Gun Violence Community Meeting

Kalamazoo, MI- The city of Kalamazoo has already seen gun violence devastate communities, particularly predominately black and communities of color. Monday evening, about 100 community members representing various faith-based, non-profit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens informally discussed violence with guns and what needs to be done.Stop gun violence

State Representative, Jon Hoadley,(D) hosted an informal meeting with citizens of the community. What became very obvious during the break out discussions was the lack of knowledge concerning gun laws in the state of Michigan. Policy concerns, what people and organizations should be present and how to make gun violence a priority in elections were discussion topics.

For more information contact jonhoadley@house.mi.gov

Face Off Theatre Company’s The Mountaintop

Kalamazoo, MI-Martin Luther King Jr.,an icon of the Civil Rights Movement, power speaker and public leader was a great man. Katori Hall, American playwright explores Dr. King as a man. Taking place at the Lorraine Motel,in Memphis, Tennessee.The reimagination of the events the night before the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. King returns to his room at the Lorraine Motel from delivering a speech earlier that day When a maid arrives with with news and King is made aware of his r his importance to the movement and realizations of himself as just a man, but a purpose that belongs with so many.

The show stars Tanisha Pyron and Kenajuan Bentley, as the maid, Camae, and King, respectively. Both are alumni of Western Michigan University’s theater department. Bentley is a professional actor in Los Kenajuan Bentely as MLK and Tanisha Pyron as CamaeAngeles and has worked with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Pyron is a member of Face Off and is completing her graduate degree in acting.

Opening night is January 14 on Kalamazoo College’s campus. It will be held at Nelda Balch Festival Playhouse. The show runs from January 14-17 at 8pm and January 17 at 2pm. For more information visit
https://reason.kzoo.edu/festivalplayhouse/

Happy Birthday, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On Monday January 20, Americans from diverse backgrounds and communities will celebrate the life andMartin Luther King Jr vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who fought for equality and  justice.  He dedicated his life to ending racism and all forms of discrimination.  In 1968, Dr. King was on an environmental justice mission for Memphis striking sanitation workers. He was murdered by an assassin’s bullet before he could complete his mission.

Today, we are still confronted with injustices that threatens the lives of millions of African-Americans and other people of color.

A 15 year battle, Congressman John Conyers, Democrat from Michigan, petitioned for 15 years  and introduced legislation for a commemorative holiday four days after King was assassinated in 1968. After the bill became stalled,  a collection of six million names were submitted to Congress.

Conyers and Rep. Shirley Chisholm, Democrat of New York, resubmitted King holiday legislation each subsequent legislative session. Public pressure for the holiday gained momentum during the 1982 and 1983 civil rights marches in Washington.

Congress passed the holiday legislation in 1983, which was then signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. MLK Day is celebrated on the third Monday of January.

Check local listings for MLK celebration activities throughout Kalamazoo and surrounding communities.

Community Invited to 28th Annual MLK Celebration

 

Kalamazoo, MI- The Northside Ministerial Alliance would like to invite all clergy, community leaders and the Northside Ministerial Alliance  Celebrates 28th Annualpublic to attend the 28th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration!  This year’s celebration will be held on Sunday, January 19, 2014, beginning at 4:00 p.m., at the Galilee Baptist Church.  Our theme this year is:  “Unfulfilled Dreams.”  We are honored to have as our guest speaker, Dr. Michael Nabors, Pastor of Mt. Calvary Baptist in Detroit, MI. 

 

The theme for this year’s celebration, “Unfulfilled Dreams”. Speakers will include, Dr. Michael Nabors of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, Detroit, MI.

 

Michigan United and Michigan Organizing Project Rally For Immigration Reform In Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo- Thursday, over 100 members of Michigan United held a symbolic rehearsal citizenship ceremony for “Future Citizens” of the steps of the County Courthouse highlighting the need to comprehensive immigration reform with an earned path to citizenship this year. The event comes at the beginning of the August congressional recess, which advocates are anticipating will be key to the immigration reform movement.

