Former NY Governor Patterson promotes healthcare law at NABJ event held at AP

Former NY Govenor David Patterson addresses NABJ event.

Former New York Governor David Patterson addresses NABJ event.

By Carmen Glover

Former New York State Governor David Patterson drew cheers when he addressed attendees on the first day of a two-day event hosted by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) at the Associated Press on Friday, September 27. The former governor made a surprise appearance at the Media Institute for Media Professionals and Entrepreneurs event but he did not attend the Region I Conference, which was held on Saturday.

(Left to right) James McGriff, CEO of Peniel Solutions, Pamela Gentry, Director of Strategic Campaign Management Group, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Mark Thompson, Host of the Mark Thompson Show discuss the media's role in explaining the health care law.

(Left to right) James McGriff, CEO of Peniel Solutions, Pamela Gentry, director of Strategic Campaign Management Group, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Mark Thompson, host of the Mark Thompson Show discuss the media’s role in explaining the health care law.

Joining the conversation about the Affordable Health Care Act, also called Obamacare, Patterson reminded the attendees that comprehensive healthcare efforts began with former New York State Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before drawing parallels to traces of racism in the healthcare battle. “Racism should never be coalesced with any intelligence,” he said. “The president got re-elected and this is the most wide-sweeping plan for healthcare. They should go right ahead and shut the government down on Tuesday because that’s what they did under former President Clinton and they then lost consecutive presidential elections.”

NABJ Founder Paul Brock speaks at the event.

NABJ Founder Paul Brock speaks at the event and the attendees show their appreciation.

White House Director of African American Media Kevin Lewis moderated a panel about the healthcare law on Friday. The panelists included Dr Kemi Alli, chief medical officer of the Henry J. Austin Health Center, Director of External Affairs in the U.S Department of Health and Human Services Anton J. Gunn and Janaye Ingram, national executive director of the National Action Network (NAN). During Saturday’s event, Mark Thompson, host of his self-named show, moderated a similar panel. The Saturday panel featured Director of the Strategic Campaign Management Group, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Pamela Gentry, Gordon Johnson, president/CEO of Neighbor to Family and James McGriff, CEO of Peniel Solutions.

NABJ Region 1 Director Sherlon Christian address the gathering.

NABJ Region I Director Sherlon Christie addresses the gathering.

Friday’s event was devoted to the Media Institute for Media Professionals and Entrepreneurs. NABJ’s Associate Representative Dawn Roberts kept the sessions running smoothly. The first seminar on Friday was led by Sandra Charet, president of Charet and Associates, who shared tips about executive recruiting. “Knowing somebody is always the best way to get a job because many jobs are not advertised,” she said. Dawn Kelly, vice president of global communications at Prudential, in moderating the panel entitled “The Power of Partnerships,” encouraged mentoring and relationships. Lou Capozzi, president of PRSA Foundation, was blunt in addressing the dearth of black public relations executives: “For people of color the bar is higher,” he said. Kisha Barton, president of the New York Chapter of the National Black Public Relations Society said partnerships “are a benefit.”

PR maven/mental health advocate Terrie Williams delivers keynote address.

PR maven and mental health advocate Terrie Williams delivers keynote address on Friday.

Anticipation built to a crescendo when public relations maven and mental health advocate Terrie Williams strode to the podium to deliver Friday’s keynote address. Revealing that she suffered a nervous breakdown several years ago, Williams expressed concern that African-Americans are reluctant to seek treatment for mental health issues. She talked about public figures who recently committed suicide and appealed to the attendees to seek therapy to prevent burnout. “Be kind to everyone you meet because you never know what that person’s journey is,” she said while cautioning all to “choose your friends and colleagues wisely because people’s spirits are transferable.” Williams was swarmed by guests at the conclusion of her remarks.

Sally Simms discusses Google Plus products.

Sally Simms discusses Google+ and other web products.

Day two of the event was the Region I Conference, which was organized by Region I Director Sherlon Christie, who made opening remarks, followed by NABJ Executive Director Maurice Foster.  Foster introduced NABJ Vice President of Broadcast Dedrick Russell, who led a day-long session for producers. Diane Parker of the Associated Press then led the audience into a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” to NYABJ President/Professional Chapter of the Year winner Michael Feeney.

NYABJ President Michael Feeney speaks at the event.

NYABJ President/NABJ Chapter of the Year winner Michael Feeney speaks at the event.

