Rambling Rose

Hello everyone, how are you? Hoping everything is well with you. Sending special prayers to family and friends in the Carolina’s.

Girlfriend, let me tell you! I have had a busy week and I am tired but I can’t sit down yet. Last weekend, I had my 55th Class Reunion, starting with a “Meet and Greet” on Friday, then at noon on Saturday, as part of the Masonic family, my Easter Star Chapter, Trinity #5 attended the funeral and hosted the repast for Rick Johnson from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. By the way, the funeral was beautiful and the music, which was awesome because two of my favorite musicians, Carlos Johnson and Charlie Covington did the music. Left there about 5:30 p.m. to go home to shower and change; because as a member of the committee for the Class of ‘63’ of Edmondson High School, I had to be at the door for our Class Reunion Banquet by 6:30 p.m., which ran from 7-11 p.m. at the Forum Caterers. On Sunday, our Class Reunion ended with a breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn in Owings Mills.

Now folks, I need you to help me out this week. Meet me at “Cured 18th & 19th”. That’s right, you heard me! It is a new supper club venue which just opened at 10980 Grantchester Way in Columbia, Maryland. (I know it is an unusual name), but this spot is featuring live entertainment six nights a week and kickin’ off is a couple of my favorite musicians— Lamont “Terry” Battle and Jeff— who are called the “SideStreet Duo” (a part of “JumpStreet Band) on Sunday September 23 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. I understand this venue is located next to Merriweather Post Pavilion at the corner of Little Patuxent Parkwy and Broken Land Pkwy. I heard the food is good, too. So, I will see you there. It is important that we support our local musicians.

Now, the Arena Players Fund-raiser Gala for the Arena Players will also be awesome! On September 28th. It will be an evening of remembering the late Samuel H. Wilson, Jr. who passed away in 1995, who founded the Arena Players in 1953 and Irvin J. Turner who passed away in 1982, who founded the Youtheatre of the Arena Players. The Arena Players is the oldest continuously operating African American community theatre in the United States. They are honoring these two men because they recognized the importance of creating artistic opportunities for African Americans during a time when limited opportunities were available to them. They each helped to shape the artistic careers of many, some now deceased and many who are in the arts today. This Gala will be held at the Forum Caterers, 4210 Primrose Avenue on Friday, September 28th starting at 6 p.m. For more information, call Lynn Wilson Johnson at 410-484-1952.

Alright my dear friends, it is time for me to go. I am out of space. But remember, if you need me, call me at 410-833-9474; and send all your flyers, press releases and photos to my email at: rosapryor@aol.com. UNTIL THE NEXT TIME, I’M MUSICALLY YOURS.

Jammon Jess is the DJ and the Host for the Oldies Night every 3rd Friday of the month at Caton Castle.

Jammon Jess is the DJ and the Host for the Oldies Night every 3rd Friday of the month at Caton Castle.

Friends of the Arena Players are hosting “An Evening to Remember” to honor Sam H. Wilson, Fr., Arena Players Founder and First President and Irvin Turner, Arena Players Youtheatre Founder on Friday, September 28 at the Forum Caterers, 4210 Primrose Avenue. For more information, contact James “Winky” Camphor at peawin5@verizon.net

Friends of the Arena Players are hosting “An Evening to Remember” to honor Sam H. Wilson, Fr., Arena Players Founder and First President and Irvin Turner, Arena Players Youtheatre Founder on Friday, September 28 at the Forum Caterers, 4210 Primrose Avenue. For more information, contact James “Winky” Camphor at peawin5@verizon.net

He will be truly missed but not forgotten.

He will be truly missed but not forgotten.

Richard V. “Rick” Johnson, renowned musician (drummer) a Prince Hall Mason passed away September 6, 2018. Funeral Services were September 15, 2018, at Union Baptist Church. He is now playing for the Heavenly Band with guys like, Dave Ross, Mickey Fields, Cornell Muldrow, Bill Byrd; vocalist, Ruby Glover, Chico Johnson and vocalist, Nikki Cooper and so many others.

