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Publisher and Co-Founder of California Black Media Hardy Brown Honored at State Senate

Hardy Brown is honored on the floor of the California State Senate. Included in this photo from left to right: (back row) son-in-law and Stockton City Manager Kurt Wilson, granddaughter Kennedy Wilson, brother Vince Brown; (middle row) daughter and California Black Media chair Regina Brown Wilson, wife Assemblymember Cheryl Brown (D-San Bernardino); (front row) Senator Richard Roth (D-Riverside), Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino), Hardy Brown, and Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga).

Hardy Brown is honored on the floor of the California State Senate. Included in this photo from left to right: (back row) son-in-law and Stockton City Manager Kurt Wilson, granddaughter Kennedy Wilson, brother Vince Brown; (middle row) daughter and California Black Media chair Regina Brown Wilson, wife Assemblymember Cheryl Brown (D-San Bernardino); (front row) Senator Richard Roth (D-Riverside), Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino), Hardy Brown, and Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga).

SACRAMENTO – In recognition of his work in the community and role in the California media industry, Senators Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, and Connie Leyva, D-Chino, presented Black Voice News publisher and California Black Media co-founder Hardy Brown, Sr. with a Senate resolution on Monday.
“Hardy’s life story is an inspiring one,” said Morrell. “The Black Voice News is an important news outlet in our region and provides valuable insight to its readers every week. But as much as Hardy and his wife Cheryl are known for their contributions to the publishing industry they are also generous philanthropists. They do incredible work on behalf of kids and families in neighborhoods across the Inland Empire. We are fortunate to have them as leaders in our community.”
The son of North Carolina sharecroppers, Brown came to California in the 1960s and held various positions with Kaiser and the California Electric Company (now Southern California Edison). In 1980, he and his wife Cheryl, now an Assemblymember representing the 47th District, founded Brown Publishing Company to produce the Black Voice News, a newspaper focusing on local news in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Together, they have the distinction of being the only living publishers to be included in the 175th anniversary of the Black Press of America.
Brown is also founding President of California Black Media, a network of African-American media owners across California, which will meet in Sacramento this week during the annual conference of the California Newspaper Publishers Association.
“I’m truly humbled to be honored by Senators Mike Morrell and Connie Leyva during Black History Month, and am deeply appreciative of the graciousness displayed by the entire Senate body,” said Brown. “As the son of a poor-sharecropper from North Carolina, I never imagined that I’d be here today in front of you all, partaking in the American Dream. Words cannot fully express my appreciation. Thank you to my family, friends, community and employers who all believed in me and supported me over the past 50 years. I’ve dedicated my life to community service. This honor is a strong testament to the power of God and what he can do with someone who believes in Him.”
Over a decade ago, Hardy was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as ALS, but the disease has not defined his life at all. He has fought it courageously and continues to write a regular column or Black Voice News on today’s issues of importance.

Verizon Wireless Partners with Harlem’s Fashion Row Making a Splash in Los Angeles with its First-Ever West Coast Event

(Photo by Michael Bezjian/WireImage)

(Photo by Michael Bezjian/WireImage)

Four talented and diverse fashion designers showcased their collections to a select group of celebrities and influencers during Grammy weekend

LOS ANGELES, CA- Harlem’s Fashion Row (HFR) presented Style Beat, its first-ever West Coast event during Grammy Awards weekend in Los Angeles.  The glamorous daytime affair took place on Friday, February 6th at a luxurious Beverly Hills estate.  HFR is a unique movement founded to increase diversity in fashion by producing events to educate, stimulate, and advance opportunities for emerging designers of color.  Collections by four talented and diverse fashion designers were showcased to a select group of 250 tastemakers.  The featured designers were the legendary L.A.-based designer Kevan Hall, custom menswear designer Waraire Boswell, and emerging designers, Joseph Bethune and “Project Runway” finalist Kimberly Goldson.

As a partner, Verizon Wireless was able to help HFR’s Founder and CEO Brandice Henderson- Daniel pursue her passion through technology and bring Style Beat to life, which was co-hosted by actress/entrepreneur/model/TV personality Vanessa Simmons (styled by Shop Le Look) and recording artist/actor Quincy.  Attendees were able to take part in Verizon’s 360 Glam Cam to share their fashion and style. There was also a special one-on-one conversation with Kevan Hall discussing his career and influences.  The event culminated with the poolside runway fashion show featuring designs by Hall, Boswell, Bethune and Goldson.  Celebrity and influencer guests included Vanessa Williams, Tamala Jones, Melissa De Sousa, Michael Jai White, Gillian Waters, Cedric Sanders, Gloria Govan, Laura Govan, AJ Johnson, VaShawn Mitchell, Malina Moye, Kwame Boateng, Kofi Siriboe, Davidson Frere, V Bozeman, Kay Cola, Ugo Mozie, Daver Campbell and Harriette Cole, among others.  Guests were treated to a complimentary beauty bar, gifting, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and much more.

“Style Beat could not have happened without the generous support from Prudential and Verizon Wireless.  Because of them, we were able to show four incredible designers, all of whom I’m thankful for their participation.  I am still blown away by the amazing welcome we received in Los Angeles and we look forward to presenting more events here in the near future,” said Brandice Henderson-Daniel, Founder/CEO of Harlem’s Fashion Row.