Participants came from towns across southwest Michigan, including Sturgis, Hartford, Fennville, Benton Harbor and Kalamazoo.  City Commissioner Don Cooney led the group in a symbolic rehearsal of the oath of citizenship, the pledge of allegiance and the national anthem.

“Our country’s founding principles-equality, opportunity, freedom, hard work- are what immigrants have come seeking for generations,” said State Representative Sean McCann. “Immigrant families are living by these values, seeking a better life. It is long past time for immigration reform. It’s time for Congress to get past partisan politics and do what makes sense”.

Immigrants like Itzel Gomes,  from Malawi, has been waiting for his visa approval for 15 years. Ivan Gomez, a small business owner, from Borneo has been in the United States for 13 years. Despite, working, paying taxes, following the law, owning businesses and pursuing higher education, there is no pathway to citizenship available to them.

DREAM ( Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) students, Victor Esparza and Itzel Gomez have been able to obtain college degrees and pursue jobs in their field of education, opening more opportunities than the traditional field work afford to them.

Demonstrators delivered approximately 600 signatures to Congressman Fred Upton’s Kalamazoo office to urge him to vote in favor of immigration reform.

The Senate passed an immigration bill in June that included a pathway to citizenship. The bill passed with an impressive 68-to-32 majority. The Republican-led Congress has left for August recess without resolving  the issue. Congress will be back in session, Sept. 9.

Participants plan to continue with additional actions throughout the August Recess.

  

R& B Singer Puff Johnson Loses Battle With Cervical Cancer

Puff JohnsonPuff Johnson, whose real name was Ewanya Johnson, reportedly died on June 24, 2013 after long battle with cervical cancer.

Johnson emerged on the music scene with the singles Forever More and Over & Over, which appeared on the soundtrack of the film The First Wives Club.

Miracle,  her only album was released in 1996.  In 1997 Johnson toured Europe as an opening act for Michael Jackson.

Johnson lived in South Africa in 2009 before her stay was cut short when she was arrested and deported to the US in 2010 for not having proper documentation.

Johnson was 40-years-old.

 

Memorial Day Celebrations 2013

(Kalamazoo, MI)- Memorial Day parades and celebrations going on throughout SW Michigan to honor servicemen and women who put their lives on the line for their country and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and those that continue to fight for the rights and privileges we have today.

The following events are scheduled for Memorial Day:

  • Allegan: 10 a.m. parade from Griswold Auditorium to Oakwood Cemetery.

  • Bangor: Ceremony at the Veterans Memorial 8:30 a.m., parade 9 a.m. along M-43 to Arlington Hill Cemetery.

  • Bloomingdale: 11 a.m. parade from Bloomingdale High School to village park.

  • Breedsville: 11 a.m. parade from Main Street to Breedsville Cemetery.

  • Centreville: Parade at 9:30 a.m. from Adams Park to Prairie River Cemetery for a ceremony.

  • Climax: Founder’s Day bash and Memorial Day events include 9:30 a.m. parade from Climax-Scotts High School to Prairie Home Cemetery.

  • Colon: 9 a.m. parade from Colon Elementary School to Lakeside Cemetery.

  • Comstock: Noon parade from Comstock Avenue to Merrill Park.

  • Constantine: 10 a.m. parade from U.S. 131 at the bridge to Constantine Township Cemetery.

  • Decatur: 11 a.m. parade from VFW to Lakeside Cemetery, Harrison Cemetery at 11:30 a.m., Hamilton Township Cemetery at 1 p.m. and then to the Veterans Home for the Veterans Memorial.

  • Fulton: Kids’ parade at noon, communitywide parade 12:30 p.m. to ceremony at South Fulton Cemetery.

  • Galesburg/Augusta: Fort Custer National Cemetery Memorial Day service 2 p.m. Sunday, May 26. Placement of flags by area volunteers on the Avenue of Flags 9 a.m. Saturday, May 25.

  • Gobles: 9 a.m. parade on M-40 to ceremony at park.

  • Gull Lake/Richland: 11 a.m. program at Prairie Home Cemetery.

  • Hickory Corners: 10 a.m. parade from Cadwallader Park to ceremony at East Hickory Corners Cemetery.

