Steve Harvey likes his space and he’s not sorry

— Steve Harvey has set boundaries and is standing by them.

Harvey came under fire Wednesday after a strongly worded memo sent to the staff of his daytime talk show was leaked by a blogger Robert Feder.

In the note, which seems to have been sent ahead of the current fifth season of his talk show “Steve Harvey,” the host asks that there be no attempts to meet with him while he’s in his dressing room, in the makeup chair, or in the hallway — “unless I ask to speak with you directly.”

He also insisted that all those attempting to communicate with him “schedule an appointment.”

“IF YOU OPEN MY DOOR, EXPECT TO BE REMOVED,” he wrote, in all caps. “My security team will stop everyone from standing at my door who have the intent to see or speak to me.”

Harvey was asked about the memo, leaked yesterday, by Entertainment Tonight, who probably made an appointment.

“I could not find a way to walk from the stage to my dressing room, to sit in my makeup chair, to walk from my dressing room to the stage or to just sit and have lunch without somebody just walking in,” he told the outlet. “I’ve always had a policy where, you know, you can come and talk to me — so many people are great around here, but some of them just started taking advantage of it.”

Harvey told ET the decision to write the memo was meant to ask “everyone to simply honor and respect” his privacy.

“I’m in the hallway, I’m getting ambushed by people with friends that come to the show and having me sign this and do this. I just said, ‘Wait a minute,'” he said. “And in hindsight, I probably should’ve handled it a little bit differently.”

He is not, however, sorry that he wrote it.

“I just didn’t want to be in this prison anymore where I had to be in this little room, scared to go out and take a breath of fresh air without somebody approaching me, so I wrote the letter,” he said. “I don’t apologize about the letter.”

“Steve Harvey” will end its run in Season 5. A new syndicated daytime series from Harvey, titled “Steve,” will debut in September and be filmed in Los Angeles.

Dalila Wilson-Scott promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Comcast

Phildelphia— Comcast Corporation announced that Dalila Wilson-Scott has been promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast Corporation, reporting to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian L. Roberts.

Wilson-Scott will oversee all Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion activities for the corporation. She will also continue to lead the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation and the company’s community impact work.

“Dalila is a fantastic leader and passionate advocate and supporter of our corporate social responsibility efforts, which have been at the heart of our company for decades,” said Roberts. “In her new role, she will build on our strong foundation, partnering with leadership teams across our organization to continue to make our company and culture more inclusive, and to help us drive substantive change.”

Since joining Comcast, Wilson-Scott has led the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation and community impact work and will continue to spearhead our charitable giving and philanthropic strategy, including Comcast NBCUniversal’s $100 million commitment to advance social justice and equality. Wilson-Scott also has been deeply involved in the company’s digital equity efforts. She will continue to be instrumental in helping identify and build partnerships with organizations to provide the skills training and resources needed for under-resourced communities to succeed in an increasingly digital world.

Prior to joining Comcast, Wilson-Scott spent over 16 years at JPMorgan Chase, where she served as Head of Global Philanthropy and President of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. In this role, she led the firm’s corporate social responsibility strategy, philanthropic initiatives, and employee engagement and volunteerism, while helping to set the company’s overall corporate responsibility strategy. Prior to joining the Office of Corporate Responsibility, she served in the firm’s Corporate Merger Office as an integral member of the team managing the integration of JPMorgan Chase and Bank One.

In addition to serving on the boards of Welcome America, Inc. and Box.org, Wilson-Scott is a member of the Executive Leadership Council. She previously served as a member of the Committee for Economic Development and the Advisory Council of My Brother’s Keeper Alliance. She has been named one of the “Most Powerful Women in Cable” by Cablefax Magazine, one of the “Most Powerful Women in Business” by Black Enterprise, and an “Innovative Rising Star: Building Communities” by Forbes. She has been a featured speaker at several forums highlighting impact and innovation in philanthropy, including at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Social Innovation Summit, USC Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy, and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute’s Annual Symposium.

Wilson-Scott earned an MBA in Finance and Management from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business and a B.A. in Economics from New York University’s College of Arts and Science.

