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Greek Organizations Give Back Through 25th Annual Oratorical Contest

A PHI A_AKA 2014 25th OratoricalFONTANA, CA- The men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, Mu Xi Lambda chapter, President Mr. Kevin Hall and women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Eta Nu Omega chapter, Ms. Annette Weathington held the 25th annual Oratorical Contest on Saturday, March 22 at Mango Elementary School, 7450 Mango Avenue, Fontana, CA 92336. This event was coordinated by Mr. Kevin Eastman of Mu Xi Lambda Chapter and Mrs. Twillea Evans-Carthen of Eta Nu Omega Chapter. Dr. Tonia Causey- Bush, Principal of Mango Elementary School; Ms. Patricia Yeary, Mango Elementary Third Grade Teacher; and Dr. Ayanna Balogun, Board Member of Fontana Unified School District was present along with Ms. Lisa Blacksher, Field Representative for Assembly Member Cheryl Brown, 47th District. Mr. Aaron Lash, Jr., student at California State University, San Bernardino and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity provided a special performance of spoken word.

This annual speech contest provides the opportunity for students grades first through twelfth to have a platform to enhance their public speaking skills, promote self-confidence, educational enrichment, and to further facilitate character building in a safe environment. This contest was developed under “The Belford V. Lawson Oratorical Contest, and uses the International Toastmasters Guidelines.”

Competitors came from local schools in the Inland Empire, such as Mango Elementary School, Palm Avenue Elementary School, Parkside Elementary School, Clement Middle School, Summit Intermediate School, Lakeside Middle School, Heritage Intermediate School, Beverly Vista Middle School, Martin Luther King High School, Summit High School, Eisenhower High School, Grand Terrace High School, Diamond Ranch High School and Cajon High School.

All participants were recognized as winners and received a certificate of recognition for participation from Assembly Member Cheryl Brown, along with a gift bag filled with treats and gifts from various partners.  Winners were selected in three groups based on grade level. First place winners received a crystal trophy and a check in the amount of $200.00.  Second place winners received a crystal trophy and a check in the amount of $100.00.  Third place winners received a crystal trophy and a check in the amount of $50.00.

Winners for the following categories were: Group 1 (1st through 5th) 1st Place – Akira Jones; 2nd Place – Charly Baldeon and 3rd Place – Samuel Huerta. Group 2 (6th through 8th) 1st Place – Thandiwe Bush, 2nd Place – Zaylin Jackson, 3rd Place – Romell McKenzie.  Group 3 (9th through 12th) 1st Place – Raihanna Melock, 2nd Place – Brandon Watts, 3rd Place – Cierra Joseph.

Since its formation in 1988, Mu Xi Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity has established itself as a cornerstone to the community and continues to do so with its four community service programs: A Voiceless People is a Hopeless People, Go to High School/Go to College, Project Alpha and its annual March of Dimes’ March for Babies. Through such programs and partnerships, Mu Xi Lambda has remained active in community by providing leadership development and mentoring assistance via the fraternity’s national and local initiatives. For more information regarding upcoming Chapter community service or scholarship opportunities, contact the chapter at muxilambda@info.com

In a similar fashion, Eta Nu Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority has been serving the San Bernardino and Riverside area for over fifty two years.  Eta Nu Omega has conducted a number of scholarship programs and service events to encourage young women to pursue degrees in higher education as well as providing leadership development, enhanced academic preparation and character building through its well renowned Emerging Young Leaders program. For more information regarding Eta Nu Omega chapter events, visit www.etanuomega.org

Journalist and Photographer, John Coleman, Will Be Awarded by Riverside NAACP for Community Efforts

John Coleman

John Coleman

RIVERSIDE, CA- The Riverside Branch of the NAACP will be honoring community photographer and journalist, John Coleman, at its ‘Freedom Fund’ celebration which will be held on Wednesday, May 14 at the Riverside Convention Center, 3637 Fifth Street in Riverside. The Theme for this year’s event is “Forward: The Movement That Changed the World”. Mr. Coleman (MSSW, LCSW) is a retired military veteran who served in Korea. He was also employed with the California Department of Mental Hygiene from 1958 to 1968 where he provided ‘in-patient’ services at Patton State Hospital.

From 1968 to 1992, Coleman was recruited to the University of California Riverside where he served as Campus Ombudsman, University Admissions Officer, Placement Officer, Medical Social Worker and Counseling Psychologist. Also during this period of time, the military veteran taught part-time at San Bernardino Valley College in the Community Services Certificate Program, and he briefly served as a Medical Social Worker at the Loma Linda Veterans Hospital.

Mr. Coleman’s has a resume of tremendous community service where he sits on several Boards of Directors, which includes Redlands Humans Relations Council (President); Inland Area Urban League; Arrowhead United Way; National Association of Social Workers; American Cancer Society; and a countless of others. He was appointed and reappointed by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors to represent the public on the Development Disabilities Area Board, XII (Area 12).

Currently, Coleman continues years of community service as the ‘community member’ on the Institutional Review Board, (IRB) , California State University, San Bernardino,  the organization responsible for protecting the rights & interests of human subjects of University research. Prior to his retirement, he was recognized as the ‘historic’ value of photography in his current role as a ‘community photographer’. He attempts to identify and photograph certain individuals, organizations and events upon submitting them for dissemination to local Black Press and Media outlets. (Rewritten and edited by Naomi K. Bonman)

Book Review: ‘Never Lose Your Head for A Little Bit Of Tail’

front cover onlyInterview by Naomi K. Bonman

TEMECULA, CA- As women we are bombarded by how we “think” we should conduct ourselves by what’s portrayed in the media. The media has portrayed, Black women in particular, to as promiscuous and loud individuals with little to no class. This misjudgment often clouds ones thinking and alters decisions that lead to life mistakes.

I recently interviewed the author of ‘A Little Bit of Tail’. Miss Cherry wanted to make a difference in the lives of woman, so she decided to put together a format where young ladies can not only relate to what is going on through the pages of the book, but also learn as well. She wants other women to know that it is okay to make mistakes because we all do, but we have to learn from them and be able to move forward. Our mistakes should not hinder us, but they should give us that extra boost and strength to move on.

‘A Little Bit of Tale’ is a fast paced, page turning novel about what happens when love clouds judgments, alters decisions and leaves you hanging out to dry on a limb by your lonesome. Throughout the book the reader will witness powerful storylines that combines real life stories of the most humiliating and embarrassing mistakes women have made in love. It is full of secrets they would rather take to the grave out of shame and fear of being judged. The book is a tool to expose actual heartaches by giving women the chance to learn from other women’s mistakes in love so they do not make all the mistakes by themselves. The moral of the story is to never lose your head over ‘A Little Bit of Tail’.

For more information on Cherry and her novel, please visit www.tocherry.com.

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