What then followed was a day packed with seminars and networking opportunities. Christopher Nelson, assignment editor of NBC News, moderated a panel on becoming an expert for broadcast shows. The panelists were Midwin Charles, attorney and legal commentator, Brandi Kellam, booking producer of MSNBC, Natalie McNeal, editor of and Joi-Marie McKenzie, producer, ABC News/editor-in-chief of the “Be consistent because consistency breeds credibility,’ Charles advised those aspiring to be viewed as experts. Sally Simms shared tips about using Google’s latest products, while Vince Hill, business/finance editor of CBS Radio Philadelphia/KYW Newsradio moderated a panel on covering business news which featured Lisa Dupree and Sharon Epperson of CNBC and  Philana Patterson, news editor of the Associated Press. Patterson echoed Charet from Friday’s session, when sharing tips. “Network by getting to know people on a personal basis,” she said. “People hire people they know and like. Get to know people.” She also emphasized the importance of being diligent researchers in order to get scoops and break news.

White House Director of African-American media Kevin Lewis moderates panel on the Affordable Care Act.

White House Director of African-American Media Kevin Lewis moderates panel on the Affordable Care Act.

There was a great deal of interest in the panels entitled “Crossing the Line From Journalism to PR,” “How to Start and Maintain a Successful Business” and “Tools to help you tap into your inner Journogeek.” Similarly, panels describing how to become managers and making a living in non-traditional media venues were well attended.

(left to right) John Childress, President of Childress Business Consulting and D. Bernard Webster, President of Vanguard Consulting Group, discuss how to start and maintain a successful business.

(left to right) John Childress, president of Childress Business Consulting and D. Bernard Webster, president of Vanguarde Consulting Group, discuss how to start and maintain a successful business.

John Childress, president of Childress Business Consulting and D. Bernard Webster, president of Vanguarde Consulting Group, drew charts, recommended books and provided enormous insight as they discussed strategies for starting and maintaining a successful business. “Over 60 percent of the jobs lost in the recession are not coming back,” Childress said, while Webster explained that unless you are earning from your business venture “It’s a hobby, not a business.” Benet Wilson, social media/newsletter editor of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, joined Kiratiana Freelon, co-chair of NABJ’s Digital Journalism Task Force, in an interactive session where they reviewed various social media tools that can enhance the journalistic experience.

Kiratiana Freeelon, Co-Chair of NABJ's Digital Journalism Task Force shares digital tips.

Kiratiana Freeelon, co-chair of NABJ’s Digital Journalism Task Force shares digital tips.

The two-day event was informative and timely. Attendees included founders Paul Brock and Allison Davis, whose contributions to NABJ were acknowledged with sustained applause. –

NFL and NCAAF face ongoing legal onslaught

NCAA President Mark Emmert

NCAA President Mark Emmert

By Charles Glover, Jr.

Professional and collegiate American football leagues are doing what they can to win lawsuits that threaten to further damage their image. The growing revenue generated by the NCAAF and NFL on a yearly basis has brought greater scrutiny to their decision-making process when it comes to dealing with public incidents. One of the greatest threats to the enormous popularity of American football is the litany of scandals involving money and large football governing institutions.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

Shortly before the start of the 2013 season, the NFL reached a settlement of $765 million in a class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit was initiated by former NFL players alleging that the NFL withheld valuable medical information that led to serious post-career injuries for the players. The NCAA is in the midst of its own class-action suit led by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon. The NCAA suit involves the assertion that the NCAA unfairly profited from selling the likeness of NCAA athletes after the eligibility of those athletes expired. The suit is joined by a group of former NCAA athletes who are challenging the right to be compensated for their likeness. The players also want to be compensated beyond their scholarships with a portion of the lucrative television revenue contracted by the various networks and the NCAA.

The outcry from the NFL settlement immediately pointed to the fact that the settlement did not force the NFL to admit any wrong-doing in addition to the settlement being  financially being exceptionally favorable to the NFL financially. This has not changed the perception, however, that the long-term effects of playing football are potentially serious despite many advances in protective gear and better medical advances. The ex-NFL players who were involved in the suit suffered from an array of serious injuries ranging from extreme depression to brain trauma. The argument over the long-term effects of head injuries has carried over to the current field of play where the penalties for plays where players target the head have become as punitive as they have ever been in the NFL.

Current Houston Texans running back admits to receiving additional financial benefits that were against the rules while attending the University of Tennessee.

Current Houston Texans running back admits to receiving additional financial benefits that were against the rules while attending the University of Tennessee.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson was recently fined an all-time NFL high $100,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit and Tennessee Titans safety was fined $42,000 for a similar play. The NFL is working hard to change the narrative of player safety from NFL negligence to player responsibility. Houston Texans running back Arian Foster openly admitted to taking money while playing at the University of Tennessee. This past Saturday players from different collegiate teams wore patches on their jerseys as a protest to the NCAA rules that prevent them from earning benefits using their own likeness or signature.