MACY’S HOLDS NATIONAL HIRING EVENT ON OCTOBER 22

WHAT: Macy’s is holding a National Holiday Hiring event on Thursday, October 22, to fill seasonal positions at stores, call centers and distribution and fulfillment centers, including more than 700 holiday opportunities in Maryland. A variety of opportunities are available with competitive pay, access to flexible scheduling, bilingual work environment, merchandise discount and the opportunity to earn additional bonuses.

New this year to provide a safe and convenient hiring experience, Macy’s will conduct all interviews for in-store opportunities by phone. The quick and convenient process allows seasonal candidates tointerview from wherever. To support Macy’s convenient shopping experience, stores will also offer a new, versatile role focused on picking and packing contact-free curbside pickup and same-day delivery orders.

WHEN: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 22 (local time)

HOW: Prior to the national hiring event, candidates are encouraged to submit applications online to receive a response via email. Candidates can apply online 24/7 nationwide. Open positions and additional information are available at macysjobs.com.

MORE: Macy’s strives to be an employer of choice in every location it does business. Some highlights of Macy’s seasonal hiring program include:

Applicants often receive an offer the same day they apply.

Macy’s migrated approximately 1,000 seasonal positions from 2019 to permanent positions.

Approximately one third of Macy’s store leadership colleagues started their careers at Macy’s during the holiday season.

The average length of service among Macy’s, Inc. professional and hourly colleagues is 10 years and 7 years, respectively.

Macy’s is strongest when it represents the many communities it serves. Macy’s is committed to providing a safe and inclusive workplace by embedding diversity and inclusion into how colleagues think, act and operate. More information about Macy’s Diversity & Inclusion initiatives is available at macysinc.com.

The health and safety of Macy’s colleagues and customers is always our top priority. Macy’s has implemented enhanced safety and wellness procedures to help alleviate any potential health concerns, following the Centers for Disease Control’s recommended protocol. This includes enhanced cleaning of heavily touched surfaces such as equipment, countertops, break rooms, restrooms, vertical transportation, entrances and colleague work areas. Additionally, Macy’s provides colleagues with face masks to help prevent the spread of the COVID19 virus and conducts daily wellness checks which include asking a series of recommended questions and temperature checks to support a safe working environment. Macy’s encourages colleagues to continue to follow the CDC recommended everyday measures and will remain vigilant and partner with local and state officials.

CONTACT: Jacqueline King, Macy’s Media Relations – Jacqueline.King@macys.com

Baltimore Museum of Art hosts live-streaming conversation The Necessity of Tomorrow(s): Tarana Burke and Nadya Tolokonnikova

Baltimore— On Thursday, October 22, The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) will host “The Necessity of Tomorrow(s): Tarana Burke and Nadya Tolokonnikova,” a free online conversation with activist and founder of the ‘me too.’ Movement Tarana Burke and conceptual artist and political activist Nadya Tolokonnikova on Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and on bmatomorrows.org.

The event takes place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. beginning with a performance by the interdisciplinary artist and musician JOJO ABOT. This is followed by conversation with Burke and Tolokonnikova at 6:30 p.m. moderated by Jenna Wortham, a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine and co-host of the podcast Still Processing. A Q and A with the viewers follows the conversation, as well as a showing of short films from the BMA Screening Room that were selected by the speakers. Additional details are available at bmatomorrows.org.

Tarana Burke has dedicated her life to social justice work and giving strength to those who experienced sexual trauma or harassment.

Nadya Tolokonnikova is an artist, political activist, and founding member of the feminist protest art collective Pussy Riot.

Nadya Tolokonnikova, conceptual artist and political activist

BMA

Nadya Tolokonnikova, conceptual artist and political activist

They have been one of the world’s most prominent activist art groups in recent years, bringing attention to human rights violations in Russia and abroad, and named among the “100 Women of the World” by Time magazine in 2012. In addition to writing for The New York Times Magazine and podcast, Jenna Wortham is a healer and community care worker oriented towards justice and liberation.