  • Kalamazoo: 10 a.m. parade from Michigan Avenue to Riverside Cemetery on Gull Road.

  • Lawrence: 10 a.m. parade from Lawrence High School to Hill Cemetery.

  • Lawton: 10 a.m. parade from corner of Walker and Union streets to ceremonies at Oak Grove Cemetery.

  • Martin/Gun Lake: 9:30 a.m. parade from Martin High School to Memorial Park on North Main Street.

  • Mattawan: 11 a.m. parade from Mattawan Early Elementary School to ceremony at village park.

  • Mendon: Noon parade from Mendon Township Library to naval ceremony at Portage River and ceremonies at Mendon Catholic Cemetery and Mendon Township Cemetery.

  • Otsego/Alamo: 9:30 a.m. parade from Mountain Home Cemetery to Memorial Park.

  • Paw Paw: 9:30 a.m. Navy memorial ceremony on Michigan Avenue at the river, 10 a.m. parade from Gremps Street to Maple City Veterans’ Memorial Park.

  • Plainwell/Cooper: Noon ceremony at Sherwood Park. No parade because of road work.

  • Portage: 10 a.m. parade from Southland Mall on South Westnedge Avenue to Portage Central Cemetery and Portage Veterans Memorial.

  • Saugatuck-Douglas: 9 a.m. parade in Saugatuck, 10 a.m. parade in Douglas.

  • Schoolcraft: 11 a.m. parade from Cass and Cedar streets to Schoolcraft Cemetery.

  • South Haven: 9 a.m. parade from downtown to Lakeview Cemetery.

  • Three Rivers: 10 a.m. parade from Kelsey and Main Streets to Riverside Cemetery.

  • Vicksburg: 10 a.m. parade from Vicksburg Administration Building to Vicksburg Cemetery that will include the first memorial ceremony at the new veteran’s memorial site.

  • White Pigeon: 10:30 a.m. parade from American Legion Post 138 on South Lincoln Street to White Pigeon Township Cemetery.

Lydia Mendoza Forever Stamp Issued

To honor the musical contributions of legends responsible for making music that has a global impact on culture, the U.S. Postal Service announced the launch of a new Music Icons stamp series with the issuance of a stamp honoring Lydia Mendoza, a star of Tejano music.

Lydia Mendoza an American guitarist and singer of Tejano, conjunto, and traditional Mexican-American music. Mendoza is also fondly known as “La Alondra de la Frontera” (or “The Lark of the Border” in English).

According to a release, the Lydia Mendoza Forever Stamp was dedicated during a special ceremony featuring actor Jesse Borrego best known for the role of Jesse Velasquez in the hit TV series, Fame as master of ceremony at the Guadalupe Cultural Center in San Antonio, TX. Mendoza is to be honored in the Postal Service’s new Music Icons series, which will include legends Ray Charles and Johnny Cash later this year.

Protesters Chant” Power To The People” in Front of Bank Of America

(Kalamazoo, MI)- Friday, protestors stood in front of Bank of America to stand in solidarity with the Murray Family from Coldwater, MI that were recently a victim of the largest mortgage fraud in history.

Local supporters, Occupy Kalamazoo and some of Kalamazoo’s local artistry came out to spread the word POWER TO THE PEOPLEto others the fraudulent activity Bank of America is doing to hardworking homeowners. Lots of people slowed down to read the signs held by those fighting for justice for homeowners.

One customer asking what was going on, vowed to close her account with Bank of America after learning some facts from some of the rally participants.

Local media from Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids were invited to cover the rally for the Murray’s and keep the conversation going about the epidemic of home foreclosure, especially in Kalamazoo. Unfortunately, individual home foreclosures aren’t important enough for local mainstream media to cover.

Video footage of rally:

Afghan Parliament Blocks Violence Against Women Law

A vote on the Elimination of Violence against Women law a was delayed by the Speaker of the Lower house of Afghan Parliament this past Saturday.

