All Articles Tagged "newark"
If you can believe it, we’re just a little over a month away from the anniversary of Whitney Houston’s death.
With that upon us, Lady O will be sitting down with Whitney’s mother, Cissy, in one of the few interviews she’s given since her daughter’s passing. Oprah interview Bobbi Kristina as well as Greg and Pat Houston, Whitney’s brother and sister-in law, respectively, not long after the passing of Whitney. While Cissy did participate in the Lifetime reality show, On Our Own, she hasn’t done much talking about what the last year has been like on her.
The date has not been released but it is expected to air within the first two weeks of February.
But that’s not all with OWN. Network president Erik Logan recently held a meeting with the media where he broke down the good progress OWN has made, primarily thanks to Oprah showing her face more on the channel with Next Chapter. They’ve also seen great strides in the ratings when new episodes of Master Class have aired. According to Logan their 2012 year end numbers were in the double digits, as reported by the NY Daily News.
Oprahhas quite a few stars lined up for interviews such as LL Cool J, Susan Sarandon and Alicia Keys (we already know you’ll be tuned in for that one). Sounds good!
Can you believe it’ll be one year since we lost Whitney? Will you be tuned in to Next Chapter featuring Cissy Houston?
It’s not often that you see someone, especially a celebrity, taking time to give back to a city they’re not even from. But then again, not every celebrity is a member of the legendary Roots crew.
Black Thought, emcee of The Roots and co-founder of GrassROOTS Community Foundation (GCF), joined forces with OkayPlayer and allhiphop.com to raise money for young ladies in Newark, New Jersey. On Saturday night, they held Power Forward, a fundraiser and concert, at Newark Museum. The event, which was attended by various policymakers, business owners and residents of Newark, was hosted by entertainment personality Amanda Seales and there were performances by Malene Younglao, Maya Azucena and Nneka Best. Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia (Thought’s hometown) and The Roots were also confirmed to attend.
Thought, whose real name is Tariq Trotter, explained his reasons for focusing his attention on New Jersey:
“I now live in Jersey, and I am relying local hip-hop artists, community members, leaders, and friends in New Jersey to come together and show that they care about what happens to our women and girls.”
He and fellow co-founder Janice Johnson Dias adopted Georgia King Village in Newark last year as a community of strategic priority and together, they’ve been working hard on educational resources and healthy living choices for the residents. The goal is that GCF will motivate the people of Newark to get fit, especially the children.
While keeping a relatively low profile, GCF is an organization that is geared to helping to preserve the well-being of disadvantaged neighborhoods. They purposely seek out community based organizations that serve women and girls because they believe those groups have “significant potential for creating sustainable change.” In short, women make the world go round!
It’s always good to see people working towards change and not looking to be photographed or necessarily talked about. These are exactly the things we need to talk about. Hopefully, we hear more about GCF and other organizations like it and maybe they will inspire residents of any city or town to do better.
This summer, the Brick City Development Corporation (BCDC), Prudential Insurance and New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC) announced the BCDC Newark Fund, a loan program intended to help small businesses that want to set up shop in Newark, N.J. The program is just one part of a larger effort to bring companies to the city.
The largest city in the state, Newark is about 13 miles from Manhattan. It has experienced a resurgence over the past few years, boasting the area’s first new arena in a quarter century, the Prudential Center, which opened in 2007; a growing population, which is a big change from the previous decades when residents fled; and a landscape that’s being redesigned by an influx of new businesses, buildings, and green spaces, even urban farms. Just this week, Prudential, which has been headquartered in Newark for more than 130 years, got approval for a $444 million office facility.
Prudential has more than 50,000 employees around the world and $961 billion in assets under management. During the press conference announcing the new loan program, Lata Reddy, the company’s VP of corporate social responsibility noted that small business is “critical to the economic vitality of the city.”
With this latest fund, Marie Mascherin, chief lending officer at the NJCC, told us the partner organizations were trying to create an alternative to traditional sources, like banks, which have become more cautious about lending money to small businesses and startups. Add to that the lack of resources for minority-owned businesses and there’s a real need.
“We’re trying to fill a void that’s been created as a result of the banks pulling out,” says Mascherin.
