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Health Fair Offers Substance Abuse Solutions

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Health Fair Offers Substance Abuse Solutions

By Kaleema Williams

JOMC Journal Contributor

 

Health Fairs are one way to educate teens on the dangers of substance abuse.

North Carolina A&T, along with the Shiloh Baptist Church, hosted a Health Fair on Friday March 28 to educate students about effects of substance abuse and drugs. A&T’s Food and Nutritional Science program sponsored the event.

A&T’s Food and Nutritional Science Program and Shiloh Baptist Church started hosting these health fairs in 2012 for the community to benefit. The program has expanded since it began in 2012 with the focus on fitness for teens and young adults.

News reports constantly focus on the issue of substance abuse. In 2012, Guilford County had a total of 30.8 out of 33.8 percent of fatal car accidents.

“Educating young teens and adults about the dangers of substance abuse in any situation is vital to hopefully preventing future accidents” said a teacher from James Dudley High School. The prevention of the use of these substances can help save lives in the future and decrease the number of fatalities.

The health fair consisted of group discussions about substance abuse. Its main focus of alcohol and drugs allowed students from both A&T and various Junior and High schools to learn the facts.

“The programs were good overall,” says Khalima Burns, an A&T nursing student, “it was helpful to know more facts about these topics, although [students in] my age group should already know these facts.”

In some cases, it has been shown that young adults abuse substances more than any other age group. Majority of these drugs include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and even prescription drugs.

Representatives from A&T’s Counseling Services also handed out pamphlets about the topics of substances abuse. One pamphlet stated the standard drinking levels for various types of alcohols and listed “safe” alcohol amounts.

During group discussions, students asked questions that included whether the percentages of substance abuse victims were higher in Northern states than Southern states. In 2011, the percentage of high school students who drank alcohol before the age of 13 in North Carolina was only 2 percent behind the total amount in the United States. On the other hand, the state of Massachusetts was 5 percent behind the average amount in the United States.

In the North Carolina Drug Control Update report, the average number of people who use illicit drugs in the United States is 8.02 percent; North Carolina almost met the average coming in with 7.75 percent of residents admitting to using illicit drug. With North Carolina nearly making the national average, it shows how much of an issue substance abuse is in the state.

Also, according to the update, marijuana and cocaine are the leading drugs in primary treatment admissions in North Carolina. The number of residents between 5,800 and 9,300 have reported an episode where they have had to be admitted in a drug treatment facility for having dependency on marijuana and cocaine.

More recently in October of 2013, North Carolina was reported to be the 30th state with a high rate of drug morality; the rate is “11.4 per 100,000 people suffering drug overdose fatalities”. According to the Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic report, the number of prescription drug overdose in 2013 out beat the number of mortality from heroin and cocaine. It is alarming to see how medicine people receive from their doctors and over the counter can be just as addictive as the more hard hitting drugs.

Prescription drugs have also become a problem in North Carolina. Along with the higher rate of deaths, the misuse of prescription, painkillers, cost $53.4 billion a year in lost productivity, not including the misuse of other prescription drugs. It has also been reported that only one in every 10 Americans receive some kind of health treatment when told about a drug abuse case.

Substance abuse does not just lead to death in certain cases, but can also include those who abuse it to be arrested losing their reputation. Two doctors in the Asheboro and Eden areas had their licenses suspended for substance abuse issues. Dr. Jeffery Curtis Hooper and Dr. Meindert Albert Niemeyer were suspended by the North Carolina Medical Board. Dr. Jeffery Curtis Hooper was suspended on the grounds of relapsing into substance abuse. Dr. Meindert Albert Niemeyer was suspended on the grounds of “not documenting why he prescribed controlled substances to three patients” according to the Greensboro News and Record.

The greatest take away from the health fair was that substance abuse is a real issue that does deserve special attention. By informing teens and young adults early, prevention can be started to where the rate and percentages in North Carolina and even in the whole United States can decrease.

 

 

 

Aggie Fest 2014 Cooks Up Fun

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Aggie Fest 2014 Photo and Video by Alexis Wainwright

Healthy policies deliver health equity

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Panelists during the April 2014 NABJ Health Policies, Health Equity Conference in Washington, D.C.