Conservative members of Parliament (MPs) were in opposition against the measure, claiming it un-Islamic. Even though the EVAW law was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, women’s rights activist Fawzia Kofi, who also heads the women’s committee of the Lower House, moved forward to introduce the EVAW in Parliament.

TOLO News reports, “The parliamentarians opposing the law call 6 of its articles to be against Islamic values.” The articles include criminalizing child marriage and forced marriage, banning the traditional “BAAD” practice of exchanging girls and girls and women to settle disputes between families, making domestic violence punishable up to three years in prison, protecting rape victims from prosecution for adultery or fornication, limiting the number of wives a man can have to two, and established shelters for battered women.

SummerStage 2013 Announces Latin Programming

Twenty shows and forty artists over three months and the capacity for over fifty thousand audience members, New York City’s SummerStage Festival presents the continental United States’ largest array of free Latin music performance this year.

SummerStage embraces as many contemporary and classic expressions as available. Artists in this year’s SummerStage represent emissaries from Puerto Rico, Brazil, America, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Mexico, Peru and The Dominican Republic in the fields of contemporary pop (Pamela Rodriguez, Julieta Venegas, Carla Morrison), salsa (Moncho Rivera, Sammy Garcia, Johnny Ray), MPB (Preta Gil), bachata (Toby Love, Andy Andy), hip-hop and reggaeton (Tego Calderon,Cuarto Poder, Los Rakas, Emcida), classic soul and funk (Joe Bataan, WAR,The Ghetto Brothers, Larry Harlow), freestyle (George Lamond), electropop (RVSB, Natalia Clavier, Raul Campos, Alex Anwandter, Gaby Amarantos) and contemporary folkloric music (Lila Downs).

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SummerStage 2013 – Latin Programming Schedule:

Doors for all shows open one hour prior to listed show times.

Sunday June 16, 2013 at 7:00pm

11th Brazilian Film Festival of NY with PRETA GIL / DJ sets by JUST MARCELO / Featuring a Full-Length Screening of Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury

FREE SHOW at Central Park, Manhattan

#Brazil #Film #MPB #Samba #Latin #SummerStage

Tuesday June 25, 2013 at 7:00pm

Tribute to ISMAEL RIVERA with MONCHO RIVERA

FREE SHOW at Saint Mary’s Park, Bronx

#Salsa #Sonero #PuertoRico #Latin #LaMega #SummerStage

Wednesday June 26, 2013 at 7:00pm

Tribute to HECTOR LAVOE

FREE SHOW at Saint Mary’s Park, Bronx

#Salsa #PuertoRico #Fania #Latin #LaMega #SummerStage

Thursday June 27, 2013 at 7:00pm

SAMMY GARCIA Y SABOR DE PUERTO RICO

FREE SHOW at Saint Mary’s Park, Bronx

#Salsa #PuertoRico #Latin #LaMega #SummerStage

Tuesday July 2, 2013 at 6:00pm

JOE BATAAN / FELIX HERNANDEZ’S RHYTHM REVUE

FREE SHOW at Soundview Park, Bronx

#LatinSoul #Boogaloo #Fania #Funk #Latin #SummerStage

Wednesday July 3, 2013 at 6:00pm

GEORGE LAMOND / DJ set by DJ LUCHO

FREE SHOW at Soundview Park, Bronx

#Freestyle #Latin #SummerStage

Sunday, July 07, 2013 at 3:00pm

Global Family Day in Central Park featuring

THE CARPETBAG BRIGADE and NEMCATACOA TEATRO / ELIZABETH MITCHELL / NATURAL EXPRESSION RHYTHM BAND / ASE DANCE THEATER COLLECTIVE / IFETAYO YOUTH ENSEMBLE