Former UCLA Bruins basketball player Ed O'Bannon heads a class-action lawsuit against the NCAA that has major financial implications for the NCAA and future NCAA athletes.

Former UCLA Bruins basketball player Ed O’Bannon leads a class-action lawsuit against the NCAA that has major financial implications for the NCAA and future NCAA athletes.

These developments combined with the money-related reports associated with football has changed the conversation when it comes to the popularity of these sports. The NCAA has received millions of dollars over the past several seasons in television contracts. Meanwhile, momentum grows for players to be better compensated for generating the interest that leads to those contracts. The NFL has earned billions of dollars over the last several years. The league is facing a groundswell of concern over the long-lasting effects of this violent game on its players. American football, in general, is facing a challenge that boxing and hockey have faced over previous decades: trying to balance the degree of violence in their sport while ensuring the continued safety and appeal of the game.

Groups to highlight suicide prevention on Sept 28 in Washington, DC, walk

Participants walk to prevent suicide.

Participants walk to prevent suicide at a previous event.

(WASHINGTON, DC – SEPT. 25, 2013) – The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs will speak about the significance of suicide prevention at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) Out of the Darkness Community Walk on Sept. 28 in Washington, DC. Suicide has become an increasingly prevalent issue among service members and veterans account for 20 percent of suicide deaths in the United States.

“Veteran Affairs stands proudly alongside all the brave friends and family members walking to honor the memories of loved ones lost to suicide,” said Dr. Janet Kemp, the Veteran Affairs’ national director for suicide prevention and community engagement. “Community events like the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (ASFP) Out of the Darkness Walk shine a light on suicide prevention. It’s up to all of us to understand the warning signs of suicide, and to speak up if we’re concerned about a loved one. Talking about it matters,” she said.

More than 1,000 Washingtonians and supporters from other states are expected to meet at Constitution Gardens and walk past the city’s major monuments to promote awareness about mental disorders and suicide prevention, as well as raise vital funds for scientific research and education programs. Many of the attendees have lost family members or friends to suicide and will wear different colored beads around their necks to commemorate their loved ones.

Walk participant and AFSP volunteer Niki Taylor will wear purple beads in honor of a close friend who committed suicide not long after she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. As part of her fundraising efforts and to honor her friend, Taylor recently embarked on a five-day journey to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro – the highest mountain in Africa. Taylor has raised nearly $4,000 to benefit AFSP and has dedicated herself to increasing awareness about mental illness, which can sometimes contribute to suicide.

“It’s time we reduce the stigma associated with suicide and underlying mental disorders like bipolar disease,” said Taylor. “We need to let people know that treatment is available, there is hope.” According to AFSP, close to 700,000 people make a suicide attempt requiring medical care and more than 38,000 die by suicide in the U.S. every year.

“Despite the troubling statistics, an important goal of the walk is to stress that suicide is 100 percent preventable,” said Robert Gebbia, executive director for AFSP. “We know that the best way to prevent suicide is through early recognition and treatment of the mental disorders that can contribute to suicide, such as depression, bipolar illness, alcohol and substance abuse,” he said. “The walk is about taking a step toward reducing the stigma surrounding these disorders and bringing hope to those who have been affected by suicide.”

Taylor and Dr. Kemp will join AFSP National Capital Area Chapter Chair Steve Iselin, Sergeant First Class Jennifer Powers, Rob Ballister, naval officer and cancer survivor and AFSP National Capital Area Chapter Chair-Elect Vicki Johnson, in formally addressing attendees during the event. All of the speakers will be available for interviews on-site.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy as well as to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide. For more information please visit


Mariano Rivera, exemplary athlete, consummate professional, retires in style

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera in front of his newly retired number at his retirement ceremony on Sept. 22 2013 at Yankee Stadium.

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera sits in front of his newly retired number at his retirement ceremony on Sept. 22 2013 at Yankee Stadium.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

On Sunday, September 22, Yankee closer Mariano Rivera was honored by his team in a 50-minute ceremony that included Rivera’s former teammates, coaches, and the rock band Metallica, who serenaded him live with his trademark entry song, “Enter Sandman.” Rivera’s family was on the field with him to celebrate, as were Rachel and Sharon Robinson, the widow and daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson. The festivities included an unveiling of Rivera’s number that is to be retired by the Yankees at season’s end.

Rivera receives an honorary gift from rock band Metallica during the retirement ceremony.

Rivera receives a gift from rock band Metallica during the retirement ceremony.

