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CAAM Celebrates Women’s History Month, Hosts Discussion with Edward Lewis, Co-Founder of Essence Magazine



LOS ANGELES, CAThe California African American Museum (CAAM) celebrates Women’s History Month by hosting a discussion with Mr. Edward Lewis, co-founder of EssenceMagazine, Sunday, March 15, at 2 p.m.

Moderated by television writer Kathleen McGhee Anderson, Mr. Lewis will discuss how he and three men came together to ignite the importance of giving Black women a “voice” and highlight the beauty, intelligence, and passions of African American women often overlooked by mainstream media. Additionally, he will discuss the founding of Essence, his views on “beauty culture” as it relates to black women.

Mr. Edward Lewis, who grew up in the South Bronx, co-founded Essence Communications Inc. in 1970. Beginning as a novice in magazine publishing, his drive and ambition nurtured what eventually became a media powerhouse and what The New York Times calls “the pre-eminent voice for black women.” He has acquired many accolades during his tenure of 35 years as a Chairman, CEO, and publisher for Essence including becoming the first African American Chairman of Magazine Publishers of America, receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of New Mexico, and a receiving the Henry Johnson Fisher Award from Time, Inc.  In 2014, he was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame, and received the inaugural IPPIES Lifetime Achievement Award from City University of New York’s Journalism School’s Center for Community and Ethnic Media.  His admiration for civic responsibility and creating opportunities for the younger generations has provided him with many opportunities to speak at several known colleges, and serve on boards for President Obama and throughout the United States.

The following are other events taking place at CAAM in honor of Women’s History Month:

Sunday, March 8, 2015 12:30 pm-2:20 pm/ Film Screening

Things Never Said(2014,111 min.)

An aspiring poet, in an abusive marriage, reignites dreams deferred and gains confidence and a new love.  This film is suited for an adult audience 18 years and older.  Writer and director of Things Never Said, Charles Murray will be on-hand for a “talkback” and Q&A following the screening. RSVP at 213.744.2024.

Sunday, March 8, 2015 2:30 pm-4:00 pm/ “Talkback” and Panel Discussion

Rejuvenation: Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Violence

Writer, director of Things Never Said, Charles Murray will join representatives from Peace Over Violence to discuss domestic violence and strategies for successful intervention. RSVP at 213.744.2024.

Friday, March 13, 2015 9:00 am-2:00 pm/ Screening and Panel Discussion

Young Voices at CAAM: High School Symposium—Mirror Mirror on the Wall

One hundred high school students will spend the day at CAAM, connecting, touring the galleries and engaging in a documentary screening, The Beauty Culture. Also featured are excerpts from the short film, Rapunzel Jackson, followed by a discussion around beauty, media propaganda and how it impacts youth.  Teachers can contact Education Curator, Elise Woodson for participation and more information at ewoodson@caamuseum.org.

Sunday, March 22, 2015 2:00 pm/ Comedy Set

The Funny of Love and Romance

Four hilarious and critically acclaimed comedians will riff on love and romance: Yvonne Orji, Daheli Hall, Ayana Hampton, Kimrie Davis. RSVP at 213.744.2024


Light Catchers opening March 20 – June 7, 2015

Visibly Invisible ongoing through March 1, 2015

Curvature: Lines & Shapes ongoing through March 15, 2015

CAAM Courtyard Series: From Women’s Hands ongoing through May 3, 2015

Lookin’ Back in Front of Me: Selected works of Mark Steven Greenfield, 1974-2014 ongoing through July 5, 2015

The 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965: A Photographic Remembrance From The Spider Martin Civil Rights Collection ongoing through August 9, 2015



The California African American Museum (CAAM) researches, collects, preserves and interprets for public enrichment the history, art and culture of African Americans. Chartered by the California State Legislature in 1977, CAAM is a state supported institution and a partner with the 501(c)(3) non- profit organization Friends, the Foundation of the California African American Museum. In addition to its permanent collection of over 3,000 objects of art, artifacts and historical documents, CAAM also houses a research library containing more than 20,000 volumes, employs and trains high school students through its Young Docents program, and hosts in-house curated exhibitions and traveling exhibitions on a regular basis.  The museum also tours CAAM exhibitions throughout California and the nation.



Maurice Smith Named Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois President

Maurice Smith

Maurice Smith

CHICAGO, IL- Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) today named Maurice Smith as President of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL). Smith succeeds Karen Atwood, who was promoted to a new position over service and technology for HCSC’s multi-state operations.  He will report directly to Colleen Reitan, Executive Vice President and President of Plan Operations, HCSC.

“Maurice brings to this role a broad perspective and deep understanding of our business and operations rooted in more than 20 years of experience across corporate finance, treasury, business development and subsidiary management,” said Reitan.  “His track record of leading multi-stakeholder teams, along with his strong connection to the Illinois business and civic community will help position BCBSIL for continued success in this fast-changing health care environment.”

Smith previously led HCSC’s treasury department and corporate development initiatives, including mergers, acquisitions and the formation of strategic partnerships.  He focused on capital deployment initiatives in support of the company’s overall strategy, including the acquisition of two health plans in other HCSC states.   He also oversaw HCSC’s subsidiaries, and served as the chairman of the board of directors of Dearborn National Life Insurance Company, HCSC’s largest subsidiary.

“Expanding access to affordable health care coverage is an imperative,” said Smith.  “I look forward to working with health care providers, employers, and communities in our state to make a difference for our members.”

Smith is the Chair-elect for the Chicago Sinfonietta and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting from Roosevelt University in Chicago.


Kansas SDA Church Celebrates Caribbean Flag Day, Black History

Photos by John Coleman

To celebrate Black History Month at Riverside’s Kansas Ave SDA Church, members and guests were invited to march into the church’s regular Sabbath service on February 18 with an Island twist. The church celebrated Black History in conjunction with giving recognition to the national Caribbean flag which symbolizes their birth and cultural identity. Participating members also wore Island colors, clothing, or something else symbolizing their cultural identity. It was a comfortable, joyful, and proud ceremony of recognition.