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Greek Organizations Give Back Through 25th Annual Oratorical Contest

A PHI A_AKA 2014 25th OratoricalFONTANA, CA- The men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, Mu Xi Lambda chapter, President Mr. Kevin Hall and women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Eta Nu Omega chapter, Ms. Annette Weathington held the 25th annual Oratorical Contest on Saturday, March 22 at Mango Elementary School, 7450 Mango Avenue, Fontana, CA 92336. This event was coordinated by Mr. Kevin Eastman of Mu Xi Lambda Chapter and Mrs. Twillea Evans-Carthen of Eta Nu Omega Chapter. Dr. Tonia Causey- Bush, Principal of Mango Elementary School; Ms. Patricia Yeary, Mango Elementary Third Grade Teacher; and Dr. Ayanna Balogun, Board Member of Fontana Unified School District was present along with Ms. Lisa Blacksher, Field Representative for Assembly Member Cheryl Brown, 47th District. Mr. Aaron Lash, Jr., student at California State University, San Bernardino and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity provided a special performance of spoken word.

This annual speech contest provides the opportunity for students grades first through twelfth to have a platform to enhance their public speaking skills, promote self-confidence, educational enrichment, and to further facilitate character building in a safe environment. This contest was developed under “The Belford V. Lawson Oratorical Contest, and uses the International Toastmasters Guidelines.”

Competitors came from local schools in the Inland Empire, such as Mango Elementary School, Palm Avenue Elementary School, Parkside Elementary School, Clement Middle School, Summit Intermediate School, Lakeside Middle School, Heritage Intermediate School, Beverly Vista Middle School, Martin Luther King High School, Summit High School, Eisenhower High School, Grand Terrace High School, Diamond Ranch High School and Cajon High School.

All participants were recognized as winners and received a certificate of recognition for participation from Assembly Member Cheryl Brown, along with a gift bag filled with treats and gifts from various partners.  Winners were selected in three groups based on grade level. First place winners received a crystal trophy and a check in the amount of $200.00.  Second place winners received a crystal trophy and a check in the amount of $100.00.  Third place winners received a crystal trophy and a check in the amount of $50.00.

Winners for the following categories were: Group 1 (1st through 5th) 1st Place – Akira Jones; 2nd Place – Charly Baldeon and 3rd Place – Samuel Huerta. Group 2 (6th through 8th) 1st Place – Thandiwe Bush, 2nd Place – Zaylin Jackson, 3rd Place – Romell McKenzie.  Group 3 (9th through 12th) 1st Place – Raihanna Melock, 2nd Place – Brandon Watts, 3rd Place – Cierra Joseph.

Since its formation in 1988, Mu Xi Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity has established itself as a cornerstone to the community and continues to do so with its four community service programs: A Voiceless People is a Hopeless People, Go to High School/Go to College, Project Alpha and its annual March of Dimes’ March for Babies. Through such programs and partnerships, Mu Xi Lambda has remained active in community by providing leadership development and mentoring assistance via the fraternity’s national and local initiatives. For more information regarding upcoming Chapter community service or scholarship opportunities, contact the chapter at muxilambda@info.com

In a similar fashion, Eta Nu Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority has been serving the San Bernardino and Riverside area for over fifty two years.  Eta Nu Omega has conducted a number of scholarship programs and service events to encourage young women to pursue degrees in higher education as well as providing leadership development, enhanced academic preparation and character building through its well renowned Emerging Young Leaders program. For more information regarding Eta Nu Omega chapter events, visit www.etanuomega.org

Journalist and Photographer, John Coleman, Will Be Awarded by Riverside NAACP for Community Efforts

John Coleman

John Coleman

RIVERSIDE, CA- The Riverside Branch of the NAACP will be honoring community photographer and journalist, John Coleman, at its ‘Freedom Fund’ celebration which will be held on Wednesday, May 14 at the Riverside Convention Center, 3637 Fifth Street in Riverside. The Theme for this year’s event is “Forward: The Movement That Changed the World”. Mr. Coleman (MSSW, LCSW) is a retired military veteran who served in Korea. He was also employed with the California Department of Mental Hygiene from 1958 to 1968 where he provided ‘in-patient’ services at Patton State Hospital.

From 1968 to 1992, Coleman was recruited to the University of California Riverside where he served as Campus Ombudsman, University Admissions Officer, Placement Officer, Medical Social Worker and Counseling Psychologist. Also during this period of time, the military veteran taught part-time at San Bernardino Valley College in the Community Services Certificate Program, and he briefly served as a Medical Social Worker at the Loma Linda Veterans Hospital.

