9/11 Memorial Museum Dedication Ceremony uplifts, inspires

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President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Former NYC Mayor and 9/11 board chairman Michael Bloomberg, view the 9/11/ Memorial Museum with Former President Bill Clinton and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

By Carmen Glover

U.S. President Barack Obama led a high-powered contingent of politicians to dedicate the 9/11 Memorial Museum in Lower Manhattan yesterday in a ceremony that was uplifting and inspiring. Dignitaries, families of the survivors and viewers who watched the ceremony live on television or as it streamed online, were first treated to musical renditions from various choirs as the ceremony got underway. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, chairman of the 9/11 board of directors, took the stage to deliver a poignant speech.

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President Obama speaks at the 9/11 Memorial Museum Dedication Ceremony.

“We are here today to help dedicate a great museum, one that rises out of the bedrock of our city, our history and our hearts. In the years to come, the 9/11 Memorial Museum will take its place alongside fields of Gettysburg, the waters of Pearl Harbor and the Vietnam Veterans’ Museum as a sacred marker of our past and a solemn gathering place-a place where we can remember those who dies and honor acts of courage and compassion that saved lives and lifted spirits,” he said.

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President Obama began by describing the raw emotions felt by some of the survivors in the moments after the towers were attacked and the acts of heroism by one young man in particular.

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Visitors gather outside as the 9/11 Memorial Museum is dedicated inside.

“In those awful moments after the south tower was hit, some of the injured huddled in the wreckage of the 78th floor. The fire was spreading and the air was filled with smoke. It was dark and they could not see. It seemed as if there was no way out and then there was a voice saying he had found the stairs. They didn’t know his name but they knew their lives had been saved by the man in the red bandana,” he said, describing the selfless and courageous actions of volunteer firefighter Wells Crowther, 24, who worked in the south tower.

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Partial view of the 9/11 Memorial Museum in Lower Manhattan.

Crowther’s mother, Alison, was later joined onstage by one of the women he rescued, Liang Young.

“My husband Jefferson and I couldn’t be prouder of our son,” said Alison Crowther, as she described her son who saw everyone in the world as “being connected.”

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President Obama, Former President Bill Clinton and Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg tor the 9/11 Memorial Museum with their partners First Lady Michelle Obama, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Financial Executive Diane Taylor.

Obama shared that while touring the museum earlier with First Lady Michelle Obama, it dawned on them the importance of being able to “recall, reflect and reaffirm the true spirit of 9/11: love, compassion, sacrifice and to enshrine it forever in the heart of our nation.” Biting his lower lip in his trademark style, he paused and said:

“No act of terror can match the strength and character of our country. Nothing can ever break us, nothing can change who we are as Americans.”

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Damaged fire truck from the fateful day that is now enshrined in the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

Among the other attendees were: Former President Bill Clinton and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, NJ Governor Chris Christie, Former NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani; Former New York Governor George Pataki and a contingent representing the Port Authority, firefighters, police officers, families of the victims and survivors. Some of the politicians had their spouses or significant others with them at the event.

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Security detail at the 9/11 Memorial Museum Dedication Ceremony in Lower Manhattan.

The 9/11 Memorial Museum will remain open for the next six days exclusively to the families of the victims and survivors. It will open to the public officially on 5/21/2014.–OnPointPress.net

Notable takeaways from the 2014 NFL draft

Teddy Bridgewater seems to the quarterback of the future for the Minnesota Vikings.

Teddy Bridgewater seems to the quarterback of the future for the Minnesota Vikings.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

The National Football League (NFL) completed its amateur draft on Saturday, giving 256 young men an opportunity to live out their dream of playing professional football. While Johnny Manziel and Michael Sam have received the bulk of the recognition from this draft, there were a few other players that seem to be in a great position to make their General Managers look good. The Heisman finalists, in particular, did well.

Quarterbacks

Quarterbacks are widely regarded as the most important position in the NFL and there were a few that were drafted that seem to be in excellent positions to contribute to their teams.

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Teddy Bridgewater inspires hope for the Minnesota Vikings’ future.

Teddy Bridgewater – Bridgewater was selected 32nd overall with the last pick of the first round. The Vikings traded up to take a player that was rumored to go near the top of the draft. The Vikings plan to ease Bridgewater into the mix and he may not play this season. However, Bridgewater seems to be the quarterback in the best position for long-term success.

Derek Carr might be the first of the drafted quarterbacks to take the field this season.

Derek Carr might be the first of the drafted quarterbacks to take the field this season.

