- Category: News
01 Dec 2011
- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
WASHINGTON – The National Urban League on Tuesday (Nov. 29) announced its partnership with leading out-of-school-time organizations to unify principles for nutrition and physical activity.
The announcement came during the Partnership for a Healthier America’s Building a Healthier Future Summit.
In addition to the National Urban League, the Healthy Kids Out of School initiative is a collaboration between the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, the National Council of La Raza, the National Council of Youth Sports, Pop Warner, US Youth Soccer, the YMCA of the USA, and 4-H.
The leaders of the organizations, convened by ChildObesity180, developed universal nutrition and physical activity principles from a broad list of evidenced-based recommendations for combating childhood obesity – marking the first time leaders from the groups have worked together toward a common goal.
“Healthy Kids Out of School represents a groundbreaking collaboration of major youth-focused groups in a new and strategic effort,” said Peter Dolan, chairman ofChildObesity180. “These organizations are demonstrating the essential leadership and cooperation necessary to counter the childhood obesity epidemic and to meaningfully improve the health and well-being of the tens of millions children who participate in their programs.”
Many children in communities of color are more likely to be obese and live in unsafe communities where there are few opportunities for physical activity and limited access to healthy food, said National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial.
“Now, by adopting these three principles in after-school programs and as a part of out-of-school time activities, we are coming together to offer our children practical, smart, cost-effective measures for a lifetime of lessons about healthy food choices and physical activity.”
A significant percentage of school-aged children in the U.S. are enrolled in out-of-school-time activities, including a large number of rural, urban, and low-income children who are particularly vulnerable to the poor health outcomes linked to childhood obesity. However, there has been variability in the quality of foods and beverages served and opportunities for physical activity offered to children participating in out-of-school-time programs.
Recognizing this opportunity for action, leaders from the nine ChildObesity180-affiliated organizations identified and agreed upon three sustainable, actionable principles that are sufficiently flexible for adaptation to local environments and cultures. They are:
Drink Right: Choose water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages.
Move More: Boost movement and physical activity in all programs.
Snack Smart: Fuel up on fruits and vegetables.
“Aligning these nine organizations with unifying principles ensures that the tens of millions of children who participate in out-of-school programs are consistently encouraged to eat and drink healthfully and to be active, regardless of where they spend their time out of school,” said Dr. Christina D. Economos, associate professor at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and director of ChildObesity180.
Facebook pages and blogs lit up all over the city of Memphis as the news spread Wednesday (Nov. 30) that the Memphis Soul Legend we all know as “J. Blackfoot” had taken the “Taxi” to soul heaven.
|J. Blackfoot stirred a blast of blues energy at the 6th Annual Memphis Tri-State Blues Festival at the DeSoto Civic Center in 2008. (Photo by Warren Roseborough)|
Born John Colbert in 1946 in Greenville, Miss., he acquired the nickname “Blackfoot” as a child for his habit of walking barefoot on the tarred sidewalks. After a long battle with cancer, he died at the age of 65.
“J Blackfoot was one of the greatest singers that ever lived,” said legendary bluesman Bobby Rush. “He did not do a lot of movement on stage, but the energy in his voice was amazing. Whether singing blues or R&B, you could feel his spirit in his tone and heart.”
Blackfoot’s impact on Soul Music is tremendous.
Did you know that after the plane crash claimed the lives of four members of the original Bar-Kays, for a little less than a year, J. Blackfoot joined the re-created group as the lead singer?
Then there were the Soul Children years from 1968 to 1978. This was a project that Isaac Hayes and David Porter created after the Stax Label lost “Sam & Dave” to Atlantic Records. The Soul Childen – Blackfoot, along with Norman West, Shelbra Bennett and Anita Lewis – recorded 15 charted R&B hits in a 10-year span, with such hits as “I’ll Understand,” “The Sweeter He Is,” and “Tighten Up My Thang.”
In 1983, came the huge hit “Taxi,” which was originally written for Johnny Taylor. The song not only hit the charts in the United States, but in the U.K, eventually crossing over into Billboard’s Hot 100.
Months ago at a tribute event put on by 103.5 radio personality Jackson Brown, Blackfoot was the honoree. During a performance by headliner Michael Cooper of the group Confunkshun, Cooper told a little story that a lot of people had not heard. Confunkshun, he said, started as a backup group for the Soul Children under the name “Project Soul.”
And with a heartfelt tone, Cooper said, “There would be no “Love’s Train,” no “My Baby’s House” no “Confunkshun” without J. Blackfoot.”
Rush said Blackfoot was “a spiritual man.”
“Losing him has left a void, but I know he’s in a better place. I would like to say to his family, keep your head up,” Rush said.
“I will always remember that J always had a smiling hello when you met him and a smiling goodbye when you left. In fact, he would be the one to pull things together when things weren’t going right. He would say, ‘come guys, we are all brothers.’”
Rush last worked with Blackfoot at the Tri-State Blues Show and then in September at the Delta Blues Show. They were scheduled for a New Year’s Eve show.
“J was kind, easy to work with and an all around gentleman,” said Rush. “I will miss my good friend.”
Funeral arrangements are still pending.
(This story includes contributions from Tri-State Defender staff.)
- Category: News
17 Nov 2011
- Written by Kelley Evans