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Martin Luther King Academy hosts father son retreat

Martin Luther King Academy hosts father son retreat
Fathers and their sons, in the school’s cafeteria, just before they began the activities of the night.

BY Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer

Fathers played chess, basketball, wrestled, or just enjoyed a good movie, while eating a snack, with not only their sons, but other boys, at the second annual Father, Son Day. The event was held at Martin Luther King Academy for Boys, 1300 Forrest Ave., on Friday, May 17.

The brain child of Willie Ward, principal, and Sheila A. Cook, family community school resource and outreach director, the two wanted to have an event that would, somewhat mirror their yearly, Mother and Son dance.

Martin Luther King Academy hosts father son retreat
Even the teachers took time out to get involved. Jeremy Atkins far left, para professional, and Luke McKinley, rolls out the wrestling mats to teach a few basic moves to the boys.

Officially kicking off the start of the event, Principal Ward expressed to the fathers, who were gathered in the cafeteria with their sons, how grateful he was for them attending the event. He said their involvement with their sons sends a powerful message, and he welcomed them to visit the school.

“Today is their day,” Ms. Cook told The Toledo Journal. “Tonight is about them enjoying each other,” she said.

She said that, although men are more hesitant at revealing how they really feel, Ms. Cook said a father had expressed to her how happy he was about the event. “He told me that he works so much, he doesn’t get to spend the time he wants with his son, and tonight’s event gives him that opportunity.”

Ms. Cook is hoping that the event will encourage more fathers to become more involved at the school. But at that particular moment, she expressed a great deal of satisfaction with the turnout.

Martin Luther King Academy hosts father son retreat
Andre Munn, right, shows his nephew, Shamarion Patterson, how to play chess at the expense of Delrico Wallace.

“I think this is a great event,” said Marvin McCray who was playing basketball with his son. “This encourages more fathers to become active at the school. It’s also a good time for those of us who haven’t met the principal, or our son’s teacher, to finally meet them,” he said.

“I’m here to spend time with my son, at his school, and meet some of his friends,” said Broderick Manahan. “I’m also here for the other boys. I want to encourage them that they can do anything, and that all things are possible,” he said.

Martin Luther King Academy hosts father son retreat
Broderick Manahan shows his son, Triston, he still has a little skill left in him

” I just love spending time with my dad,” said Mr. Manahan’s son, Tristan.

Ebenezer MBC hosts 67th Annual Women’s Day

Ebenezer MBC hosts 67th
The women of the historical church, Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church, on the 67th Annual Women’s Day.

By Journal Staff Writer

With the theme, “Standing firm in the Faith, despite adversities,” Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church, 2001 Ashland Ave., hosted their 67th Annual Women’s Day. Held on Sunday, May 26, guests from Lo Salem Missionary Baptist Church, Third Baptist Church, and Second Baptist Church, help celebrate the occasion.

With the theme, “Standing firm in the Faith, despite adversities,” Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church, 2001 Ashland Ave, hosted their 67th Annual Women’s Day. Held on Sunday, May 26, guests from Lo Salem Missionary Baptist Church, Third Baptist Church, and Second Baptist Church, help celebrate the occasion.

Stayce Fowler and Mary Ann Sumrow co-chaired the annual event.

Ebenezer MBC hosts 67th
Stayce Fowler, left, and Mary Ann Sumrow, were given flowers, by committee members, following the event for orchestrating a successful day.

“One of the important things about Women’s Day event is getting as many women, within the church involved,” Ms. Fowler told The Toledo Journal. “And being that we were able to get new members involved in the planning, I would say this year’s event was a success,” she said.            

“Every day is women’s day,” Ms. Sumrow said. “Just like the theme of the event, we have to operate on faith, despite adversities. With the planning of such an important and large event, all of our faith was tested, but yet we prevailed,” she said.

During the planning of the event, committee members would jointly decide who would be the keynote speakers.