Derek Carr – Carr was drafted 36th overall by the Oakland Raiders and is not going to a team full of offensive talent. However, the Raiders do not have a great deal invested in incumbent starting quarterback Matt Schaub. The Raiders have focused on improving their defense so when Carr is eventually the starter, there can be a balanced team waiting for him.

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Tom Savage is not expected to make much of a difference to the Houston Texans this season.

Tom Savage – Savage was drafted in the 4th round by the Houston Texans but will not be expected to contribute to the team this season. The Texans will hope that they can develop Savage into the long-term starter to replace the turnover- prone Schaub from last season.

The 2014 Heisman finalists were heavily represented in this year's draft. (l - r)  Jordan Lynch, Johnny Manziel, Tre Mason, AJ McCarron, Andre Williams, and Jameis Winston. Winston was not eligible for the draft but is expected to be taken high next year.

The 2014 Heisman finalists were heavily represented in this year’s draft. (l – r) Jordan Lynch, Johnny Manziel, Tre Mason, AJ McCarron, Andre Williams, and Jameis Winston. Winston was not eligible for the draft but is expected to be taken high next year.

2014 Heisman Candidates

Five of the six 2014 Heisman candidates were eligible for this year’s draft and 4 of them were drafted. QB Jordan Lynch signed as a free agent with the Chicago Bears.

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Tre Mason was drafted early in the 3rd round by the St. Louis Rams.

Tre Mason – Mason was drafted early in the 3rd round by the St. Louis Rams to be a backup running back. Mason had an exciting career as a running back and returner at Auburn and the Rams are hoping to be able to add depth to an important position in the Rams game plan.

Running back Andre Williams will have a chance to help the Giants this season if he proves himself during the offseason.

Running back Andre Williams, who boasts Jamaican heritage, will have a chance to help the Giants this season if he proves himself during the offseason.

Andre Williams – Williams was selected in the 4th round by the New York Giants. Williams is in the best position to contribute next season as there is less defined depth at running back for the Giants.

The Giants will hope that Williams can help provide some balance to their pass heavy offense.

Andre Williams transitions from Boston College to the New York Giants, trading in one big city for another.

Andre Williams transitions from Boston College to the New York Giants, trading in one big city for another.

Johnny Manziel – Manziel was selected 22nd by the Cleveland Browns. There are many questions as to whether Manziel’s improvisational style at quarterback will transition well to the NFL. The Browns have made it clear that they believe in Manziel, as their backup quarterback, for now.

AJ McCarron – McCarron was drafted in the 5th round by the Cincinnati Bengals to likely be a backup quarterback. The Bengals’ current starter Andy Dalton has shown improvement in the regular season but has yet to lead his team to a playoff victory. The Bengals are hoping McCarron’s collegiate playoff experience will be a benefit to their team.

Michael Sam

Michael Sam became the first openly gay player selected in the NFL draft. He is headed to the St. Louis Rams to join Heisman finalist Tre Mason.

Ground Breaking Event

Michael Sam, who declared his sexuality prior to the draft, became the first openly gay player drafted in the NFL. He will join Mason as teammates.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.

Scholarship opportunities available for students with UFSC

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By Ditu Kasuyi

The Urban Financial Services Coalition (UFSC) is trying to find 30 of the nation’s brightest, motivated and highly intelligent high school and college students to participate in the nation’s most unique, exciting and challenging leadership development program for young people – the MARK I (MI) UFSC Emerging Leaders – National Apprentice Challenge (See attachment).

The MARK I Emerging Leaders – National Apprentice Challenge is a one-year group business competition that focuses on the development of critical foundational management and leadership skills through an intensive five-day leadership program. The components of this program include personal development and management issue oriented seminars, developmental heat through an apprentice style group competition and the opportunity to apply the skills learned through the completion of a challenging community action task.

The MARK I program will take place from June 1 through June 7, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Activities for the MARK I program will take place at the Club Quarters Hotel in Chicago, Illinois.

The MARK I program promises to make the young people stand out from the crowd and the cost is only $625 That’s right only $625. This registration fee covers the hotel room for 8 days and seven nights. UFSC will be covering the cost of facilitators, program materials, post conference webinars/tele-seminars, learning materials, breakfast and lunch and other cost associated with administrating such a dynamic leadership program. Only the UFSC can deliver a year-long leadership develop program such a low price. Participants will be responsible for their own transportation to Chicago, Illinois.

Interested students are asked to complete the attached application and return it to the UFSC national office by May 30, 2014, or Click Here to Register online. If you should have any questions, or need additional information, please contact Melanie Lee at Melanielee@mleelaw.com or me 804-651-7739/Email Ditu.Kasuyi@dla.mil.–OnPointPress.net.