BMA

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BMA

“The Necessity of Tomorrow(s)” is presented this year in conjunction with “2020 Vision,” the BMA’s initiative to highlight the achievements of female- identifying artists and leaders through its exhibitions, programs, and acquisitions. Works by the following artists are currently on view at the museum: Candice Breitz, Zackary Drucker, Valerie Maynard, Elissa Blount Moorhead, Howardena Pindell, Jo Smail, Shinique Smith, and SHAN Wallace, and several other exhibitions will be opening throughout 2021. Launched in 2017, “The Necessity of Tomorrow(s)” borrows its title from an essay by science fiction author Samuel Delany that argues for the role for creative speculation in making a more just future.

Prospering during the pandemic but is Zoom here to stay?

Remember when Bill Gates started Microsoft and Mark Zuckerberg opened Facebook?

While it’s widely known that Microsoft and Facebook started respectively in the 1980s and 2000s, not a lot of signifi- cance was given to the start of these now multi-billion-dollar companies. It appears Zoom will follow in their footsteps.

The nine-year-old virtual platform became popular when the coronavirus pandemic began as the platform for not only the home for business meetings but social and religious gatherings, education, and events like weddings and funerals.

MSN reported that Zoom has a market cap of $129 billion and is now worth more than IBM and twice as valuable as VMware. In 2019, CEO Eric Yuan had a net worth of about $3 billion. Today, Forbes places Yuan’s “San Francisco, Cleveland, the United Kingdom. We’ve had visitors from everywhere,” one member said.

Dennis Bell, the founder and CEO of Byblos noted that, “even after the pandemic, Zoom will be a part of everyone’s daily life. It’s a convenient way to reach out to people, especially those who are far from you.”

“Regardless of the time zone differences, you can easily communicate effectively. It provides a lot of opportunities to interact virtually with your team. Zoom can also record videos that allow you to store and have access to it whenever needed. It is also a convenient way to replay a part of your meetings for recording purposes. Zoom was here even before the pandemic, and it is likely here to stay and be a part of the business and people’s lives,” Bell said.

Erik Rivera, the CEO of the online telehealth platform, ThriveTalk says he currently attends as many as 20 Zoom meetings per week. Rivera said the video chat platform is facilitating his business. “As we have moved our operations model entirely online, moving forward, I can only predict that this number will stay high,” Rivera said. Mark Hayes, the head of marketing atvalue at approximately $20 billion.

In its most recent earnings report, the company said revenue over the last quarter increased a whopping 355 percent from a year earlier, as many companies struggle to stay afloat with the deadly pandemic still raging. And, if there were any doubt that Zoom is here to stay, business owners and many users in and around Baltimore say they are committed for the long haul.

Alcoholics Anonymous leaders in the city say they’ve taken measures to ensure the security of their zoom meetings because they believe they’ll be using the platform for some time.

The group hosts 800 meetings each week, and many say Zoom has opened Baltimore’s gatherings to a much larger audience. the advice and tutoring company, Kintell, said he’s also attending countless Zoom meetings and believes they’re here to stay. “At this point, it went from a novelty to standard procedure,” Hayes declared. “In my view, the coronavirus taught the world that a lot of roles could be carried out remotely, for better or for worse.”

There are skeptics, however. Although Martin Seeley called Zoom the best alternative to roundtable meetings during COVID-19 and has helped companies adjust to the new normal of communications, he doesn’t believe it’ll remain popular.

“After the pandemic, it will have a great decline in sales because people still prefer traditional face-to-face meetings instead of virtual meetings,” said Seeley, the CEO of MattressNextDay.

“It just happens that companies needed alternative ways to conduct business meetings, and they have discovered Zoom as the best tool for virtual communication.”

David Walter, a local electrician, agreed. “While I do see Zoom as a major part of business and life in the short-term, I don’t see that as lasting,” Walter opined. “It will still be popular because I think a lot of folks didn’t understand all of the benefits, but hopefully, as this virus continues to fade, and if we get an effective vaccine, I think you’ll see somewhat of a return to in-person meetings.”

