramatic Film Program in 2000. She earned a BA with high distinction at The University of Toronto in 1996. Throughout the years, she has produced music videos, commercials, short films and documentaries. Among the short films she directed are Instant Dread, 1998, Dandelions, 1995, Girls Who Say Yes, 2000, and Wilderness (which premiered at Cinefest Sudbury), 2012. In addition, she directed an episode of Murdoch Mysteries, a popular Canadian drama television series.  Working in documentary, Dawn Wilkinson co-directed Unexpected for the NFB’s Filmmaker in Residence project at St. Michael’s Hospital in Ontario, and the Teamwork Video Project, a Web-based documentary series for the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation.  She worked also as an apprentice with Norman Jewison on The Hurricane and Ernest Dickerson on Our America. Her first feature-length movie was Devotion (in 2005) which had its U.S. TV premiere on the Black Family Channel. Noteworthily, the smart Dawn Wilkinson is among the most hard-working directors in Canada. From 2001 to 2008 she was a teacher at the Toronto Film School and at Humber College from 2009-2010. She also taught at Trebas Institute between 1999 and 2001. Moreover, Dawn Wilkinson has been commissioned by the NFB (National Film Board) to train local youth in video-making. She is also a member of the Director’s Guild of Canada since 2008, and a member of the Writer’s Guild of Canada since 2004.

Dawn Wilkinson receives support for her work from organisations such as the Canada Council for the Arts. Her work was showcased (in 2004-2005) at the Reel World Film Festival and Urban Kids Film Festival (in San Francisco). In addition, she has been featured in She was interviewed for Global Cinema TV, featured in Sway (magazine) and Caribbean Tales among other media.  Dawn Wilkinson has been recognized for her work. In this regard, in 2008, she was the recipient of “Women in Film & Television’s Director’s Guild of Canada Emerging Television Director Award”. In addition, her feature film script, LOVE CHILD received the Best Screenplay award at the “African American Women” in Cinema Film FestivalWilderness won the “Platinum Remi Award” (where the U.S. Premiere occurred at Worldfest Houston) this year for Dramatic Original Independent Short Subject.

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.

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.

Exclusive Interview With Dr. Alvy Ph.D in Psychology 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.

A Conversation With Beverly Johnson PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kam Williams   
Sunday, 08 April 2012 17:00


Beverly Johnson is the first African-American supermodel, as well as an actress, author, activist, businesswoman and TV personality. She was the first Black model to appear on the cover of Vogue magazine in August 1974. A year later, she became the first Black woman to appear on the cover of the French edition of Elle magazine. Her beautiful face has graced over 500 magazine covers. Before modeling, Johnson aspired to become a lawyer. She was studying criminal justice at Northeastern University when she entered the fashion industry.

In 2006, Johnson was honored at Oprah Winfrey's Legends Ball along with Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks, Tina Turner and other female African Americans in entertainment, civil rights, and the arts. Named by one of the 20th Century's most influential people in fashion by the New York Times, she changed the beauty ideal in modeling. As of 1975, every major American fashion couturier began using African American models.  The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. has a portrait of her on display as part of its "The Black List" exhibition, featuring photographs of 50 iconic African Americans.  

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