#BringBackOurGirls is the global cry this Mother’s Day

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Nigerian mothers weep for their  daughters who were kidnapped nearly one month ago.

By Carmen Glover

Today is Mother’s Day, a day when mothers typically revel in the joys of parenting. But for the mothers in Chibok, Nigeria, whose 276 daughters were kidnapped by members of the Boko Haram, an Al Qaeda-trained Islamist group, today is not a happy day.

While the initial 276 girls have yet to be found, another 9 were kidnapped on Monday, as the leader of Boko Haram, Abubaker Shekau, gleefully threatened to sell the girls into slavery or forced marriage for $12 each. On May 15, exactly one month will have passed since the 276 Nigerian girls were kidnapped from their school and close to two weeks will have passed since the additional 9 girls were taken. The kidnapped girls range in age range from 9 to 18.

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The pained and saddened faces of girls as they bravely protest the kidnappings.

“I will sell your girls,” said Abubaker Shekau, the group’s leader, mockingly waving his fingers in the camera with impunity. “I sell women. I will sell them for $12.”

Shekau and his members have unleashed a reign of violence and terror in Nigeria for the past four years, ramping up their exploits in the recent months, published reports indicate. The name of the terrorist organization Boko Haram means “Western education is sinful,” and the group has rampaged across Nigeria murdering innocent civilians and kidnapping children in a bold quest to convert the residents to their way of thinking or punish them for daring to reject such extremism.

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Nigerian mothers weep and wail in despair, consumed by grief and uncertainty about the fate of their beloved daughters.

As global attention coalesces around the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, mothers in Nigeria can take some solace this Mother’s Day that the world is finally paying attention and making concerted efforts to find their kidnapped daughters and bring them home. However, while other mothers celebrate with their children this Mother’s Day, the mothers of the kidnapped girls in Nigeria weep. Some mothers across the globe will weep too, cognizant of the fact that their daughters were spared such an awful fate, merely due to their geographic location.

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Pain and anger are emotions that are visibly etched on the face of this protestor .

U.S. President Barack Obama sent a team of security experts on Friday to Nigeria to provide intelligence and specialized support to the Nigerian Army in the effort to rescue the girls. Britain, France and China also sent experts to the region and it would not be surprising if more countries decide to provide aid of some kind. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who has been reviled by his people as being too slow to act, offered a $300,000 reward for information leading to the location of the girls and said “everything must be done,” to bring them back safely, because “as a father I feel pains.”

U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama joins the movement.

U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama joins the movement and poses with her sign.

Delivering her first solo message this weekend, First Lady Michelle Obama said that both the she and President Obama “are outraged and heartbroken by the kidnappings,” which she called “unconscionable.” She added, “We can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now.” Earlier in the week, she posed with her #BringBackOurGirls poster, making it clear that the issue resonated with her as the mother of two girls.

Children have played a vital role in publicizing the plight of the kidnapped girls.

Children have played a vital role in  joining their parents to publicize the plight of the kidnapped girls.

Last weekend, social media was ablaze and exploded as online news organizations and people who care sent the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag trending. Social media users showed their disgust with the lack of solid action in the wake of the mass kidnappings. The unrelenting #BringBackOurGirls movement has garnered international attention and forced Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to publicly state that he will take action to secure the girls’ safe return. But his actions have been viewed with skepticism by Nigerian nationals, especially since he declined international help for so long, further endangering the girls’ lives.

Protestors have been vocal, vigilant and steadfast in their efforts.

Protestors have been vocal, vigilant and steadfast in their efforts.

It does not help President Jonathan’s case that Amnesty International asserted on Friday that the Nigerian government was warned that the Boko Haram troops were targeting the area hours before the girls were taken, but nothing was done. Reports have also emerged to suggest that the terrorist groups could be better armed and more motivated than the official government forces, which makes preserving the safety of the country’s residents very problematic.

Women protest and grieve for their kidnapped daughters.

Women protest and grieve for their kidnapped daughters.

“They have accepted our help through a combination of military, law enforcement and other agencies,” President Obama told news outlets earlier last week. Describing the terroristic acts of Boko Haram he said; “They’ve been killing people ruthlessly for many years now. This might be the event that helps to mobilize the entire international community to finally do something against this horrendous organization.”

Heartbroken fathers, uncles, brothers, cousins and supporters take action.

Heartbroken fathers, uncles, brothers, cousins and supporters take action.