 “One of the committee members had heard Rev. Harrison speak in the past, and said she would be excellent for the event; which she was,” Ms. Sumrow said.

“I knew she was a good business minded person, but I didn’t know she would deliver the word that good,” Ms. Fowler said.

As far as Sis Vera Sanders, of Ebenezer delivering the word, both Ms. Fowler, and Ms. Sumrow said she was dynamic.

“I think her powerful message was a good example to other women of this church that they have the ability to deliver a similar message,” said Ms. Fowler.

“Her ability to deliver such a powerful message will be inspirational to the other women of the church,” said Ms. Sumrow.

Mothers, locally, and from surrounding cities and Michigan treated to fine dining and musical tribute

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Mother's Day
Family members of Rev. Dr. John Roberts, pastor of Indiana Avenue Missionary Baptist Church are, clockwise Deacon Elmore Sturdivant, Deborah Roberts, Jelise Roberts, David Smith, and Barbara Jones, Makalah, and Orvil Robinson.

By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer

The Social Butterfly, LLC, and OMG Productions collaborated to host a citywide Mother’s Day Dinner, and musical tribute, on Sunday, May 12. Held at St. Clements Hall, 2990 Tremainsville Rd, the event featured musical artist, Darius Coleman, and saxophonists, CJ Manning and Company.

Mother's Day
Three of the mothers present, Rachelle Roy, Vernetta Glover, and Marissa Schoenegge, receive a personal serenade from Marcia Bowen.

According to organizers, attendees traveled from Findlay, Defiance, and Cleveland, Ohio, as well as Detroit, Michigan, to attend the sold out event. Guests also had the opportunity to win various gift bags that were raffled during the event. A portion of the proceeds, $500, was donated to the YWCA, in effort to give back to the community, according to Donnetta Carter, CEO of The Social Butterfly, LLC.

Mother's Day
From left, Larry Jones, Master of Ceremonies, Tracy Roberts of OMG Productions, and Donnetta Carter of The Social Butterfly, LLC, sponsored the event, and Deacon Marvin March, committee member, all helped make the event a success.

She told The Toledo Journal that they wanted to do something special for mothers that included fine dining, as well as good entertainment.

“Many of the restaurants that people attend will charge at least $40 per person, but won’t offer entertainment. Our event was cheaper, and offered good entertainment,” Ms. Carter said.

She said the reason they chose to donate to the YWCA is the many beneficial programs the agency offers to the community.

Tracy Roberts, CEO of OMG Productions, said he immediately jumped at the opportunity to help host an event for mothers.

“We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from the community; they’re asking us to do another one,” Mr. Roberts said.

Marissa Schoenegge, said, “This is really a good event. The music is good, and the singer is really good. It has been totally worth my time, and money.”

CJ Manning, saxophonist, entertained those who attended the Mother’s Day dinner.

Anna Davis was one of the winners of a gift bag. She said, “I love this event. The food is good, and the music is good. I’m so glad I came. We need more events like this in Toledo.”

Ms. Carter thanked everyone who attended. She also added a special thank you to her assistant, Danielle Schoenegge, who helped make the event go smoothly, as well as successful.

Mrs. Hattie M. Allen Celebrates 100 years of Living

Hattie M. Allen 100th

By Journal Staff

It was a classy and elegant affair for a classy and elegant lady, who also happened to be celebrating 100 years of living, an entire decade. Not too many people have those bragging rights, but Mrs. Hattie Allen does. On her birthday March 28, 2019, she officially became 100 years old.

On March 30, her daughter Mrs. Jesse Warren and family had a Saturday morning birthday party brunch buffet for her at the upscale Toledo Club on River Rd. In a room overlooking the peaceful Maumee River flowing by, family members and friends gathered to honor Mrs. Allen and her 100 years of life. Can you imagine all the things she’s seen, done and experienced in a changing world in 100 years? And, especially living in the south, as she did most of her life, certainly there some stories that she could tell.

