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Greater Metro

Fred Johnson – Memphis Training Camp for Dads Hall of Famer

(Every year, fathers – biological and non-biological – are honored for their impact on their families and the community and placed in the Memphis Training Camp for Dads Hall of Fame. The New Tri-State Defender will highlight past award recipients in the series, “Where Are They Now?”)
 
dadhalloffamer 600It’s been three years since father and community figure, Fred Johnson, received the Hall of Fame Award at the inaugural Memphis Training Camp for Dads. Then, he was raising his daughter, Jasmine, who was a bright and talented freshman at Wiley College. He’d raised her as a single dad after his wife passed away in 2011 when Jasmine was just a year old.
 
Despite challenges, Johnson continues to give and remains a father figure in the community. Today, he serves on the Community Advisory Board at St. Jude Children’s Hospital and is a coordinator for WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) at Rozelle Creative and Performing Arts Elementary School, his daughter’s former school. 

BRIEFS & THINGS

SnoopDog 600Mothers of the NILE dinner on May 8th

"Juvenile Court: A New Day" is the theme for the Mothers of the NILE Annual Mother's Day Banquet on May 8th at First Baptist Church-Broad located at 2835 Broad Avenue from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

"This is a celebratory event that we are using to inform the public of issues affecting the lives of our young people," says Veronica Coleman-Davis, president/CEO of Mothers of the NILE. "We hope to highlight the responsibility that we all share in reducing the number of children entering the juvenile and criminal justice systems. This year we recognize that there is a new day in juvenile justice."

‘You have to get in touch with your roots’

africainaprilvendor 600The smell of mouth-watering food filled the air, vendors selling a variety of products from incense to jewelry to African Shea Butter lined the area and music blared as a healthy flow of people busily bustled about, stopping to browse the merchandise and sample the food.

This was the template scene for the Africa in April Cultural Awareness Festival, which kicked off April 16th and stretched through the following Sunday. On this – day three – the focus at Robert R. Church Park in Downtown Memphis was on children and senior citizens Day.

The 2014 event honored the West African country of Burkina Faso. Africa in April, which is run by Dr. David L. Acey and his wife, Yvonne B. Acey, annually honors different African cultures. And the cultural exposure that it brings to Memphis is important, according to one of the vendors present at the event.

Farewell to the Lion’s Den

lanier 600Lanier Middle School is closing due to low enrollment in June.

Upon hearing about the final decision to close what was known as Lanier Jr. High School in the 1980's, alumni Keithon Robinson ('85), Greg Price ('86), Pamela Campbell-Lott ('85), Nate Turner ('83) and Jocelin Keglar ('84) organized a Farewell to the Lion's Den Party and Group Picture Day to reunite all alumni.

As the word spread through Facebook, middle school friends were excited about seeing some of the people with whom they had shared an important transition.

Faith, education and hard work yield promising future for Joshua Hawkins

joshua 600Joshua Hawkins, an outstanding student and athlete at Memphis University School, looks forward to a promising future.

The 18-year-old high school senior has been accepted at four elite Ivy League Colleges – Yale, Harvard, Princeton and Brown. If he doesn't choose from that quartet, Vanderbilt University and the University of Michigan also want him.

Representing the fourth generation of the Church of God in Christ, Hawkins is the son of Temple of Deliverance COGIC Pastor Milton R. Hawkins and first lady Catherine C. Hawkins.

Putting Braille on the menu

braille 600Fourteen people gathered on a Friday morning in March for breakfast at the nationally acclaimed Brother Juniper's restaurant near the University of Memphis campus. While it is not unusual for a group to spend time together over a meal, it was apparent on this day that some individuals in the group were either totally blind, visually impaired or disabled in other ways.

"This is our Braille User Support Group, one of our outreach initiatives," said Dr. Lavonnie Perry Clayborn, research assistant professor and director of Mid-South Access Center for Technology, a non-profit assistive technology resource center located in Patterson Hall in room 119 on the U of M campus.

Mid-South ACT is a division of the Center for Rehabilitation and Employment Research (CRER), a member of the Alliance for Technology Access (ATA), and a partner with Advanced Multimedia Devices – a Partnership for Excellence Program. It was founded in 1998 and provides resources for teachers, clinicians, parents with children who have disabilities, and individuals with disabilities.

Southland Mall welcomes Discount Wigs 3

discountwigs 600Perusing the selections on a beauty supply isle, Bianca Ward noted that it was the first time she ever had seen a beauty shop inside of a mall.

"I love the idea because people come to the mall to buy clothes, so you can come and get an outfit and get your hair done," said Ward. "I'm here today looking for some hair, accessories and a stylist."

Dozens were in attendance on Friday (April 18th) for the ribbon cutting ceremony at Discount Wigs 3 in the Southland Mall. The Grand Opening for the combination hair salon and beauty supply store followed on Saturday at 9 a.m. in the 12,000 square foot space that once housed Piccadilly Restaurant is the new home. The "3" in Discount Wigs represents the third location, with two other locations at 4685 American Way and 3249 Austin Peay.

Open house beckons children and parents to Kamp KSI

kampksi 600Inside Kairos Services, double doors opened, and children ran excitedly to a large table set up with green and gold pawns. Rather than video games and iPads, these children are excited about chess, just one of the disciplines taught during Kamp KSI.

Kairos, a nonprofit that works to help people become self-sufficient through employment, hosted an open house for the camp, which is in its second year. The camp for children ages 6-12 teaches an array of disciplines to foster critical thinking, creativity and collaboration. Herbert Lester, executive director, says the goal is to prepare children to be globally competent, which will help them secure jobs and become model citizens.

"The United States has fallen in academics compared to other countries. Our children must learn skills and competencies to compete with students from across the globe," Lester says. "Kamp KSI equips our campers to think critically, problem solve creatively and work collaboratively through fun activities that children enjoy."