Reggae singer Etana performed at UN to promote Ebola fight


Reggae singer Etana  received a standing ovation after her performance at the UN on 3/2/15.

By Tiffany Mea

On Monday, March 2, 2015 at the United Nations General Assembly Hall, reggae singer Etana and her band took the stage at the private concert “Stop Ebola and Build For the Future,” led by United African Congress, Give Them A Hand Foundation and the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation.

Etana  delivered a breathtaking set – performing songs off her latest album I Rise as well as her single “Better Tomorrow,” which has been chosen as the campaign’s official anthem. After final remarks from the National Chairman of UAC Dr. Mohammed Nurhussein, Etana returned to close the show with a grand finale performance of “Better Tomorrow” featuring Independent Artists United, where she brought the crowd to their feet for a standing ovation. Starting this week, fans can buy “Better Tomorrow” and all the proceeds go towards children orphaned by Ebola and rebuilding the communities affected in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.


Reggae singer Etana wowed the audience at the UN on Monday, March 2, 2015.

The song is currently featured on the iTunes. The “Stop Ebola and Build For the Future” event was hosted by NY1 News anchor Cheryl Wills with remarks from the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, Sierra Leone Ambassador to the United Nations Vandi Minah, Italy Ambassador to the United Nations Sebastiano Cardi, TV personality and humanitarian Lisa Vanderpump, Dr. Howard Zucker (Acting Commissioner of Health for New York State) and former head of the NAACP Dr. Benjamin Chavis. The evening featured additional performances by Chieck Hamala Diabate and Band and Artists With One Voice, a collaboration of singers from Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Cameroon and Mali.

The concert was made possible through a partnership between the UAC, GTAH, the Permanent Mission of São Tomé and Principe, the Permanent Missions to the UN of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea and the Observer Mission of the African Union as well as numerous nonprofit and community organizations, health professionals and faith-based groups. The Friendship Ambassadors Foundation will act as the 501(c) 3 nonprofit fiscal conduit. A series of online video shorts highlighting the issues and featuring the song “Better Tomorrow” was presented at the event.


Reggae singer Etana sang at the UN to stop Ebola.

“When I wrote the song ‘Better Tomorrow’ I thought of Africa and how rich and beautiful the continent is yet there are so many struggling and suffering people and only a handful of very wealthy people,” Etana said. “I also had similar thoughts of people in America, South America, Jamaica, Haiti and India. I wanted the world to feel like I feel, that there must be a better tomorrow. When I heard that someone was so moved by the song that they wanted to use the song to help people affected by Ebola I was overwhelmed with emotions. I am so happy to see the song doing exactly what I wanted it to do – help, heal and strengthen humanity. I am grateful to everyone participating in the mission to help make it a very successful one. One perfect love to each and everyone.”

“We are honored to be asked to support this noble effort. Etana is the right artist to represent and ‘Better Tomorrow’ is the perfect song,” said Richard Lue, director of business development at VP Records.–

Financial summit set for Atlanta, Georgia, with focus on empowerment


Atlanta, GA: Urban Financial Services Coalition (UFSC) will host its 41st Annual Summit  in Atlanta, GA, from June 4 to 6.  The event will be hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and promises to be one of organization’s most strategic and powerful events of the year. The summit will provide attendees with information and tools that will allow them to be more strategic and profitable with their businesses, employers and communities.

The event will include information sessions and workshops that will focus on topics such as business development; career planning and management; information technology, cybersecurity, regulatory and economic updates; servant leadership; and wealth management. Additionally, the Mark 1 Emerging Leaders Program and Oratorical Competition will be offered to youth desiring to be future members of the financial services industry and a Community Empowerment Day will be offered free of charge to the Atlanta community. The Summit will culminate with an awards reception at which the UFSC will recognize its corporate sponsors and outstanding chapters, members and youth program participants. It goes without being said that Atlanta will be a wonderful location to have fun and build lasting personal and professional relationships.

Call (404) 443-1234 for hotel registrations and use the code UFSC or visit for additional information about the Summit and check back often for updates regarding events and speakers. –

New York Daily News up for sale, most black print writers let go

Mortimer Zuckerman, Owner of the New York Daily News.

New York Daily News Owner Mortimer Zuckerman, announced on Thursday, February 27 that he has retained a financial firm to explore selling the paper that has come to define the spirit of New York.

By Carmen Glover

On Thursday, February 26, two days after the death of journalism diversity champion Dori J. Maynard, Mortimer Zuckerman, owner of the New York Daily News, emailed staffers announcing that the venerable paper is up for sale. The email, which was published in the paper, provided an interesting read.

“I want to share with you a new development regarding the company. A few weeks ago, we were approached about our potential interest in selling the Daily News. Although there were no immediate plans to consider a sale, we thought it would be prudent to explore the possibility and talk to potential buyers and/or investors. To help us with the process, I have retained Lazard, a leading financial advisory firm,” Zuckerman said in the email.

