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‘Fellows’ progress through Orita Rites of Passage

riteofpassage 600The Shelby County (TN) Chapter, The Links Incorporated, a service-oriented group of women representing varied backgrounds and professional expertise, presented its 2014 Orita Rites of Passage at First Baptist Church Broad on Sunday, April 6th.

The Orita is a ritual that originated in African culture and signalled the crossroads, maturity, loyalty and readiness of a young man ready to assume the responsibilities of manhood.

This year's theme – "Connecting the Dots...and Bridging the Gaps from High School to Success" – benefited The Leadership Academy, a long-term, 22-year program focused on empowering, elevating and enlightening African-American males from all socioeconomic backgrounds.

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Boys, girls to take Oath of Abstinence at Pinky Promise annual event

pinkipromise 600Boys and girls from throughout the Mid-South will participate in the 2nd PROMISE BALL Black Tie Oath Ceremony & Ring Presentation presented by Pinky Promise International on April 13th at 5 p.m. at the Memphis Cook Convention Center.

Middle school and high school participants, grades 6-12, will receive a charge to remain abstinent from sexual and substance abuse behaviors. The formal oath ceremony will conclude with a ring presentation and waltz dance.

Rose Jackson Flenorl, manager of Social Responsibility at FedEx Corporation, is the keynote speaker.

 

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Jasmine Guy set for Women’s Foundation Tribute Luncheon

jasmineguy 600Jasmine Guy, whose acting career spans television, theater and film, is headed to Memphis to keynote the Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis' 2014 Annual Tribute Luncheon on April 24th.

"In addition to being a talented dancer and star of the stage and screen, she champions causes that support the safety and rights of women and girls everywhere," said Ruby Bright, executive director/CAO of the Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis (WFGM).

Many recognizeGuy as Whitley Gilbert on the "Cosby Show" spinoff "A Different World." She won six consecutive NAACP Image Awards for her portrayal of the pretentious but funny southern belle. Guy's most recent role, recurring as Grams on the popular series "Vampire Diaries," can be seen on the CW Network.

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Have soul, will travel!

ToniGreen 600Toni Green is a living proof that the soul of Memphis music still travels well.

In Poretta Terme, Italy, excitement already is mounting for the 27th Porretta Soul Festival, which will be a tribute to Otis Redding. The festival will take place July 17-20 in Rufus Thomas Park.

Green, who has been performing at the festival since 2005, graces the cover of the poster promoting the festival for the first time. She recalls crying for a week after getting that news.

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‘Uniform Justice’ makes an impact

uniformjustice 600A haunting refrain of, "hold on," fills the theater. The lyrics, sung by a trio, warn the audience of what is to come: a story of strife, fear, choices and consequences.

The play is "Uniform Justice," written by New York playwright, Chukwuma Obasi, as part of a unique conflict resolution project, a partnership between Hattiloo Theatre and TE'A (Theater, Engagement & Action) at Intersections International and the Memphis Police Department's Community Outreach Program. It's sponsored by Memphis Gun Down, Mayor A C Wharton Jr.'s youth gun violence reduction initiative.

Hundreds of attendees of all ages, including community organizations and church groups, filled the house for each of the five, free shows held at Southwest Tennessee Community College's Union Avenue Campus theatre. Mayor Wharton attended one of the performances and spent time with the cast.

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