Indie Soul Student of the Week: Phillip Freeland

This week’s student of the week is Phillip Freeland, a two-sport scholar-athlete. First and foremost, he is dedicated to his academic success. He is excelling in high school and his last report card boasted three A’s and one B at Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School where he is finishing his freshman year. Phillip is also a competitive squash player through SquashWise, a youth development program that empowers Baltimore City students by teaching them the sport of squash and providing intensive tutoring, academic enrichment, and college preparation. Phillip is a leader on the football field at his high-school. He will continue to develop his leadership skills this summer on the Outward Bound Get Out And Lead program, a challenging 10-day experiential leadership course.

According to Abby Markoe, Executive Director Baltimore SquashWise,”Phillip stands out among his peers in his sheer dedication to school, athletics, and leadership. He continues to impress us with his kindness and maturity, and we can’t wait to see what lies in store for him in the future. He is going to go far in life.”

Phillip just won first place in a national essay competition held annually at the National Urban Squash Championships at Amherst College. The topic was “What do you stand for?” Phillip wrote a moving essay about grit and determination carrying him forward in school, sports, and in life. His essay was selected in the Under-17 age division from among more than a dozen other programs similar to SquashWise.

These are the kind of students we need to uplift in the community! Congratulations to Phillip Freeland our Indie Soul Student of the week.

Each week during the school year, Indie Soul will spotlight a student who excels in academics and in the community. To nominate someone for “Student of the Week,” call 410-366-3900 ext. 3016 or email with “Student of the Week” in the subject line.

Iota Phi Lambda Sorority beautifies community

Ten Kappa Chapter Sorors and three Men of Iota (MOI) dedicated a Saturday on a beautiful June weekend to beautifying one of Maryland’ scenic roadways as part of the Maryland’s Department of Transportation State Highway Adopt A Highway program.

“I am so grateful to everyone involved: first and foremost, the team of Sorors and Men of Iota— Janet Brown; Gussie Goodman; Dr. Doris Browning Austin; Shavella Miles; Jasmine Scribner; Yvette Belt; Betty Wilson Jones; Angela Powell Hendricks; Sandra LaKay Biles; Nard Smith; Robert Jackson; and Man Harvey who actually did the work alongside the highway. We had thirteen starters. This initial clean up involved working together and was a lot of fun. Kappa Chapter supports and believes in our continuous ‘Community Commitment.’ The First Timer Group Clean Up is done and I can’t thank everyone enough,” said Mindy Rae Ellison, Kappa Chapter President.

Adopt-a-Highway is a roadside clean-up program that promotes pride and local ownership in Maryland.

Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Incorporated Kappa Chapter volunteers pick up litter four times per year on their adopted roadside.

Iota Phi Lambda Sorority Inc. (ΙΦΛ) is the first African American Greek-lettered business sorority established by African American businesswomen. Iota Phi Lambda Sorority Incorporated a business and professional sorority was founded in Chicago, Illinois by Mrs. Lola Mercedes Parker and six other business women. The organization would stimulate, inspire and give assistance to those persons engaged in business vocations. Since that time other professions have been embraced, however the major emphasis has remained in the business arena. There are now more than 100 chapters with membership numbering more than 9,000 in 85 cities, Washington D.C. and the US Virgin Islands.

Iraq again, hell never ends!

Iraq— now we know where hell is! Hell is supposed to be a place of torment reserved for some people after death. Unfortunately, too many have ended up there before they died. Is there no end to the turmoil in Iraq and Afghanistan? We will never see peace and quiet in either of these two countries. Hell never ends.

The religious factions of these countries hate each other. They want to kill each other. These factions are crazy. America is killing itself and our troops trying to fix crazy religious people. The only thing worse than a crazy person is a religious crazy person because they invoke the name of God or Allah or somebody during every crucifixion or beheading they perform. As they torture, murder and rape they move on in the name of their religion.

Some Americans thought we were finished in Iraq. When it comes to Iraq or the Middle East there is never a period but always a comma. Craziness does not end but only grows.

The only way to have some civility in Iraq or Afghanistan is to station 30,000 soldiers in five or six bases throughout each country. We can be assured if we do there will never be a time that our soldiers will not be in danger of ambush, bombs or the native soldiers turning on us as has happened numerous times. I think this is a bad idea.

Most Americans did not want us to go to Iraq or Afghanistan but we did. Over four thousand troops have died fighting the Iraqi cause. Where did all of that death get us? What do Iraq or America have to show for it?

The same scenario will happen in Afghanistan. Thugs sometimes called the Taliban

will band together to steal, kill and retake any part of the country that surrenders to them as played out in Iraq recently.