FREE SHOW at Central Park, Manhattan

#Family #Colombia #Latin #Circus #Disney #SummerStageKids

Tuesday July 09, 2013 at 7:00pm

TEGO CALDERON / RVSB

FREE SHOW at Crotona Park, Bronx

#PuertoRico #Chile #ThisIsHipHop #Electronic #LAMC #Latin #SummerStage

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 7:00pm

TEGO CALDERON / CUARTO PODER / LOS RAKAS

FREE SHOW at Central Park, Manhattan

#PuertoRico #Venezuela #Panama #ThisIsHipHop #LAMC #Latin #SummerStage

Thursday, July 11, 2013 at 6:00pm

LILA DOWNS / NATALIA CLAVIER / PAMELA RODRIGUEZ / RAUL CAMPOS

FREE SHOW at Central Park, Manhattan

#Mexico #Peru #Folk #Electronic #Rock #Pop #LAMC #Latin #SummerStage

Friday July 12, 2013 at 7:00pm

WAR / DJ set by DJ AFRO

FREE SHOW at Crotona Park, Bronx

#BrownEyedSoul #Funk #Rock Latin #SummerStage

Saturday July 13, 2013 at 3:00pm

JULIETA VENEGAS / CARLA MORRISON / ALEX ANWANDTER

FREE SHOW at Central Park, Manhattan

#Mexico #Pop #Electronic #AltPop #DancePop #LAMC #Latin #SummerStage

Saturday July 13, 2013 at 7:00pm

THE GHETTO BROTHERS / Featuring a Full-Length Screening ofFrom Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale

FREE SHOW at Crotona Park, Bronx

#LatinSoul #Rock #Film #BronxRepresent #ThisIsHipHop #ImageNation #LAMC #Latin #SummerStage

Saturday July 20, 2013 at 3:00pm

PLANET HEMP / GABY AMARANTOS / EMICIDA / DJ sets byGREG CAZ

FREE SHOW at Central Park, Manhattan

#Brazil #ThisIsHipHop #Technobrega #Latin #BrasilSummerFest #SummerStage

Thursday August 1, 2013 at 7:00pm

JOHNNY RAY Y SALSA CON CLASE

FREE SHOW at Tappen Park, Staten Island

#Salsa #PuertoRico #Latin #SummerStage

Tuesday August 13, 2013 at 7:00pm

TOBY LOVE

FREE SHOW at Highbridge Park, Manhattan

#Bachata #Aventura #Latin #LaMega #SummerStage

Wednesday August 14, 2013 at 7:00pm

ANDY ANDY

FREE SHOW at Highbridge Park, Manhattan

#Bachata #DominicanRepublic #LaMega #Latin #SummerStage

Thursday August 15, 2013 at 7:00pm

BACHATA HEIGHTZ
FREE SHOW at Highbridge Park, Manhattan

#Bachata #HipHop #LaMega #Latin #SummerStage

Sunday August 18, 2013 at 3:00pm

La Mega’s Sixth Annual Tropical Fest featuring Artists TBD

FREE SHOW at Central Park, Manhattan

#Bachata #LaMega #Latin #SummerStage

Thursday August 29, 2013 at 7:00pm

LARRY HARLOW AND THE LATIN LEGENDS BAND / DJ set by DJ LUCHO

FREE SHOW at East River Park, Manhattan

#Salsa #AfroCuban #Fania #Latin #SummerStage

Long Over Due R&B Museum Headed To Detroit, MI

 R&B Music Hall of Fame Museum founder, entrepreneur and comedy basketball Clown Prince of the Harlem Clowns, LaMont “ShowBoat” Robinson from Cleveland, Ohio and his staff of advisors had narrowed the selection down to two cities (Cleveland and Detroit) to develop theOfficial R&B Music Hall of Fame Museum.

The R&B Music Hall of Fame Museum recently announced its partnership with  Detroit based entertainment company, the Detroit Touring Company, founded by mogul entertainment promoter Quentin Perry.

 The R&B Music Hall of Fame Museum will feature to the world the essence of rhythm & blues music and its components. The R&B Music Hall Inaugural Induction Ceremony will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan at the legendary Detroit Opera House. Tickets will go on sale June 1, 2013 at the Detroit Opera House box office, (313) 237-7464.

2013 induction includes Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, James Brown, The Temptations, The O’Jays, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, The Marvelettes, Enchantment, The Ohio Players, Little Jimmy Scott, Gerald Levert, Aretha Franklin, and The Dramatics, to name a few of the inductees.

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