Mrs. Allen was born March 28, 1919, in Athens, Texas to Dorothy Chancellor Barker and Henderson Barker. At an early age, her family moved to Dallas, Texas. In Dallas, she attended N. W. Harlee Elementary School and graduated from the Booker T. Washington High School in the public-school system. After high school, she went on to attend Prairie View A&M College.

Eventually, she got married to Abner Allen and they were married 50 years. Together they reared three children: Edna L. Allen (deceased), Roy E. Allen (deceased), and Jessie Allen Warren.

Family member Pastor Linda Warren said the grace and blessed the food and the day at Mrs. Hattie M. Allen’s 100-birthday party.

In Dallas, she and her husband owned and operated Allen’s Grocery and Market. They both were generous and kind to their customers, it was not unusual for them to let their neighbors and customers have food on credit until they were able to pay their bill.

Also in Dallas, Mrs. Allen was an active member of her church, “Greater Bethlehem Baptist Church” for over fifty years. There she served in the Senior Usher’s Ministry, Women’s Day Ministry, and Deaconess Ministry. She was also recognized as an honoree for a church Women’s Day Celebration.

Outside of family, church and work, her social and civic activities included volunteering with the American Red Cross, a Notary Public, and a poll worker during elections.

She was also considered by many to be a neighborhood and community leader because of her business acumen. Because of this, she was honored by the Dallas Chapter of the NBAPW Club in the area of Business.

In her spare time, she enjoys hobbies including watching sports games, playing cards games especially Bid Whist and Dominos, and using her computer and tablet. An adventurist spirit, she also enjoys traveling and has been to San Francisco/Oakland CA, South Africa, Hawaii and on trips to visit her grandchildren.

Mrs. Hattie M. Allen

She is the grandmother of three: Roy Allan Jr. and Derrick Ross of Dallas, TX. And Melanie Gross of Oakland CA. In addition, she is the adopted grandmother of LaShon Washington, Norita Jones and Shontrice Robago of Dallas, TX, and the great grandmother of four.

In 2013 she moved to Toledo to live with her daughter and son-in-law, Bishop Clifford Warren and became an integral part of their church, The Church of the Living God where she is known as “Mom”.

About her party Mrs. Allen had only one thing to say, “I’m just so happy’, and about living in Toledo she said with a smile, ‘I love Toledo, all except for the weather!”

Her granddaughter Melanie Gross said of her grandmother, “My grandmother is my rock and my everything. She is such an Amazing woman; she has given back to so many people and enriched their lives. To me, this is the perfect time to give her, her roses while she is still living.”

Art Tatum Center Honors Aretha Franklin

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Toledoans honor Aretha Franklin | The Toledo Journal
Sir Kalvin Hughes Trio with guest vocalist Theresa Harris performed for the "The Soul of a Queen” program at the Art Tatum Center.
Brett Collins Librarian Specialist for the Art Tatum African American Resource Center talk to the audience about Aretha Franklin

By Michael Daniels Journal Staff Reporter

On Monday, March 25th the Art Tatum Center presented a special program at the Kent Branch Library Auditorium entitled, “The Soul of a Queen”, a free concert to celebrate the 77th birthday of Aretha Franklin.

Ms. Franklin who was born on March 25, 1942, and passed away in August of 2018, she left behind a legacy of music and civil right activism that will never be forgotten. Even though many have followed behind her, there will never be another one like Aretha Franklin. She was the undisputed, “Queen of Soul” who surpassed all generations and cultural boundaries with her music.

The audience at Art Tatum Center Honors Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin

To pay tribute to her in a style only fitting for a queen the center chose a former Toledo musician and his band the Sir Kalvin Hughes Trio with guest vocalist Theresa Harris to perform for the program. Mr. Hughes who is a big fan of Aretha Franklin and an extraordinary musician himself in his own right had a personal story to tell the audience about Aretha Franklin’s Toledo connection.