The warm feelings that Rivera inspires in many have turned what would normally be a dismal year by Yankee standards into an unforgettable one. The retirement festivities on Sunday represented the pinnacle of Rivera’s retirement tour, a gathering of Yankee legends who came out to show their support and appreciation for an exemplary athlete. And when Rivera addressed the gathering he thanked “the good Lord, the Yankee organization, fans, teammates,” his parents and the late Yankee owner George Steinbrenner, saying ” I love and miss him.”. Rivera reveled in the love that he was shown by fans, the Yankee organization, family, teammates and friends. For the fans, the tour activities have come to represent the brightest moments in a rather mundane Yankees season this year.

The Yankees have been hampered by injuries to all of their most notable stars, including  team captain Derek Jeter. Alex Rodriguez was also involved in another PED scandal, which has created a stir as he continues to play while appealing a substantial suspension. While the Yankees have struggled on the field, their fiercest rivals, the Boston Red Sox, have soared to the best record in game. On the other hand, the Yankees will likely miss the playoffs, which is more disappointing for its fans, considering this is the first year that Major League Baseball (MLB) has expanded the number playoff participants.

None of these developments have tainted Rivera’s retirement tour. At the beginning of the year, Rivera announced that he would retire at the end of the season. Rivera’s brilliance on the field combined with his stoic, engaging and composed demeanor resulted in such high regard league-wide that Rivera was honored in every stadium he played in this season. Rivera continues to display great humility and grace as he receives gifts from his competitors and his own team.

Rivera stands at Jackie Robinson's retired number in monument park at Yankee Stadium besides Jackie Robinson's widow, Rachel Robinson and their daughter Sharon Robinson.

Rivera stands at Jackie Robinson’s retired number in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium beside Jackie Robinson’s widow, Rachel Robinson and their daughter Sharon Robinson.

Mariano Rivera exemplifies the role model that parents and the media expect professional athletes to be. The confluence of circumstances that have led to Rivera universally being recognized as the greatest closer of all time are difficult to replicate. Rivera played his entire illustrious career for one of the most revered teams in all of sports while having only one season where he missed significant time due to injury.

There have been no legal concerns or insidious scandal associated with Rivera, one of the most famous New York athletes of all time. Rivera has always carried himself with class and poise while continuing to frustrate opponents on his way to five World Championships and what is expected to be an eventual place of honor in the Baseball Hall of Fame. In an age where an athlete’s legacy can be tarnished by anything from romantic entanglements and legal troubles to merely changing teams, it seems fitting that the last man in the MLB to wear Jackie Robinson’s number 42 would be a trendsetting legend himself —

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and Management training consultant

Caribbean Science Foundation expands, releases upcoming schedule

Professor Cardinal Warde

CSF Executive Director Professor Cardinal Warde

Barbados, WI, September 23, 2013: The Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF) which is aimed at diversifying the economies of the Caribbean region, recently announced its varied schedule of events and updates of activities. The CSF is focused on harnessing science and technology for economic development, and to help raise the standard of living in the Caribbean.

According to Professor Cardinal Warde, CSF’s executive director, the New England branch of the Caribbean Diaspora for Science, Technology and Innovation (CADSTI-NE) will hold its meetings at MIT. The next meeting of the CADSTI-NE, he explained, will take place on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 6:00 PM in building 13, room 3038 at MIT. For more information about this branch and the next meeting, email:  It was also revealed that the District of Columbia (DC) branch of the CADSTI-DC will be holding its first meeting soon.For more information about this branch and its first meeting, email:

“Accountants, lawyers, teachers, bankers, investors, physicians, dentists, entrepreneurs, the clergy, politicians, students, social workers, proposal writing experts, policy makers, etc., in addition to scientists and engineers, are invited to become members of their local CADSTI branch,” Warde said.
On June 28, 2013, Warde gave a briefing in Ottawa, Canada, to several of the CARICOM High Commissioners to that country.  At that meeting, it was decided that CADSTI-Canada should be launched and based in Toronto.  Professor Harold Ramkissoon, from the Trinidad and Tobago campus of the University of the West Indies, agreed to help with the logistics associated with starting CADSTI-Canada. New members from Canada who are interested in contributing to the Caribbean region through CADSTI and CSF are encouraged to contact Warde. The United Kingdom branch was launched in February 2013. Monthly meetings will be held at the Barbados High Commission, located at 1 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3ND. The next meeting will take place on Friday, October 4, 2013 at 8:30 PM. Contact for more information.

The CSF and CADSTI in collaboration with the Ministry of Education of Guyana will hold its third annual Workshop on December 2 and 3 in Georgetown, Guyana. View the preliminary draft agenda at Register now for the 2013 CADSTI-CSF Workshop at out hotel options at CSF is eager to determine the range of scientific research in the region. Scientific researchers are invited to submit posters for presentation at the workshop. Instructions for submission are available at http;//  A one page summary is due on October 18, 2013. Feedback will be provided by October 25, 2013.

