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Three special events headline Motown 60 Weekend

MICHIGAN CHRONICLE — Motown Records was founded in Detroit in 1969 by Berry Gordy Jr. To commemorate its 60th year, the Motown Museum announced plans for its highly anticipated Motown 60 Weekend set for September 21-23. The three-day event is packed full of music and star power converging on Detroit in true Motown style for an incredible not-to-be-missed celebration benefiting Motown Museum.

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By Branden Hunter
Motown Records was founded in Detroit in 1959 by Berry Gordy Jr. To commemorate its 60th year, the Motown Museum announced plans for its highly anticipated Motown 60 Weekend set for September 21-23. The three-day event is packed full of music and star power converging on Detroit in true Motown style for an incredible not-to-be-missed celebration benefiting Motown Museum.

“It’s been such an important year for us to share Motown history and celebrate this milestone in a big way,” said Motown Museum Chairwoman and CEO Robin Terry. “Our Motown 60 Weekend is the culmination of a year-long celebration all happening right here in Detroit. We’ve created three special and unique events for Motown fans. Most importantly, we will honor and celebrate Motown’s iconic visionary founder Berry Gordy in Detroit where this story was born. We invite all Motown fans to join us as we celebrate the musical and cultural impact of this incredible legacy.”

The weekend’s festivities include a “Motown Gospel Concert” Saturday, September 21 at Detroit World Outreach. The concert will feature artists performing traditional gospel music along with spiritually enhanced Motown favorites. Artists include Grammy Award-winning artist Regina Belle, Stellar Award-winning and current Motown gospel label group Tye Tribbet & G.A., Tasha Page-Lockhart, winner of the gospel singing competition Sunday Best that airs on BET, and Detroit gospel royalty Kierra “Kiki” Sheard. A 125-person choir from more than 70 local faith-based groups will perform. With a capacity of 3,000 people, this is an open-to-the public, free community concert. Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis beginning August 28. For more information, please visit motownmuseum.org.

During “Hitsville Honors: Celebrating Berry Gordy & 60 Years of Motown” Sunday, September 22 at Orchestra Hall at the Max M. Marjorie J. Fisher Music Center, the city that started it all will soon play host to an unforgettable evening of extraordinary entertainment. Hitsville Honors is a powerful musical tribute to Motown’s legacy and a celebration of the Motown family. Highlights will include a tribute to Motown founder Berry Gordy and a celebration of his incredible life and transformative musical and entrepreneurial vision. The evening will be a star-studded event, with planned appearances by celebrities, local dignitaries and special guests. The Temptations, Four Tops, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, and Mary Wilson will perform Motown favorites. That legendary lineup is just the beginning. Award-winning Motown artists Ne-Yo and Kem will be joined by Detroit’s own Big Sean with other artists and performances to be announced. The result is sure to be a moment unlike any other, where legendary meets contemporary, and where Motown favorites come together with some of today’s most innovative talents to showcase the generational impact and lasting legacy of Motown. Tickets range from $50-$1,000 and include various opportunities, including pre- and post-event receptions. Tickets for Hitsville Honors go on sale Thursday, Aug. 1 and can be purchased at www.motownmuseum.org.

The ”Soul In One Celebrity Golf Classic” will take place Monday, September 23 at Tam-O-Shanter Country Club in West Bloomfield Township. Guests will join Motown alumni and celebrities for an afternoon tee time and a gourmet lunch and dinner. Pricing ranges from $350 for an individual golfer with groups packages available. To register golf event and for information about sponsorship opportunities and tickets packages for all events, contact Motown Museum Director of Development and Community Activation, Paul Barker, at (313) 875-2264, Ext. 226, or email motown60@motownmuseum.org.

In addition to the Motown Museum hosted weekend of events, the Friends of Fuller Gordy Strikefest event, an L.A.-based annual affair led by his daughter Iris Gordy and granddaughter Karla Gordy Bristol, will honor Motown VP, humanitarian and pro bowler Fuller Gordy. The event will serve as a casual ‘warm up’ for Motown alumni, family, friends and fans to connect and support Motown Museum prior to the weekend’s festivities. Featuring bowling, karaoke, dinner and Motown music, Strikefest will take place on Friday, Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park. To inquire about tickets and for more information, visit http://friendsoffuller.org.

The Motown Museum was founded in 1985 by Esther Gordy Edwards and is committed to preserving, protecting, and presenting the Motown story through authentic, inspirational and educational experiences.

Announced in late 2016, the Motown Museum expansion will grow the museum to a 50,000-square-foot world-class entertainment and education tourist destination featuring dynamic, interactive exhibits, a performance theater, recording studios, an expanded retail experience and meeting spaces designed by reknown architects and exhibit designers. When completed, the new museum campus will have a transformative impact on the surrounding Detroit neighborhoods, providing employment, sustainability and community pride by serving as an important catalyst for new investment and tourism in the historic area.

This article originally appeared in the Michigan Chronicle

Activism

COMMENTARY: The Power of the Vote

Voting has not always been a given, in fact, just the opposite has been the practice in society for the marginalized. In the midst of so much media coverage that shows how some national lawmakers want to suppress the voting strengths of Blacks, Latinos and the formerly incarcerated, we must seize this moment to exercise our citizen right to vote.