According to BCDC CEO Lyneir Richardson, the goal of his organization “is to have a variety of tools” available to small business owners and minority entrepreneurs who need a helping hand.
“Our approach is to be proactive,” says Richardson. “We want to get the message out that if companies see an opportunity here, we can be the first stop.”
The organization has a number of funds, and millions of dollars have already been invested in building new businesses in the city, with “three or four deals in the pipeline,” Richardson says. Businesses that have already benefited from the BCDC’s help include a franchisee, a clothing retailer, two grocery stores (“solving the food desert problems,” says Richardson), a pediatric dentistry office, and hotels.
Besides the financial assistance the group offers, it also serves as the center of a small business network, connecting people and companies in a way that’s useful for all parties involved.
“Our work is more of a quarterback,” says Richardson. “Our goal is to make economic development happen.”
With all of that in mind, Richardson has four main reasons why small business owners should plant their flags in Newark:
- It’s close to New York.
- It’s a hub that’s accessible to Newark International Airport, home to to the third most active port in the country, and near trains and roads, which has proven handy for distribution companies.
- There’s great access to talent because of the five colleges (Rutgers and New Jersey Institute of Technology among them) and 44,000 students who live and study in the city.
- “Now we have this Mayor whose celebrity helps not only shine a light on the city, but on entrepreneurs,” says Richardson.
The city of Newark, NJ along with the Brick City Development Corporation (BCDC), an economic development group, Prudential Financial, and New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC), a nonproft that provides assistance for housing and community development, today announced the BCDC Newark Fund, a loan fund to support small business growth in the city.
The fund will make loans up to $400,000 to small business owners looking to set up shop in Newark. Loans are available to Newark residents as well as those wanting to head to Newark.
The fund will “enable business to have access to capital and start new businesses,” Lyneir Richardson, CEO of the BCDC said during his opening remarks. He told Madame Noire that restaurants, grocery stories, and companies in other industries have already taken advantage of BCDC assistance. He says the city could use more retail outlets.
Besides providing help for entrepreneurs, the organizations involved with the Fund see it as a way to build Newark’s communities. Lata Reddy, Prudential’s VP of corporate social responsibility, said small businesses, and providing capital to small businesses, is “critical to the economic vitality of the city.” Prudential Financial has been headquartered in Newark for more than 135 years.
“It’s important that small business come to downtown” as well as other neighborhoods, said Wayne Meyer, NJCC president, because they provide “jobs for residents, build wealth, create safe spaces… and are vital to build and stabilize communities.”
The Fund wants to attract, not just small businesses, but minority-owned businesses, and businesses owned by women. Loans can be used for things like inventory, equipment, and real estate purposes. Loan interest rates start at eight percent and last for a maximum of five years. Anyone interested in learning more is asked to contact Ryan Johnson at the BCDC (email@example.com).
Perhaps you’ve never thought of opening your business in Newark. Mayor Cory Booker was on hand to address that.
“In the depths of the worst economy that I’ve ever seen, something powerful is happening in Newark,” he said, adding that the city is experiencing the largest resurgence since the 1950s. The city, he said, has “some of the ripest soil in America for opening a business.”
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This morning, one of my co-workers said, “Does Cory Booker think he’s Batman?” Well, when you spend your evening saving someone’s life, there’s no think to it. You are a super hero.
Last night, the Newark, New Jersey mayor was returning home from an interview when he saw that his neighbor’s house was on fire.
According to the Star Ledger, the 42 year old Democratic mayor fought off his own security detail to get into the burning building. By the time he reached the second floor, Booker said he was engulfed in flames and smoke.
“I suddenly had the realization that I can’t find this woman.” Booker said. “I look behind me and see the flames and I think “I’m not going to get out of here. Suddenly I was at peace with the fact that I was going to jump out the window.”
Then he heard her cries in a back bedroom.
“I just grabbed her and whipped her out of the bed,” Booker said. The two made their way downstairs, where they both collapsed, Booker said.
The mayor, the woman he rescued and three other people were taken to the hospital and treated for smoke inhalation and burns.
