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.

Activist, Host of Netflix’ Bookmarks, Marley Dias Shares The Secrets of Making An Impact

Teen activist, author and now host and executive producer of Netflix series “Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices,” Marley Dias admits she was slightly disappointed in one thing she did with regards to her historic #1000BlackGirlBooks project. “I didn’t tell a lot of my friends about #1000BlackBooks,” she says, “because I was afraid they wouldn’t understand or wouldn’t care or would think it wasn’t something a young person should do.”

Those feelings were perhaps understandable as Dias was just eleven years-old when she single-handedly launched that campaign after she complained there weren’t enough Black girls as main characters in books for children her age. The campaign’s original goal was to collect 1,000 books that featured Black girl protagonists and distribute them to her peers. Overwhelmingly successful, it ended up receiving upwards of 9,000 books.

Things are different now that Dias is a seasoned fifteen year-old. “Now, I tell people when I’m doing cool stuff and I take pride in my work.” Since #1000 BlackGirlBooks, Dias has authored her own book, “Marley Dias Gets it Done And So Can You” with a foreword by filmmaker Ava Duvernay, who Dias says is one of the people she most looks up to. “She has done so much to help support the ideas of Black girls, our experiences, and to make sure we’re not forgotten.”

In addition to producing, Dias also hosts “Bookmarks,” a twelve-episode series geared toward pre-schoolers where celebrities such as Lupita Nyong’o, Tiffany Haddish, Misty Copeland, Marsai Martin, Common, Jill Scott, Caleb McGlaughlin, and others reading books by Black authors. The subject matter of the books touch on issues such as , anti- racism, and American history. The series also streams on the Netflix Jr. Youtube channel.

Author Jacqueline Woodson, also one of the “Bookmarks” readers, is the author of Dias’ favorite book, “Brown Girl Dreaming.” “I love that book so much!” Dias exclaimed. “Anyone who’s been following me recently is probably tired of me talking about it! It’s so great though!” As for her favorite book that she has read this year she says is “Looking For Alaska” by John Green. “It’s not a Black girl book, but it is a diverse book. I love John Green books because he can connect with so many people. He is such a good writer.”

Though Dias is pleased with advances made in diversity and representation in literature, there is one area where she believes work still needs to be done. “One place where you can have more representation is fantasy and science fiction. It’s super weird we don’t see Black people existing in the future.” This is the reason, Dias admits, she did not read as many science fiction and fantasy stories when she was younger. “I rarely saw myself in those stories. It would mean a lot to me, to be someone who could be invested in those stories” she says, “to see they’re making a conscious effort to show experiences that mean a lot to me.”

Dias learned a great deal from the experience as an activist, and has this to say to other young people who might want to have an impact as well. “Learn how the issue exists on a systemic level. A lot of the times something frustrates us personally, but learning how it’s part of a larger system is how you can better understand how to take it down from the root and how it affects your broader community and the people you care about.”

One structural issue she encountered in deploying #1000BlackGirlBooks, was how unresponsive curriculum creators were to changes in society. “These curriculums don’t get changed, don’t get edited, don’t focus on how cultures and communities change. Students have limited say in the types of material they learn and how they learn it.”

Dias’ peers fall into two groups in terms of their responses to her remarkable experiences and accomplishments. The aspiring journalist says, “Some kids are super aware and now are interested in activism. They understand that it’s about changing the world and there’s stuff that comes with that.” The other group of peers tend to see only the rewards of her labor as opposed to the labor itself. “Some people only see it as she has a Netflix show or she did a commercial, she met Rihanna and that can be frustrating. “ Dias doesn’t let the resulting negativity impact her, however. “If people want to see the deeper meaning behind my work then they will and their feelings don’t necessarily define my work.”

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

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

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


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.




“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.

25th Anniversary Fannie Lou Hamer On-Line Awards Reception– October 6

Six Annapolis area women and one local man are set to receive honors at the 25th annual Fannie Lou Hammer Awards Reception scheduled for 6 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 6. Sponsored by the Martin Luther King Jr. Committee of Anne Arundel County, this year’s ceremony takes place virtually and is free and open to the public.