Do we keep 30,000 troops in Afghanistan to help them police their country and continue to lose our American troops? Physically, emotionally and financially we can’t keep thousands of troops in Afghanistan or send thousands back to Iraq.

There is no ending to this boiling pot of the world. Turbulence in the Middle East will never stop. In recent months we could have justified sending troops to Syria as well and then we could be in three countries. How thin can we spread our soldiers, as well as stretch our American dollars?

Hell is a hot place and we will never extinguish the fire.

Glenn Mollette is an American columnist and author. To contact Glenn Mollette, email:

Julie D. Goodwin receives NACUA Distinguished Service Award

The National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) is pleased to recognize Julie D. Goodwin as a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award for her extraordinary service both to NACUA and to institutions of higher learning over an extended period of time, and for her outstanding contributions to the work of the Association.

Julie D. Goodwin has served as General Counsel for Morgan State University in Maryland since 1992. Prior to her current position, she served for ten years at the University of Maryland College Park. Julie also served as a legal intern for the Honorable Harry A. Cole, Associate Judge, Maryland Court of Appeals and as a law clerk for the Appellate Division of the Maryland Public Defender. She is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and Maryland Bars.

She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and her Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland School of Law, where she served as Assistant Editor of the Maryland Law Review. She also served as Vice Justice of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, and as a member of the University of Maryland School of Law Black Law Student Association, from whom she recently was awarded the Practitioner of the Year Award.

A NACUA member since 1985, Julie served on its Board of Directors as an at-large member from 2001 – 2004. In addition, her committee service is significant, and includes service on the Committees on Nominations and Elections, Finance and Audit, Membership and Member Services, Publications, Strategic Planning, Program for the Annual Conference, and Honors and Awards. Her record of attendance and speaking engagements at numerous NACUA conferences is exemplary.

In addition to her extensive NACUA service, Julie’s community service and memberships include: President of the Board of Directors of Sunnyfield Estates Homeowners Association; Chesapeake Kayak Adventures; Potomac Valley Samoyed Club; and many others.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., NACUA is the primary source of higher education law programming and information for its members and for the higher education community. Founded in 1960, the Association serves more than 1,700 public and private higher education institutions and more than 4,000 attorneys throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and Guam, and several other countries including Canada, Australia, and Lebanon. To learn more about NACUA, visit

Michael E. Cryor receives 2014 Icon Award from ABC

The Associated Black Charities (ABC) honored Michael E. Cryor, Chair of the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) Board of Visitors and President of The Cryor Group, LLC, with an Icon Award during its ABC2014 Annual Gala in Baltimore.

Cryor is the founder and president of The Cryor Group, a strategic communications firm in Baltimore. He has more than 30 years of strategic communications experience, serving as an advisor to some of the nation’s leading corporations and nonprofits specializing in urban policy, health care, and technology-based initiatives. He has a long, distinguished public service and corporate career in the City of Baltimore and throughout the state of Maryland.

“We are pleased that the Associated Black Charities has recognized Michael E. Cryor for this high honor,” said Dean E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., Vice President for Medical Affairs at the University of Maryland and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean of the School of Medicine. “Michael’s unique ability to join the powerful forces of the private and public sectors has greatly enhanced the School of Medicine and other great institutions in so many meaningful ways. He is truly one of the community’s greatest assets.”

Cryor’s impact is exemplified by his commitment to improving lives of Baltimore’s citizens.

When Gov. Martin O’Malley was Baltimore’s mayor, he asked Mr. Cryor to lead a public affairs campaign to stop the increase in crime and addiction in Baltimore City. The seminal “Believe Campaign” was a huge success with a compelling message that appealed to Baltimoreans. It ran for years— instead of its intended weeks— and was recognized nationally and internationally.

Cryor currently chairs the Board of Visitors at UM SOM, and in 2007, received SOM’s distinguished Gold Medal for his exemplary service at the school. He also has won the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s Award of Excellence. In May of this year, he was presented an honorary Doctorate of Public Service from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. He also holds an Honorary Doctorates from Montclair State Univeristy and Morgan State University.

At the ABC2014 gala on Saturday, June 21, 2014, Cryor was honored alongside Calvin Butler, Esq., CEO of Baltimore Gas & Electric Company; Thomas LaVeist, Ph.D., Director of the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions at the Johns Hopkins University; and Angela Celeston, Managing Director of Human Resources at OneMain Financial, a Division of Citi. Each of this year’s Icon winners demonstrated a proven track record of leadership within the business sector.