For almost one month these mothers and their families have been in profound, indescribable pain that knows no limit. The sense of helplessness felt by the men in those families, wracked with guilt, anger and despair that they were unable to protect their innocent little girls is unimaginable.

For mothers who are able to hug their daughters today and celebrate the joys of motherhood, it is important to take some time to say a prayer for the safe return of all those abducted girls because their safety could depend on it. –OnPointPress.net.  

Please follow us on Twitter @OnPointPress_.

 

Maxi Priest thrills, enchants in SiriusXM listening party

 

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Maxi Priest thrills guests at listening party at SiriusXM for his new album Easy To Love

By Carmen Glover

Sensuous, charming, talented reggae star Maxi Priest had the audience eating out of his hands when he put on a dazzling, yet intimate performance at SiriusXM studios in Manhattan on Wednesday night to give a preview of his latest album, Easy To Love.

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Maxi Priest and DJ Face rock the audience on the sound system.

The event was hosted by veteran Caribbean-born journalist Pat McKay, whose program on SirusXM is called “The Joint.”  Reggae music powerhouse VP Records and the Jamaica Tourist Board sponsored the exclusive event. DJ Face spun music to keep the crowd entertained prior to Priest taking the stage. But once the reggae icon made his appearance the crowd was enthralled, listening raptly, nodding in agreement, asking questions and sharing feedback, as he talked about his musical influences and gave context to his diverse, richly textured background, interspersed with him crooning songs from the new album.

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Maxi Priest is joined by Actor/Singer Leon and Pat McKay of SiriusXM’s The Joint.

“I want to give thanks to God and all the West Indians out there,” Priest said after specifically acknowledging the Jamaicans in the audience. “Tonight is a musical experience. We own this culture and we have to bring it together and keep it together,” he said, imploring the media to continue promoting reggae music. At McKay’s urging, Priest shared details about his early roots in sound systems. “As a kid I used to run around with a sound system, vibing on the microphone,” he said. “I was the hype man and the singer and I also used to build them, then I progressed to working in the studios.”

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Maxi Priest poses with a guest at his listening party.

Describing his musical influences, Priest did not hold back. “I grew up with Dennis Brown and Burning Spear. My heart goes out to Dennis Brown,” he said, before launching into one of the late reggae legend’s hits Should I, as the guests sang along and applauded.  Priest also said that Bob Marley was one of his early influences as well. “When I came into this business I was influenced by Bob,” he said, but he explained that Brown taught him early to “sing for the girls,” advice that he took to heart. Priest talked about the perks of being a musician and he proudly called himself “a lover’s man. I make love, that’s what I do,” he said, as laughter erupted.

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Maxi Priest provided insight into his background at listening party for Easy To Love.

Priest explained that Easy To Love features solid collaborations. “I’ve been fortunate to have worked with Beres Hammond over the years and it was actually him who inspired this album. He kept saying: ‘You should do something with VP’ and I want to big up VP. That’s the foundation that’s left of our music,” he said as the guests echoed their agreement.

“This album will come out the beginning of June,” Priest said of Easy To Love, mentioning some of the producers who worked on the album, including legendary duo Sly & Robbie. Priest performed three of the songs from the album, title track Easy To Love, Loving You Is Easy, and Without A Woman, his duet with Hammond. Mckay coaxed Priest to share his views about his childhood and the role of music in the world.

Maxi Priest

Maxi Priest’s latest album, Easy To Love.

“Love and music bring people together,” he said. “Growing up my challenges were facing responsibilities, making definite decisions and sticking to them. I love this industry. I’ve been blessed to do what I’m doing and to travel. ”

Singer/actor Leon came by as the event was winding down, interacting with Priest before posing for pictures with guests. Priest also introduced his adult son and spoke about health concerns of his newborn daughter. Priest spoke glowingly about a recent Caribbean concert he had with longtime reggae singer Super Cat and expressed hope that music produced by Grammy-winner Shaggy, on his behalf, will eventually see the light of day. Easy to Love will be released in early June and Priest will perform at BB King’s Club in Manhattan on Wednesday, June 11. –OnPointPress.net.

Please follow us on Twitter @OnPointPress_.

WWE women promote positive, athletic, television images

Total Divas gives personal insight to WWE Divas like Naomi (r) who got married on the show to current WWE superstar Jimmy Uso.