As if his actions weren’t enough, the mayor is still very humble about his heroics. This morning he told reporters:
“I’m a neighbor and did what most neighbors would do, which is jump into action to help a friend.”
Hmmm. For the record Mr. Mayor, people would like to think they could and would do something like this if the situation ever arose; but in actuality, most people wouldn’t.
The mayor, who sustained second-degree burns, is back at home now, with a bandaged hand.
Much respect to the him.
Considering Cory Booker is a bit of a cutie, I have just three words: We.go.together.
Do you think you could have done what Mayor Cory Booker did?
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“I miss her. I’m very proud of my daughter. She accomplished a great deal in the short time she was here. She was very special to me. My only daughter.”
Those were the things Cissy Houston had to say about her late daughter, Whitney Houston. Last night on New Jersey station My 9 TV (WWOR-TV), Cissy Houston opened up publicly for the first time about the tragic loss of her daughter, her thoughts on the media’s portrayal of “Nippy,” and who she would place blame on for Whitney’s death. I was very surprised to find that her first interview on her loss would be with a local news station in Jersey, but in a way, it was also pretty fitting–they’re ride or die New Jersey folks, and it’s also fitting since Cissy is calling out big mainstream media for trying to throw dirt on her daughter’s reputation after her death.
“The media is awful. People I haven’t seen in 20 years coming and speaking out and don’t know what they’re talking about,” she says. “But God has a way of dealing with all of it. These people don’t know anything about her. She’s had her good times and bad times. They really chopped on her and chopped on her. I’m going to let them say what they want to say, but I’m just going to hope they never come and say it to me.”
For the most part, Cissy kept her words pretty short about everything (except for her issues with the media). When asked if she felt she could have done anything differently to help Whitney as a mother, she said, “I don’t blame me for anything because I know I did the best I could.” And when it comes to trying to place blame on others, as many tried to do with Bobby Brown, she also said, “She had her ups and downs. There’s nothing I can do about it, and nothing nobody else can do about it.” And just so you know, Cissy says don’t believe the hype about her daughter being broke. That’s all a lie: “She’s not broke, she’s not anything, not none of that crap.”
At the end of the short interview, she wanted to send her thanks and love to all of Whitney’s fans, who reached out to the family, sent cards, and even sent money. She says she’s more grateful for all those things than people will ever know:
“Everybody’s been so wonderful, I must say that. I would love to thank all the people who sent cards and checks–we got so many things from so many people around the world. I want to thank them with all my heart.”
Cissy’s appearance on the show was also to let people know that she has a new song in the works called “Walk on By Faith,” (also fitting) and that the whole entire family, allegedly even Bobbi Kristina (by the way, she didn’t want to touch on the rumors about her granddaughter and Nick Gordon), will be in Jersey for the McDonald’s Gospel Fest in May . If you’re in New Jersey on May 12, you can check the family out at the Prudential Center in Newark for the Fest, where they will be honoring Whitney with a tribute. I’m happy to see that Cissy is doing pretty good despite the circumstances, but I hope she continues to do what she needs to do to find peace. Oh yeah, her voice sounds amazing still…if you were wondering. So keep an eye out for her new music!
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It has been less than a week since Whitney Houston unexpectedly passed away in her hotel room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, and ever since that day, it has been a frenzy. A wealth of media coverage, Internet trolls talking crazy about the singer for attention, interviews done with people who claimed to know her best and other interviews done by people who act like they know her but didn’t (sit down Dr. Drew). On top of that though, there has been a great outpouring of love for Whitney–for what she did in the past, a grief over what she could have done in the future, and just for the wonderful person she seemed to be, no matter what her trials were.
Everyday on the local news here in NYC, they show a crowd of people outside the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, signing cards, playing her music, leaving flowers and notes to commemorate the life of the Jersey-born songstress they idolized. They’ve been there since news broke of Houston’s death, and they keep coming back, more and more people. So when news broke earlier in the week that the family would not be holding Houston’s funeral at the massive Prudential Center where her face is currently emblazoned outside, some were mad, and some were sad, but understood the fact that the family didn’t want a huge “parade” as Pastor Marvin L. Winans called it.