On April 10-12, six journalism students from North Carolina A&T State University attended a series of panel discussions focused on Health Policy and Health Inequities in communities of color. The three-day conference was hosted by the National Association of Black Journalists in the Barbara Jordan Conference Center at the Kaiser Foundation in Washington, D.C. A&T multimedia journalist Ashleigh Wilson reports how the conference provided attendees information about effectively covering the impact of the Affordable Care Act and numerous health issues facing America’s under-served communities.

 

 

Aggie Fest 2014

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Aggie Fest 2014. Photo by Alexis Wainwright.

Aggie Fest 2014

By Kelene Clark

JOMC Journal Contributor

            Every spring semester, at North Carolina A&T, students and people all around the world are eager for one of the most exciting weeks: Aggie Fest! Yearly, there are different events that take place which excites everyone to come out and enjoy the festivities. Whether it’s a fashion show, cookout, or concert, you are sure to have a good time. I recently caught up with SUAB president, Tamira Williams, to get an inside scoop on what will be going down at this years’ Aggie Fest.

 

Kelene: What is the date for this years’ Aggie Fest?

Williams: Aggie Fest will be April 7-12.

Kelene: What event can we expect to see during this week?

Williams: We are still finalizing all the events as of right now but, you can expect a lot of fun such as day time events, block parties, dorm step off, etc.. The full schedule will be out to the public at the end of this week or beginning of next.

Kelene: What’s going to make this year’s Aggie Fest better than the last?

Williams: Aggie Fest was gone for 10 years at one point in time, and now that it’s back we’re just trying to make sure that all of the events we have are fun for the students. We have a wellness wheel for the whole week and also a cultural fair that we would like all the students to take part in. Most importantly, we want our Aggies to have fun fun fun!

Kelene: How much money does Aggie fest bring into A&T?

Williams: Aggie fest is run by student activities and the special events committee program which means we try to focus more on events and activities for the students. All the money that is made goes toward more activities for students.  Aggie fest is not a revenue generating event, it’s just something for the students to do in the spring time.

Kelene: What is SUAB looking forward to the most during Aggie Fest?

Williams: We’re looking forward to the whole week overall, we’re excited for everything! SUAB just wants to make sure that the students are pleased overall and that our job was well done.

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Aggie Cheerleaders

After my exclusive interview with Williams, I had an interview with a sophomore student, Tevin Mcgill, who has been excited for the upcoming Aggie fest.

Kelene: What are you expecting to see at this years’ Aggie Fest?

McGill: I’m expecting, for one, the block party of course because last years’ was so fun. And second, I’m expecting a big performer to show up for a concert.

Kelene: Which event would you like to see NOT happen, that happened at last years’ Aggie Fest?

McGill: I wasn’t into the fashion show to much so if they take that out, that’ll be good.

Kelene: What is something new that you would like to see at this years’ Aggie Fest?

McGill: I think they should come up with a field day, you know, like we had in elementary but games that are more for college students, like quiz bowls or races. Just something that everyone can compete in.

 Many people call Aggie Fest the “mini homecoming” because of all the activities and fun.  After my interview with Williams and McGill, I see that this year’s Aggie Fest is expected to be one heck of a time. Let’s just hope it’s what everyone expects. 

Human Race Walk

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 Rain failed to stop volunteers from throughout Greensboro, N.C. who showed up at the Greensboro Coliseum March 29 for The Volunteer Center’s 20th birthday celebration and “The Human Race” charity walk. As Ashleigh Wilson reports, two student organizations from North Carolina A&T State University took part in the celebration and walk. Photo by Ziris Savage. Slideshow by Ashleigh Wilson. Click the photo view a slideshow of the walk.

 

Life on a Minimum Wage … Barely

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Life on a Minimum Wage … Barely

By Debora Timms

JOMC Journal Contributor

            Brittany Chavis is a working mother earning minimum wage. She stood out in the cold Tuesday, March 18 with a small but vocal group representing NC Raise Up.

Chanting “We can’t survive on $7.25,” the group is working to call attention to the struggles faced by minimum wage workers in the fast food industry.

Chavis’ four children range in age from 3-years-old to 9-years-old. Her job at Burger King, she says, leaves her “barely scraping the money to get what they need … for necessities” and she is reliant on government assistance to survive. Chavis’ plight is similar to thousands of minimum wage workers across the nation.

President Barack Obama visited Central Connecticut State University this month to continue his push to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10. He stressed that Americans who work fulltime should not continue to live in poverty.  Calling it a central premise of America, Obama said it was good business sense to “build an economy that works for everybody, and not just some.”