Richard V. “Rick” Johnson, renowned musician (drummer) a Prince Hall Mason passed away September 6, 2018. Funeral Services were September 15, 2018, at Union Baptist Church. He is now playing for the Heavenly Band with guys like, Dave Ross, Mickey Fields, Cornell Muldrow, Bill Byrd; vocalist, Ruby Glover, Chico Johnson and vocalist, Nikki Cooper and so many others.

STEM Day Extravaganza At MSU An Immense Success

The seventh annual Baltimore STEM Day Extravaganza at Morgan State University (MSU) on Saturday, September 8, 2018, turned out favorably— attracting hundreds from Baltimore City and the surrounding areas to participate in a fun-filled day of interactive and educational STEM-related activities.

The event, started to encourage school-aged children— particularly black inner-city youth— to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) related fields has emerged as one of the most anticipated educational gatherings in Baltimore City.

Jonathan Wilson, an associate professor of biology at Morgan State, one of main originators is the coordinator of the STEM event, which has been held on the campus of Morgan State since 2012.

“We started it because we wanted to open the experience up to more people who were not available or privileged to come to the Saturday Academy,” said Wilson, also the director of the Baltimore MUREP (Minority University Research Education Program) Aerospace Academy. “We were asked to do more for the community people, other than those who come to the Saturday Academy or the summer program. So we decided to do what is called a STEM Day.”

The parents, students and other attendees got a taste for an activity-filled day of hands-on sessions while learning the quality and essence of STEM.

There is an apparent shortage of black professionals in STEM-related careers, and one of the primary objectives of the extravaganza is to encourage black students to think bigger of themselves than what they perhaps might have in the past.

The yearly extravaganzas, according to Wilson, also aims to enable black students and other minorities to aspire to become scientists, engineers and mathematicians, and to leverage their knowledge to empower and impact their communities. He added that the STEM extravaganza has made substantial progress over the years and has yielded a great deal of positive feedback from the community.

Dozens of exhibitors and presenters from various national, regional and local STEM organizations and agencies were present, some of which included: American Nuclear Society; Army Research Lab; Baltimore MAA; Carnegie Institute-Bio Eyes; Exelon; It’s a Noisy Planet; Maryland Science Center; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The aforementioned exhibitors had representatives that provided hands-on interactive activities and various mind-intriguing science experiments, all with the common goal of providing parents and families with educational materials and techniques to keep their children interested in academics— specifically in the STEM field.

Miquel Moe, an electrical engineer from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, an exhibitor at the STEM event presented the hands-on exhibit “Ready, Set, Go to Space.”

Scores of interested children came to the NASA table to make satellites with wooden sticks, styrofoam and aluminum foil as they learned the importance of their involvement in science and engineering.

“It’s wonderful,” said Moe, a Baltimore native and Morgan State alum in characterizing the STEM extravaganza. “To see all of these different organizations out here doing hands-on activities with the kids, inspiring kids to do STEM, it’s like invaluable. It’s just so important, especially for this community, to do things like this.”

Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh expressed her gratutude for the concerted efforts of Wilson, NASA, Morgan State and the other partner institutions and sponsors that made the STEM extravaganza a success.

Pugh, who is a Morgan State graduate, also presented a proclamation to Wilson and his colleagues and partners recognizing September 8, 2018, as “SEEMA Day STEM Extravaganza” in the City of the Baltimore, urging “all citizens to join in this celebration of educational choices in the STEM field.”

Morgan State President David Wilson also spoke to the crowd gathered in Hill Field House before the festivities began. He said 70 percent of Baltimore City students involved in STEM go on to college.

Michael Canady, one of the many parents who attended the event said that STEM had a profound influence on him during his academic career. He played basketball while attending Morgan and now teaches fifth grade science at Moravia Park Elementary.

“I feel it’s important for our children, at a young age, to [be] introduced to this kind of stuff,” said Canady, who brought his four-year-old daughter, Lauren experience some of the activities.

In years to come, the STEM Day Extravaganza is expected to grow in influence and impact on the Baltimore community.

‘Fresh Prince’ Star Puts Grace, Soul And ‘Mother Wit’ Into New Cookbook

For those who only know Daphne Maxwell-Reid as “Aunt Viv” from the smash 1990s hit comedy, “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” there is so much more to behold.