About Harlem’s Fashion Row 

Harlem’s Fashion Row (HFR) is an influential arts and entertainment organization that engages audiences and aligns brand partners with emerging multicultural designers.  HFR’s mission is to discover and showcase rising talent of color through a platform of national events and customized multi-platform programs.  HFR has gained corporate support from companies such as AOL, Target Stores, Iman Cosmetics, Smartwater, Dark & Lovely, and BET. Harlem’s Fashion Row has also been covered by Women’s Wear Daily, NY Daily News, Fashionista, New York Time Out, and Jones Magazine, as well as, “That’s So New York”, The Cut, NY Racked, Black Enterprise, and Centric.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network.  As the largest wireless company in the U.S., Verizon Wireless serves 108.2 million retail customers, including 102.1 million retail postpaid customers.  Verizon Wireless is wholly owned by Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ).  For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com.  For the latest news and updates about Verizon Wireless, visit our News Center at http://www.verizonwireless.com/news or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/VZWNews.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of SoCal Celebrates Three Young Leaders for Black History Month

(from left to right) Lashyra Nolen, Thomas Watkins, and Lorissa Payne

(from left to right) Lashyra Nolen, Thomas Watkins, and Lorissa Payne

LOS ANGELES, CA- What does it take to be a leader? Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great orator, Muhammad Ali was a fighter in and out of the ring, and aviator Bessie Coleman was as determined as they come. One thing they had in common was their affinity for leadership which was apparent at an early age.  Today, three stellar scholars from Ronald McDonald House Charities®/African American Future Achievers (RMHC/AAFA) scholarship program are emerging as young leaders in their communities and on their college campuses as well. The scholarship program is hosted locally by Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Southern California (RMHCSC) and supported by the fundraising efforts of local McDonald’s owner/operators and corporate staff.  Each of these students have drawn inspiration from leaders of the past, while they start to build their own ideas of what it takes to become a leader today.

Lashyra Nolen

Lashyra Nolen

LaShyra Nolen, a sophomore Health and Human Science major at Loyola Marymont University (LMU), believes being a leader means being bold and being prepared to act so the voices you serve are heard. She plans to do just that as a Clinton Global Initiative Student innovator, a program that provides support for undergraduate students who are developing new solutions to the world’s most pressing issues. Her plan is to create a five-week health program in the Riverside and San Bernardino communities that help families set healthy trends.

Nolen says the RMHC/AAFA program gave her confidence. “The fact that such an organization saw me fit to represent them showed me that I have people who believe in me,” says Nolen. “I asked myself, why can’t I be successful and do well in college too?” Doing “well” is an understatement for Nolen who serves her campus as a student senator, resident hall advisor, and member of LMU’s Belles Service Organization.

The aspiring doctor, who is from Rancho Cucamonga, says her drive and passion for her community was inspired by her mother. She received two college degrees while taking care of Nolen and her little brother as a single mother. “Everything I am doing all goes back to giving back and using my strength to help others.”

Thomas Watkins

Thomas Watkins

Thomas Watkins was selected as a RMHC/AAFA recipient in 2013 and has since partnered with RMHCSC to talk with students about reaching their goals and the importance of pursuing college. A Corona native majoring in Hotel and Restaurant Management at California Polytechnic State University in Pomona, Watkins believes a leader has to know how to command attention through communication. “A leader could be anyone, from any walk of life,” says Watkins. “They could talk to the CEO of a company, and also connect with a kindergartener with no problem.”

As an aspiring restauranteur, Watkins hopes to continue connecting with his community. He believes food is the one thing that can put a smile on anyone’s face. “I want to help my community by creating programs that teach kids how to cook as an outlet for them,” he says.

Lorissa Payne

Lorissa Payne

Biola University student, Lorissa Payne, began thinking of ways she could become a leader in high school. The freshman English major noticed she had the gift of writing and challenged herself by taking advanced placement classes which led her to be selected to the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola. The institute spurs students to take a deeper dive into Western literature and aims to build strong, Christian leaders.

“Writing is a primary form of communication and if students can’t express themselves through writing, it is a detriment to one’s future,” says Payne. She aspires to work in education and believes leadership is all about leading by example. “When others see a living example of a leader, it allows them to think they can succeed too,” she says.  She calls former United States Secretary of State Condeleeza Rice her living example. “Reading her biography in high school made me realize we were raised similarly, says Payne. “Her story showed me when people utilize their gifts to help others; they can go much further in life.”

Nolen, Watkins, and Payne are just a few of the 109 students identified each year through the RMHCSC scholarship program. Since 1990, RMHCSC has awarded more than $4.5 million in scholarship funds to local students. It allows students the opportunity to think about their future, makes college attainable and helps students inspire others.  Scholarships are awarded through four programs, including: RMHC /AAFA, RMHC/Asian Pacific American Students Increasing Achievement (ASIA), RMHC/Hispanic American Commitment to Educational Resources (HACER) and RMHC/Scholars.

For more than 35 years, RMHCSC has been committed to providing comfort, care and support to children and families in Southern California.  RMHCSC is dedicated to creating a community where children and their families embrace life and healing with a sense of hope, enthusiasm, courage and joy by operating six Ronald McDonald Houses, Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, two Ronald McDonald Family Rooms and a Community Grants Board. This year, another 109 student scholars and future leaders from across Southern California will be celebrated during the annual RMHCSC scholarship luncheon that will take place in May.