Locally, this sentiment was echoed by Rep. Alma Adams, who also spoke at NC Raise Up’s protest. “Just working hard is not enough, especially if you don’t earn enough,” she said.

 

Adams believes that support for raising the minimum wage is support for families across North Carolina. “Raising the minimum wage will strengthen workers. Strong workers strengthen families. Strong families strengthen communities. Strong communities have strong businesses,” Adams said, adding, “Everybody wins.”

Politicians vary on the issue, but most Democratic candidates support the initiative. In North Carolina, raising the minimum wage may well play a pivotal role in deciding this year’s state elections, with an Elon University poll showing strong public support for the move.

In December last year, The Economic Policy Institute released an updated analysis on the effect the Fair Wage Act of 2013, which would raise the minimum wage in increments to $10.10/hour by 2015, might have if enacted. Its report showed this level would allow a single, full-time minimum wage job to keep a family of three above the 2014 poverty line set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This reflects what minimum wage jobs provided throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

Nationally, the Congressional Budget Office estimates raising the federal minimum wage will lift the earnings of 16.5 million workers. It would indirectly impact another eight million workers as employers adjust their internal pay scales.

Allan M. Freyer, public policy analyst for the North Carolina Budget & Tax Center, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center, says about 753,000 current minimum wage workers, as well as an additional one million workers who earn above the current minimum, would see their wages increase in North Carolina. “Poverty wage jobs are the fastest growing sector” in the state and this boost in the income of minimum wage workers would also boost the local economy, said Freyer during a recent interview.

Not everyone agrees with this assessment. North Carolina Speaker of the House Thom Tillis called the move a “dangerous idea” and worried that setting an “artificial threshold” would drive up costs and ultimately harm jobs.

Dr. Mark L. Burkey, a North Carolina A&T State University economics professor,  said in an interview on campus, “both sides have data analysis to latch onto” and “there’s some truth in the middle.” Burkey points out there is a valid concern about the poorest among us and good intention in wanting to protect people. However, “you can’t convince me that by forcing a business owner to pay more he’ll hire more,” said Burkey.

Freyer disagrees. Workers with more money to spend will increase business’s customer base and income. The resulting economic growth will more than compensate for increased wages. Freyer cites another benefit. Happier, better paid workers are more likely to stay at the same job. Reducing employee turnover will lower business costs normally incurred to hire and train new staff. These productivity savings are important. So are higher skills levels because, he says, “skills are the heart of how you compete in the economy.”

Carolyn Smith is the State Director for Working America, a community affiliate of the AFL-CIO. She prefers to discuss it in terms of “a fair wage for fair work.” In North Carolina, Smith said when interviewed, 18 percent of people live below the poverty line. Costs continue to rise even though the minimum wage has not increased since 2009.

“Paying minimum wages to workers,” she adds, “is keeping them in poverty.”

Smith believes another key to improving the lives of minimum wage workers is to support the right to collective bargaining. Workers need someone to speak for them and to have their right to organize and collectively bargain recognize. This is not the case in states with right-to-work laws like North Carolina. Smith says cases of wage theft (employees being made to work off-the-clock) and issues regarding scheduling could be improved if employee’s right to unionize were recognized in North Carolina.

“Businesses are able to pay membership dues to the Chamber of Commerce who then organizes and lobbies on their behalf,” says Smith. “So why can’t workers have someone to speak up for them?”

Tyre Shoffner also spoke out. The North Carolina A&T State University student is a junior majoring in agribusiness. He also works for McDonald’s. Shoffner illustrated how little the minimum wage works out to by breaking it down to its worth per minute – just 12 cents.

“It’s a real struggle,” he said, to keep up with school while trying to earn enough to cover his bills and student loans.

Shoffner and Chavis said that typically schedules are given out only a few days in advance and are subject to change on short notice. Chavis is “not allowed to work more than 25 hours in a week,” and getting a second job would be hard. Without a set schedule, her hours vary week to week.

The Rev. Nelson Johnson is pastor of Faith Community Church and executive director of Beloved Community Center of Greensboro. He believes raising wages is critical, and encourages everyone in the community to stand in support.

“The current minimum wage,” he said, “is far from sufficient.”

Johnson added that it “diminished the dignity of a person” to work, yet still have to ask for public assistance just to survive.

