Category Archives: events

James Baker, Retired LAPD Sergeant Joins Community Activists to Speak on ‘Why the Black Man Has No Peace’

*Well this should be…enlightening. A conference and luncheon where community leaders can have a grown up discussion with a retired LAPD Sergeant. Since he’s retired, I’d think that will mean he can speak freely — and hopefully honestly. Retired LAPD sergeant James Baker will join in the discussion on why it is that the Black man, no matter how rich or poor, continues to be hounded, hated and hunted in society.

Be warned, the promotion for this FREE event wants you to know that they…have no silver or gold to offer you; no big contracts to promise you; no inside banker for you to see; no celebrity endorsements to offer you. WHAT THEY DO HAVE and will present are basic solutions only the right-hearted and humbled can understand. All are welcome, they say, to grab the rope on either side and show our nation, our America, our children that we are worthy of Peace!

Sounds like the kind of party where big boy/big girl pants are required. Continue reading

GM and Black Girls CODE Celebrate Launch of Detroit Chapter (Photos)

General Motors Executive Vice President Global Manufacturing Alicia Boler Davis talks with 2nd – 6th grade students at Detroit International Academy Tuesday, September 12, 2017 during a STEM-focused activity in celebration of the GM – Black Girls Code partnership and the launch of a Detroit chapter in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)

*LOS ANGELES, CA (Sept. 18, 2017) Yes, Black girls rock, but make no mistake, they CODE too! To this end GM and Black Girls CODE celebrated their partnership at the recent launch of a Detroit Chapter where they engaged in a series of hands-on activities at the Detroit International Academy for Women (DIA), a Detroit Public Schools Community District school, and TechTownThis partnership, announced alongside four other computer science partnerships in June, aims to increase interest in STEM career fields for girls of color.

  • STEM students from area colleges and universities will attend a panel discussion with BGC CEO Kimberly Bryant and GM Executive Vice President of Global Manufacturing Alicia Boler Davis, moderated by GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra.
Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors
  • DIA students in second through sixth grades will work with Black Girls CODE and GM employee volunteers to operate the BGC Robot Spiro to help build and race their own toy cars.
Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors
  • DIA students in seventh through 12th grades will hear perspectives from a founding BGC member and young STEM professionals from GM and DTE Energy.

Women of color are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields, especially in technology. Only 3 percent of African-American women and less than 1 percent of Latina’s receive degrees in computer science.

According to the Detroit Regional Chamber, Detroit outpaces the nation in information technology job growth and is expected to continue the pace through 2025.

Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors

“We’re on the forefront of electric and self-driving cars and connectivity that allows our vehicles to communicate with each other — and, with all that innovation, today’s cars have millions of lines of code,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “It’s one of the reasons that it’s our mission to help build the next generation of STEM leaders, with an emphasis on expanding opportunities to women and other underrepresented groups.” Continue reading

Performers and Tribute Speakers Honor Sheldon Epps at Pasadena Playhouse on September 17

*PASADENA, CA – Pasadena Playhouse (Producing Artistic Director, Danny Feldman) announced the line-up of performers and tribute speakers for the special event honoring Sheldon Epps, entitled SHELDON AT THE PLAYHOUSE – Celebrating 20 Years of Artistic Excellence, hosted by Wayne Brady.
Mr. Brady starred in Pasadena Playhouse’s production of Kiss Me, Kate directed by Epps. From 1997-2017, Sheldon served as the theater’s Artistic Director and is now the Playhouse’s Artistic Director Emeritus.  
Wayne Brady
SHELDON AT THE PLAYHOUSE will feature performances from A Night with Janis Joplin, Play On! and more, as well as tributes from Playhouse alumni. The celebration will be held on Sunday, September 17 with the performance at 6:00 p.m. at Pasadena Playhouse (39 S. El Molino Avenue, Pasadena).

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Loads of Celebs Help ‘Hand in Hand’ Broadcast Benefit Raise $14.5M for Hurricane Victims in 60 Minutes

(L-R) Oprah Winfrey and Cher

*”When love goes into action, it preferences no color of skin, no ethnicity, no religious beliefs, no sexual preferences, and no political persuasions. It just loves,” said Stevie Wonder, who joined a roster of celebrities volunteering their time to help raise money for those impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Wonder sang ‘Lean On Me’ at the hour long benefit named ‘Hand in Hand’ which was broadcast on four networks including iHeart Radio and ABC.