Total Divas gives personal insight to WWE Divas like Naomi (r) who got married on the show to current WWE superstar Jimmy Uso.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

As many reality television franchises continue their run, the women associated with the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) are demonstrating a wide range of positive images.  From the top of the organization to the less known “Divas,” the WWE has worked diligently to reshape the images it displays of the women in the company. Some fans may think of the WWE Divas as merely attractive women, but the WWE is making progress in demonstrating that the women associated with the WWE brand are good owners, managers, announcers, ring performers, and entertainers.

The Chief Brand Officer of the WWE is Stephanie McMahon, who is front and center in reshaping the image of women in the WWE.

The Chief Brand Officer of the WWE is Stephanie McMahon, who is front and center in reshaping the image of women in the WWE.

The WWE has come a long way in the portrayal of the women in the company. While there have been a number of women who gained notoriety because of expertise in the ring, the WWE had a long period of ‘eye candy’ for their mostly male demographic. While there has been an expectation that the women of the WWE would bring a different type of  charm to the show, there were periods where it seemed borderline exploitive.

Previous WWE Divas like “Sunny,” Terri Runnels, “Sable,” Candace Michelle, and Torrie Wilson had roles that showcased their bodies more than anything else. The trade-off for these women was that it allowed them to make additional money outside of the company through modeling. The WWE would have eight different Divas pose for Playboy Magazine, including Sable, Michelle, and Wilson.

Trish Stratus (l) and Lita (r) were excellent in-ring performers that also accentuated their bodies during their time in WWE. Both have been elected into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Trish Stratus (l) and Lita (r) were excellent in-ring performers that also accentuated their bodies during their time in WWE. Both have been elected into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Most of those women worked for the WWE during the “Attitude Era” (1997- 2003)during which the company was geared to more mature audiences. As that era ended, the company refocused its attention on audiences that were not targets of the Attitude Era: children and women. The WWE was able to bridge the gap with attractive women who were also able to perform well in the ring. However, there was still an expectation at times that the women would participate in matches that would have them in very revealing gear. The biggest stars of this period, Trish Stratus and Lita are now WWE Hall of Famers, demonstrating that they made a lasting impact in the company.

Some of the members of the show Total Divas (l - r); Naomi, Cameron, Natalya, Brie Bella, Nikki  Bella

Some of the members of the show Total Divas (l – r); Naomi, Cameron, Natalya, Brie Bella, Nikki Bella

Currently, the WWE Divas are all expected to be competent in-ring competitors. The WWE continues to employ attractive, fit women, but they are also incredibly athletic and charismatic as well. Additionally, their presence is seen in more areas than just the ring. The show Total Divas  gives WWE fans an opportunity to see what goes on in their personal lives.

Currently, the WWE is giving Tamina Snuka (l) and Divas Champion Paige (r) a chance perform at highest level including at last Sunday's Extreme Rules pay-per-view event.

Currently, the WWE is giving Tamina Snuka (l) and Divas Champion Paige (r) a chance perform at highest level including at last Sunday’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view event.

Divas like Cameron, Naomi, Nikki and Brie Bella, and Natalya are able to translate their popularity on Total Divas to further their WWE careers. Other “Divas” like former Divas Champion AJ Lee, Tamina Snuka, Layla, Alicia Fox and current Divas Champion Paige have opportunities on WWE shows regularly.

Smackdown General Manager Vickie Guerrero (r) has been in a position of power within the WWE for years as was AJ Lee (l) for a brief period.

Smackdown General Manager Vickie Guerrero (r) has been in a position of power within the WWE for years as was AJ Lee (l) for a brief period.

The strongest female representation comes from the current Chief Brand Officer and on-screen “Authority” member, Stephanie McMahon. McMahon, daughter of WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, has evolved as on-screen character, taking on a leadership role and showing a woman in power in a sport dominated by men. McMahon teams with her husband Paul Levesque, also known as triple H, to show a woman in an authoritative position on WWE shows. Additionally, the WWE employs Vickie Guerrero, widow of former WWE superstar Eddie Guerrero, as general manager on Friday Night Smackdown. Guerrero has held her position of power within the company for several years.

The WWE has made diversity a  point of emphasis as well. Alicia Fox (l) and Layla (r) have worked  for Stephanie McMahon (c) and the WWE for the last several years.

The WWE has made diversity a point of emphasis as well. Alicia Fox (l) and Layla (r) have worked for Stephanie McMahon (c) and the WWE for the last several years.

The WWE has changed the way it chooses to portray the women in the  company by maintaining  a high standard for female talent while  showing value for much more than just their physical attributes. The WWE is more visible than it has ever been, with its shows viewed in over 100 countries and now streaming online 24 hours a day with the WWE Network. It seems like the WWE has chosen to take the responsibility to showcase the many different talents that women in the firm possess.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a management training consultant. Follow me @0penWindowMES on Twitter.com.