Internship Vs. Co-Op

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Tips to Obtain an Internship or Co-Op

By Kimbery Fields

Managing Editor

The JOMC Journal

As the semester winds down, many students are exploring their options with jobs, internships and co-ops. What is the difference? Where should you go? Why should you obtain one of the three?

Students hear the words, but not all students know the difference between a co-op or internship.

Pamela Basheer

Pamela Basheer, assistant director of experiental learning, works in the Office of Career Service  at North Carolina A&T where she has assisted students  for 11 years with internship and co-op opportunities. Basheer says that while there are a few differences between a co-op and an internship, the two main differences are length and income. A co-op usually lasts six months and is paid, while an internship is an average of three months and can be either paid or non-paid.

Regardless if you choose an internship or a co-op, Basheer says they are both very important as it allows you to “test-drive” a career along with obtaining work experience and becoming more competitive in the post-graduation job market.

“Through these experiences students can clarify their career interests, develop professional skills and strengthen self-confidence,” said Basheer.” Internships enhance classroom learning and provide students with references and contacts in their field.”

So how do you know if an internship or co-op is right for you? Does this apply to your major?

Yes. Basheer says internships and co-ops can benefit all majors seeing as they provide valuable career-related experience, professional development, self-confidence, a medium to apply classroom lessons to real life, make students more marketable and help build a network or professionals among other benefits.

No one wants to go into their career field blind let alone an internship or co-op. Basheer provided a few tips to help navigate you from obtaining an internship or co-op to possibly turning that position into your profession.

  • Clarify your goals in order to maximize your experience.
  • Research companies or industries you are interested in including the location, housing options, transportation and income or lack thereof.
  • Know if an internship or co-op is a degree requirement.
  • Develop a professional resume.
  • Network and stay in contact with faculty, staff, friends and join professional networks.
  • Set aside time each day or week to apply for opportunities and remember the application requirements and deadlines.
  • Search for opportunities at networking events, career conferences and fairs, information sessions, websites such as Internship.com and Indeed.com and also follow employers on social media including LinkedIn.
  • If you are contacted for an interview, research the interviewer and employer, participate in mock interviews, and send thank you letters immediately after the interview.
  • If you secure the internship or co-op, send another thank you letter and state that you understand all the requirements like start date and work schedule, let the Office of Career Service know you have accepted the internship or co-op and enroll in the correct co-op course, and in order to receive academic credit, make sure you talk to your advisor or department chair.
  • During your internship, it is important to remain professional at all times, have a positive attitude, always do your best and take initiative.

Just because the internship or co-op is over, the relationship you have established with coworkers or employers do not have to end. Basheer says that a week before students leave their site, they should meet with their supervisor and thank them for the opportunity and talk about how much you have learned from this experience. Once the student is home, Basheer recommends sending a formal thank you letter reiterating your appreciation.

To help get you started, the Office of Career Services provides a variety of interdisciplinary programs, services and resources to help prepare A&T students for a successful career including personal and professional development. Some of those services are a career assessment test, career fair, counseling, etiquette dinners, a job posting database, newsletters, on-campus interviews, resume development and workshops. For more information visit the Office of Career Services website at www.ncat.edu/careerservices and be sure to log-in to AggieLink to take advantage of all the services the office has to offer.

 

Choose Your Cheesecakes By DeZign

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Savory desserts are favorites at parties, weddings and other events

By Mija Gary

JOMC Journal Contributor

With more than 15 different flavors of cheesecake, Cheesecakes by DeZign brings its customers the ultimate dessert experience. Tracy Springer, the owner of the Greensboro, N. C. -based Cheesecakes by DeZign, spent three years perfecting her cheesecake strawberries and other cheesecake recipes.

Today Springer’s savory desserts are so successful that they are the highlight of girls’ night out gatherings, weddings, bachelor parties, birthday celebrations, and more.

Cheesecakes by DeZign feature an array of custom flavors.

“When I want to treat family, friends or colleagues to gourmet desserts I always call Cheesecakes By DeZign,” said John Rich, a Greensboro, N.C.  business executive. “I love the quality, presentation, free delivery and knowing that expectations will always be exceeded.”

Springer found her love for cheesecake as a young girl when she ate Sara Lee cheesecakes with her mother.

“We would let them thaw and eat them cold and frosty,” Springer said. “That’s how I always liked them.”

After venturing off  to college at N.C. A&T, Springer’s best friend would make her cheesecake when they were both visiting home. Springer is originally from New York, but she has lived in Greensboro for more than 10 years.