After working as the musician at Warren AME Church here in Toledo he accepted a job as minister of music at Aretha Franklin’s father’s Church, New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit. ‘My whole objective in taking the job was to one day meet the Queen of Soul and let her hear me play, he said. ‘Every year she puts on a gospel concert at the church and she is there in person.’

Phi Delta Kappa Inc. members enjoy a moment with Sir Kalvin Hughes
(center) before the program begins.

Sure enough, the time for the concert and sure enough the Queen of Soul was there and heard Mr. Hughes play, ‘Evidently she liked what she heard,’ he said. ‘because later when her regular organist took ill, she called me and asked me to accompany her to Philadelphia’ when she performed for the Pope. Following that, I became her organist and went with her on tour. ”When I applied for the job at New Bethel, I had no idea that one day I’d be playing for Aretha Franklin, I mostly just wanted to meet her, said Mr. Hughes. ‘Aretha Franklin is special to me because she opened up so many doors for me that I never thought would happen, and she took me to higher heights. I never would have gotten those opportunities if had not been for the Queen of Soul’, he said. ‘Working with her was phenomenal.’

After telling his story of his life with Aretha, Mr. Hughes and his Trio played a little lite jazz to warm the audience up. Then he invited guest vocalist Theresa Harris to join them and they tore into Aretha Franklin’s hits and standards. This was the moment the audience had been waiting for and everyone was thrilled.

The Art Tatum Organization Board members are (back L-R) Londa Ramsey and Brett Collins: Librarian Specialist for the Art Tatum African American Resource Center. (front L-R) Joan M. Harris, Dorcel Dowdell, and Frances C. Collins, Ph.D.

The evening program began with an introduction from Brett Collins the Librarian Specialist for the Art Tatum African American Resource Center. He reminded everyone of the importance of Aretha Franklin’s music and her work in the community saying, ‘ it’s never too late to honor someone like Aretha Franklin who’s done so much for our souls, it’s important to honor legends because they are the ones who lay the footprints down for us to follow’.

Sir Kalvin Hughes tells his own personal story to the audience about Aretha Franklin’s Toledo connection.

He also informed everyone of the upcoming documentary Amazing Grace, the story of the making of Aretha Franklin’s largest selling album by the same name.

Twenty three “Silent Soldiers” honored at Black History Celebration

The Silent Soldiers The Toledo Journal

Mt. Nebo Missionary Baptist Church, under the guidance of Dr. Cedric Brock, held its 18th annual Black History Celebration banquet last Sunday, March 3, 2019 at the Premiere Banquet Complex and honored, the “Silent Soldiers”. These are those who have been selected as accomplishing, so much, behind the scenes. This year almost 600 people attended the event hosted by the Mt. Nebo’s Voice of Hope Outreach Ministry as they celebrated the theme of “Stepping out In Faith.”.

Dr. Cedric Brock and Larry Jones, of Indiana was the
master of ceremonies.

After the introduction of this year’s honorees, from Deacon Alan Crawford, the church’s First Lady, Debra Brock, performed a musical selection. The many sponsors were thanked and then Nicolle Brown offered a special presentation as Nikketa Sugarfoot.

The Youth Ministry performed following dinner and then Sister Geraldine of St. Paul AME Zion Church made the presentation of honorees which are as follows:  Dr. Karen Adams-Ferguson, MD; Barbara Allison; Marcella Cook,; Collette Crosby; Barbara Crowell; Mary Dunning; Michelle Furr; Chris Gayle; Vickie Green-Horsley; Julia Holt; Michael Key; Laverne Knighten; Levon Rayford; Freddie Roberson; Lorena Roberts; Carolyn Robinson; Gertrude Robinson; Sharisse Rowell; Edward Sanders; Norma Savage; Adrian Thomas; Rita Winfree and Alberta Witcher.