Maxwell-Reid, the wife of acting icon Tim Reid, started her career as a model and became the first African American to appear on the cover of Vogue magazine in 1969.

In addition to the “Fresh Prince,” which starred superstar Will Smith and the late James Avery, Maxwell-Reid appeared in the police drama “Hill Street Blues,” and the comedy hit, “WKRP in Cincinnati.”

She has also published several books on photography and now, her latest is a cookbook titled, “Grace, Soul and Mother Wit: A Cookbook Spiced with Personal Memories.”

“It’s about serving love through food,” Maxwell-Reid told the Baltimore Times. “Some of my favorite recipes are the ones my mother cooked when we were growing up and then when we came to visit. Each of them has a story, and what it means to me.”

The book contains original recipes that Maxwell-Reid previously wrote on her computer, which she says she gathered from loved. Her book also features numerous anecdotes and photos of her life when she was growing up, the majority of which were taken in the kitchen.

“My mother was very talented in a lot of different things and cooking was her the way she showed love,” Maxwell-Reid said. “Standing with my mother in the kitchen meant it was time that we shared conversations, what was going on in our lives and what was going on politically. It was my bonding time with my mother and I knew when it was time to serve food, it was going to be a celebration of life.”

Born in Manhattan, Maxwell-Reid now resides in Virginia.

She attended Chicago’s Northwestern University where she was named the school’s first African American homecoming queen.

A former model with the elite Eileen Ford Modeling Agency, Maxwell-Reid landed the cover of Vogue Magazine while attending college.

“It was to me just another day of modeling when I was at school and I had kind of a mentor named Amy Green who’d call me and say come to New York and I’d fly to New York,” Maxwell-Reid said. “She said to wear a red turtle neck and some mascara and lip gloss and sit near the window and that’s what I did, and I don’t think the photographer even used his full roll of film. I did the shoot, flew back to Chicago and later, I’m walking by the newsstand and saw my picture. They didn’t tell me. They didn’t say anything.”

Maxwell-Reid has remained busy since the “Fresh Prince” series ended in 1996. She was also busy before landing a role on that show, appearing in movies and television shows like “Coach of the Year,”

“Protocol,” and “Murder She Wrote.”

Most recently, she has appeared on UPN’s “Eve,” and BET’s “Let’s Stay Together.”

Along with several other projects and commitments that have kept her busy, Maxwell-Reid is busy with her cookbook.

“After publishing four books on photography and with people asking me when I would write my memoirs, I decided to get this off of my computer and to combine my memoirs with recipes,” Maxwell-Reid said.

She explains the three key words in the title of her new book, Grace, Soul and Mother Wit.

“Grace is hopefully the way I’ve lived my life. With grace and integrity and it’s what you say before a meal,” Maxwell-Reid said. “Soul is the community from which I sprung, and it’s the depth of love and culture that I carry from my ancestors. Mother Wit is something you’re either born with or get to learn. It’s innate intelligence that can be couched as common sense so [in the cookbook] I give you tools to have a little mother wit in the kitchen like how to set the table, what to have in your pantry at all times. as well as give you the richness of my culture and family.”

To purchase a copy of Maxwell-Reid’s new book, “Grace, Soul and Mother Wit: A Cookbook Spiced with Personal Memories,” go to http://www.daphnemaxwellreid.com/.

Maryland Offers Support To Small Businesses Providing Paid Sick Leave

— Small businesses in Maryland that provide paid sick and safe leave to their employees will soon be able to apply for a refundable tax credit administered by the Maryland Department of Commerce. The Small Business Relief Tax Credit offers businesses that meet certain criteria a state income tax credit of up to $500 per employee and $7,000 per small business for every year in which they qualify.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and play a critical role in creating jobs, growing our economy, and strengthening our communities,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Our administration remains committed to working in partnership with our business community, and this tax credit is one of many steps we are taking to ensure that Maryland remains open for business.”

The tax credit program was proposed and enacted by Governor Hogan to help businesses comply with the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, which was passed by the Maryland General Assembly in early 2018 and requires businesses with 14 or fewer employees to provide unpaid sick and safe leave.