Economy, race relations seen as growing concerns ahead of election

As President Donald Trump flip-flops on whether he would back a new stimulus proposal to help stabilize America’s increasingly fragile financial, consumer and business markets— and provide a lifeline to struggling Americans— the latest Gallup poll reveals that the economy remains a major concern among voters ahead of the November 3 election. Nine in ten respondents identified the economy as extremely or very important to their vote

The poll, released on October 5, listed national security and terrorism as the next biggest concern (83 percent), followed by education (82 percent), healthcare (80 percent), crime (79 percent), the COVID-19 response (77 percent), and race relations (76 percent).

Gallup has surveyed Americans’ “most important concerns” since 1939. The survey became monthly in 2001.

“It is not surprising that voters overall rate the economy as the most important issue impacting their vote for president this year given the fragile state of the U.S. economy and their tendency historically to prioritize it and other issues such as national security and education,” Gallup pollsters observed.

In an earlier June 4 Gallup survey, 19 percent of Americans named race relations as the nation’s top problem in the aftermath of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

At just below 20 percent, Gallop’s June 4 demarcation of the nation’s pulse on the state of race and race relations in America reflects the largest number of Americans sharing concerns over the racial divide since the height of the civil rights struggle in July 1968. The July 1968 survey results reported was less than 90 days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4th of the same year.

“Everything else being equal; however, the historical record predicts that race will eventually fall back into its latent status, scoring relatively few mentions as a top-of-mind issue,” Dr. Frank Newport, a Gallup senior scientist, wrote. “This exemplifies the substantial challenge facing leaders who are seeking significant and lasting change in the nation’s race situation. The less top of mind race is as a major problem; presumably, the less likely politicians are going to feel pressure to take action.”

A separate poll conducted by the Washington, D.C.-based financial website, WalletHub, took a deep dive into which political party is best for the country. The poll revealed that overall the economy had performed best under a Democratic presidency and Republican Congress.

In the past 70 years, the real Gross Domestic Product has grown fastest under Democratic control of both the executive and legislative branches of government, at an average of 4.22 percent per year, and most slowly under a Democratic presidency and divided Congress, at an average of 2.04 percent per year, the WalletHub survey found.

Despite Trump’s seeming obsession with the stock market, Wall Street has performed best under a Democratic presidency and Republican Congress. The S&P 500 produced an average annual return of 16.22 percent, and worst under a Republican presidency and Democratic Congress, with an average yearly return of 4.51 percent.

Further, as stimulus talks stall and Trump throws cold water on negotiations, the annual unemployment rate change has had the highest decrease (0.85 percent, on average) under a Democratic presidency and divided Congress.

It had the highest increase (0.26 percent, on average) under a Republican presidency and Democratic Congress.

According to the survey, the annual poverty rate change has had the highest decrease (0.66 percent, on average) under a Democratic presidency and Republican Congress and the highest increase (0.05 percent, on average) under a Republican presidency and Democratic Congress.

The survey also found that the change in annual national debt as a percentage of GDP (adjusted for inflation) has had the highest decrease (0.76 percent, on average) under a Democratic presidency and Republican Congress and the highest increase (2.82 percent) under a Democratic presidency and divided Congress.

“I think [Democratic Presidential nominee] Joe Biden will be better for the economy for two reasons. First, he is actually listening to real economists, as far as policymaking is concerned,” said Shantanu Bagchi, a WalletHub expert and associate professor in the Department of Economics at Towson University in Maryland. “He understands the key issues why so many Americans have been cut out from their fair share of economic prosperity and the promise of hard work as a means to a better life.

“Second, he is predictable and has a comprehensive vision of how to move the economy forward for everyone. Trump, unfortunately, is more concerned with personal wealth accumulation using the Presidency as a tool. He lacks a basic understanding of economics, does not listen to experts, and has no vision of the economy apart from how he and others like him can personally benefit from it.”