Dr. Cedric Brock and First Lady Debra Brock of Mt. Nebo Missionary Baptist Church.

This annual event started as a dinner held in the church dining area, 18 years ago, with an attendance of about 150 people. It rapidly out grew that space and has been held in much larger banquet rooms for more than a decade.

Dr. Brock said, “We celebrate the “Silent Soldiers” who have been faithful to the community at large. We give them their flowers while they can smell them.” The Voice of Hope Outreach Ministry is the brainchild of Dr. Brock who sponsors the banquet to honor the unsung heroes of the city and surrounding communities. Throughout the years, the ministry has sponsored a number of community services, such as: Radio Outreach (1520 AM and 95.7 FM); Adopt A Haircut Ministries at Poor Clark’s Barbershop; Adopt A Belt Outreach; Coat Give-Away; Good Friday Ham Give-Away; Back To School Give-Away and Weekly Broadcast NOW Network.

The master of ceremonies for this year’s event was conducted by Larry Jones of Indiana Avenue MBC.

Indiana Missionary Baptist Church celebrates the 73rd Anniversary

Indiana Missionary Baptist Church celebrates the 73rd Anniversary The Toledo Journal

By Michael Daniels
Journal Staff Reporter

For two Sundays in a row, February 17 and 24th, Indiana Missionary Baptist Church celebrated its 73rd Anniversary with an afternoon service at the church. On the 17th, Rev. Dr. Jerry Boose from Second Baptist church was the main speaker. On the 24th, Rev. Dr. Willie Perryman from Jerusalem Baptist Church did the honors. Both ministers brought members of their congregations, as well as, their church choirs to join in on the celebration.

The theme of this year’s program was from Philippians 4:6, “Don’t worry about anything, Instead Pray about everything,” This theme was most appropriate because it reaches back to Indiana Missionary Baptist Churches humble beginnings.

It was in the mid-forties when Rev. W. J. Stephenson, the pastor of Central Baptist Church in north Toledo realized that his church was going to lose its property due to an upcoming freeway project that was going to slice through the heart of north Toledo. He became worried that many of his parishioners that lived in the central city would have a difficult time getting to church after the expressway was built.

Faced with this dilemma, Rev. Stephenson did what a man of God should do! He turned to his Heavenly Father for help, and his help came. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, he decided to resign his position as pastor of Central Baptist and open a new church in the central city where the majority of African Americans lived during that time period. He then contacted a fellow pastor, the Rev. E. J. Benton along with some established church Deacons, Trustee, pastors, church Mothers and other church-going people for a meeting.

At this meeting which took place on February 20, 1946, at 819 Ewing Street in the central city, Indiana Missionary Baptist Church was officially organized and Rev. W. J. Stephenson became the church’s first pastor. This was a position he would maintain until he passed away in July of 1959. Also present at this meeting were a group of teenagers, and unbeknownst to everyone at the time in this group, was one who was the new church’s hope of the future. A young man by the name of John E. Roberts who was there that night, would grow up, and one day become one of Indiana’s most influential and beloved ministers.

As the new church progressed it quickly began to grow and it wasn’t too long before everyone became aware that they were going need a larger space to properly worship the Lord. Now they had a mission fulfill. So, they started a building fund to build a new church building. Soon enough money was raised to purchase a property at 640 Indiana Ave. 

Missionary Baptist Church celebrated a mission fulfilled as they marched singing God’s praises all the way from the old building on Ewing Street to the new one on Indiana Avenue. Since that time the congregation has continued to grow and so has the original structure. In time came the addition of a ground level sanctuary, the upper-level sanctuary, the Stephenson-Roberts Hall and a spacious parking lot to accommodate its large growing congregation.

Since the passing of the founder, Rev. W. J. Stephenson in 1959, the church has had several pastors including the Rev. T. Wiggins in 1960, and the Rev. F. H. Alexander 1961 through 1963.