“The Associated Black Charities Annual Gala and Awards is one of the most prestigious recognition programs for African American corporate leaders. It is a tremendous honor to receive the Icon Award for leadership in the business sector,” said Cryor. “This award demonstrates my commitment to serving the City of Baltimore, the State of Maryland, and the larger community beyond.”

Organization works to nurture love for outdoors in youth

— There may be very little open space in Baltimore, but that hasn’t stopped inner-city youth from experiencing a summer filled with nature by working in back and front country settings as well as in urban areas.

And, if they’re really fortunate, some young individuals may even make it to a national park, thanks to the Student Conservation Association (SCA), a nonprofit that provides youth with service-learning and career training opportunities in conservation and environmental fields.

Alvi Seda, SCA’s recruiting coordinator for diversity initiatives in the southeast region, said the organization has focused on an age-old problem: relatively few minorities visit national parks and other public lands, and the majority of those who work in conservation fields are white individuals.

“The SCA is a great platform to come and develop skills, leadership opportunities and employment opportunities,” Seda said. “The inner-city isn’t really that connected with the outdoors, so it’s great to see the young people gain a new experience and I’ve personally seen that this has led to many doors opening up different paths.”

Seda said the SCA, which two years ago sent six Baltimore teens to work on restoring the wilderness character of Carson National Forest in New Mexico, has several successful initiatives in place.

The organization has developed a partnership with the National Park Service and the Career Discovery Intern Program. Those initiatives primarily target minority college students for training to work in conservation fields.

The initiatives also join forces with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to place underrepresented college students in SCA internships on career pathways.

Additionally, SCA inner-city programs in places such as Detroit, Chicago and Baltimore will have 1,100 paid participants this summer with about 40 percent of those being minorities.

“I’ve worked quite a bit with kids in Baltimore and those groups of students are very involved in this,” Seda said. “There’s not a lot of public space in urban areas, so this gives students a chance to get connected with the outdoors and I’ve seen a lot of these students make real progress.”

Officials have said they’ve worked harder to introduce minority youth and others to the outdoors since the 2012 America’s Summit on the National Parks convened in Washington where advocates questioned who would be the next stewards of America’s parks, where about 279 million visit each year.

SCA officials are hoping that many of the youth from their program, including those from Baltimore, are the answer to that question. They are providing an experience many say they will always cherish.

“We’ve worked around bugs and insects that we’ve never seen before. We’ve also learned the tools that we will be using and the safety necessary when using the tools for this,” said Kwamel Couther, a Baltimore resident who was among those the SCA sent to New Mexico to help the national park there.

Couther and the rest of his team had never traveled as far, but they spent some of that time during the adventure building hiking trails, restoring campsites, and removing invasive plants. They also prepared their own meals over a campfire and received environmental lessons from the crew leaders among them.

“Working with the SCA gives me the opportunity to get more job experience, get to learn about the outside world, to know other people, make new friends and to make some money to take care of me and my family and so I can just have money to spend during the summer time,” Couther said.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., SCA also will have nine Native Alaskan crews working this summer in Alaska and an all-Navajo crew working in Canyon de Chelly in Arizona.

“There are usually 15 to 20 crews with eight to 10 members per crew,” Seda said. “For Baltimore, we’ll have four or five crews. The program is unique in the way that it’s structured and it has helped to put many young people to work.”

Renee Gillis honored by The Arc Baltimore

Baltimore City resident Renee Gillis recently won The Arc Baltimore’s School Inclusion Award, which recognizes a professional who has demonstrated excellence related to education and inclusion of students with developmental disabilities in the full school experience.

Since 2008 when The Arc Baltimore started its Project SEARCH program, Renee has been the lead instructor at both the University of Maryland in downtown Baltimore and the University of Maryland Medical Center. As a teacher from Baltimore City Schools, she is not only an instructor to these students (most of whom are in their final year of high school), but also helps them transition from the often-sheltered world of school to the very different world of the workplace.

Renee was honored because she establishes clear expectations for all of her students and holds them to a high standard. On a daily basis, she empowers her students to advocate for their interests and take control of their career. Renee transforms students with little or no work experience into responsible employees ready and willing to enter the workforce. We applaud her tireless dedication to the success of her students.

Three ways to save your hood today

Self-defense. Private security. Police-community unity. These are the three pillars that comprise my strategy for successful anti-crime activism.


Nadra Enzi

Notice that none of these three suggestions require blessings from on high (or low) from the bureaucrats who often are either indifferent or hostile toward citizens who are seeking safer streets, especially if those concerned citizens happen to be residents of the inner city.

In my opinion, “hood crime” is too often deceptively used as a cash cow by what I call “white power liberals.” They don’t talk very much to the black activists who live in dangerous neighborhoods, but they nonetheless do seek to use our problems, such as high murder rates, to boost their political careers and land crony capitalist contracts.