The honorees are: Patricia Bradford, Octavia Brown, Emma Buchanan, Joseph Donahue, C.J. Meushaw, Delegate Shaneka Henson, and Toni Strong Pratt. Bradford works as Family Self Sufficiency & Homeownership Manager for the Annapolis Housing Authority, where she manages 83 families and house holds, promoting and assisting them to become self sufficient and homeowners.

Brown, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker-Certified and the founder and lead clinician of the Urban Institute for Mental Health, specializes in racial trauma therapy, trauma-informed care, cognitive behavioral therapy, and behav- ioral modification.

Buchman, the deputy director of March On Maryland, is a community activist and an unapologetic anti-racist who has organized myriads of marches and racial justice events.

Donahue, a private practice lawyer, won a landmark case earlier this month against the city where 15 clients living in Annapolis’s subsidized housing were awarded $900,000 because the landlord failed to maintain their apartments adequately.

Meushaw also counts as an activist and dedicated member of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). She’s recognized as a core organizer in the SURJ chapter in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County because of her tireless work encouraging other white people to live out the SURJ values. Henson, a delegate and community activist, has faced racism, sexism, and countless negativity, but MLK Commit- tee officials said she’s never backed down and has proven a real fighter for civil rights. Strong Pratt co-founded “Desire,” a social group that focuses on drug dependencies and co-dependencies within Annapolis.

She has been critical in organizing food giveaways and distributing Harm Reduction materials throughout the city during COVID.

“In honoring these women with the Fannie Lou Hamer Award, we honor the best in ourselves. These women each have made our city, county, and nation better,” Carl Snowden, the chair of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee, told the Baltimore Times.

The awards that bear Hamer’s name recognize local women from various racial backgrounds who, while not necessarily household names, have excelled in their chosen field while working diligently to improve civil and human rights in the region, Snowden added. “Mrs. Hamer was a feminist and a civil rights heroine, and each year, on the eve of her birthday, Marylanders pause to honor this Mississippian, a sharecropper, who shared a passion for economic and social justice,” he said.

The honorees will join the ranks of more than 100 notable local citizens, including Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Administrative Law Judge Tracey Warren Parker, and former Annapolis Mayor Ellen Moyer.

Speakers will include Congressmen John P. Sarbanes and Anthony Brown, Mayor Gavin Buckley, and County Executive Steuart Pittman.

Tickets are free at: For more information at 443-871-5656.

Patricia (Venus) Bradford Family Self-Sufficiency & Homeownership Manager for the Annapolis Housing Authority

Courtesy photo

Patricia (Venus) Bradford Family Self-Sufficiency & Homeownership Manager for the Annapolis Housing Authority

Toni Strong-Pratt. Co-founder of “Desire,” a social group that focuses on drug dependencies and co-dependencies within Annapolis.

Courtesy Photo

Toni Strong-Pratt. Co-founder of “Desire,” a social group that focuses on drug dependencies and co-dependencies within Annapolis.

Emma Buchanan Deputy Director of March On Maryland; Community Activist

Courtesy photo

Emma Buchanan Deputy Director of March On Maryland; Community Activist

C.J. Meushaw Member of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ).

Courtesy Photo

C.J. Meushaw Member of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ).

Delegate Shaneka Henson Delegate and community activist

Courtesy photo

Delegate Shaneka Henson Delegate and community activist

Joseph Donahue Private Practice Lawyer He will receive the Allen Hillard Legum Civil Rights Award

Courtesy Photo

Joseph Donahue Private Practice Lawyer He will receive the Allen Hillard Legum Civil Rights Award

Baltimore Singer and Actress Give Back to Young Girls

Brave Williams is best known for her contrasting sultry, edgy vocals that are layered with intensely relatable lyrics that either make one dance, smile, or high five their best friend.

The Baltimore born Williams, who despite her ever growing fame and professional commitments, continue to mentor young girls in Charm City. Through her work with Associated Black Charities (ABC), and her philanthropic missions that include mentoring young girls in Baltimore City through the St. Francis Mentorship Program and the Baltimore City Women’s Shelter, Williams counts as an avid health advocate and fitness guru who believes in healthy living, mind, body and soul.