“Maryland’s small business community employs more than one million people, making it one of our most powerful and important economic assets,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “We encourage small businesses that are paying sick leave to consider applying for this credit, which will help them continue to be able to support their employees.”

Any type of small businesses, including nonprofits, may apply for the credit as long it has 14 or fewer employees. Businesses may apply every year for each employee making less than 250 percent of the annual federal poverty guidelines for a single-person household (currently $30,350 per year).

The Maryland Department of Commerce will begin accepting applications for the credit for tax year 2018 on January 3, 2019.

More information about eligibility requirements and how to apply can be found at: http://commerce.maryland.gov/fund/programs-for-businesses/small-business-relief-tax-credit.

What Is Our Legacy, Part I

Is it the successes and triumphs versus the losses, measured in a wins-and-losses format? Is it the total distance traveled past the life obstacles one has overcome? Or is it the amount of people one has connected with and inspired to help them maximize themselves and their potential?

To me, it is a combination of all three. A legacy is a type of personal achievement record, like being “on the record.” It is what we each do with the time given us— how we use or abuse that time and the “God given” gifts and talents we are each bestowed. Birth then becomes our starting line. From then on, each of us is granted the same amount of time in a day: 24 hours.

Prioritizing our lives is done on many levels, both conscientious and some sub-consciously. Early in life, I was consumed with the sole mission of earning a full college basketball scholarship and becoming our family’s first college graduate.

At the time, I was doing it for me and my Mom. Yet even then, I knew that as the oldest grandchild, I was creating a “blueprint” for all my younger relatives to follow to their own personal successes.

This prioritization at a young age was more egocentric. It served me well at the time, but it wasn’t until a low point later in life that I came to understand and embrace my true legacy’s calling. One is often tested in life to see just how committed and focused we are.

When we begin to understand our own mortality, we become more “self-aware” of exactly what we will leave behind as a representation that we were here. My awakening came when I returned home to Virginia in 1997, after a championship-level High School and College basketball career. It came after a record-setting career in the broadcast radio and television equipment manufacturers industry.

The simple questions I asked were: “What brings you the most joy and fulfillment in your life? What do you want your mark on the world to be? What things have you been blessed with and how do you pass these blessings on to future generations that they too may find their “most-positive-purposeful way?”

The answers to these questions were separated into two categories. First, what I had to do to earn a living and support myself and, secondly, what can and should I do that will fill me and my soul with the most joy? We all face this quandary.

During our championship season of coaching in 1989 at Chief Sealth High School in Seattle, Washington, I was able to be a part of helping many young men become champions both on and off the court. The same as someone else had done for me years before by my seven role model coaches.

That success opened up an inner door within me that had been sealed in a self-preservation-driven attempt to move past a painful childhood littered with disappoint-mental debris. Those revelations became my writings and spoken word poetry, a kind of “therapy’ that gave me comfort and purpose.

It became my choice in this life to use my voice. To rejoice. Writing for the New Journal & Guide allowed me to reach a mature, thirty-year-old (and above) audience.

My V1ZUAL1ZE youth development coaching work reached the six to twenty year-old-crowd and the spoken word poetry circles reached the twenty to thirty-year old population with overlapped at both ends of the age ranges. My calling: Delivering three different platforms and formats, enabling simultaneous personal observation, reflection, spiritual detection and empowerment information dissemination.

Each of the three platforms had rough beginnings as I strove to change the focus of my aperture from “about Me,” to “about We.” When I was young, I played with games and toys but as I matured, I gave up those childhood games and I toyed no more. I began addressing and redressing matters of importance that affect all of us: racism, sexism, classism and religious persecution. The more I worked towards those ideals, the more complete I became.

In life, crossroads can become self-imposed crosshairs if we are not careful and thoughtful. Self-awareness is not only being aware of one’s self, it is also becoming aware of manifested selflessness, including the true power to help transform the previously unfathomable and inconceivable into their tangible realities. In these manifestations of our highest calling lies our glory. That is the legacy and history of our life’s story.

My story is not unique. It is an old cautionary tale of not being consumed by consumerism or capitalism strictly for personal profitability and gain.