“We didn’t have a lot of money so we would cut it in half.  I would eat one half and she would eat the other,” Springer recalled, laughing.

Established in February 2009, Cheesecakes by DeZign began with just cheesecake strawberries, which are strawberries filled with cheesecake and covered in graham crackers. Initially, Springer made her secret recipe for family and friends and the strawberries turned out to be a huge hit. People began to approach her and ask for the strawberries.

After three years of perfecting the cheesecake strawberry and two flavors of cheesecake recipes, Springer began to sell her treats. The strawberries are accompanied by an almond flavored mini-sized cheesecake and two bite-sized lemon cheesecakes.

“I didn’t think the strawberries were enough, and I only had a few different flavors of cheesecake,” Springer said. “I wanted my customers to design their own flavor and I would create the cheesecake that they desired.”

Hence, Cheesecakes by DeZign was established.

Upon establishing Cheesecakes by DeZign, Springer faced many challenges in the process. She worked a full-time job and made cheesecakes the rest of the time.

“It was like a part-time thing I would do during the holidays or when someone would approach me,” she said. “The most difficult thing was time. It was very tiring because I had a family and children. It was a lot harder when I went into it full time.”

Yet, Springer was determined to succeed despite the financial strain she encountered when starting her business.

“Yes, it was expensive,” Springer added. “I was using my own personal money at first, but I’m still working on it on paper, in my mind and talking to others. Whatever I make, I put back into the company.”

Tracy Springer, owner of Cheesecakes by DeZigns, stands with one of her signature homemade desserts.

Time management is another challenge for Springer who, along with owning her business, is its sole employee.

“At the moment, it’s just me,” she said. “ It’s really hard work, especially when it comes to marketing, promoting, shopping for ingredients and supplies, cooking, delivery, preparation for baking, baking, cooling the cheesecakes, and decorating the cheesecakes.”

Despite the often tough times, Springer has overcome adversity through self motivation and encouragement.

“I had to get out of the mindset of telling myself ‘no’ and start pushing myself to go to the next step and the next level,” she said.

In the future, Springer aspires to have a brick and mortar shop, but, as of now, delivery is included for customers living in Greensboro and surrounding communities. She runs her online business from her home, and she is currently looking for a commercial kitchen.

“I love partnering with Tracy and CBD when we serve her delicious desserts to clients, volunteers and staff of various non-profit organizations in the Greensboro metro area,” Rich said. “Tracy’s sense of community is an important dimension of how she approaches doing business.”

Springer is direct in her advice to others who plan to start their own business.

“There is so much advice to give!” Springer said. “Learn from your mistakes and seek feedback from customers and people you trust. I’ve learned that not only can your product turn someone off, but so can your interaction with them.

“You have to work on yourself to build a better person,” Springer continued. “Everyone is born with a gift; you have to know what your gift is and tap into it. You have to know what is best for you. If you change the way you think about something, you will change the way you approach it. Life is about change. Don’t give up on your aspirations or dreams. Turn your aspirations into goals and work to reach those goals.”

“America needs black  business women,” Rich added. “CBD founder, Tracy Springer, epitomizes the very best in entrepreneurial spirit in our community. She is an important role model for all of us.”

 

 

The 22nd Annual NABJ Multimedia Short Course

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The 22nd Annual NABJ Multimedia Short Course

| North Carolina A&T State University | March 19-22, 2014

Critique Time During the NABJ Short Course.

DIANE JEANTY, STUDENT JOURNALIST

By Ashleigh Wilson, JOMC Journal Contributor and Editor

From March 19-22, the Journalism and Mass Communication Department at North Carolina A&T State University hosted its annual NABJ Multimedia Short Course program that featured professional reporters, producers, and other renown journalists who focused on training students to become better journalists.  As Ashleigh Wilson reports, West Virginia University student Diane Jeanty shared how this intense workshop has given her a glimpse into the “real world” of being a journalist.

http://hosting.soundslides.com/9q2c3

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BEING CARL MCLEAN

By Alexis Wainwright, JOMC Journal Contributor

http://youtu.be/VBnDllUZmqo

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EACH ONE TEACH ONE

By Bonnie Newman Davis, Endowed Professor of Journalism, NCA&T State University

http://youtu.be/62iqAu2IMsA

Which female celebrity inspires you and why?

