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Dr. Angelou’s ‘giving spirit’ felt at memorial service

(Attorney and former Circuit Court Judge D’Army Bailey, a civil rights activist, author and actor, attended the Angelou 600memorial services for Dr. Maya Angelou, along with his wife, Adrienne Bailey. This is his special account.)
Dr. Maya Angelou was memorialized Saturday (June 7th) at Wait Chapel on the campus of Wake Forest University with full recognition of her broad political and literary influence across the globe. A diverse crowd from across the country, and some from abroad, filed in under the banner hanging at the chapel front featuring a picture of Dr. Angelou and the words “A Celebration of Rising Joy.” Inside, abundant long stemmed white lilies flowed from large vases and white roses formed a broad ribbon in front of the podium.

Fatherhood: Rising to the ultimate challenge

 (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. Ovr the last few weeks, The bethan 600New Tri-State Defender has highlighted past award recipients in the series, “Where Are They Now?” The fourth annual event is Saturday (June 14th). This commentary is by keynote speaker Etan Thomas, an NBA veteran and author of “Fatherhood: Rising to the Ultimate Challenge.” 
It’s an honor to be a part of the 4th annual Memphis Training Camp for Dads, which Mayor A C Wharton Jr. will host on Saturday (June 14th) beginning at 9 a.m. at The University of Memphis Fogelman Executive Center.
Since the release of my book, “Fatherhood Rising To The Ultimate Challenge” and my CD, “Fatherhood Words Of Passion,” I have traveled the country to encourage young people that they can be anything they want to be in life no matter what their circumstances.

Wendy Moten – right on time

wendy 600Grammy-nominated vocalist Wendy Moten recently returned to the studio to do what she does best. On June 6th, the Memphis-born vocalist, who has more than 20 years in the music industry, released her first solo album of jazz standards titled “TIMELESS: Wendy Moten Sings Richard Whiting.”
The CD release party was held at STAX Museum of American Soul Music and attracted Moten fans – including Grammy-winning saxaphonist Kirk Whalum, president and CEO of the Soulsville Foundation – who’ve grown up with her music or who’ve learned to appreciate one of the industry’s most powerful voices. 

Nonviolent drug offense proposal – how far away is it?

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday a proposal currently being examined by the U.S. Sentencing Commission that will pave the way for certain individuals who have been charged with nonviolent
sentencing 600drug offenses to be eligible for reduced sentences. 
The news is the latest in a series of moves by the Justice Department to adjust the federal guidelines for drug offense sentencing and aims to lessen overlong sentences, prison overcrowding, and an overhaul of mandatory minimum sentencing.
Attorney General Eric Holder used Tuesday’s announcement to urge the Sentencing Commission to consider the proposal. The Commission, which sets the guidelines for sentences given to federal criminal defendants, approved a proposal back in April to lower the base offenses connected to amount drugs the defendants were caught with as a result of trafficking charges.

Female genital mutilation survivor amps up call for an end to cutting in U.S.

WASHINGTON, DC – Jaha Dukureh, a 24-year-old survivor of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), today will ask the Obama administration to develop a plan to end FGM in the United States.
Cutting 600
Dukureh is an advocate for other women who have experienced FGM. She launched a Change.org petition to end the practice and 200,000-plus people have joined.
“I’m taking my fight to Washington, DC to call on the Obama Administration to do more to end female genital mutilation in the US – starting by conducting the first FGM prevalence study in this country since the 1990s,” said Dukureh.