Mr. Coleman’s has a resume of tremendous community service where he sits on several Boards of Directors, which includes Redlands Humans Relations Council (President); Inland Area Urban League; Arrowhead United Way; National Association of Social Workers; American Cancer Society; and a countless of others. He was appointed and reappointed by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors to represent the public on the Development Disabilities Area Board, XII (Area 12).

Currently, Coleman continues years of community service as the ‘community member’ on the Institutional Review Board, (IRB) , California State University, San Bernardino,  the organization responsible for protecting the rights & interests of human subjects of University research. Prior to his retirement, he was recognized as the ‘historic’ value of photography in his current role as a ‘community photographer’. He attempts to identify and photograph certain individuals, organizations and events upon submitting them for dissemination to local Black Press and Media outlets. (Rewritten and edited by Naomi K. Bonman)

Remembering California Pioneer, Celes King IV

Celes King IV

Celes King IV

On Saturday, March 15th, 2014, well known community leader, political and civil rights activist, Celes King IV, passed away by heart failure in San Diego.  He was surrounded by family and close friends.

Celes King IV was born in Los Angeles on October 19th, 1943, the first born of legendary Civil Rights leader and Bail Bondsman to the stars, General Celes King III, and Anita Lugo King, internationally respected, delegate to the UN World Conference on the Rights of Women.   As a youth he drove for his father and mother and in this capacity with his sister Teri he was able to participate in their parents hosting of prominent figures from around the world.  After attending Antioch College, Celes IV left the family business, set out on his own and managed several businesses throughout the country before returning to participate in the multi generational family business built around the Celes King Bail Bond companies.  After his return to the fold, the family suffered the loss of both parents and Celes IV then joined with his sister Teri who managed administration of the Bail Bond business internally with Celes IV handling the expediting of external affairs.

It was in this phase that Celes developed into a very effective lobbyist in the course of advocating for several organizations throughout the state including most notably the Congress of Racial Equality of California which had been founded by his father General Celes King, a veteran of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen.  Celes IV quickly became a popular and effective operative in the halls of government in both Los Angeles and Sacramento.  He was significantly able to work on both sides of the aisle, relentlessly advocating on behalf of the underserved communities.  Fellow directors of the CORE-CA Board and family recalled Celes frequently saying that his role in Sacramento was to “Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”

With characteristic determination Celes founded the Family Foundation named after his parents Anita Lugo King and Celes King III.  He was also President and CEO of the King Central Self Development Foundation, The Phoenix Alliance and served on several Boards including the California Black Chamber of Commerce,  Advisory Board of Pacific Oaks College, and the Lillian Mobley Black Health and Education Task Force.

Celes was appointed by, CORE-CA and Kingdom Day Parade Chairman Adrian Dove, to proudly serve as CORE-CA Vice Chairman for Legislative Liaison, Education Policy and the Legal Defense Committees, where despite increasing health challenges he worked relentlessly and effectively on behalf of the community. throughout the state.

It was his close to the family collaborator Dove, who observed that, “Celes IV, the oldest son of a great man was driven to succeed far beyond any ordinary standards in order to righteously fill his father’s shoes by carrying forth the family legacy and taking it even to an extra step forward in every project he undertook.  We are thrilled to now to have witnessed Celes having succeeded”.  His ultimate focus has always been community and family.  His parents’ family motto, “Success is one step behind where you stop.”

Celes King IV, or “Uncle Mike” as children of the family and close friends sometimes refer to him, leaves behind his brother, Tobi, sister Teri, Significant Other Diane Merrifield, First Wife and lifetime friend Ilene, as well as his six children, and six grandchildren.

Services for Celes King, IV will be held March 29th. 11:00 a.m at Angeles Mesa Presbyterian Church, 3751 West 54th Street, Los Angeles 90043.

OTHER NOTABLE FACTS:

Preceded in transition by his; Father Celes King III, Mother Anita Lugo King, and Sister Toni King.

Succeeded by: Sister Teri King; Brother Toby King & Wife Terrie; Significant Other: Diane Merrifield, First Wife, lifetime friend and mother of his children; Children: Darcie, Derek, Dana, Danny, Leontyne; Three Nieces and Nephews: Tyia, Tyie, Tyona; Eight Grandchildren; Eight Grand Nieces and Nephews; and a host of friends.