But only a few days later, it was announced that to help Whitney’s fans get the closure they need, the funeral on Saturday would be streamed online, and could possibly even be available on television. As a fan, I can appreciate that the family would want to let the people, folks all over the world who loved her, share in the celebration of Whitney’s life. In Jersey, she was obviously a major figure, what with schools named after her and the fact that she used to rep Newark like no other. The sadness you hear in the voices and see in the eyes of those who wait outside the church (NOT those who peddle memorabilia outside of it…smh) is real, and they’re mourning too. I respect that the family recognizes how much Whitney loved her fans and how much they loved her back and want to share her in the end.
But I’d also like to say, as someone who lost someone very close to me unexpectedly as a young adult, I’m also a bit worried for Bobbi Kristina. Funerals in general are heart wrenching, but there’s something about a funeral for a sudden loss that occurs soon after that loss that are even more emotional. You never truly know how you will act on that day and during that ceremony until you step in the church and the reality of your loss sinks in. And when you’re younger and not used to such hits, it can be more difficult to hold it together. So while you might go in there with the hopes of holding it together, you never know how you’ll feel until it hits you. I was one year younger than Bobbi Kristina (she’s 18 now) when one of my siblings unexpectedly passed away. During the funeral, I think I held it together pretty well in front of the hundreds of friends and our family. However, I totally fell apart when they closed the casket. I yelped and literally could have fallen out right there in the funeral home. Emotions like that, which I’m thinking Bobbi might have seeing as she and her mother were more like sisters, in my mind, doesn’t really need to be seen or critiqued by the whole world, including the folks at CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and others.
I just think the grief of the family and those close to Whitney should remain amongst them. If Bobbi Kristina is all for it, then let it go on, but during it or when it’s all over, I’d rather not have the news or anyone else analyze, do a play by play, or make a mockery of how these people say their last goodbyes and how they pay their respects, because they’ve found every way possible to analyze how Whitney spent her last days (from analyzing old scratches on her to making accusations because her hair was messed up…smh again). Whether the family grieves quietly, or they find themselves rolling around on the floor in an inconsolable state, it happens, and if it does, that should be for them only if you ask me. But that’s just my opinion and something that was on my heart that I needed to say…
Photos courtesy of Topnews.in and People.com.
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(Wall Street Journal) — Some of Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million gift to the Newark school system will be given directly to public schoolteachers, one year after the Facebook founder announced the donation, said three people familiar with the plans. The foundation that manages the gift will announce Wednesday a two-year, $600,000 program that provides $10,000 grants to teachers or groups of teachers who come up with innovative classroom programs, these people said. It’s one of the few programs so far to come out of the high-profile donation, which was announced on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” last year by Mr. Zuckerberg, Newark Mayor Cory Booker and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
(Rolling Out) — Cami Anderson, Newark, New Jersey’s new superintendent appointed last May, has ruffled feathers in the majority black city with her novel and controversial approach to effecting change in its struggling school system. Anderson just hired 17 new principals that don’t have the traditionally accepted credentials to run the kinds of schools with challenges Newark schools present to dig the system out of the under-performing hole it’s in. “She’s taking a real dramatic approach and bringing in younger leaders with little or no experience,” said Alturrick Kenney, a public affairs consultant who is a member of the city’s school advisory board. “That’s a great thing for their careers, but it could be a detriment for the district. It’s like with any basketball team: you bring in a group of rookies, and they will typically be outperformed by the veterans.”
(New York Times) — There is Sonn Sam, a Rhode Island transplant who could be mistaken for one of the students at his alternative high school, with his shaven head, sneakers and tattooed left arm. There is Chaleeta Barnes, who was promoted after just three years as a math coach at the Newark elementary school where her mother once taught. And there is Raymond Peterson, the founding principal of Bard High School Early College in Manhattan, who came out of retirement to start a similar school in Newark. These are some of the 17 new principals — 11 of them under age 40, 7 from outside Newark — recruited this year to run nearly a quarter of the city’s schools. They were hired by Cami Anderson, the new schools superintendent, as part of an ambitious plan to rebuild the 39,000-student district, which has long been crippled by low achievement and high dropout rates, but now is flush with up to $200 million from prominent donors, including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.