On January 21, 1965, the young teenager, who attended that first organizational meeting in 1946, the Rev. John E. Roberts became Indiana’s fourth pastor. He later elevated his status in ministry by graduating from the Toledo Bible College in 1975 and was Valedictorian of his class. From this point on he became known as Rev. Dr. John E. Roberts.

Under his leadership, Indiana Missionary Baptist Church has become one of the most influential churches in the city. They are known for their community involvement for reaching out and helping others.

As for Pastor Roberts, he is a minister who lives his ministry, 24 hours a day, in and out of the pulpit. If you meet him out in the world, he’s probably going to ask you two questions. One, ‘your name,’ and two, “are you saved’? He’s a man who understands that his main purpose in life is to help us ordinary folks find out way into God’s grace and into his heaven.

At his church, he is a continual inspiration to others and has also mentored dozens of young men in the field of ministry, many who have gone on to have their own churches.

As the church celebrates its 73rd anniversary, he had these words of divine wisdom for his congregation, he said, “Truly God has blessed us and smiled upon us, and I thank Him for it. We must never forget that Central Baptist gave birth to Indiana. Thank God for Rev. W. J. Stephenson and the pioneers like him that were with him paving the way. We must constantly pray for our church and its ministry of redemption in a lost world as we constantly live our lives in a way that honors Christ and his teaching.”

Catholic Diocese of Toledo Black Ministries celebrates Black History bestowing Drum Major Awards

Catholic Diocese of Toledo Black Ministries celebrates Black History bestowing Drum Major Awards
Bishop Daniel E. Thomas (center) Bestows Drum Major Awards to the following nominates (L-R) Vivian Johnson, Malachi Wayne Wyse, Devon Williams and Dr. Helen C. Cooks.

On February 23, Bishop Daniel E. Thomas of the Catholic Diocese of Toledo celebrated a mass for promoting harmony, as our nation celebrates Black History Month. The highlight of the event, which took place at Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral on Collingwood Blvd., was the presentation of the Catholic Diocese of Toledo Black Ministry’s Drum Major Award to four outstanding citizens.

Inspiration for this award came from the work Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’ did in his lifetime to promote harmony and justice in the world. The name of the award itself comes from a speech Dr. King’s made where he said, ‘I am a drum major for the peace and justice’. The criterias for receiving this award are also based on the values of Dr. King life and this speech.

This year’s award recipients were Dr. Helen C. Cooks, Vivian Johnson, along with and two students, Devon Williams and Malachi Wayne Wyse.

Dr. Cook is best known for her work as an educator, a graduate of Scott High School and The University of Toledo where she received her Undergraduate, Masters and Doctoral degrees. She has impacted the lives of thousands of students through the Toledo Excel Program at the University of Toledo. This scholarship program is her crowning achievement.

Upon receiving her award Dr. Cook said, ‘This is the second Drum Major Award I received this year and I am proud to have received these awards. Dr. King was the drum major and the person of our time, and he still is today. It’s an honor to receive an award in his name.”

She added, “The work that I’ve done is about justice and peace and for that I’m very proud. They say he kept up trouble and they say I keep up trouble, and on that accord, we have something on common. To the young people of today I say be prepared for that which is coming ahead. The road is not easy, but the road is worthwhile, let God order your footsteps and you will make it.”

Also honored was Vivian Johnson is a lay leader at St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church here in Toledo. She has served with dedication and grace for many years as chairperson of St. Martin’s Evangelization Ministry. Other ministries that she participates in are Liturgy and Consolation as well as being a Eucharistic Minister and Lector. Her prayer ministry for those who are imprisoned touch all who have been impacted by a loved one’s imprisonment.

She leads by example and is a role model to many. Her service to the church and her impact on the younger generation is immeasurable.