Everyone was there to lend a hand: Oprah was on the phones, along with Justin Bieber, George ClooneyJulianne MooreBruce Willis, Sofia Vergara, and Julia Roberts and many others.

Justin Timberlake shared stories while photos and videos showing experiences of folks impacted were displayed in the background, and loads of artists performed. Continue reading

Airline Denies Man and Dog Flight to Escape Irma Due to Pet Carrier Regulations

Matt and his dog Meeka speak to CNN’s Randi Kaye

*If you knew that certain death awaited your pet if you left it behind in an emergency, would you do it anyway? Matt Varga had run all around his Kendall, Florida neighborhood to find a store with a pet carrier to accommodate his dog’s flight. They were among the hundreds of people forced to evacuate and escape the harsh realities of devastation in the wake of Hurricane Irma. But even though he went to 10 different stores, all of the carriers were sold out.

When he went to the airlines to board his flight, both he and his dog, Meeka, were denied. The strict federal regulations on how pets can be transported on planes says pets must have an approved carrier for the animal. 

Of course, once word reached social media, all hell broke loose. After Varga granted CNN an interview the incident drew ire from pet lovers all over. Even anchor Anderson Cooper spoke out saying the airline should have made an exception in this case.

“It’s not a huge dog,” Cooper said of Meeka. “You would think they’d make an exception,” he said after the interview. 

Such “exceptions” have come to pass…in the past. But it takes two things to make it happen: guts and  compassion. Social media users referenced the Fort McMurray wildfire in Canada last year, when a pilot for energy company Suncor stepped out against policy to save 36 pets from the blaze — including cats, dogs, hedgehogs, a chinchilla and some frogs. Continue reading

Pasadena Playhouse Offers 10-Week Seminar “The Broadway Musical & America”

*PASADENA, CA (September 7, 2017) – Pasadena Playhouse (Producing Artistic Director, Danny Feldman) will offer the 10-week seminar THE BROADWAY MUSICAL & AMERICA taught by Tony Award-winning producer and NYU professor Adam Epstein. Epstein’s interactive lectures put the musical into focus as a distinctly American phenomenon and a form of cultural production, which both influenced and was influenced by the American political landscape since the end of World War II.  The weekly Monday seminars are from October 2 – December 11, 2017 and will be held at Pasadena Playhouse (39 S. El Molino Avenue, Pasadena).
Mr. Epstein will share the history behind your favorite works of musical theater, including, but not limited to West Side Story, Cabaret, Fiddler on the Roof, A Chorus Line, Annie, Rent, Hairspray, Wicked and Hamilton and how they shaped the American theater landscape.

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Hurricane Survivors (Katrina and Sandy) Give Advice to Those In the Path Now (Watch)

*As many of us sit in a nail-biting kind of way  for our family, friends and loved ones in the path of Hurricane Irma, only those who have actually gone through such a natural disaster, and was fortunate to come out on the other side, can truly speak to those in its path. So with this in mind, let’s hear the advice directly from the mouths of those who have gone through the experience.

A CNN video (scroll down) captured four such individuals who have survived either ‘Katrina’ or ‘Sandy’ and their stories of fear, helplessness, hopelessness and finally comeuppance may be helpful, in some way, to those in need now. Continue reading

‘Irma’ Utterly Destroys Islands of St. Martin and Barbuda in Caribbean, Seven Lives Lost

St Maarten

*Catastrophic natural disasters are definitely upon us as the second hurricane we’ve witnessed in a matter of weeks totally obliterates two tiny islands in its wake. Called one of the most powerful Atlantic storms on record, with winds traveling at 185 mph and heavy rains, as of Wednesday the Category Five Hell-raiser named ‘Hurricane Irma’ had made its mark on the northern part of Puerto Rico and claimed at least seven lives as it ripped through the Caribbean; leaving the islands of St. Martin and Barbuda in complete rubble.

Officials say the French part of St Martin — a pristine resort known for its vibrant nightlife — suffered the storm’s full fury: killing at least six people and decimating nearly all of the dwellings. The island is divided between the Netherlands and France.

“It’s an enormous catastrophe. Ninety-five percent of the island is destroyed,” top local official Daniel Gibbs said in a radio interview. “I’m in shock. It’s frightening.” Continue reading