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The Heat was brought to the So Cal Region at the First Annual Los Angeles Soul Music Festival

By Naomi K. Bonman

Grooving, singing, kicking back, and just having the moment of the their lives are just a few words describe the emotions of soul lovers during this past weekend’s first annual Los Angeles Soul Fest. From July 22 to July 24, Southern California residents enjoyed a handful of activities at the Autry Museum of American West Griffith Park in Los Angeles.

The LA Soul Fest is the baby of Mark Douglas, CEO of Airborne Tickets that has blossomed and exceeded his exceptions. For the first annual Soul Fest, the event was very well attended and was an ultimate success. It brought out people of all ages and nationalities with everyone being there for one sole purpose—to enjoy some great soul music.

“Whether its vocals, instrumental soloists or a band, it doesn’t matter as long as each artist has the ability and talent to inspire and connect with an audience,” stated Los Angeles Soul Festival Head, Mark Douglas. 

This year’s talent included Grammy, Soul Train, BET, NAACP Image, Billboard, and ASCAP award-winners and nominees, as well as international and newly discovered talent. Highlighted acts included Eric Benet, Angie Stone, Marsha Ambrosius, Lalah Hathaway Lyfe Jennings, Jazmine Sullivan, Joe (Joe Thomas), Melanie Fiona, Eric Roberson, Rahsaan Patterson, Goapele, Vivian Green, Loose Ends featuring Jane Eugene, Avery Sunshine and Conya Doss. 

Great music would not be complete without good food and refreshing drinks. Guests were able to put their taste buds to the test with a variety of delicious food from several local food trucks. There were also smoothies and slushy trucks to cool patrons down from the heat. And of course, when it you’re groovin’ you usually want to have a drink in your hand. There was a 21+ drinking area that served a variety of beer and wine from vendors which included Stella Rose, Budweiser, Budlight, Stella Artois, Shock Top and Golden Road Brewing.

To keep up with the LA Soul Fest for the next year or to view photos and videos from this year, visit lasoulmusic.com or follow them on Twitter @LASoulFestFacebook and Instagram.

Blacks Still Far Behind Whites in Wealth and Income

Blacks in the United States continue to lag far behind whites in key areas of economic well-being like wealth, income and homeownership, a new report from the Pew Research Center finds. While these trends have been consistent for decades, what’s particularly notable is that these disparities between blacks and whites persist regardless of the level of education they attain, said Juliana Horowitz, an associate director of research at Pew. “Even when we only look at people with bachelor’s degrees, we still see these gaps,” Horowitz said. Take income. In 2014, the median household income for whites was $71,300 compared to $43,300 for blacks. But for college-educated whites, the median household income was $106,600, significantly higher than the $82,300 for households headed by college-educated blacks.

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UCR’s African American Family Wellness Center Hosted Successful Reception

By John Coleman

RIVERSIDE, CA-James S Jackson, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan and widely recognized for academic, administrative, research and other accomplishments​ was the guest of honor at UCR’s reception held May 6, 2016 at the UCR Alumni Center. The reception was hosted by the African American Family Wellness Center, UCR African Student Programs, the UCR STEM Academy, and the J W Vines Medical Society.

The theme this year was, “The National Survey of American Life,” and “The Family Survey across Generations and Nations.” It was conducted by honoree Dr. Jackson. Partially freed of responsibilities as Director, University of Michigan Institute for Social Research and other national and international duties, Dr. Jackson expressed interest in developing programs in targeted long-term studies of African American communities and populations in Southern California.  This ‘availability’ makes HIM a ‘Target of Opportunity’ for recruitment by national leaders in academic research institutions (including UCR) in California.