The song, “Satisfied Mind” asks, “How many times have you heard someone say, if I had his money I’d do things my way. How little they know, it’s so hard to find, one rich man in a hundred, with a satisfied mind.” I’m richer by far with a satisfied mind. My joy comes from those to whom I am kind. My personal conclusion is that my most joyful legacy comes from those to whom I’ve been of service to. That is our rarest find and, in the end, promotes the most satisfied mind. Look at Prince’s song lyric: “Did you take more than you gave?” Our legacy then is not really about us; it is about how many others we’ve helped to become the owners and drivers of their own (life) bus.

Sean C. Bowers is a progressive youth development coach, author and poet, who has written for the nation’s third oldest black newspaper, The New Journal and Guide of Norfolk, VA for the last nineteen years. His book of over 120 NJ&G articles detailing issues is available at V1ZUAL1ZE@aol.com.

SBLC Director Brings Attention To Adult Literacy Struggle

Sadly, more than 80,000 adults living in Baltimore City don’t have a high school diploma, according to the South Baltimore Learning Center (SBLC), a community-based nonprofit that provides functional literacy, workforce development, life-skills training and career preparation services to adults in the Baltimore area.

For people between the ages of 25 and 64 without a high school diploma, the unemployment rate is 21.9 percent, according to SBLC officials who also note that a chronic lack of education and literacy skills perpetuates Baltimore’s poverty problem.

Noted by her peers for her passionate efforts to further adult literacy, SBLC’s executive director, Tanya Terrell wants to call more attention to the battle, as Adult Education and Family Literacy Week commences on Monday, September 24, 2018.

SBLC serves more than 900 adults each year, ranging in age from 18-80.

“Everyone has a fundamental right to an education,” said Terrell, a 21-year resident of Baltimore who, prior to coming to SBLC worked in workforce development at Associated Black Charities.

“In my opinion, when we look at the scale and pervasiveness of illiteracy in Baltimore and/or high percentage of people who never completed their secondary education, the problem is not with the individuals,” she said. “The problem is with a broader system that needs to be addressed and where we all need to lend our advocacy and support. We spend a lot of time convincing our learners that they are talented and capable people because they lack confidence in their ability to succeed. No one should have to live life feeling that way.”

Terrell notes that barriers to employment include low literacy levels, lack of basic math skills, difficulty using technology and no high school diploma. SBLC helps adults overcome these barriers by offering classes at the Regional Skills Training Center in Park Heights, to help individuals gain a work credential in manufacturing, construction and nursing in order to obtain a job.

“The scale of this particular challenge is so great that I wanted to understand the issue further and attack this particular barrier head on. That’s why I am at SBLC,” Terrell said.

SBLC officials also understand that returning to school for any adult is challenging. The responsibilities for the adults in their program are the same that we all experience every day, Terrell said, noting that it includes balancing work priorities and family obligations are the most significant.

SBLC students work on a project while pursuing a high school diploma.

Courtesy of SBLC

SBLC students work on a project while pursuing a high school diploma.

“With our adult learners, other barriers, such as transportation, lack of child care or chronic health issues also affect retention and progression in the program,” she said.

“SBLC recognizes these barriers. Though our mission is focused primarily on education, we have relationships with a variety of partners who can offer resources and additional support to help address some of the barriers that many of our adults learners face.”

With a stellar team and exceptional instructional staff, SBLC has found success. At SBLC, students may pursue GED preparation classes or the National External Diploma Program. When a student completes either program, they receive a Maryland State High School Diploma.

“We also work hard to have values that are ‘learner-centered.’ It is important that the academic environment at SBLC be void of judgment. The goal of staff is to ensure that learners feel supported. I think this is pivotal to our success,” Terrell said.

“We are meeting our goals, but our challenge is making sure that everyone knows our work, worth and impact. We also want people to consider adult education as a critical component of the educational system in the city and state. K-12 children will be much better prepared when their parents and other adults in their lives have experienced academic success.”

A volunteer tutor from BGE assists a GED learner at SBLC, which provides a supportive, rigorous and transformative education for adults of all ages and demographics who are eager to learn, who are motivated to succeed and who are committed to making a difference in their lives and in those of others.