“Bringbackourgirls campaign highlights mass Nigerian kidnappings

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By Carmen Glover

Three weeks ago, 276 girls aged 15-18 were kidnapped in Nigeria by radical Islamic extremists. According to published reports, the girls were taken from the Government Girls Secondary School, located in the village of Chibok, during a pre-dawn raid.  Initially, it was reported that 234 girls were abducted but the Associated Press reported recently that the total number was 276.

Women rally in Nigeria as the whereabouts of their girls remain a mystery.

Women rally in Nigeria as the whereabouts of their girls remain a mystery.

Since the mass kidnappings, fears have grown that the girls were taken in order to force them into physical activities with the extremists or as a way of selling them into slavery. 53 of the girls escaped but more than 200 are still being held in captivity. According to one of the escaped girl, the captives endured up to 15 incidents of rape per day.

As the days pass without the remaining girls’ return, international furor is building with vigils, marches and civil activities occurring with greater frequency in efforts designed to publicize the abductions and ensure the girls’ safe return. On Saturday, May 3, protesters gathered in New York City and Washington D.C, demonstrating their support for the girls.

women rally in Nigeria

Women  wear red and rally in Nigeria in an attempt to pressure the Nigerian government to take action and demonstrate commitment to bringing the girls back home to their families.

The protesters have been expressing their interest in pressuring the Nigerian government to take meaningful action against the Islamic extremists’ reign of terror against the country’s innocent girls.

Last week, the U.S State Department and President Barack Obama initiated conversations with the Nigerian government regarding how the United States can assist in finding the girls and returning them to their homes. Meanwhile, the protests by the devastated families and their supporters continue to gain momentum.

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This issue is one that should tug at the heartstrings of every living person, regardless of education, socio-economic background, race, nationality or religious background. Can you imagine if one of those girls belonged to your family as a sister, daughter, niece, cousin or friend, someone from your school, church or community?

The anguish, despair, pain and sadness felt by the parents and loved ones of these children must be unimaginable. As a world community, it is important that journalists and citizens across the globe take an active role in advocating for the safe return of these vulnerable children and not let them down.

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It’s time for every person of conscience to join the movement to ensure their safety and freedom by bringing these girls home.

One of the central concerns that has been voiced by activists in the international community is that there has not been wall-to-wall media coverage and political outcry because this atrocity occurred in Nigeria, a country that is predominantly black.

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However, as civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” No action is too small to join the “bringbackourgirls movement, which has been experiencing a gradual groundswell of support on social media. The time to act is now so that these girls can be rescued and their abductors punished as swiftly and harshly as their actions warrant.

As the famous philosopher Edmund Burke said: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” –OnPointPress.net  #bringbackourgirls.

Please follow us onTwitter@OnPointPress_.

Sterling scandal exposes serious NAACP hypocrisy, dysfunction

leon jenkins

Leon Jenkins resigned from his post as president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP on Thursday, in what should be the first of several resignations due to the Donald Sterling debacle.

Los Angeles National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) President Leon Jenkins’ resignation on Thursday, in wake of the Donald Sterling scandal was too little, too late. It is clear that Jenkins has shown very poor judgment and that his actions were a blight on the venerable civil rights organization since there is no possible scenario under which Sterling could ever have been an accurate representation of the NAACP’s values, mission and scope. No scenario at all.

Leon Jenkins, sterling

Leon Jenkins former president of the LA chapter of the NAACP poses with Clippers Owner Donald Sterling who expressed anger that his female companion “associate with black people.”

The NAACP has a long, distinguished tradition of advocating for the rights of African-Americans and other minority groups who are on the periphery of society’s wealth and opportunities. That goal has been the fundamental mission of the organization since its inception, which is why the mentality of the Los Angeles chapter, under Jenkins’ leadership, is such a disgrace.

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NAACP’s Leon Jenkins honors Donald Sterling who is flanked by his wife.

When the tapes surfaced of Sterling’s’ racist diatribe against blacks, emotions became heated as blacks and other minorities boiled in anger. But another significant fact that was not as publicized was that Jenkins and his team were planning to honor Sterling with a second Lifetime Achievement Award next week. The chapter had previously given Sterling two awards in 2008 and 2009, one of which was a Lifetime Award, which of course raises the question: How many lifetimes does Sterling have?