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 TYRA BANKS

By Tiffany Blackwell

Tyra Banks was born Dec. 4, 1984 in Inglewood, Calif. Banks, once one of the “mean girls” in school, soon found herself on the other side of the “social food chain” when she experienced a massive growth spurt, which left her tall, gawky and skinny. Faced with teasing and bullying throughout high school, Banks was taught the true meaning of kindness in which she turned over a new leaf on how she treated others.

By the age of 17, Banks outgrew her awkward stage and blossomed in the curvy model that we know today. Her first attempts to find a modeling agency ended with harsh discrimination. In 1990, while still in high school, Banks landed a modeling contract with Elite Modeling Agency. Elite offered to send Banks to Paris, where she then prospered as a model. By the

Tyra Banks

mid-1990’s Banks began to gain weight. Not willing to starve herself like some of the other models of her time, Banks decided to come back to the United States where she became a swim suit/lingerie model which was more excepting of curvy models.

After her modeling career, Banks took on many projects such as “America’s Next Top Model” in which she encouraged plus sized models and healthy eating habits for models and “The Tyra Banks Show” in which is discussed topics that dealt with women’s rights, health and overall empowerment of women.

 

 

 

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ANGELINA JOLIE

By Samera Wlue

A woman who inspires me is Angelina Jolie. Besides the fact that she is an amazing actress who has graced many red carpets and has won numerous awards, she is also a caring mother, a loving wife, and the ultimate humanitarian. Angelina Jolie began her acting career at a young age. She starred in her first movie at age 7 alongside her father Jon Voight, but her big break didn’t come until 1993 when she was cast as the leading lady in the movie Cyborg. It was from that she began to take Hollywood by storm. After kissing her brother at the Oscars, wearing a vial containing then-boyfriend Billy Bob Thorton’s blood, and admitting to drug use Angelina was labeled the “Hollywood Wild Child”, a title that has long been forgotten.

         Nowadays, the only drugs Angelina comes in contact with are the one’s she gives to medics to help sick children in India and other third world countries. After first becoming aware of the extent of the problems people around the world faced when she filmed “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” in Cambodia she decided to become a missionary. Seeing the suffering of the people in Cambodia led her to contact the United Nations to ask for information about how she could help aid in Cambodia as well as other ravaged countries. It wasn’t long after that she was taking trips to countries such as Tanzania, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Chad, India, Sierra Leone, and numerous other countries helping refugees, sick children and torn families. Her most inspirational moment came in 2013 when she underwent a double mastectomy after finding out she had the cancer gene in both breast. After the surgery she told People magazine “Cancer is still a word that strikes fear into people’s hearts, producing a deep sense of powerlessness. On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity. I am still a woman and so are the millions of other women who experience the same thing.”

Source: www.inspirationawards.com

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DANA OWENS (QUEEN LATIFAH)

By Shequetta Nixon

Dana Elaine Owens, better known as queen Latifah, was born March 8, 1970 in Newark, NJ.  Latifah is a singer, actress, model and talk show host.  She won a Golden Globe award in 2008 for best performance and  2 BET awards for best actress in 2003 and 2008.  In Latifah’s early life she attented a Baptist church and played the position of a forward on her high school basketball team.  At 10 Latifah dealt with the divorce of her parents and during this time she grew a close bond with her mother, Rita Owens.  At the age 8, she was given the nickname “Latifah” meaning delicate and kind in Arabic.  Latifah’s early life took a turn when she was molested at the age 18 and tradgey occurred later when her brother was a motorcycle accident in 1992, “Drinking a bunch of alcohol, numbing myself was how I coped”, Latifah told Celebrity fitness and health examiner, Samantha Chang.

Queen Latifah

The start of Latifah’s career began when she formed an all-girl rap group, this soon led to a contract with Tommy Boy music in 1988.

Today Queen Latifah is known for her rapping and acting skills.  She won a Grammy in 1994 for her song and performance of U.N.I.T.Y.  “The Queen Latifah” show is a talk show she created first in 1999 until 2001 then started the show again in 2013.  The show consists of topics of topics of discussion and interviews with celebrities.  Latifah has learned to respect her curves as a plus-size woman and speakes to other women and young girls that deal with the same issues as her.  Queen Latifah has overcome obstacles in her life to be the strong and succesful woman she is today.  Defeating the stage of depression and realizing she had great talents to offer allowed people in America to enjoy her film and music work today.

