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Wharton visits White House for gun violence talks with Obama

obama-and-wharton-600Mayor A C Wharton Jr. was part of a select group of mayors invited to join President Barack Obama at the White House this week to discuss curbing youth violence.

Wharton's visit coincided with the 50th Anniversary of the historic 1963 March on Washington, where civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech.

Speaking about gun violence, Wharton said, "It's really perplexing because Dr. King did not die for that; that was not the dream he had."

TSD launches 2013 Best in Black Awards

B-In-B-logo-notype-600It's that time. The questions are once again being asked. Who has the best hot wings in Memphis? What about soul food? What is the best barbershop in Memphis? Who's the best hip-hop artist? Best choir? Youth entrepreneur? How about beauty salon? What nail salon tops all others?

The second annual Best In Black Awards hosted by The New Tri-State Defender will shine a light upon some of the best African-American businesses, community organizations and entrepreneurs in the Mid-South.

TSD Publisher and President Bernal E. Smith II said the BIB Awards celebrate African-American owned and supported businesses in the Mid-South, serving as a marketing and recognition platform for those same companies while ultimately encouraging the community's next generation of business leaders.

UTHSC grant to aid promising female minority students

MedtechDSC-600When you get a diagnosis as the result of a medical test, do you ever stop to consider who ran that test?

Probably not. Still, about 70 percent of medical diagnoses are made with information from the laboratory provided by medical laboratory scientists.

The demand for medical laboratory scientists is expected to rise by at least 13 percent through 2020, according to the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Sciences. And salaries are also on the rise, with the median wage, based on location, estimated at $56,870. The unemployment rate of medical laboratory scientists is less than 2 percent, which is matched only by that of pharmacy technicians.

Discrimination due to pregnancy? EEOC files suit

eeoc-logo-600x600Jiji, Inc., a Holiday Inn franchisee located in Batesville, Miss., violated federal law when it fired an employee because of her pregnancy, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed Thursday (Aug. 22).

According to the EEOC's suit, Te'Shawn Harmon informed her manager of her pregnancy on her first day of work. That evening, the manager terminated Harmon and replaced her with a non-pregnant employee, the EEOC said.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The EEOC filed the suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Oxford Division after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement. The suit seeks back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, reinstatement and injunctive relief.

Empowerment Conference solidifies MULYP’s Legacy

MULYP-600Empowering Young Professionals is the founding principle of the Memphis Urban League Young Professionals (MULYP) – hosts of the inaugural "Empowerment: Building Our Legacy" Conference held at the Hilton Hotel last Saturday (Aug. 17).

MULYP leadership designed the conference to solidify the group's 10-year legacy as the premiere organization to encourage and educate young professionals as the community, government and business leaders of the future in Memphis.

"There's never a great time to take a perfect opportunity," said Aaron Arnold, MULYP's Empowerment Conference keynote speaker. "I believe average people can create great things but I always wanted to be a part of something great."

Wire fraud case dropped against Tri-State Defender President and Publisher Bernal E. Smith II

Bernal e smith II-600It was exactly three months ago on May 21 when a federal grand jury indicted two businessmen for their roles in allegedly conspiring to defraud Swift Capital of Wilmington, DE, through the use of third-party "co-signers."

On Wednesday (Aug. 21), Judge Samuel H. Mays Jr. of the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee dismissed the indictment against defendants Demarlon Simmons, 40, of Cordova and Bernal E. Smith II, 41, of Olive Branch, Miss.

"For good cause, the motion is GRANTED," the order of dismissal read.

Talent Dividend panel doles out achievement gap ‘reality’

aa-male-1-600Three "leading local educators"– including Interim Shelby County Schools Supt. Dorsey Hopson – on Tuesday helped participants and supporters of the Memphis Talent Dividend: College Attainment Initiative with a starting point for dealing with the higher education achievement gap among African-American males.

Hopson shared the spotlight with Dr. Lemoyne Robinson, who oversees several area charter schools as chancellor of Influence One Foundation, and Dr. Ernest L. Gibson III, a Rhodes College assistant professor of English.

The session unfolded at the Leadership Memphis Gallery downtown, with the moderating duties in the hands of Tomeka Hart, Teach for America's vice president for African-American Community Partnership, and former president of the now merged Memphis City Schools.

‘Actions speak’ for Tina L. Birchett

Tina-Birchett-400tA memorial service on Saturday (Aug. 24) will celebrate the life of Grace Magazine publisher and Sisterhood Showcase founder Tina Louise Birchett.

Ms. Birchett passed away on Sunday (Aug. 18) after a valiant battle with cancer. She was 53. The memorial service is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, 70 N. Bellevue Blvd., where she was a member.

The numbing news of Ms. Birchett's passing spread quickly through the wide network of people touched by her directly and indirectly. She was the CEO and publisher of Birchett & Associates, comprised of the Sisterhood Outreach Summit & Showcase and GRACE® Magazine.