“A lot of my giveback comes from the fitness side, and that to me is my gift,” Williams said. “I do a lot of work with kids at Coppin State, and I impressed upon the younger generation that they have the energy, power, and tools it takes. I tell them to use it positively, and health and fitness is a perfect marriage in which to show them.”

Williams also mentors young girls in the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation’s “Girls Who Rule the World” program. The program is designed to enhance young girls’ development and provide a forum to expose them to the benefits and importance of positive self-image, responsible conduct, and respect for self and others through educational achievement.

More than 200 young girls, including those from Baltimore, participate in the program.“We impress upon these girls that they are not alone, and I’ve found how encouraging and lasting your words can be,” Williams said.

Williams has just completed two movies and a new self-titled debut R&B album. Her first single, “Don’t Tell Me No,” was released this week and available via multiple streaming and download platforms.

She said the pandemic didn’t stop her from filming “The Available Wife,” a motion picture that tells the story of a beautiful and successful music CEO’s life that’s about to crumble in front of her.

“Shooting a movie during the pandemic was different. I didn’t know what to anticipate, but we had a great team of people who made certain operations were handled consistently,” Williams said. “We had a COVID test every two days, and we practiced social distancing, and only people in certain zones could touch your water bottle if you needed water.”nWilliams said she learned that individuals are not a product of circumstances, but their decisions.

“I’ve learned not to give up,” she said. “I had a group that disbanded, lost my father two months later, and then my manager from a heart attack. All of that happened back-to-back and left me in shambles and uncertain if I wanted to continue. But I remember feeling like that was a moment for God to make me an honest person. My name is Brave, and he’s allowing me to show that I’m brave.”

Actor/Producer Tray Williams develops series focusing on sex trafficking survivors

Actor and producer Tray Williams proves the importance of quickly bouncing back from disappointment. Feeling let down after a highly anticipated meeting that the actor director describes as “a scam,” he agreed to read a script offered him by another similarly disappointed attendee, who was a filmmaker. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and a lightbulb went on in Williams’ head. In short order, Williams relocated to Los Angeles to seriously pursue acting. Since then, the Houston native has acted in fifteen films and numerous commercials and is also fully immersed in the role of producer. Williams pro- duced popular Youtube reality competition, “Trapped With The Prince Family” and is president of TV/film distribution for Media Room 360, which provides content for Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, VOD, and all android devices. “My job is to bring in content for our platform. So we help people get distribution,” he explains.

Williams, who’s also a father of two, is very clear about his worth and value. “I went through some tough situations early in life so now nothing is going to be any harder than that. I also do a lot of research and so I’m confident because I feel prepared.”

Some years ago, Williams became acquainted with Tamra Simmons, producer of the docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly.” It turned out that one of the scripts Williams presented to Simmons coincided with a project that she was developing about sex trafficking. “She was like, ‘We should just work on this together,’” he recalls.

Simmons and Williams are currently in the process of shopping the series, of which he says, “We wanted to highlight Though Black women and girls make up just five percent of the American population, they constitute forty to sixty percent of the victims of sex trafficking. In his research, Williams found that girls are much more likely to be coerced into a life of prostitution than to be physically made to do so. “A lot of them are manipulated by the men initially convincing them they really love them,” he explains mournfully.

Distressingly, Williams found that most of the traffickers are Black men. “The saddest thing for me was finding out that the ones doing most of the trafficking are Black men. That to me, is heartbreaking.”

Williams says he has thought about what he would say to anyone thinking of trafficking or using trafficked girls and women for sex. “I would ask them to think about whether or not it’s really worth it to ruin a woman’s life. You would kill someone if that was your daughter or your mother.” Recognizing that the desperate situations these young girls and women are in can cause them to ignore their instincts and ignore red flags, he says he would caution them “No matter how bad your situation is, do your research before going all in with anyone. Don’t make a bad situation worse. Don’t be so trusting. Understand that everybody is not your friend.” stories of survival, and go in depth about the impact of sex trafficking on the victims and their families.”

Compelled to write a script after watching a shocking news report, the project has been a harrowing experience for Williams in certain ways. “They were showing that young girls were just being captured and put into cars. I just felt like I had to do something about it. It was terrible, and I felt so bad.”