Source:  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001451/awards

http://www.examiner.com/article/queen-latifah-talks-body-image-and-alcoholism-i-love-my-curves

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EMMA THOMPSON

By Debora Timms

      There is much you can admire about the British actress Emma Thompson. Her career in television and film has earned her critical acclaim and peer recognition, including Academy Awards and the British equivalent, BAFTAs. Thompson has even made history by becoming the only winner ever to have won an Oscar for both acting and writing.

The film “In The Name of The Father” was what first brought Thompson to my attention. I loved her performance in it. Since then, I will watch a movie just because Thompson is it.

Emma Thompson

I find Thompson’s personality in interviews to be genuinely engaging. I am charmed by her English wit and her English accent. There is something about the genteel sound of her voice juxtaposed with her sometimes wickedly cheeky comments that I find hilarious.

What I admire most; however, are the many ways Thompson uses her notoriety to promote causes she supports. She is a Greenpeace member and a patron of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. She acts as an ambassador for ActionAid – an anti-poverty charity. Thompson also advocates for human rights around the globe. She has spoken out and recorded public service announcements to raise awareness of the modern day slavery of human sex trafficking.

I feel a connection to Thompson’s desire to make the world a better place and to speak out. It is the same feeling that drew me to begin my studies in journalism.

 

Click this link to hear Debora discuss Emma Thompson 140319_002

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GABRIELLE UNION

By Alexis Wainwright

Gabrielle Union, an American actress and former model, was born on October 29,1972 in Omaha, Nebraska. Gabrielle Union is more than just a sexy body, she is an intelligent women that many people are unsure of due to her familiar roles played in popular movies and TV shows such as: “Bring It On”, “Breaking all the Rules”, “Family Matters”, “Moesha”,” Saved by the Bell”, “Bad Boys II” and “Think Like a Man”.

Gabrielle Union

Not many people know Gabrielle Union’s personal life and what she went through. At age 19, in 1992, she was attacked and raped at her part-time job in a shoe store. The attacker turned himself in and was sentenced to 33 years in prison. Union then turned her tragedy into an opportunity to help others. She became an advocate for survivors of assault. That is something astounding yet heart breaking, to see a women go through a terrifying situation but then come out of it and start to help others who struggled in similar situations.

While Union was studying in her senior year she interned at the Judith Fontaine Modeling & Talent Agency to earn extra credits, clients were disappointed that she ended up being a behind-the-scenes employee. But when invited by the agency’s owner, she then was a working model and began to pay off her loans. Later the agency found out she could act and her first job was made without any headshots! Union is a graduate of UCLA with honors and a degree in sociology. Union is something more than what people assume from first looks. Union also became an ambassador in the Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s Circle of Promise, and even ran in the Global Race for the Cure in Washington, D.C. in honor of a friend, Kristen Martinez, who died of breast cancer.

It’s inspiring to see a women with beauty and brains, especially in her most recent work, “Being Mary Jane”, where she plays a successful TV news anchor and an all-around powerhouse. It is great seeing an African American actor who has a degree, got her education and worked to pay it off. Union plays so many roles in movies and TV shows that not only entertaining but inspire audiences.

Sources:

Martin G. Crystal (2012) issue of O.The Oprah Magazine

Gabrielle Union’s Aha! Moment

Pizzello Chris (2013) Associated Press

Gabrielle Union’s ‘secret dream’ comes true with new role

Tiauna (2006) Internet Movie Database

 Gabrielle Union Biography

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MERYL STREEP

By Diane Dake

Meryl Streepis the most decorated actress of our time. She has taken on roles in all different aspects of film from drama, to comedy, and even romance. She is truly a prime example of what I want to be as a producer. I want to be able to create an image to the public that reflects my ability to be flexible with my talents. Sometimes she can go unrecognized because she plays the far opposites at times. In her newest movie “August Osage County.” she plays an old lady with bad habits and no filter and in It’s complicated she was more spunky and free spirited. In “Mama Mia,” she showed that same type of spunk bringing in her musical talents ,and this was the first time I’ve seen Streep play that kind of role.

Meryl Streep

She studied at Yale and other credible institutions which paved the way for her success as an actress. Another reason I adore Streep is because she isn’t arrogant about her work. She is humble as I hope to be when I am able to get to a place that she is at being widely known as the greatest actress of our time.

 

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WINNIE MANDELA

By Liliane Long