Sterling is a real estate tycoon, in addition to owning the Los Angeles Clippers and he settled a housing discrimination lawsuit brought by the Justice Department in 2006 for $2.7 million due to his refusal to rent housing units to minorities. At the time, Sterling said “Hispanics smoke, drink and just hang around the building” while “Black tenants smell and attract vermin.”  Yet the Los Angeles Chapter of the NAACP felt he was deserving of an award in 2008.

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Elgin Baylor served the Clippers for 22 years then filed a lawsuit in 2010 accusing owner Donald Sterling of a range of distasteful racist conduct and sentiments. Baylor lost in court.

Not to be outdone by his venomous disdain for minorities, Sterling continued a reign of terror resulting in Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor filing a wrongful termination lawsuit against him, after being with the Clippers for 22 years as a woefully underpaid general manager, earning $250,000 per year, compared to the millions paid to other executives in similar positions industry-wide. In his lawsuit, Baylor accused Sterling of a “plantation mentality.”

Some-People-Are-Calling-for-L.A.-NAACP-President-Leon-Jenkins-to-Step-Down (2)

According to Baylor, Sterling would parade women into the Clippers’ locker room to look at the “fine black bodies” of the players. Also, according to Baylor, Sterling staunchly refused to hire black coaches because he wanted to “have white a Southern coach coaching poor black players.” Again, such actions so impressed the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP that the leadership awarded Sterling with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. To say this is an appalling display of poor judgment is a gross understatement.

Appearing on Don Lemon’s program on CNN last weekend, political analyst and news host Ben Ferguson did not mince words “The NAACP should be ashamed of itself for honoring Donald Sterling given his long history of racism,” he said. We at OnPointPress.net could not agree more with Mr. Ferguson, who boldly said what many did not. What could Jenkins and his leadership have been thinking? Were they not thinking at all?

leon jenkins

Leon Jenkins at press conference on 4/28/2014 announcing that he is rescinding the second Lifetime Achievement Award he and his chapter planned to give to Donald Sterling.

In a precursor to his overdue resignation, Jenkins held a press conference on April 28 and said the following: “The revelations that Mr. Sterling may have made comments in a phone conversation that was reminiscent of the ugly time in American history that contained elements of segregation and racial discrimination demand that the NAACP’s intention to honor Mr. Sterling for lifetime body of work must be withdrawn and the donation that he has given tot he LA NAACP will be returned.”

Jenkins gets no points for withdrawing an award that should never have been a thought in the minds of those trusted to lead such an important organization. This effort to lavish Sterling with multiple NAACP awards represents a huge stain on the mission and reputation of the NAACP and more resignations should be announced as that chapter cleans house and returns to its noble roots.-OnPointPress.net. 

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Is boxing prepared for what the post-Mayweather era holds?

Floyd Mayweather Jr., at the podium, speaks at a press conference about his upcoming fight with Marcos Maidana (r).

Floyd Mayweather Jr., at the podium, speaks at a press conference about his upcoming fight with Marcos Maidana (r).

By Charles Glover, Jr.

On Saturday, May 3, Floyd “Money” Mayweather will attempt to unify the welterweight championship belts as he faces fellow champion Marcos Maidana. The undefeated Mayweather is the biggest pay-per-view draw by a wide margin, allowing him to earn upwards of $73 million in just two fights last year. There is no denying Mayweather is the best that boxing has to offer at this point.

However, Mayweather is 37 and has already participated in forty-five professional fights. There will come a time in the near future when Mayweather is unable to draw the fans to the television and to the ring to watch his fights. The ‘dangling carrot’ of a fight with the second most popular boxer, Manny Pacquiao, will eventually lose its effect on fans.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. (r) is boxing's pound-for-pound king and biggest draw. Manny Pacquiao (l) is the fighter fans most want to challenge Mayweather.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. (r) is boxing’s pound-for-pound king and biggest draw. Manny Pacquiao (l) is the fighter fans most want to challenge Mayweather.

Floyd Mayweather Sr., the boxer’s father and trainer, may have added fuel to that proposed fight by recently when he said:

“Manny and Floyd? That would be the easiest fight Floyd could make…This [Maidana] fight right here will be harder than Manny, trust me.”

As clamor for Mayweather versus Pacquiao wanes, there are different options for fans of combat sports.

A survey completed by the company Scarborough and published in the Sports Business Journal shows interest in combat sports as of 2013.

A survey completed by the company Scarborough and published in the Sports Business Journal shows interest in combat sports as of 2013.

Two of UFC's biggest stars are decorated champions,  Jon "Bones" Jones (l) and Ronda Rousey (r).
Two of UFC’s biggest stars are decorated champions, Jon “Bones” Jones (l) and Ronda Rousey (r).