Davion Williams, a well-rounded honor student, has impacted his St. John’s High School community through his leadership in the school’s Social Justice Alliance, where he helps raise awareness on subjects such as housing inequality and gentrification. His activism for social causes includes his participation in the 2018 Washington D. C, “March for Our Lives” His service for credit hours include serving food to those in need, volunteering in a nursing home and participating in an Appalachian Immersion project in West Virginia where helped to run a camp for youth. He is also a talented
composer of hop music.

Malachi Wayne Wyse is known for seeing the good in people and brings the best out in others. He prioritizes relationships, scholastic achievements and downplays his prowess in athletics. His character and personality marked him early as a youth with potential for leadership; leading to his selection to attend Salesian Leadership Camp. He is described humble, but his vibrant personality is brought to bear on everything he touches, including mock trial participation, performing in student musical productions, the Afro Club, Asian Culture Club and campus ministry. He fulfills his service credit responsibilities and for two years has served as a camp counselor for
incoming St. Francis de Sales High School students, where he is also the senior class president.

The Drum Major Awards are given out every year, if you know someone who you think is worthy of such an honor, call Ellen Jones at the Catholic Diocese of Toledo for further instructions on the nomination process.

Twenty five under 45 receive “Black Lives Matter” Awards

CSRN members at the Black Lives Matter Awards are (back L-R) Kwinlyn Tyler, Hadgu Hadgn, Gwen Wilson, Brother Washington Mohammad, Vanessa Avery, Brittany Moore, Ruth Leonard, and Julian Mack, (front L-R) Jodie Summers, Connor Kelly, Myriesha Barber and Gina Frye.

Last Saturday, February 23, 2019, the Community Solidarity Responses Network (CSRN) presented the “Black Lives Matter Awards at the Fredrick Douglass Center. With a theme titled, “25 under 45”, the group celebrated 25 African Americans members of the Toledo community under the age of 45, who are working to improve Toledo’s communities.

Janece Wooley, The Interim Executive Director of the Fredrick Douglass Community Center welcome audience to the Black Lives Matter Awards.

CSRN member Julian Mack said, “We are having this program tonight because it’s important that we reaffirm the positive things that are being done in the community. We want to encourage the younger people in the next generation that’s coming up to continue to do the right thing. Often times, we only hear about the negative things that are going on. When in reality there’s plenty of positive things happening as well.”

Mr. Mack continued by explaining, “We want to reaffirm and lift up those who are doing positive things so that can continue to happen. We want to let them know and recognize them for their efforts, so that more people will hopefully decide, to do the right thing.”

The 25 awardee recipients, were Dave Ross, Danny Ricardi, Timothy V. Pettaway, Patrice McClellen, Keisha Snow-Veley, RaShya Ghee, Leigh Utley, Tiara Armstrong, Lonnie Ghee, Sheena Barnes, Nia Snelling, Veralucia Mendoza, Khadirah Muhammad, Rob Pasker, Lance Self, Mike Rob, Marcus Boyd, Tina Butts, Derrick Brooks, Terrence Pounds Sr., Kwilyn Tyler, Blair Johnson, Montrice Terry, Zia Cooke and Tony Barnes.

Awardees (left to right) Lance Self, Khadirah Muhammad, Timothy V. Pettaway Jr, RaShya Ghee, Terrence Pounds Sr., Blair Johnson, Tiara Armstrong, Montrice Terry, and Dave Ross.

Brother Washington Mohammad, one of the founding members of CSRN added, “We had this program because, we wanted to highlight just some ordinary people in our community, doing some extraordinary things. A lot of people may not have heard of these young men and woman, who are doing wonderful things, so it’s up to us to lift each other up.”

The Black Lives Matter social movement materialized out of a community need, and is today’s core civil rights movement. Just like the original civil rights movement, Black Lives Matter has put a national spotlight on an injustice, and by doing so has somewhat reduced the problem.

When asked where did CSRN come from, CSRN member Ruth Leonard replied, ”The Black Lives Matter movement in Toledo started after the lack of conviction in the case of Michael Brown. After which people in the city were looking for a way to uplift each other and out of that effort the Community Solidarity Responses Network came in to existence.