So, in the end, the act of really saving the hood is almost always going to end up the duty of its own concerned residents. This is the case, even if, our tax dollars are being withheld by those same liberals because they know that keeping the hood under-funded is what keeps their cash cow of hood crime fattened.

Self-defense is self-love, sisters and brothers! Being aware and being prepared for your own benefit as well as the benefit of others shows that you have reverence for and value all concerned.

Walking high-crime areas as a citizen on patrol also means that you also consider these zip codes to be as important as some people consider five-star hotels and gated communities elsewhere to be.

And hiring private security for inner city neighborhoods and the businesses located there also indicates a resolve to not allow violence and blight to destroy a community’s stakeholders.

There’s the notion of police-community unity. This is probably the most difficult part of my three-part strategy, as compared to the self-defense and private security portions, because such unity is often actively resisted in liberal-run cities.

While street cops and some of their supervisors are undoubtedly comfortable uniting with communities held hostage, it could be that their superiors don’t want this relationship to flourish into real culture change, in which youth stop seeing criminals as role models and cease considering all cops to automatically be their enemies.

The inevitable result of real and successful police-community unity, one figures, would probably cost these white liberals and their black flocks in the government offices and pulpits the stranglehold they currently have tightened around the residents of the hood because of inner city violence.

Once we understand this sad state of affairs and what needs to be done, conscious black citizens— whether you’re a conservative, a liberal mugged by reality or a nationalist demanding accountability for our safety— must promote self defense, private security and police-community unity. We must even realize it knowing that it’s a steep, uphill climb!

These three ways to save the hood today won’t change things overnight, but it can, alongside other efforts, make things livable in the zip codes where black life is now a desperate gamble.

Nadra Enzi is a member of the national advisory council of the black leadership network Project 21 and a community-policing activist in New Orleans. Comments may be sent to:

Towson 4th of July Parade

— The parade will begin at the intersection of Towsontown and Bosley Avenue and will continue down Bosley, Allegheny and Washington Avenue.

For more than 70 years, the Towson 4th of July Parade has celebrated the lives of men and women who have served our country. These brave soldiers have allowed America to remain the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Last year over 60,000 people attended the Towson 4th of July Parade and the Chamber expects a greater turnout this July.

The Towson 4th of July Parade will consist of costume characters including Mario from the Nintendo Mario Bros, Doc from Towson University, and Baltimore’s finest Natty Boh and Utz Girl. In addition, local dance groups, antique vehicles, floats and much more will be featured in the parade.

Many extravagant bands will be returning this year. Included in the lineup are the Baltimore Marching Ravens, Calvert Hall, Carolina Gold, Reading Buccaneers and several others.

Before you head to the beach, come to the best 4th of July parade in Baltimore! Bring your friends and family and enjoy our 70-year plus tradition in the heart of Towson. Parking is only $5 all day at County lots in and around Towson.

Ultimate Fighting Championship Spotlight: Ovince St. Preux

There is a misconception that people who box or participate in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), have anger management issues, grew up fighting on the streets, or are just simple knuckleheads. This is not the case at all.

This week’s UFC Spotlight, Ovince St. Preux is a guy who loves to challenge himself. He is a college graduate from Tennessee University with a degree in Sociology. “I have always been an avid sports guy. When I got into this sport it was a way to push my body. I wanted to get better and stronger. I played football in college and even went out for the pros before finally settling in to MMA and I love it” states Ovince.

Ovince St. Preux, is no stranger to hard work and study. It is part of his make-up and Haitian heritage. “Education and hard work are what I was instilled with and I take pride with everything I do and want to be the best at it” says St. Preux. He proved that on June 14, 2014, in UFC174 as he took on the favorite Ryan Jimmo.

Jimmo was no match for the focused and determined Ovince St. Preux. The aggressive St. Preux defeated Jimmo with knockout in the second round and in the process broke Jimmo’s arm. Ovince summed up the fight, “I am not sure why he did not tap out. People were saying he said he broke his arm while we were fighting but I did not hear anything. Until the bell sounds or the referee calls the fight, I am going to continue to pressure on whoever my opponent is.”

Next up for Ovince is Ryan Badder on August 16th for UFC Fight Night in Maine. St. Preux says he’s already getting ready for battle. “I know many people wanted this fight to happen, so it is what it is. I am gonna train hard and prepare hard. The goal is to be the best. I have taken it a step at a time. First I was ranked in the 20’s now I am in the top 10. So I will be ready as only us Omega Psi Phi men can! You know how us dogs can be.”

For more on Ovince St. Preux, checkout