What Williams learned from doing the research was much different from what he assumed prior. “Most of them have been sexually abused by a mother’s boyfriend.” Compounding that tragedy, he says, is that girls are often not believed when they report the abuse. Many run away, ending up prey to thousands of sex traffickers involved in a one hundred billion dollar industry.

Actor in New Tyler Perry Series ‘Redefines Black Male Friendships on Screen’

When referring to actor Mahdi Cocci, BET exclaimed that the television star redefines Black male friendships on screen. The network boasted that, “a lot of people will be able to relate and connect” to Cocci’s latest character and that of others on the Tyler Perry series, “Bruh.”

It’s the first lead role for Cocci, who plays Tom, a medical doctor who finds himself as part of the drama when playing the field at work and as one of four “ride-or-die” friends on the 3 0-minute comedy series.

“Bruh” celebrates Black male brotherhood, with new episodes beginning this week (Sept. 10), and airing each Thursday.

The series includes Barry Brewer as Jonathan, Phillip Mullings Jr as Mike, and Monti Washington as Bill – four friends with a strong bond that navigates work and home life.

“I like to think that I am the most conscious of the bruhs,” Cocci said. “I absolutely identify with that. I don’t really think there can be such a thing as too understanding.”

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was raised by his mother, Stephanie, Cocci said education was always emphasized in his home. He earned a full Navy ROTC scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh, and the aspiring model served as an officer in the Navy upon graduation.

He first appeared on the TV series, Dynasty, in 2018, and then Gifted, The Resident, and MacGyver. His appearance on Bruh happened after meeting Perry, whom Cocci admitted being in awe.

“He’s like this A-list celebrity, and he’s got this big presence,” Cocci stated in an earlier interview about Perry. “He’s super kind and humble, but he’s all business, and my initial thought was, ‘just don’t mess up.’”Cocci received an invitation to read for three of the lead roles in Bruh— John, Bill and Tom.

“I initially thought that Tom was kind of right up my alley, and then my good friend Derek that I worked with thought that Bill was kind of right up my alley, and lastly, I felt John was a little bit of a stretch. I thought to myself, ‘I’m gonna give it my best,’” Cocci said.

After wrapping the audition, Cocci took a trip to Puerto Rico and, while flying back, he received a text message from his agent informing him he was wanted back in Los Angeles for the role of Bill. He was summoned to Los Angeles a second time to meet with Perry and read for the part of Tom. “I was definitely very happy and pleased,” Cocci exclaimed. “I’m just so super thankful for this opportunity where we can share an experience with everyone. [The cast] are so thankful that Tyler Perry gave us all the opportunity to lead a show. It’s the first time for all of us getting to do that. We’re all riding this wave together. Yet, no matter where things go from here out, we’re always going to be linked, planted, and connected.”

Reginald F. Lewis Museum Reopens

Baltimore— The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture re-opened to the public on Thursday, September 10, 2020 with the new exhibition, Freedom Bound: Runaways of the Chesapeake.

For the safety of visitors and to protect against the spread of COVID-19, all Lewis Museum staff and visitors are required to wear face-masks while in the museum. The museum has also adjusted our hours of operation and installed signage will direct visitor traffic flow. To read the full visitor guidelines, go to sguide/?mc_cid=1a298de9e4 &mc_eid=03b9d606e1.

“As we navigate the uncharted waters of a worldwide pandemic, we are taking every precaution to provide a safe environment for our staff and visitors,” explained Lewis Museum Executive Director, Wanda Draper. ‘We have the advantage of 82,000 square feet which makes social distancing possible while enjoying our exhibitions throughout the building.“

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture re-opened to the public on Thursday, September 10, 2020. Freedom Bound: Runaways of the Chesapeake and Robert Houston: The 1968 Poor People’s Campaign in Photographs are the exhibitions on display.

Courtesy of the Reginald Lewis Museum

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture re-opened to the public on Thursday, September 10, 2020. Freedom Bound: Runaways of the Chesapeake and Robert Houston: The 1968 Poor People’s Campaign in Photographs are the exhibitions on display.

