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Women with Voices Presents First Annual Inspirational Book Fair Featuring Acclaimed Authors, Speakers, and Entertainers

Marlo Wells

Marlo Wells

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA- Women with Voices is pleased to announce its first annual book fair featuring acclaimed authors, speakers, and entertainers. The fair will take place Saturday, September 26 from 10:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Rancho Cucamonga Community Center, David Dreir Hall East and West located at 11200 Base Line Road. The fair is free to attend and open to the public.

“We’re thrilled to bring this caliber of book fair to the Inland Empire Region,” said Rena Neal, founder of Women with Voices. “We’ve received overwhelming response and look forward to a great event highlighting a roster of phenomenal authors and inspiring speakers.”

Confirmed authors include Angela Alexander (“Miracles in Action”); Annette Hubbard (“Oh! Sing Praises!”); Torrian Scott (“Running After Destiny”); Shamilla Pennington (“From Waiting on God to Waiting in God-My Faith Journey”); and Lori Bryant (“Anthology of Stories – When Life Happens”).

The fair will also feature live performances by comedian Mel Austin

Mel Austin

Mel Austin

and gospel jazz artist Marlo Wells. Inquiries regarding vendor space or requests to read from published material as an author, poet or spoken word artist may be submitted to womenwithvoices@outlook.com.



Black Rose 2015 Honorees Have Been Announced

The Chino Fire Foundation will be receiving a Black Rose Award this year. (Photo courtesy of Chino Fire Foundation)

The Chino Fire Foundation will be receiving a Black Rose Award this year. (Photo courtesy of Chino Fire Foundation)

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- The San Bernardino Black Culture Foundation is happy to announce the winners of the 26th Annual Humanitarian of the Year, Commitment to Community Service and Black Rose Awards.

The Humanitarian of the Year award will be given to Kim Evette Anthony. Kim gives tirelessly of herself, using her skills and abilities to help others.  Much of her work is on a pro bono basis because of her unrelenting commitment to serving her community.  She provides countless number of volunteer hours servicing nonprofit and community based organizations including Stop the Violence Foundation and the establishment of the Regional Violence Prevention Coalition.

Kim volunteered with the Red Cross in Houston, TX serving and supporting displaced Hurricane Katrina survivors. A product of the foster care system, Kim spent fourteen months during her reign as Ms. California delivering motivational speaking and raising funds and awareness for the plight of foster children and at-risk youth.

Davis Clark will be receiving the Commitment to Community Service award. David, a retired military person, volunteers his time at March Air Force Base assisting retirees with their retirement and other benefits.  He also assists the families of the deceased, making sure they get the paperwork needed for proper burial.  In addition, he mentors students at San Gorgonio High School as well as the youth and young adults at his church.  He transports church members and neighbors to doctor appointments and the grocery stores and is involved in the food and toy outreach for the citizens on the west side of the city.  He ministers to the residences of Highland Palms Residential Living and when the senior citizens ask for special food and clothing, he purchases them with his own funds.

The Black Rose Charles Burris 1st Responders’ Award will be given to Chief Joseph Paulino. Chief Joseph Paulino makes sure that over 50,000 students are safe each day; and has implemented an explorer program for the middle and high school students in the district.  He still finds time to provide service to his community.  He is a member of 100 Black Men of the Inland Empire and recently, he hosted a Searching of Mentors Summit at California State University San Bernardino.  He volunteers his time with the annual Christmas toy giveaway, safety fairs, and positive tickets program.

The Chino Fire Foundation and Officer Marcus Pesquera will both be receiving the Black Rose Award. The Chino Fire Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the safety and welfare of the public through educational programs, direct assistance, and financial support of charitable organizations, victims of tragic events and injured firefighters. Officer Pesquera was in training when early one morning, he and his fellow officer approach a few individuals who appeared to have suspicious behavior.  Officer Pesquera’s quick thinking saved the lives of both men.  Unfortunately, his fellow officer was critically wounded but Officer Pesquera was able to save both lives.  He volunteers in his community at the firing range and his skills enabled him to protect the citizens of San Bernardino.-


California Celebrates Voting Rights Acts as Felons Regain Voter Eligibility

ap060209033384By McKenzie Jackson and Tanu Henry/California Black Media

For the past couple of weeks, America has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights act with events all around the country.

