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Author Archives: WSS News

Conversations at CAAM Presents a Community Hero and Legend, “Sweet” Alice Harris

Sweet Alice Harris

Sweet Alice Harris

LOS ANGELES, CA-The California African American Museum (CAAM) is pleased to announce the next Conversations at CAAM with Watts community activist “Sweet” Alice Harris, Saturday, May 16, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., The discussion will highlight Sweet Alice’s unwavering commitment to the community of Watts and will be moderated by CAAM’s History Council Member Ruby Quallsgray.

A local hero and legend, Sweet Alice has dedicated her life to servicing residents in the community of Watts.   As the executive director and founder of Parents of Watts (POW), she has organized many programs for the community that focus on education, job training, voter registration, counseling, drug abuse and prevention on behalf of the organization.  Additionally, through POW she provides residents with necessities such as food, clothes and shelter.  During Christmas, Sweet Alice gives away free bikes to disadvantaged youth. She is also known to give the community’s youth five dollars each, under the condition that they place the money into a savings account.

Having founded POW in 1979, Sweet Alice’s drive for change comes from a life of struggle.  She was a mother by the age of 14, homeless by 16 and moved from Detroit to Los Angeles to care for her ailing mother.  It was then, she realized her calling for community activism.  Sweet Alice has received an honorary doctorate from USC and many awards including awards from Essence magazine and former President George W. Bush.

This event is free and open to the public. CAAM is located at 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, 90037. RSVP is encouraged by calling (213) 744-2024.  For more information visit www.caamuseum.org.  Follow CAAM on social media: Facebook/Twitter @caaminLA and Instagram @caaminlosangeles.


Immediate Family Hosts Star Studded Opening Night

Immediate Family cast and crew

Immediate Family cast and crew

LOS ANGELES, CA- On Sunday, May 3, “Immediate Family” written by Paul Oakley Stovall and directed by Phylicia Rashad debuted at the Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum. Several celebrity guests arrived to the theater via red carpet. They included: Debbie Allen, Ava DuVernay, Jackée Harry, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Vanessa Williams, and a countless number of others.

“Immediate Family” is a biting new comedy which explores evolving ideas of marriage and family. When the Bryant siblings come together for the first time in five years to attend a wedding, the family reunion quickly becomes a hilarious family showdown. Secrets are revealed and long-held beliefs are challenged as a spirited game of cards brings all of the family dysfunctions to the table. Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune said the play is “highly entertaining … [it] just bursts with life.”

The Mark Taper Forum at the Music Center is located at 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles. The play will run through June 7. Tickets are available in person at the CTG box office, by phone (213) 628-2772 or online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org.

There’s Purpose within the Trial

Hakim Hazim

Hakim Hazim

By Hakim Hazim

The words of James 1:2-8 should hang in a prominent place in every man’s home today:

“Count it all Joy my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double- minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (English Standard Version)

I wonder how many Christian men really believe that God is truly at work in their lives in terms of trials and tribulations. We are quick to point out what the devil or what people are doing to us. We rarely seek God for any reason other than to remove the source of irritant or pain. We rarely identify the trials that God places us in as his designed training, and we seek out numerous instructors to help us make sense of what is taking place.

The truth is, deep down inside, we have a sense that there is a purpose within the trial, but we don’t want to believe it. We know that God instructs us to rejoice in trials, but we refuse to do it. He instructs us to hold fast and believe, but we are double minded. He instructs us to give our best in the midst of it, but we hoard or talents and possessions. He instructs us to let him lovingly prune us and remove everything that does not belong in our lives, but we fight tooth and nail. The very process that realigns our wills and accelerates our growth, we do everything we can to deny as an option in our lives.

We have been duped into waiting on the divine gravy train that will remove all of our struggles in life. Many have preached a message that struggles of health, resources, relationships and mental anguish indicate a lack of faith. Our honesty about these things arouses the instincts of predators, because they are drawn to struggling people by what they see as the scent of weakness. They promise that they can help you with these things—for a fee if they are a business or an offering if they are a ministry. If you pay close attention to the passage above, God is the author of the trial that befalls individuals and communities as well. He will also be the finisher. The key to overcoming any trial is focused endurance. You have to be anchored into the purpose of it, not simply the resolution. The passage I cited in James says trials—it’s plural. More trials will come. As long you have breath, they will come. Welcome and overcome them by faith. They are yours, designed for you! It does not matter the form in which they come.

Lastly, men: be careful of the wolves in sheep’s clothing—predatory peddlers of false hope and instruction designed to simply fleece you and channel your emotion to their cause. They are everywhere and too numerous to list. You are ultimately responsible for who and what you follow. Christ’s sheep know his voice. The problem is we stray often and find ourselves in places we simply should not be.

Our trials are designed by the Almighty to strengthen our resolve and to rid us of double mindedness. If you persevere, you may be one of the people God is calling to help lead this generation.


Hakim Hazim is the founder of Relevant Now and co-founder of Freedom Squared . He is a nationally recognized expert in decision analysis, criminality and security.