Upon opening, the exhibitions on display will be Freedom Bound: Runaways of the Chesapeake and Robert Houston: The 1968 Poor People’s Campaign in Photographs.

Freedom Bound: Runaways of the Chesapeake tells a story of resistance to bondage and servitude in the Chesapeake Region from the Colonial Period to the American Civil War (1728-1864). In this exhibition, visitors will learn the personal stories of nine people stripped of their human rights and treated as property. Each of these individuals resisted these abuses and asserted some degree of control over their own lives by running away. Freedom Bound will be on view until March 28, 2021.

On display in the Lewis Now gallery is Robert Houston: The 1968 Poor People’s Campaign, Baltimore-based photographer Robert Houston, 84, reveals the human condition in his photographs of Resurrection City, the encampment protesters constructed in 1968 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The Poor People’s Campaign, as it was known, brought 3,000 people from all over the country to a slice of land that would soon be drenched by rain and filled with wooden shanties. Visitors to this exhibition will see a selection of photographs by Houston as curated by photographer Devin Allen, a 2017 Gordon Parks Foundation Fellow. The Lewis Museum will also continue to provide virtual community programs and online resources.

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum is Maryland’s largest museum dedicated to the State’s African American experience. A Smithsonian affiliate, the museum engages visitors through its permanent and special exhibitions, community events and family programming. The museum is celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2020.

In Memoriam: Chadwick Boseman

The world is reeling from the loss of iconic actor Chadwick Boseman, who died Friday, August 28, 2020, after losing a private battle to colon cancer. Boseman died at home surrounded by his family.

A statement released by his family said Boseman was diagnosed with stage-three, colon cancer in 2016 and the disease progressed to stage 4. Boseman endured countless surgeries and treatments as he continued to make films from Marshall (directed by Reginald Hudlin), Da 5 Bloods (directed by Spike Lee) and August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (directed by George C. Wolfe and produced by Denzel Washington).

Washington and Boseman were first introduced when Washington paid for Boseman and several other Howard University students to continue their theater studies by taking a theater course in Oxford.

The Howard University-educated thespian was the star of Marvel’s Black Panther franchise, bringing to life one of the most important and revered superheroes in American film history.

Directed by Ryan Coogler, Black Panther was the first superhero movie to be nominated for a best picture Oscar and one of the highest-grossing films of all time, bringing in over $1billion.

Black Panther became more than a movie, morphing into a celebration of Black culture, art, history, achievement and intellect in addition to highlighting the Black cultural presence and influence in comic book culture.

Boseman was no stranger to playing iconic characters, bursting onto the big screen in 2013’s 42 as baseball legend Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in major league baseball. Boseman went on to star as Soul legend James Brown in 2014’s Get On Up and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall in 2017.

Boseman brought a quiet dignity and powerful presence to these characters, with performances reflective of the weight they hold in world culture.

Prior to breaking into film, Boseman lived in New York, teaching at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture while cutting his teeth on small roles on shows like Law & Order, Third Watch, ER and Lie to Me, eventually landing recurring roles on Lincoln Heights and Persons Unknown.

It was Boseman’s turn as Jackie Robinson that cemented his film star status and his performance as T’Challa in Marvel’s Black Panther that catapulted him to superstardom. Black Panther grew beyond the big screen and became a cultural phenomenon.

Boseman, who hails from Anderson South Carolina, gave moviegoers a king who was stoic, powerful and captivating, as he led warriors with love, intellect and strategy, as they fought to maintain control of their powerful, technologically superior nation, ripe for poaching by outsiders.

Much like the Gullah culture of his home state, Boseman was able to effortlessly blend African and American culture to help create a fantastical world on screen that was inspirational and recognizable. Boseman led an all-star cast including Angela Bassett, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Sterling Brown, Winston Duke and Academy award-winning actors Lupita Nyong’o and Forrest Whitaker, holding his own and fortifying his status as a Hollywood superstar. Boseman, who also appeared as

T’Challa/Black Panther in Avengers Infinity War and Avengers: End Game, starred in and produced the films 21 Bridges, Marshall and Message from the King, which he served as Executive Producer. At the time of his death, Boseman was in pre-production as producer on Yasuke, a film about the world’s first Black Samurai in which Boseman was slated to star.