Mixed martial arts has risen drastically in popularity over the last twenty years. In particular, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), has established a product that has targeted the very demographics that boxing used to dominate. UFC president, Dana White, is excited to extol the gains the UFC has made on boxing in viewership among males.

“When I was at ESPN all day, all the guys there were talking about our numbers. That’s all that matters,” she said.

White is counting on the rising popularity of champions Jon “Bones” Jones and Ronda Rousey to continue the growth of the UFC. Meanwhile, the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) launched a 24-hour streaming network in February, in preparation for the marquee event, WrestleMania 30 that took place early April.

The WWE continues to give their fans more ways to enjoy their product with the advent of the WWE Network. Featured Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (l) and John Cena (r).

The WWE continues to give their fans more ways to enjoy their product with the advent of the WWE Network. Featured Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (l) and John Cena (r).

The WWE continues to reinvent itself as a brand by marketing to multiple demographics through cross promotions. The firm routinely has WWE superstars featured on television and in movies, while producing original programming that gives extra recognition to their talent. The WWE Divas are providing an added dimension to the company as their reality show Total Divas allows fans to connect even more with their favorite WWE cast member.

The bottom line for boxing is that the other combat sports are continuing to add layers of interest to grow their sport. Meanwhile, boxing appears to be doing more to harm its sport than help it. The multiple governing bodies, uncooperative promoters, and incompetent judges that have plagued boxing over the past 20 years have placed the sport in a precarious situation: loss of interest from the fan base. The sport of boxing needs to make some major changes before Mayweather retires and takes major fan interest in boxing into retirement with him.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.

5 ways to become more financially literate and savvy

Norman Forrester, Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch in Connecticut

Norman Forrester, Assistant Vice President/Senior Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch in  New Haven, Connecticut

By Carmen Glover

As the economy continues to make strides towards full recovery, a plethora of skilled, versatile and diversely trained potential employees are eagerly seeking the few job opportunities that exist. For some, fed up with the lack of job offers despite attending numerous job fairs, networking events or submission of applications, the path has led to entrepreneurship.

No matter the situation, financial literacy is fundamental to all decisions regarding survival. Quite often, people’s financial circumstances are clouded by the realization that income is woefully inadequate to meet all of the monthly expenses.

New Haven, Connecticut-based, Merrill Lynch Assistant Vice President/Senior Financial Advisor Norman Forrester is passionate about educating clients on the subtle nuances of financial literacy in order to help them make sound fiscal decisions and achieve stability. Financial health has been examined often in the month of April, Financial Literacy Month, and this has resonated with Forrester because he sees areas in which all households can enhance overall financial literacy . Below, Forrester provides five tips that can steer people towards financial freedom, regardless of their current circumstances. His tips are as follows:

1. Avoid Debt: “There are things within our conduct that impede financial health and one of the main things is getting into debt,” Forrester said. He explained that it is important to cut costs, keep cars for longer periods and pay off debts to improve credit and have peace of mind. “If you can pay less for a car by keeping your older model longer and then buying a certified used car you end up saving more that you would if you buy a new car that will depreciate as soon as you leave the car lot.”

2. Live Within Your Means: “We have to be able to sacrifice our ego on a temporary basis for financial security,” he said. “This is at odds with what we see in society as a black person. The norm is to buy fancy cars and expensive items to feel special.” Forrester said it is important to budget wisely and invest extra money into assets that appreciate. “Wealthy people bring their lunches to work and then invest the savings into vacation properties where they can relax after working hard.”

3. Pay Yourself First by Saving: “People keep saying they want to save but then they spend all that they earn. One of the best ways to pay yourself first is to invest in your company’s 401(k) or 402 (b) plan because most companies match the amount you contribute so if you start at age 20 by the time you are 30 you could have $100,000 put away,” he said.

4. Expand Your Financial Literacy and Embrace Entrepreneurship: “Make learning about finances mandatory by getting information from a financial advisor or from your church or civic organizations,” he said. “Use a multi-faceted strategy to solve financial problems. If you have a lot of bills and you just came out of college look at the three job approach: Get a job to pay the bills, get another job to network for jobs in your field of study and use your spare time to work towards entrepreneurship.”

5. Invest: “Learn about investing. Everyone should have a financial advisor so that they can tell you about asset allocation and your risk tolerance level,” he advised.

Forrester said that by utilizing these strategies and engaging the services of a financial advisor most people will find it easier to enhance their financial literacy and stay ahead of the curve.-OnPointPress.net.

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