For more information, contact Professor Warde 

Treating trauma early can prevent extreme actions from sufferers

William Kellibrew makes a point.

William Kellibrew IVmakes a point.

By Carmen Glover

As more details emerge about Aaron Alexis’ background, the relationship between his life unraveling due to his sporadic treatment for mental health issues and trauma, which he allegedly suffered in many ways, is receiving more attention. Although all victims of trauma do not resort to murderous rampages such as Alexis’ attacks at the Navy Yard in the nation’s capital, many trauma sufferers quickly admit that they are emotionally vulnerable and susceptible to erratic conduct and thoughts which, unless properly treated, can lead to unpredictable behavior.

At a training held at the New York offices of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, (SAMHSA) in conjunction with Project Hope, mental health professionals partnered with a national spokesperson and survivor of trauma to discuss the importance of treating trauma. Under the theme: “Trauma-Informed Care: A Change in Perspective,” Dr. Joan Gillece, Jill A. Sergott and William Kellibrew IV, SAMSHA ‘s National Center for Trauma Informed Care (NCTIC) consultants delved into the issue, providing tips for treating trauma sufferers. Kellibrew, a survivor of horrific childhood trauma, shared his story.

Williams KellibrewIV

Williams Kellibrew IV

According to SAMHSA’s literature, “Individual trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically and emotionally harmful or threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s physical, social, emotional or spiritual well-being.”  One of the most important shifts in treating trauma sufferers, said Dr Gillece, is to ask “What happened to you, instead of what’s wrong with you?” She said that using the approach that people exhibit trauma due to something that they experienced allows those who are providing care to embrace a new sense of understanding when interacting with that population, That shift in perspective, she said, will strengthen the bond between the caregiver and the client, leading to better results. Sergott talked extensively about her background working with children who experienced trauma from very young ages. She cited the importance of utilizing strategies that may seem unorthodox, but which allow the children to feel comfortable and safe.

But the most compelling speaker of the day was Kellibrew, whose story was profiled on the Oprah Winfrey Show in an episode when he appeared with Dr. William Cosby and Dr. Alvin Poussaint. Kellibrew  recounted being a scared 10-year-old in 1983 when his mother’s boyfriend shot her repeatedly in the face, killing her and his 12-year-old brother. Kellibrew said he “prayed” and “begged” for his life, prompting the shooter to spare him, before killing himself.  The following day, Kellibrew’s witnessed his grandfather shooting his next door neighbor. Kellibrew said all of that happened when he was grappling with the reality of being violently raped by a neighbor at age 6. “I remember telling my grandmother what the neighbor did to me and she held me and cried, which showed me her love and that comforted me,” he recalled.

Kellibrew, who visited the home where his mother and brother were killed, for the first time on Oprah, broke down on the air as he was flooded with emotions. At the SAMHSA event, he said that the care he received from his grandmother, his school principal and a therapist who treated him when he was hospitalized for a month after he expressed suicidal thoughts, was instrumental in his recovery. He cited a quote from legendary poet and educator Dr Maya Angelou: People will forget what you said or what you did but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

But the struggle continues for Kellibrew. “My mother and brother were murdered on July 2 so that date is painful for me, but now I am doing better with coping,” he said. He said the trauma upended his life for years because “trauma disrupts a sense of control and meaning.”  Kellibrew, who admitted to being hospitalized more than nine times to receive treatment for the profound trauma of his childhood, said he turned to violence, drugs, alcohol, unhealthy relationships, running away, being homeless as he tried to repress the painful memories of losing a mother whom he said he adored.

“If healing is going to happen, if recovery is going to happen, it will happen if someone cares,” he said, adding, “It’s those people in my life who believed in me and cared about me that pushed me forward.” Yet he recalled a relative patting him on the back at the funeral and saying: “Baby, you’re going to have to forget about it. Don’t talk about it.” Such misguided advice, he said, can permanently scar victims and make them unwilling to seek the help that they desperately need to heal and become productive members of society. “The two populations that are hardest to reach in terms of receiving treatment for trauma are African-American men and children under 10,” Kellibrew said, emphasizing a sense of urgency in reaching those two groups and providing them with services so that they no longer feel alone.

Kellibrew currently attends the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), in the nation’s capital, where he is pursuing a business administration degree. He has been featured on MSNBC, CNN, BBC Worldwide and the Washington Post, among others. In October 2011, during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, he was honored by the White House as a “Champion for Change” because of his efforts to end domestic violence and sexual assault. He has also blogged for the White House.