A volunteer tutor from BGE assists a GED learner at SBLC, which provides a supportive, rigorous and transformative education for adults of all ages and demographics who are eager to learn, who are motivated to succeed and who are committed to making a difference in their lives and in those of others.

Two years ago SBLC chose to rename and rebrand itself. “SBLC: Learning Works” was selected as a way to highlight learners’ accomplishments and to provide the motivation behind the newfound core message.

“This rebranding allows SBLC to showcase and celebrate how we not only educate adult learners but also empower them to succeed by securing better jobs, enhancing their life skills and personal lives, and contributing to their communities,” she said.

For more information about SBLC, visit http://southbaltimorelearns.org/

Girl Scout Cookie Sale Begins In Central Maryland

— Saturday, September 15, 2018, marked the first day of the 2018 Girl Scout Cooke Sale program and Girl Scouts all across central Maryland will be offering those delicious cookies everyone loves: Thin Mints, Caramel Delights, Lemonades, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, S’mores, Shortbreads and Peanut Butter Patties.

For gluten-free cookie lovers a new cookie— the Caramel Chocolate Chip with rich caramel, semi-sweet chocolate chips and a hint of sea salt— will also be available for purchase. All cookies except the gluten-free cookie are available for just $4.00 per box; the Caramel Chocolate Chip cookie is $5 per box.

In addition to door-to-door sales and booth sales (which begin October 19th), girls can also sell cookies through the Smart Cookie digital platform that allows girls to send e-cards to customers to place their order. Customers email their order back the Girl Scout and have the cookies shipped directly to them usually in two days. As a result girls gain skills in a variety of sales and customer service techniques.

When girls participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program, they develop essential life skills. 2017 top cookie seller, Jenna Diehl who sold over 8,000 boxes of cookies last year and over 30,000 boxes during her 12 years as a Girl Scout said, “I believe my people, money management, goal setting and business ethics skills will help me tremendously with reaching my future goals.”

Each box of delicious Girl Scout Cookies helps power new, unique, and amazing experiences for girls. She may help the local animal shelter, or plant a community garden, go to summer camp, or earn one of Girl Scouting’s highest awards. Or, maybe she will cross the country to see the Grand Canyon, or cross an ocean for the travel experience of a lifetime. It’s up to her and her troop— they own their adventure and can select what they want to do with their cookie sale proceeds.

For more information about the cookie sale, visit www.gscm.org or call 410-358-9711

Deborah’s Voice To Hold National Rally In D.C.

For 27 hours, Genelle Guzman-McMillan was trapped beneath the rubble at the World Trade Center following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2011. She had reported to the 64th floor of the north tower, and was racing down the stairs for her life when the building collapsed around her. Guzman-McMillan would be the final person found alive amidst the death and destruction of Ground Zero.

Guzman-McMillan, author of the book “Angel in the Rubble,” has a powerful story of faith and survival. She is among the inspirational women slated to speak at The Deborah’s Voice national rally on Saturday, September 29, 2018 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

“Awake. Arise. Advance” is the call of the rally, which includes a dynamic line-up of women who have overcome incredible odds. The goal of the event is to bring awareness to human slavery and forced child prostitution.

Pastor Diane Mullins is the founder of Deborah’s Voice.

“Women who have been victimized by human slavery are very fearful,” said Pastor Mullins, co-Pastor of Calvary Christian Church in Hamilton, Ohio. “They don’t trust anybody. They have lost their identity, are hopeless, and very broken. On September 29, 2018, we want to let them know there are safe people and places to help them. We want them to see hope and that there are concerned people. We want to stand with them in unity.”

Deborah’s Voice represents Christian women from all walks of life with Judeo-Christian values. Their mission is to show the power of living a godly life in the 21st century; and to show the world that the God still loves the world. The organization provides a platform for Christian women that promotes and celebrates a Biblical worldview. Deborah’s Voice accomplishes these goals through engaging local, regional and national gatherings that includes speakers, testimonies, and uplifting music.

“Deborah’s Voice speaks to the voice of how women feel,” said Pastor Mullins. “We want to bring healing and hope to hurting women. We want to help them come out of their broken places.”