“I have not come to this decision easily. But I believe the immense hard work in turning the business around in an extremely challenging period for the industry, has put the Daily News in as strong a position than it has ever been, particularly online. I appreciate that this news is difficult for you to digest. But I want to reassure you that my aim throughout this process will be to do the right thing for the business to ensure the Daily News and its brilliant staff have the best opportunity to achieve all our future ambitions.”


Prior to the bombshell news, the Daily News have made copious changes, not all good. For instance, almost all of the African-American print writers were terminated or left amid what some described as a “climate of uncertainty.” Among those who left the paper last summer were Michael Feeney, out-going president of the New York Association of Black Journalists (NYABJ) and Jennifer Cunningham, both of whom wrote for the borough section of the paper. Clem Richardson, whose columns were insightful and informative, also left the paper.

As the size of the paper dwindled, so did the borough sections, which residents outside of Manhattan eagerly anticipated reading. The borough sections were discontinued recently and the Daily News print staff is no longer representative of the diverse New York City in which the paper is published. On Friday, February 27, reported that figures from the Alliance for Audited Media tallied the Daily News’ combined print and digital circulation numbers at 427,452 on weekdays and 558,057 on Sundays, compared to the New York Post, which tallied 497,878 weekdays and 454,007 on Sundays for the six month period ending September 2014.

Zukerman, who has enjoyed success as a real estate developer, purchased the Daily News in 1993. At the time, there was a noticeable mix of African-American print writers on staff. During Zuckerman’s time at the helm of the paper, Feeney and former staffer Warren Woodberry, were named president of NYABJ. In what is considered the media capital of the world, it is a jolt of reality to journalists to see that their value at one of the leading daily newspapers, based on numbers, is non-existent. It is also a somber reality that journalists of color can no longer find opportunities at a paper with which many New Yorkers have identified strongly in the past.–

Former Knick, NBA star, Anthony Mason, remembered fondly in death

Anthony Mason passed away early Saturday morning at the age of 48.

Anthony Mason passed away early Saturday morning at the age of 48.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

Saturday morning February 28, word spread about the passing of former NBA player Anthony Mason, weeks after he suffered a massive heart attack and underwent several surgeries. During his NBA career, Mason, 48, connected with fans, teammates, and competitors alike using a blend of power and agility in a stout 6’7 ‘ frame.

The versatile and rugged forward made his name as part of the New York Knicks in a career that spanned 13 years, starting in 1993. During his five seasons with the Knicks, Mason played alongside Patrick Ewing, John Starks, Charles Oakley and Derek Harper, making it all the way to the NBA Finals in 1994.

Mason (r) would play a vital role in helping Patrick Ewing (l) lead the Knicks to the NBA Finals in 1994.

Mason (r) would play a vital role in helping Patrick Ewing (l) lead the Knicks to the NBA Finals in 1994.

Former Knicks teammate Patrick Ewing, who is an assistant head coach with the Charlotte Bobcats, shared a statement on Saturday, reflecting on the feeling of sadness he feels as he mourns the death of his former teammate. Ewing said:

Mason attended high school in Queens, New York so it was fitting that the Knicks would provide him with the opportunity to become a star. Pat Riley was the head coach of the Knicks at the time and would later sign Mason with the Miami Heat where Mason made his only All-Star appearance in 2001. Riley’s statement on Mason’s death was profound:

Mason would have his best individual season in 2001 for the Miami Heat, being named an All-Star that season.

Mason would have his best individual season in 2001 for the Miami Heat, being named an All-Star that season.

“News like this is not only sad, but it’s tragic. Anthony Mason was a very young man with a great family and friends. To lose him so quickly during his journey, especially to those of us that knew him, hurts. We had a great season in Miami experiencing Anthony as an All-Star with the HEAT, and I also had the privilege of coaching him for four years in New York, where he helped take us to the brink of a championship. There were so many great moments that we shared that I will never forget. Our prayers and sympathies are with his family. May God bless his soul,” Riley said.

The NBA honored Mason’s death and the Knicks held a moment of silence at Madison Square Garden before their game against the Raptors. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released a statement outlining Mason’s character and passion for the game:

Mason will also be remembered for his unique haircuts.

Mason will also be remembered for his unique haircuts.

“Anthony Mason exemplified perseverance for all players fighting for their chance in the NBA. With a gritty style of play and a distinctive skill set, he blossomed from a third round draft pick into a Sixth Man Award winner, All-NBA selection and, at age 34, an All-Star. NBA fans and players around the league admired the tenacity on defense and playmaking on offense. Our deepest sympathies go out to the Mason family during this difficult time,” Silver’s statement read.

Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced as the Mason family mourns. Mason’s sons, Antoine and Anthony Mason, Jr., both played basketball in college. Mason, Jr. played at St. John’s University in 2010 while Antoine is currently enrolled at Auburn University. Mason, Jr. released a statement on behalf of the family which read:
“First, I want to thank all those who offered prayers and well-wishes for my Father, our family really appreciated it.

Mason's sons Anthony Mason, Jr. (l) and Antoine Mason (r) have followed in their father's footsteps as basketball players in their  own rights.

Mason’s sons Anthony Mason, Jr. (l) and Antoine Mason (r) have followed in their father’s footsteps as basketball players in their own rights.

“Overnight New York City and the world lost a legend, a friend, a brother..but more than anything our father, Anthony Mason. As you all would expect our father — Big Mase — put up an incredible fight dealing with a severe heart issues. I’m wishing this was something else I was writing, but Pops we’ve got to let you know we love you and know you’ll always be with us.

“I ask at this time that you respect our family’s privacy with regard to questions as our family takes the time to mourn.”

Peace and blessings go out to the Mason family, friends and legion of fans who remember Mason’s hard work and fierce style of play that made him a joy to watch on the court..––

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a training/benefits consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on For business inquiries contact (646)309-1938.

African Diaspora Int’l Film Festival celebrates Black History Month


New York, February 27, 2015:– The African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) is pleased to announce the Celebrating Black History Month film series at Teachers College, Columbia University from February 27 to March 1. The film series has an international spin that puts the notion of Black History month in the perspective of a quest to critically understand what the Black human experience has been and is in different parts of the world.

A selection of ten films from eight countries will be part of the ADIFF Celebrating Black History Month film series. The program will feature several documentaries about the Black experience in the United States. Stubborn as a Mule by Miller Bargerton, Jr. and Arcelious J. Daniels, an internationally award winning film that presents an eye opening depiction of lesser known historical facts and contemporary commentary regarding the call for reparations for African-Americans. In the process, the film disseminates USA black history that is not taught in most educational systems. Spies of Mississippi by Dawn Porter is an explosive documentary based on a book by the same name that tells the story of a secret spy agency formed by the state of Mississippi to preserve segregation and maintain white supremacy during the Civil Rights Movement.

Linking the US and Africa is the very popular documentary Bound: Africans vs African-Americans by Peres Owino, about the tensions between these two groups and winner of ADIFF 2014’s Public Award for the Best Film Directed by a Woman of Color. The screening of this hard-hitting documentary – that walks us through the corridors of African colonialism and African American enslavement – will be followed by a conversation with Director Peres Owino.

Three historic epic dramas that explore the fight for liberation by colonized and enslaved Africans are in the program: Ninga Queen of Angola by Sergio Graciano about a 17th century Queen who fought for freedom against Portuguese colonialism, Tula, The Revolt by Jeroen Leinders, a film set in Curaçao in the Caribbean during slavery times and Sergio Giral’s classic Cuban drama Maluala, about the Maroons – the communities of escaped enslaved Africans in the 19th century.

Four documentaries complete the series: The program African Leaders is comprised of two documentaries that offer a portrait of two leaders of the Pan-African Liberation Movement: Thomas Sankara from Burkina Faso and Amilcar Cabral from Cape Verde directed by Balufu Bakupa Kanyinda and Ana Ramos Lisboa respectively. The Story of Lovers Rock by Menelik Shabbaz is a musical documentary about Lovers Rock, often dubbed ‘romantic reggae,’ a uniquely black British sound that developed in the late 70s and 80s against a backdrop of riots, racial tension and sound systems. Denying Brazil by Joel Zito Araujo is a documentary that explores the history of the stereotypical representation of Black characters on Brazilian TV and the negative impact of these stereotypes on the Afro-Brazilian identity formation.

For more information about the Celebrating Black History Month film series, to receive screeners and high resolution images please contact Diarah N’Daw-Spech at (212) 864-1760/ fax (212) 316-6020 or e-mail Festival web site: The African Diaspora International Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.–



Veteran Journalist Dori J. Maynard, NABJ icon of diversity, inclusion, has died

Dori Maynard, icon, pioneer and champion of diversity and inclusion, died at the age of 56.

Dori Maynard, icon, pioneer and champion of diversity and inclusion, has died at the age of 56.

(February 26, 2015) –The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) mourns the loss of Dori J. Maynard, late president of The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. Maynard died at her home in Oakland, California on Tuesday, February 24. She was 56 years old.

Earlier in her career Ms. Maynard was a reporter at the The Bakersfield Californian, The Patriot Ledger, and the Detroit Free Press. She had led the institute since 2001. The institute originally named the Institute for Journalism Education was later renamed to honor Maynard’s late father Robert in 1993. Maynard’s stepmother the late Nancy Hicks Maynard was the institute’s first president.

Diversity icon Dori Maynard has died.

Diversity icon Dori Maynard has died.