For more victims of trauma to make the transition to survivors, more people need to demonstrate that they care enough to make a call and reach out for expert help if the person’s appearance and interactions have changed to the extent that causes the observer to feel some degree of concern. That call might save several lives.—

Emotional, physical health equally important for athletes

Mike Tyson recently admitted he's been untruthful about his recovery and he still struggles with alcoholism.

Mike Tyson recently admitted that he’s been untruthful about his recovery. He said that he still struggles with alcoholism.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

Athletes are often revered for their exceptional physical gifts and spectacular performances, yet many athletes are less successful in conquering their emotional issues and the subsequent struggles that accompany those problems. Alcoholism, drug abuse and violent outbursts are symptoms of unresolved emotional issues that unfortunately have troubled  many revered athletes across the vast sports landscape.

Former Olympic figure skater Tanya Harding

Former Olympic figure skater Tanya Harding, who assaulted her competitor Nancy Kerrigan with a bat, injuring her knee.

Whether its retired boxer Mike Tyson, former NBA star Allen Iverson and Lamar Odom, who has no current NBA team, there are many athletes who have had prolonged public battles with emotional issues.

There is still a large segment of the population that believes that seeking help for emotional issues should still be reserved for extreme cases only. The same belief often exists when dealing with drug and alcohol problems as well.

Former MLB pitcher Dwight Gooden released his autobiography in June 2013 detailing his numerous struggles with addiction while dealing with personal and professional success and failures.

Former MLB pitcher Dwight Gooden released his autobiography in June 2013 detailing his numerous struggles with addiction while dealing with personal and professional success and failures.



The result of this unhelpful attitude towards mental and emotional health are the numerous are seen in questionable conduct shown by troubled athletes. Mike Tyson, Dwight Gooden, JaMarcus Russell, Tanya Harding, and current NBA players Lamar Odom and Michael Beasley have all had brushes with infamy due to untreated issues. The recurring theme of legal, financial and personal struggles that these athletes have experienced has a direct link to their approach to addressing their myriad of emotional issues.

Oscar De la Hoya's issue with substance abuse resurfaced as he checked himself back into rehab just days before the mega fight featuring Floyd Mayweather on Sept. 14,2013 that De la Hoya's Golden Boy company helped promote.

Oscar De La Hoya’s struggles with substance abuse resurfaced  recently. He checked himself back into rehab just days before the mega fight featuring Floyd Mayweather on Sept. 14,2013 that De La Hoya’s Golden Boy company helped promote.

There is no guarantee that addressing emotional issues will result in complete recovery. in fact, it is likely there will be relapses because relapse is a part of the recovery process. Oscar De La Hoya had to admit himself into rehab for his continued struggle with recovering from drug abuse. Jason Kidd is largely past the issues that landed him in trouble with the law. However, Kidd was arrested for suspicion of DUI during last year’s NBA off-season. Emotional issues are commonly dealt with by excessive drug and alcohol abuse as sufferers have not been able to find a productive manner in which to cope with their issues.

Lamar Odom has seen his current problems with substance abuse become front page news over the past several weeks.

Lamar Odom has seen his current problems with substance abuse become front page news over the past several weeks.

With the prominence of social media and the constant news cycle, athletes have an extremely difficult time hiding their emotional struggles when begin to unravel. This summer has been less than kind to Lamar Odom as his struggles with drug abuse resurfaced. But his refusal to engage in sustained treatment by checking himself out of rehab after only one day demonstrates a level of denial that will continue to fuel his struggles. However, there are examples of athletes who seem to be gaining a better understanding of how to cope with challenges.

Former WNBA star Chamika Holdsclaw on Iyanla: Fix My Life in 2013

Former WNBA star Chamika Holdsclaw appeared on Iyanla: Fix My Life in 2013

A recent episode of “Iyanla, Fix My Life” featured Chamika Holdsclaw, former WNBA and women’s college basketball star. The show gave a glimpse into Holdsclaw’s internal scars as viewers watched her begin to learn to accept her past and gain tools on how to improve her future. Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest) was known for his numerous outbursts in the past. Now, he often acknowledges the benefit of his therapist and readily spreads the word of how effective therapy can be.

There’s cause for optimism for affected athletes because of the varying success stories of recovery from emotional turmoil. Michael Irvin faced public scrutiny for his substance abuse problems during his NFL career. He has overcome those issues to have a successful career as an analyst.