In addition to Guzman-McMillian, speakers will also include Dr. Barbara Peacock of Barbara Peacock Ministries; Gigi Graham, daughter of the late evangelist Billy Graham; New York Times Best Selling Author Rebecca Alonzo; and Dr. Marlene Carson, a human trafficking survivor and founder of The SWITCH Anti-Trafficking Network.

“We have all kinds of speakers,” said Pastor Mullins. “All of these women have come through something.”

Pastor Mullins has her very own testimony. On October 15, 1977, her father and her two brothers were killed in a plane crash. According to Pastor Mullins, the death of her father and brothers was such a traumatic experience she came to understand that she could run from the pain of the loss or depend on God to take her through the journey. She chose the latter.

“That day, God spoke to me,” she said. “I know pain. I really believe God told me to raise up a voice. I am amazing and humbled at what has happened this past year. I finally feel I have moved out of the wilderness. I am healed enough to help others through their pain.”

For over 30 years, Pastor Mullins has passionately preached the Gospel. With sound biblical teaching and preaching, she continues to empower multitudes to take dominion over their lives. She is a highly sought after conference speaker and author. She is married to Pastor Jim Mullins, and has two sons.

“Women enslaved in human trafficking have to make a choice,” said Pastor Mullins. “That’s the number one thing— making a choice. These women have to have the courage to get to someone who can help them. As long as they are silent, it is impossible. They have to step out and ask. We will be in Washington, D.C. to help them. It is possible to come out of human trafficking and be productive. Dr. Carson is such an example. We want women from all walks of life to come to Washington, DC and be a part of this dynamic event.”

The rally will also include performances by Eagle’s Rock Dance Team; A.I.M. Drama Team/Calvary Worship Team; Alexis Mahan; Dennis Wilson; Audrey King; and a dance performance by FERVENT.

For more information. visit: www.deborahsvoice.net.

Cure For American Doctor Shortage Lies Abroad

Waiting at the doctor’s office could soon become a national pastime. One-third of America’s doctors are on the verge of retirement. Yet the number of students graduating from U.S. medical schools is growing at an anemic rate— less than 1.5 percent a year, on average, over the last five years.

The U.S. population will reach nearly 360 million by 2030. The number of elderly Americans, who require twice as much medical care as young people, will surge 50 percent. As a result, America could be facing a shortage of 121,000 doctors by 2030, according to a new report from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

To narrow that gap, the United States must look beyond its borders, to graduates of international medical schools. Many are U.S. citizens eager to return home to begin their careers. It’s time to welcome them.

For many, the doctor shortage has already arrived. Over 84 million Americans live in federally designated Health Care Professional Shortage Areas, where there’s less than one primary care physician for every 3,000 people. We’d need almost 14,000 extra primary care doctors right now to resolve this shortage.

Things are projected to grow worse over the next decade. By 2030, the AAMC estimates, we may need an additional 49,000 primary care physicians to meet the needs of our patient population.

Even if they enroll more students, U.S. medical schools won’t plug this gap on their own. Most graduates of U.S. schools pursue careers as specialists. Last year, only 38 percent chose residencies in primary care.

U.S. medical school graduates also tend to cluster in relatively affluent cities and suburbs. Only one in four practices in a medically underserved region. And just one in ten doctors practices in a rural area, even though 20 percent of Americans live in one.

Graduates of international medical schools have proven more than willing to fill these gaps. Last year, nearly 70 percent of international medical graduates chose residencies in primary care. IMGs are twice as likely as their U.S.-trained counterparts to practice in rural America.

Many of these international graduates are U.S. citizens who chose to pursue their medical studies abroad. For example, 74 percent of the students at the medical school I lead, St. George’s University in Grenada, are Americans.

It’s imperative that America’s leaders ensure that graduates like these can return home to complete their training.

At the national level, Congress could pass the bipartisan Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act, which is currently stalled in the House of Representatives. The bill would fund 15,000 additional residencies— at least half of which would be in specialties experiencing shortages.

States can ease their doctor shortages by actively recruiting international medical graduates.