The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education has continued over the years to fulfill its mission of training journalists and news managers who work to provide thoughtful and inclusive coverage of the communities they serve, create content which embraces the diversity of American society, and serve as a watchdog agency holding the media accountable for the accuracy and fairness of its reporting. It has excelled at doing so with Dori Maynard as the institute’s guiding force.

“Dori fought to ensure that the journalists and newsroom managers responsible for coverage looked like the communities they are responsible for covering,” said NABJ President Bob Butler. “Dori knew that if newsrooms represented the society then journalists would tell stories which are truthful, authentic, and compassionate.”

Maynard’s journalistic acumen and body of work earned her the opportunity to be a part of Harvard University’s prestigious Nieman Fellowship program, a highly selective program allowing journalists to spend a year at Harvard undertaking intensive individualized training and to receive leadership development training. Her selection for the program in 1993 was noteworthy, because it made Maynard and her father, the first father-daughter duo to complete the fellowship.

“Dori was an incredible journalist, and an incredible leader. She was a fierce advocate who was committed to the cause of promoting exceptional journalism at the hands of exceptional talent. Her fierce determination, her focus, her vision, her candor will surely be missed. The journalism community is all the better thanks to Dori’s tremendous contributions. She will be missed,” Butler added.

NABJ offers its sincere condolences to Dori’s family and friends, and to the staff of the Maynard Institute.

An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide.–

Brooklyn honors set for professionals who make a difference

Councilman Robert Cornegy of Brooklyn's District 36.

City Councilman Robert Cornegy of Brooklyn’s District 36 will co-host the event.

Brooklyn, NY, February 23, 2015 – On Tuesday, February 24, City Councilman Robert E. Cornegy and BRIC TV Producer Fred Brown will host “Brooklyn’s Best Honors.” Sponsored by the office of Brooklyn Borough President, Our Time Press and Urban ID Media, the festive affair will take place at Amarachi Prime, 189 Bridge Street Brooklyn, NY.

The event will include a live performance showcase from singer/songwriter Darryl Copeland and friends. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Safe Horizon’s Jane Barker Brooklyn Child Advocacy Center, which provides an essential community response to New York City’s most vulnerable victims of violence and abuse by giving child victims the foundation they need to move from crisis to confidence.

Principal Celese Douglas-Wheeler is one of the honorees.

School Principal Celeste Douglas-Wheeler is one of the honorees.

The quarterly event, which salutes Brooklyn residents while highlighting local business establishments that add richly to the fabric and well-being of Brooklyn, salutes exceptional individuals in the areas of business, civic service, arts & entertainment. These are everyday leaders whose selfless efforts continue to shape and redefine the communities they live and work in. The 2015 honorees are art curator Richard Beavers; educator Celeste Douglas-Wheeler and entrepreneur Morgan Munsey.

Richard Beavers is a seasoned entrepreneur, art curator and owner of Bedford-Stuyvesant’s House of Art Gallery.

“I’ve always had confidence that I could be anything/accomplish whatever I set my mind to do,” Beavers reflects. Those accomplishments include a successful career as a financial analyst and human resources representative for MTV; art publisher; small business owner and respected father, husband and community leader.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams’ office is a co-sponsor of the event.

As a child, Morgan Munsey enjoyed visiting his family in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. A preservation architect by trade, Morgan fell in love with the neighborhood’s housing stock and beauty.

“I love history and classic architecture. I also love all things Victorian and since Bedford-Stuyvesant has the biggest collection in New York State of Victorian architecture, I would say my neighborhood inspires me,” he said.

An active participant in the preservation of New York’s historic neighborhoods, Morgan is one of Halstead Realty’s leading agents and one of the founders of its Bedford-Stuyvesant office. “I was always looking for houses to restore for friends,” Munsey recounts. “For years I was a free broker and then I had the bright idea to get paid for connecting people with houses.”

Principal Celeste Douglas-Wheeler was born and raised in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn. She attended Brooklyn Technical High School, did her undergrad studies at Howard University and graduate work at New York University. Her first teaching assignment took place at I.S. 111 in Bushwick. She later taught seventh and eighth grade at M.S. 442, where she excelled as a teacher, leader, staff developer and team liaison and was later recruited into the Leadership Academy.

Upon completion of her training, she was assigned as Principal of M.S. 57 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, where she successfully turned the failing school into an art-focused academy. Under her leadership, the school has received over $620,000 in grant funds and has successfully mounted five student musicals.

“Bed-Stuy deserves and needs educators who go above and beyond to ensure that all students learn,” stated Principal Douglas-Wheeler.

Amarachi Prime captures the diversity of the flourishing African and Caribbean cultures in the United States and delivers an indelible dining experience. Brooklyn’s Best Honors is an Urban ID Media production. For additional information, call (718) 399-7016 or (917) 714-8998–