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Author Archives: WSS News

Race in America: The Elephant in Everybody’s Room

Terrence Roberts, PhD, Keynote Speaker, Race & Racism, Redlands 1st United Methodist Church. (Photo credit: John Coleman/Community Photographer)

Terrence Roberts, PhD, Keynote Speaker, Race & Racism, Redlands 1st United Methodist Church. (Photo credit: John Coleman/Community Photographer)

By John Coleman

REDLANDS, CA- United Methodist Church in Redlands led an interesting discussion on Race in America, which was held on Wednesday, November 8. Terrence Roberts led the discussion with a presentation about his early childhood years as a Black child growing up in America. He recalled being scarcely aware of the hurtful attitudes and behaviors of White people towards Black people. He felt safe within this home where he ran and played and enjoyed the joys that childhood had to offer. Early on as a child he was taught to be good, develop a strong internal sense of himself, and to get a good education.

However, outside of the home it was a different story. Roberts became aware of difficulties for Black people surviving in in a racist, legally structured system and in state like Mississippi or Arkansas, where laws are written by White people for enforcement on Blacks, such as the 1896 U.S. Supreme Court decision, known as “Separate but Equal,” while only a few men who wrote the U.S. Constitution were slave holders, all firmly believed in the superiority of European people over all others. This all began almost from the earliest years of the European invasions of the America more than 330 years ago.

Dr. Roberts proceeded to note post WWII changes in society that began to affect or address concepts of race or racism in the structure of life in America.

In his school years, Roberts began attending the public schools of Little Rock, Arkansas, which under Arkansas laws required Black students to attend public schools that were separate from, but failing to be equal to public schools attended by white students.  This situation was well recognized and sometimes contested by Black people in Arkansas.  White parents and their children were less aware, concerned, or opposed.

In 1954, The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the 1896 “Plessy v Fergusson”  (Separate But Equal) Decision, with the “Brown v. Topeka Board of Education” Decision & ruled that separation (segregation) was inherently unequal, and thus in violation of the US Constitution. White parents, students, school officials, community leaders, and white society-at-large were outraged and organized opposition efforts.

Black students in still segregated Arkansas public schools organized and attempted to enroll in Little Rock High School. Over 300 teen-agers volunteered to participate, but only nine (9) were selected.

Arkansas Governor, Orval Faubus ordered the Arkansas National Guard to prevent the students from their attending LRHS, but U.S. President Eisenhower nationalized the Guard and ordered them & USArmy  soldiers to protect the students’ constitutional rights. A soldier was assigned to protect each student, day and night, but abuse and mistreatment continued all year.

Terrence Roberts, then 13-years-old, was among the selected students who became known as the “Little Rock Nine.”  They were confronted by hostile, and violent crowds before and after school all year and behind the scenes in-school hostility and abuse from white students also persisted. However, Roberts commended quiet support and aid from White heroes, students and teachers, who were targeted, threatened and abused if they appeared to encourage and/or support the “Little Rock Nine.”  He specially appreciated the white student who defying white hysteria shared her textbooks, notes, and other class materials with him after his were ripped from him and destroyed.

Parents lost their jobs.  They and many others in the Black community suffered injury and other loss. Many others who carried the de-segregation campaign across America, like the “Little Rock Nine,” were teenage youth and their parents.

Governor Faubus cancelled all Arkansas high schools for the 1958-59 school year.

Terrence Roberts’ family moved to California where he completed high school,  earned a BA from Cal State University, LA; a Masters in Social Work from USC, and his  PhD from Southern Illinois University.   (This “Boy”  really ‘got’ his education!)

Rap Artist T.I. Leaves Remarkable Performance at 2017 SoCal Harvest Cup


Hip-Hop artist T.I.

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- The SoCal Harvest Cup kicked off on Saturday, November 11 at the National Orange Show Events Center, in San Bernardino. The event was presented by THC Design and Brass Knuckles.

From booths offering free dabs and samples at every corner to all the different activations and seminars, there was something for every type of cannabis consumer. As guests entered through the gates, they were welcomed with bags of bud to fulfil their cannabis appetites.

Magical Butters Top Cannabis Chef competition kicked off at 1:30 p.m. with chefs duking it out in the preliminary rounds of competition. The art of trimming was also on display at the THC Design booth, along with Shards of excellence.

High Times’ Senior Cultivation Editor Danny Danko hosted his “Free Weed” cultivation seminar followed by several music acts that hot the stage, which kicked off with Berner. Following him included: George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, who truly brought the funk; Naughty By Nature who packed in the crowd; Lil Dickey; and T.I. who closed out the night by bringing down the house.


Music Changing Lives Honored as 2017 Top-Rated Non-Profit

MORENO VALLEY, CA- Music Changing Lives recently announced that it has been honored with a prestigious 2017 Top-Rated Award by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews about nonprofit organizations.

“We are excited to be named a Top-Rated 2017 Nonprofit,” says Josiah Bruny, CEO. “We are proud of our accomplishments this year, including our Lights on Afterschool Unity Fest.”  

The Top-Rated Nonprofit award was based on the large number of positive reviews that Music Changing Lives received – reviews written by volunteers, donors and clients. People posted their personal experience with the nonprofit. 

For example, one person wrote, “Music Changing Lives is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of underprivileged children by encouraging them to pursue their dreams in music and art. MCL provides these students with the equipment and instructors they need, as well as educational resources to assist in their homework and overall performance at school. 

My experience at MCL as the administrative assistant to the CEO, Josiah Bruny, was rewarding in many aspects. I had the opportunity to be a part of a hard-working team and learned so much about what it takes to run a non-profit. Everyday there were tasks to be taken care of such as making sure there are enough snacks for the kids, answering e-mails and phone calls from parents and city officials, organizing materials for each school site, finding new and inventive ways to make the program a better experience, etc. 

The students love the program and are all encouraged to showcase their talents at the annual MCL Showcase. The showcase allows students to present everything they have learned throughout the year and this year’s showcase (2017) was a success. Hundreds of parents and school officials showed up and we received a lot of positive feedback. Music Changing Lives is a great program for students who want to further their music and arts education while making new friends,” Yen Tran, UCR Alumni, stated.

While the Top-Rated Awards run through the end of October, Music Changing Lives was part of the inaugural group to qualify for the year. In addition, they’ve been added to GreatNonprofits #GivingTuesday Guide—an interactive guide to top nonprofits throughout the years. Look for this near the holidays.

“Savvy donors want to see the impact of their donations more than ever,” said Perla Ni, CEO of GreatNonprofits, “People with direct experience with Music Changing Lives have voted that the organization is making a real difference.”

Being on the Top-Rated list gives donors and volunteers more confidence that this is a credible organization. The reviews by volunteers, clients and other donors show the on-the-ground results of this nonprofit. This award is a form of recognition by the community. The mission of Music Changing Lives is to offer the highest quality music and art enrichment programs to underprivileged and at-risk youth, between the ages of 5-19, helping them improve their chances of achieving a positive and successful future.