Last Thursday evening, many statewide and local organizations joined the commemoration with an event on the steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento. Legislative Black Caucus members partnered with the Sacramento branch of the NAACP and Urban league, civil groups, other elected officials from around the state and Californians from all walks of life to mark the historic legislation many regard the most important achievement of the Civil Rights Movement.

“As we see attempts to roll back voting rights in a number of states, it’s a good time to reflect on the widespread disenfranchisement of minorities and the struggle that led to passage of the Voting Rights Act,” said

Assemblymember Cheryl Weber (D-San Diego) who was an official host of the event about 100 people attended. “We need to revisit the history and heroes of that struggle and recommit ourselves to honor their sacrifice by exercising our right to decide who makes the decisions that affect our lives.”

For many voting rights advocates, California’s decision last week to restore voting rights to tens of thousands of felons serving sentences under community supervision makes marking the golden jubilee of the historic legislation even more special. California’s new policy comes at a time when there is growing support across the country among liberals, conservatives and moderates for extending voting rights to ex-felons.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla made the announcement last week after the state settled a lawsuit filed by the ACLU and a number of Civil rights groups on behalf of 60,000 felons.

 “If we are serious about slowing the revolving door at our jails and prisons, and serious about reducing recidivism, we need to engage – not shun – former offenders,” Padilla said. “Voting is a key part of that engagement; it is part of a process of becoming vested and having a stake in the community.”


All across the state there were Voting Rights celebrations honoring  the efforts of civil rights activists half a century ago whose actions led to former U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act into law on Aug. 6, 1965.

At the largest commemoration in Los Angeles, Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely, a civil rights activist since she was a teenager in the 1960s, was the keynote speaker. Organizers held the event titled “ The 1965 Voting Rights Act 50th Anniversary Tribute Call-To-Action Mass Meeting” at Holman United Methodist Church Thursday evening.

Preacely, who was a member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, urged blacks to continue to fight for equal voting rights.

“I speak to all of us, all of you, about how critical it is that we each find our voice and stand for something,” she said. “This is the time; this is the place to work for equal rights.”

The landmark legislation outlawed the discriminatory voting practices taking place in the Deep South after the Civil War. The act was designed to enforce the voting rights cemented by the U.S Constitution, but voting advocates say more work needs to be done after U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in the Shelby v. Holder case.

The case’s verdict  nullified the Section 5 protections in the Act. The section required certain states and jurisdictions to get approval in advance from the Department of Justice when it made electoral changes, such as changing voting requirements.

Empowered by the Supreme Court’s ruling, over the last two years several states have enacted laws requiring certain types of identification to vote, cut back on early voting days and limited who can register voters.

Over a dozen speakers took to the pulpit at the historic Black church on the west side of Los Angeles and spoke of the importance of making sure everyone, particularly African Americans, have a right to step into the ballot box.

The speakers at Holman UMC included U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; Los Angeles City Council members Marqueece Harris-Dawson and David Ryu; SCLC-Southern California President Pastor William D. Smart Jr.; Holman UMC Pastor Kelvin Sauls; CORE California Chair Adrian Dove; and Bend the Arc National Chair Stephen Rohde.

Other speakers were Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin, Los Angeles Urban League President and CEO Nolan Rollins and SCLC-Southern California Board Chairman Alice Golf.

The event was organized by a number of voting and civil rights groups and hosted by award-winning actor and singer Keith David. SCLC Freedom Singers and the Own Your Voice|Own Your Vote Ensemble performed during the two-hour tribute.

Congresswoman Bass, the Democrat whose district is in the greater Los Angeles area, called the Supreme Court’s judgement two years ago a mistake.  She is supporting the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015. The bill aims to amend the Voting Rights Act of 1965 with a key provision that would limit the power states have to amend federal voting laws. This bill is making its way through the United States House of Representatives.