Maryland Department of Health announces new community-based partnership to enhance statewide vaccination efforts

Baltimore— The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) announced the Maryland Partnership for Prevention (MPP) as its community partner in an enhanced statewide initiative to promote and facilitate childhood and flu vaccination activities throughout the fall. The effort will also support COVID-19 vaccination activity, in preparation for when a vaccine becomes available. “It has never been more important to take care of our health and our families by protecting ourselves against preventable disease,” said MDH Secretary Robert R. Neall. “We’re committed to investing in the outreach and logistics necessary to help ensure more Marylanders get vaccinated safely, swiftly and effectively.”

The $1.5 million project is a unique coordinated statewide effort to support all local health departments and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) with technology, staffing and logistical support through PrepMod, a new online resource that will be used to schedule clinics; track equipment needs; and report vaccination activity.

The effort also includes communications, outreach and vaccination clinics in areas showing the most significant vaccination rate declines, made possible through a Pfizer Foundation grant, announced in July.

MPP is the adult immunization coalition for Maryland and is the parent organization of the Maryland Childhood Immunization Partnership (MCIP) and regional immunization coalitions across the state. MDH has previously partnered with MPP to assist with school-based flu and back-to-school immunization clinics. MPP has also worked with a number of local health departments in years past.

Marylanders can visit MD.MyIR.net, a free and secure online portal where users can access official copies of their vaccination records and those of their family members. To schedule an appointment your local health department’s vaccination clinic, Marylanders can also visit: marylandvax.org.

U.S. Postal Service dedicates new Kwanzaa stamp

Washington, D.C.— The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) continues to celebrate Kwanzaa, which honors the values and beliefs around African American heritage, by dedicating a new Kwanzaa stamp on Tuesday, October 13, 2020.

“This new Kwanzaa stamp captures the essence of the African American cultural celebration. The stamp depicts the profile of a reflective woman with a kinara, or a candleholder, with seven lit candles in front of her,” said USPS Regional Processing Operations Eastern Vice President Dane Coleman, the dedicating official. “The stamp, which was hand-sketched and digitally colored, evokes a sense of inner peace with its cool tones and vibrant design elements to give a festive feel to the celebration of Kwanzaa.”

The stamp is available nationwide. A virtual dedication ceremony is posted on the Postal Service’s Facebook and Twitter pages. The event includes remarks from Coleman and Linda Hazel Humes, adjunct assistant professor, Africana Studies Department, John Jay College; and music by Sanga of the Valley.

Kwanzaa takes place over seven days annually from December 26 to January 1, bringing family, community and culture together for many.

Each year, millions of African Americans gather with friends and family throughout Kwanzaa week to honor the Pan-African holiday’s seven founding principles— unity (umoja); self-determination (kujichagulia); collective work and responsibility (ujima); cooperative economics (ujamaa); purpose (nia); creativity (kuumba); and faith (imani). Each day of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of these seven principles, collectively known as the Nguzo Saba.

Kwanzaa was created in 1966, drawing on a variety of African traditions, deriving its name from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” meaning “first fruits.” Kwanzaa is a festive time for rejoicing in the prospect of health, prosperity and good luck in the coming year. It is also a time for contemplation and recollection of past hardships, faced by individuals and communities, and the ways history can inform and impact future happiness.

Art director Antonio Alcala designed the stamp, and Andrea Pippins was the illustrator.

The Kwanzaa stamp is being issued as a Forever stamp in a pane of 20. Forever stamps will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.

A pictorial postmark of the first-day-of- issue location, Nashville, TN, is available at usps.com/stamps. Customers may purchase stamps and other philatelic products through the Postal Store at usps.com/shopstamps, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) by mail through USA Philatelic, or at Post Office locations nationwide.

Morgan State University designated as new historic site

Baltimore— The American Physical Society (APS) has designated Morgan State University and the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota as Historic Sites. Each site will receive a plaque acknowledging its exemplary contributions to physics.

“As an institution rooted in the marvels of discovery and enlightenment, Morgan State University has long served as a haven for the nation’s Black scientific community—as well as a top producer of African-American graduates with degrees in STEM,” said David K.Wilson, president of Morgan State University. “We are truly honored to be designated an Historic Site by the American Physical Society. This notable distinction not only acknowledges Morgan’s early contributions to modern physics, but also our unrelenting commitment as an R2 classified doctoral research institution to cultivating tomorrow’s STEM leaders.”