Tennis star Andre Agassi

Tennis star Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi’s substance abuse problems threatened to derail a thriving tennis career until successful rehabilitation allowed him to rebound and have a resounding professional and personal revival. Herschel Walker was often described as angry and aloof while playing in the NFL. He was diagnosed with Dis-associative Identity Disorder, also known as multiple personality disorder. After the diagnosis, Walker gained greater clarity and understanding, leading to multiple successful business ventures including a food service company, an appearance on NBC’s Apprentice, and a brief career in mixed martial arts.

All struggles are different and any degree of success is helpful when acknowledged. Rookie NFL player Tyrann Mathieu made headlines last year when he was dismissed from LSU after multiple failed drug tests. Mathieu has been able to rehabilitate his image and revive his career with the help of John Lucas II, president of John Lucas Enterprises, a network of drug treatment centers that mostly features athletes as clients.

Former NBA player and coach John Lucas II has found success in his post-athletic career in running his Houston based John Lucas Treatment and Recovery Center for  individuals struggling with substance abuse.

Former NBA player and coach John Lucas II has found success in his post-athletic career in running his Houston- based John Lucas Treatment and Recovery Center for individuals struggling with substance abuse.

Essentially, the best way to ensure that current and future athletes get the help they need to address their emotional concerns is to shift the narrative. Lucas, who once faced serious substance abuse problems while playing in the NBA, is a prime example of an athlete recognizing the importance of addressing the negative results of untreated emotional issues. If more athletes attach the same vigor, and diligence to their emotional and mental health as they do to their physical health and abilities, there will be more comprehensive success stories. When that happens, athletes will experience success in multiple areas of their lives which will allow them to be their complete best.  –


Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a management training consultant. 

Caribbean economist examines link between poor economy and well-being


Zhivargo Laing, economist

Zhivargo Laing, economist

NEW YORK (September 17, 2013) – Economist Zhivargo Laing, former finance minister of the Bahamas, has been promoting a recipe for financial security after observing the link between the poor economy and people’s well-being. Under the theme, “The Power to Be Better in Good Times and Bad” the economist urges people devastated by the recession to be hopeful and. “not feel bad because these have been momentous times with shifting fortunes leaving legions in states of anxiety, hopelessness and despair.”

An extended period of economic turbulence has shattered the American dream for millions of residents and with it, Zhivargo said, “The fortunes of many outside the United Sates whose well-being is tied to the advancement of that dream.” He plans to embark on a speaking tour on the theme “Released!” later this year. Zhivargo said that “Unemployed millions, underemployed millions and fully employed but over-leveraged millions now share a common fate – the democratization of pessimism.”

Those at the economic margins in fragile communities, especially those heavily populated by minorities, said Laing, “face the additional burdens of the dissolution of social support systems and widespread despair.” With material security in doubt and economic prospects obscure, he added, “the times have raised the central question of human existence: Why are you here and what are you about?” The changing circumstances call for an awakening, he said, “to an untapped, limitless power within, one which when discovered provides the means to be and do better in good times and bad.”

This power within, the author declared, “first works its miracle on the person, providing inner peace, clarity of perspective and renewed personal purpose. The power then works itself outward, providing the means to produce, provide and prosper.” Laing describes it as a liberating power which “frees from the shackles of regret, the chains of pessimism and the burdens of dis-contentment. It releases us to be free to be now, to do now and to excel now.”

Laing  also said that “Physically, emotionally, socially, financially and spiritually … the released soul is centered, at peace and joy, and an excellent candidate for family and community building and development. Released is a pocket of wisdom that gives life and riches in full measure, whatever the times.”

For further information about Zhivargo Laing, visit





Unfit to serve, Ohio educator bans Toni Morrison’s book, compares President Obama to Hitler

Pulitzer-Prize winning author/educator Toni Morrison, author of a plethora of literary works.

Pulitzer-Prize winning author/educator Toni Morrison, author of a plethora of literary works.

Ohio Board of Education President Debe Terher needs to be removed from office without delay. Terher, who shared a picture on her Facebook page comparing President Obama to Adolf Hitler, has allowed her personal feelings to cloud her judgment again. In the recent episode that demonstrates her lack of fitness to hold her post, she banned Pulitzer-prize winning author Toni Morrison’s literary tome, The Bluest Eye, from the Ohio public school system. This decision is wrong and represents an assault on the learning and literary rights of Ohio’s children.