The Community Solidarity Responses Network meets every Tuesday at 7:30 pm at the Paul-win Center at 1416 Nebraska Ave.

They also may be contacted through the following methods:
Community Solidarity Response Network of Toledo
Phone 419-329-8177
csrntoledo@gmail.com
1416 Nebraska Ave
Toledo, OH 43607

Facebook: Community Solidarity Response Network of Toledo, Instagram: CSRNToledo,YouTube: Community Solidarity Response Network of Toledo, Twitter: @CSRN Toledo, and Gmail: csrntoledo@gmail.com

UT Excel sponsors 35th Annual Conference For Aspirating Minority Youth

By Michael Daniels
Journal Staff Reporter

On January 26, The University of Toledo’s office of Toledo Excel and the UT Joint Committee presented the 35th Annual Conference for Aspirating Minority Youth. This year’s theme was, ‘Onward and Upward, Persisting Through Barriers and Obstacles’.

Indeed, a fitting topic for the ambitious minority youth of today. Like most of us, when we dream our dreams, we only dream the good things. We never imagine something bad might happen, or something or someone may try to stand in our way. For many this is knowledge that only comes with age and experience.

This year’s conference sought to give the young folks a heads up, as well as, solutions to the problems they might face as they venture into the world to pursue their goals in life. Understanding that those situations which seem impossible to solve at the time and try to block your way can be overcome with persistence and sheer determination is valuable knowledge. Knowing these facts and other methods of survival is definitely an advantage in life and that was the message of the day.

Keynote speaker, Dr. Terrell Strayhorn drove this messages home even more during his address, telling the students, “You must learn how to persist. Persisting requires us as aspirating minority youths to be willing to change and adjust to our environment. You must persist through barriers.”

Adding, “Someday you will encounter something or someone, who tries to keep from reaching your goals. You must understand that you must not let anything or anyone come in between you and that, which you are designed to do. Persist through the barrier and discover your why. Why you are here and what you are designed for and find your inner light. As we pursue our greatness in the face obstacles and barriers never forget that deep inside if us there is a light that will always be there, and even in our darkest hour we must turn inside and connect with that light and let that light shine,” he said.

Dr. Strayhorn is the Founding Chief Executive Officer of, ‘Do Good Works Educational Consulting LLS’. He has written over 10 books and is internationally recognized as a student success scholar and the foremost authority on issues of equity and diversity.

Following Dr. Strayhorn, in the second session of the program, was speaker and UT graduate Christopher Scott who showcased his new book, “7 Secrets to Surviving College.” Mr. Scott who has a Masters of Education Degree said, ‘I’m here today to uplift and teach our high school and college bound students the 7 secrets that it takes to navigate college and be successful in this world. I say take no losses in life. Mr. Scott is the founder of Reach to Teach National, an organization that provides motivational service to youth across the country.

An estimated crowd of over 350, seventh through 12th grade students, parents and members of the community attended this annual free event.

Knowing that his students would benefit from the Excel program, Dr. Romulus Durant, Toledo Public Schools (TPS) superintendent, brought students from his TPS program called, ‘Young Men and Young Women of Excellence,’ a peer to peer mentorship group.

Dr. Durant said, “I try to get our students involved in community activities so they can become a part of the community, and one day contribute even more to the community as an adult. We want our youths as well as all youths to continue to aspire. We are TPS proud and very excited to be here today.”

Toledo Excel was established in 1988 and is a community project bringing various groups together for a common purpose. That purpose is to help underrepresented students including African, Asian, Hispanic and Native Americans go to college, be successful there and graduate.

Director of Toledo Excel is David Young

The first Annual Conference for Aspirating Minority Youth was held in 1985 and continues to grow in popularity ever since.

The current Director of Toledo Excel is David Young.