The APS citation reads: “On April 28, 1977, Morgan State University became the birthplace of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP). Its founders sought to promote the professional well being of African American physicists within society at large and within the international scientific community. They have successfully mentored young Black students to increase their representation in physics and technology. Their persistent professional devotion to inclusion has produced the largest national organization that actively supports African American physicists.”

In 2016, the National Trust for Historic Preservation today named Morgan State University a National Treasure, the only such honor for a college or university campus in the United States.

The American Physical Society is a nonprofit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents over 55,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, Maryland (Headquarters), Ridge, New York, and Washington, D.C.

84-Year-Old Body Builder, Beyonce’ Video Star Endorses ‘A Better You’

Ernestine Shepherd is a world champion bodybuilder. Before one could dismiss that with a “so what?” note, the Baltimore resident is 84.

The now legendary “6-pack granny” recently appeared in a video for Beyoncé’s “Black is King” album. The grandmother and retired school secretary proudly stands as a Guinness World Record holder for the world’s oldest female competitive bodybuilder.

On Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, Shepherd will join UnitedHealthCare to host “A Better You,” a health and wellness event aimed at helping African Americans approaching retirement and other Medicare beneficiaries learn more about Medicare and their health coverage options.

The online event promises to provide safe access to seniors’ resources and information to make informed health care coverage decisions before the annual Medicare Enrollment Period, which begins Oct. 15.

Virtual attendees will hear from Yohnnie Shambourger, former Mr. Universe and Shepherd’s trainer, who will share nutrition tips and walk through a series of exercises.

UnitedHealthcare’s Rita Tolbert plans to guide participants through a Medicare discussion, including eligibility requirements and enrollment windows.

“I always say and truly believe that age is nothing but a number. I won my first bodybuilding competition at the age of 71, after having lived a sedentary life,” Shepherd told the Baltimore Times.

“I feel better now in my 80’s than I did in my 40’s. Exercise and wellness are important to improve our quality of life at any age. People must listen to their bodies and do what works for them – going for a walk, doing some stretches from your seat, and even dancing while you cook. It’s about making movement part of your lifestyle.”

Shepherd said she began her fitness journey as a school secretary in 2007 when she participated in her first bodybuilding contest and won first place honors.

Three years later, Guinness formally presented her the title of World’s Oldest Performing Female Bodybuilder. She called working with Beyoncé an incredible experience.”She recruited me to appear in the music video for the song ‘Power,’ which celebrates the beauty and power of Blackness. When I arrived on-set, she approached me and gave me a big hug,” Shepherd recalled. “She was truly wonderful, and the interaction highlighted that anything is possible, regardless of your age.”

Because staying fit and creating healthy habits are essential, Shepherd has maintained a daily routine. “Typically, I start my day at 4 a.m. and go for a 10-mile run/walk, followed by strength training around 7:30 a.m. I then lead exercise classes at the local gym until 11:30 a.m. and return home for lunch,” she said.

“I have five to six meals a day, which often includes oatmeal, baked white potatoes, chicken, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and tuna. I also supplement my protein intake with 8-ounce glasses of liquid egg whites throughout the day.”

Shepherd and UnitedHealthCare suggest that now more than ever, African Americans approaching retirement need the information to make informed coverage decisions, which is the goal of “A Better You!”

“The last thing you want to do is worry about your coverage options once you need medical attention. Just like forming healthy lifestyle habits, ensuring that your health care coverage options meet your needs is an important way to take care of yourself,” Shepherd stated.

“If Medicare coverage has never crossed your mind, the best thing you can do right now is to learn about it. Understand your needs, learn the terminology, coverage options, and enrollment dates so that once you’re ready to make a decision, you have all the information you need to make an informed choice.

“It’s also important to understand health care if you have parents or loved ones approaching the age of eligibility or needing assistance with their coverage. Learn about the Medicare program so you can help them choose the right plan when the time comes. “

The event is free and open to the public, for more information or to register, visit http://ABetteryou.info/.