Brandishing a sense of self-righteousness that has no place in the educational system, Terher describes the book as “pornographic” and justifies her action by stating: “I don’t want my grand-daughter reading it and I don’t want anyone else’s children reading it. It should not be used in any school for any K-12 child.” Speak for yourself Ms Terher. Mind you, this is the same person who, in a campaign to “encourage reading” surrounds herself with an exclusive group of white children, effectively sending a message to black, Asian and Latino children that what if they choose to read it is unimportant to her as long as they don’t read about black people. This is nothing short of disgraceful and Terher should be removed immediately.

bluest eye

Morrison’s classic book, set in Ohio, tells the tale of Pecola, a girl who grows up in poverty and is exposed to unimaginable childhood trauma. It recounts incest, abuse and other social ills, dovetailing with the plight of a dark-skinned black girl yearning to have blue eyes so that she can feel beautiful and loved. In this country with its horrific history of slavery and profound injustice, dark-skinned back children are often teased while white, blue-eyed children are treated as special. How dare Ms Terher deprive children of the opportunity to honestly examine those serious issues under the guidance of responsible and presumably multiculturally competent educators?

Her actions represent an outrage that must not stand. Parents, guardians and educators need to quell this ill-conceived edict before it has a chance to take root. The book needs to be immediately placed on the must-read book list for children. Educators need to be vigilant in examining the textures and messages of this important literary offering and explore its relevance to children, which are the central theme of the book.  Morrison was not amused by the Terher’s actions, stating ” I resent it,” in response to what Terher has done.

Debe Terher bans Morrison's book, post picture on social media comparing President Obama to Adolf Hitler.

Debe Terher bans Morrison’s book, post picture on social media comparing President Obama to Adolf Hitler.

If the populace fails to roll back this high-handed maneuver then is should not come as a surprise if the sanctimonious Terher goes after other literary icons under the guise of protecting children. Who will be her next targets? Will it be Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?” or Richard Wright’s “Black Boy or Native Son?” Will it be James’ Baldwin’s books or will she decide that Langston Hughes’ poems are too strong?

Terher must not be allowed to single-handedly deprive children of the opportunity to learn about social issues. The issues described in the book will educate children about the importance of protecting their well-being. It is not Terher’s role to censor the literary offerings of children who are entitled to as comprehensive an education as possible. She is certainly misguided in her assessment of a book that should be required reading for all children. Not only should the citizens of Ohio rise up and protest this presumptuous act on Terher’s part, they should take their action a bit further and boot her from her position because it is clear that she does not understand that it is not her place to censor literature. She needs to restore the book to the required reading list and be removed from office immediately.–


Birmingham Association of Black Journalists spotlights the city’s legacy

CNN Anchor Don Lemon poses with the scholarship winners at the BABJ event.

CNN Anchor Don Lemon poses with the scholarship winners at the BABJ’s Mountaintop Awards Gala where $3.000 was awarded in scholarships.

Birmingham, AL, Sept 15, 2013: Today the city of Birmingham honors the memories of four black girls who were killed by white supremacists in a bombing at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. The city of Birmingham has been commemorating its “50 Years Forward” campaign with various events that highlight the city’s painful history and the current state of the city as efforts continue towards meaningful change.

Emory Jackson's brothers accepted his award, which was made posthumously.

Emory Jackson’s brothers accepted his award, which was made posthumously.

One group that has taken the lead in the commemorative events is the Birmingham Association of Black Journalists (BABJ). The BABJ held a two–day conference on the weekend of September 6 and 7, honoring members of the media who played a vital role in the civil rights era. Scholarships were awarded to deserving students at the event. “We gave out $3,000 in scholarships to students,” said President of the Birmingham Association of Black Journalists Linda White.

Dr Jesse Lewis

Honoree, Dr Jesse Lewis, publisher of the Birmingham Times, speaks with a guest.

The event began with the Mountaintop Awards Ceremony, which was held on Friday, September 6, 2013 at 6:00 pm in the Harbert Center. CNN’ Anchor Don Lemon, a former Birmingham anchor, was the featured speaker. The honorees included Emory O. Jackson, crusading editor of the Birmingham World newspaper, Shelley Stewart, entrepreneur and radio personality and Dr. Jessie Lewis, Sr., publisher of The Birmingham Times. The three received special recognition for their courage in covering events that affected the black community during a period when other media outlets did not.

Audience members listen to the presenters.

Audience members listen to the presenters, who covered various topics at the conference.

On Saturday, September 7, 2013, the “Standing on their Shoulders” Conference was held from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm at The Birmingham News. The conference featured  Pulitzer Prize-winning author Hank Klibanoff, whose book, “The Race Beat,” chronicles how the media covered the civil rights movement from Brown vs. the Board of Education to the Selma-to-Montgomery march.  Also, former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones discussed the role the media played in bringing the 16th Street Baptist Church bombers to justice.

To learn more about the BABJ and its’ upcoming events, contact BABJ Chapter President Linda White at, Tel: (205) 410-3406 or Event Committee Chair Willie Chriesman at, Tel: (205)