Consider one California initiative offered through the UCLA School of Medicine. Created in 2007, the International Medical Graduate Program offers financial support and tailored test-prep classes to doctors trained abroad as they prepare for the U.S. Medical License Examination and the residency match progress. In return,

program enrollees must pledge to complete a family medicine residency in California and then practice for at least three years in an underserved community.

Private-sector organizations and charities should also consider funding residencies, especially in underserved areas.

America’s physician shortage is set to worsen as the population grows and ages. International medical graduates could be the cure for this looming shortfall.

G. Richard Olds, M.D., is president of St. George’s University (www.sgu.edu).

Tips For Spotting And Avoiding Dating Abuse

— On your way to college or already getting settled in? In addition to Ramen noodles, towels and textbooks, the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) wants college students to be prepared with something else— information about how to spot dating abuse or violence and what to look for in a healthy relationship.

“The line between love and abuse can sometimes get blurred,” said GOCCP Executive Director V. Glenn Fueston, Jr. “We want to help students sort out which is which so that they will know the difference and have information needed to spot a questionable relationship.”

Dating abuse, as defined by the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and their project “loveisrespect,” is a pattern of destructive behaviors used to exert power and control over a dating partner. That pattern usually involves a series of abusive behaviors over a course of time.

The hotline has been on the front lines answering more than four million calls from people affected by dating abuse and domestic violence since 1996.

These are some of the warning signs of dating abuse:

  1. •Checking your cell phone or email without permission
  2. •Constantly putting you down
  3. •Extreme jealousy or insecurity
  4. •Explosive temper
  5. •Isolating you from family or friends
  6. •Making false accusations
  7. •Mood swings
  8. •Physically hurting you in any way
  9. •Possessiveness
  10. •Telling you what to do
  11. •Pressuring or forcing you to have sex

“College students are going through such a transitional stage of life and for some, they are also experiencing intimate relationships for the first time,” said Katie Ray-Jones, CEO, National Domestic Violence Hotline and loveisrespect. “Studies show one in three of these relationships contain some form of dating abuse. When something isn’t feeling right, we hope college students will contact loveisrespect, where a trained advocate is available, night or day. We are just one call, text or chat away and available as a confidential resource for help 24/7.”

“Loveisrespect” provides information and support through online chat at: loveisrespect.org, text (send loveis to 22522*) or by phone 1-866-331-9474.

“We applaud the Governor’s Office of Crime and Control and Prevention as they raise awareness on college campuses about dating abuse and healthy relationships. Loveisrespect is here to help all who are affected by dating abuse,” Ray-Jones said.

What is a Healthy Relationship?

Open, honest and safe communication is a fundamental part of a healthy relationship. The first step to building a relationship is making sure you both understand each other’s needs and expectations. Being on the same page is very important. That means you have to talk to each other! The following tips can help you and your partner create and maintain a healthy relationship:

•Speak Up— In a healthy relationship, if something is bothering you, it’s best to talk about it instead of holding it in.

•Respect Each Other— Your partner’s wishes and feelings have value, and so do yours. Let your significant other know you are making an effort to keep their ideas in mind. Mutual respect is essential in maintaining healthy relationships.

•Compromise— Disagreements are a natural part of healthy relationships, but it’s important that you find a way to compromise if you disagree on something. Try to solve conflicts in a fair and rational way.

•Be Supportive— Offer reassurance and encouragement to each other. Also, let your partner know when you need their support. Healthy relationships are about building each other up, not putting each other down.

•Respect Each Other’s Privacy— Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you have to share everything and constantly be together. Healthy relationships require space.

•Healthy Boundaries— Creating boundaries is a good way to keep your relationship healthy and secure. By setting boundaries together, you can both have a deeper understanding of the type of relationship that you and your partner want. Boundaries are not meant to make you feel trapped or like you’re “walking on eggshells.”

Creating boundaries is not a sign of secrecy or distrust— it’s an expression of what makes you feel comfortable and what you would like or not like to happen within the relationship. Remember, healthy boundaries shouldn’t restrict your ability to: go out with your friends without your partner; participate in activities and hobbies you like; not have to share passwords to your email, social media accounts or phone; and respect each other’s individual likes and needs.