In addition to acting and producing, Boseman was also an activist and philanthropist supporting social justice initiatives like Michelle Obama’s #WhenWeAllVote and celebrating fellow Bison Kamala Harris’ history making selection as the Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee for the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, which was his last Twitter post before his death.

In 2018, the wunderkind performer delivered a powerful commencement speech at Howard University encouraging students to rise above traumatic experiences and applauding their campus activism. Boseman, who was mentored by fellow Howard University alum, Phylicia Rashad and helped financially by Denzel Washington as a student, donated $100,000 to #Change4Change, which supports HBCUs in November 2019.

The private public figure spent time visiting children suffering from cancer at St. Jude’s Research Center. In April 2020, the actor donated $4.2 million worth of PPE equipment to hospitals serving Black communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The youngest of four, Boseman is survived by his parents, Leroy and Carolyn; siblings Kevin, Dionne and Derrick; and wife Taylor Simone Ledward. Boseman was 43.

Vaile Leonard Chosen As 2020 New Thought Walden Awards Honoree

The Rev. Vaile Leonard’s life is the one that read’s like a story book. For years, she battled a heroin addiction. After decades of addiction, she overcame her habit to found what many consider one of the most successful recovery centers in the country –Light of Truth Center, Inc. (LTC). The residential therapeutic treatment program has been credited with helping dozens of women overcome drug addiction. Her story now includes another remarkable chapter. She is a 2020 New Thought Walden Awards Honoree.

The prestigious award honors those who use empowering spiritual ideas and philosophies to change lives and make the planet a better place. Nominations were received from the public, and each was considered carefully by a selection committee comprised of representatives from partner organizations.

Rev. Leonard was among 20 honorees chosen in six categories: New Thought Wisdom, Interfaith and Intercultural Understanding, Social and Environ- mental Activism, Creative Arts and Entertainment, Next Generation (under 40), and Mind/Body Connection and Healing. Rev. Leonard was selected for the Social and Environmental Activism category.

“My mind could not grasp how it happened,” said Rev. Leonard. “I thought someone was pulling my leg. It’s just been an incredible experience. It’s an honor, and I am really humbled by it.”

Each honoree is being profiled in the September/October 2020 issue of Unity Magazine and listed in the September 2020 issue of Science of Mind magazine. Honorees are also being featured in a podcast series on Unity Online Radio (

“The honorees include both well- known individuals and relatively unsung heroes alike, each of whom has made a valuable contribution to furthering the ideas at the core of New Thought,” says Unity Magazine ® editor Katy Koontz, a member of the selection committee. “Our goal with the Waldens is not only to honor these fine people and spotlight their notable accomplishments but also to inspire others to follow in their footsteps.”

The New Thought Walden Awards partner organizations include Unity, Centers for Spiritual Living, Association for Global New Thought, Agape International Spiritual Center, Divine Science Federation International, Universal Foundation for Better Living, and Affiliated New Thought Network.

Unity World Headquarters at Unity Village, Missouri, publishes Unity Magazine and Daily Word ®, while the Unity prayer ministry, Silent Unity offers support 24/7 (receiving nearly 1.4 million prayer requests annually). Unity was founded in 1889 and helps people of all faiths apply positive spiritual principles in their daily lives. Unity Worldwide Ministries supports Unity ministries, their leaders and congregants around the world.

Rev. Leonard said the Walden Award shines a national spotlight on LTC. “Folk never hear about us,” said Leonard. “This awards gives us the opportunity to be exposed to a larger community. The hope is that someone will hear something that moves them to support the work that we do.”

LTC has recovery houses on Wheeler Avenue, Lafayette Avenue, N. Patterson Park Avenue, and Payson Street, and also operates a training center. Women living in the homes work on a self- improvement plan while living as a family unit to support their own and each other’s recovery process.

The New Thought Walden Award is among a long list of honors Rev. Leonard has received. She is also a recipient of The Positive People Awards, an honor given to individuals who work to improve their quality of life and that of their community.

For more information about Rev. Leonard and The New Thought Walden Awards, visit