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We as a people constantly need to work in unison to erect positivity that increases the day-to-day living challenges for the betterment of all; not just for a few.
We as a people constantly need to work in unison to erect positivity that increases the day-to-day living challenges for the betterment of all; not just for a few.

By Richard Johnson

The Formally Incarcerated Giving Back (FIGB) org. is launching a voter drive to protect and encourage democratic participation while seeking educational, economic as well as social opportunities to reunite families.

Our goal is to focus on potential voters who have been overlooked in the voting process as a class due to ultra-restrictive policy measures meant to discourage voter turnout.

Recently laws that allow those with criminal records to actively participate in the voting process on all levels have changed. This would give those underserved citizens a voice in what happens in their communities.

Voting has not always been a given, in fact, just the opposite has been the practice in society for the marginalized. In the midst of so much media coverage that shows how some national lawmakers want to suppress the voting strengths of Blacks, Latinos and the formerly incarcerated, we must seize this moment to exercise our citizen right to vote.

We can help ourselves and make changes by voting with our full strength.

We of the Formally Incarcerated Giving Back (FIGB) will be canvassing throughout our communities to register this obscure neglected class of prison returnees and their families. We will also join with other organizations, churches and the Post News Group, along with other media to spread the message of our mission. FIGB will also help contact and sign all other unregistered voters to impact change at the polls. We will collaborate with other groups, voting blocks, and entities to increase awareness while raising the turnout at the polls. We are asking all churches, institutions, and social clubs to join this endeavor by engaging with FIGB.

During the next two months we will regularly publish the results of our coordinated efforts to put boots on the ground in this column.

Change is an inevitable phenomenon; however, the right changes are not. We as a people constantly need to work in unison to erect positivity that increases the day-to-day living challenges for the betterment of all; not just for a few. Let’s be clear, nothing should be taken for granted. Just as one is seated, so can one be unseated. Let the voices of the underserved be heard loud and clear. The policy of exclusion must be replaced with inclusion.

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Activism

Amos C. Brown Fellowship to Ghana Begins

The students come from colleges and universities throughout the United States. Leaders from the NAACP and the Church of Jesus Christ are traveling with the students. NAACP leaders include President Derrick Johnson and the fellowship’s namesake, the renowned civil rights leader and NAACP board member the Rev. Dr. Amos C. Brown of Third Baptist Church of San Francisco. From the Church of Latter Day Saints are Elders Jack N. Gerard and Matthew S. Holland of the Seventy, along with their wives, as well as the Africa West Area Presidency.

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Students with the Amos C. Brown Fellowship to Ghana visit the Jubilee House in Accra on Aug. 2, 2022.
Students with the Amos C. Brown Fellowship to Ghana visit the Jubilee House in Accra on Aug. 2, 2022.

This trip is a collaboration between the NAACP and the Mormon Church

Forty-three students are in Ghana for 10 days to experience Ghanaian culture, learn about their ancestral heritage and become ambassadors of racial harmony.

This group — part of the first Amos C. Brown Fellowship to Ghana — is the fruit of a collaboration between the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In June 2021, Church President Russell M. Nelson pledged $250,000 for this fellowship. This and other initiatives the two organizations are engaged in, President Nelson said, “represent an ongoing desire of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to teach and live the two great commandments — to love God and neighbor.”

The students come from colleges and universities throughout the United States. Leaders from the NAACP and the Church of Jesus Christ are traveling with the students. NAACP leaders include President Derrick Johnson and the fellowship’s namesake, the renowned civil rights leader and NAACP board member the Rev. Dr. Amos C. Brown of Third Baptist Church of San Francisco. From the Church of Latter Day Saints are Elders Jack N. Gerard and Matthew S. Holland of the Seventy, along with their wives, as well as the Africa West Area Presidency.

“Welcome to Ghana. We’re so grateful that you are here,” said the Church’s new Africa West Area President Elder S. Gifford Nielsen on Monday night during a welcome dinner. “I was listening very closely to the opening prayer. And there was a plea for light. And the way that you find light is to connect hearts. And so, in the next 10 days, to all of our fellowship students, and to our leaders and anybody else who has any part of this, as we connect hearts, get out of our comfort zone just a little bit, we’re going to have an even more amazing experience.”

The Rev. Dr. Brown said, “Words fall far too short for me to define and convey to you the significance of what we are doing.” He added that “this momentous occasion is not about one man. This embodies what a dream team has brought to pass.”

In interviews after the dinner, several students talked about why they wanted to go on this trip.

“[I thought this fellowship] would be a great opportunity for me to get out of my comfort zone, to see outside the American lens, to see what it would be like to not be a minority for once,” said Lauren George, a student at San Francisco University. “I thought that would be a life-changing experience that is necessary for me, because in my field of work, I want to be able to be as innovative as possible.”

Carter Martindale of Utah said, “the purpose of the fellowship, of talking about how we can better address racial divides, how we can better love our neighbor as we love ourselves, is really important just in general in America.”

This report is from the newsroom of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

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Activism

Oakland City Council Approves Funding for African American Healing Hubs

The economic, physical, and spiritual damage, coupled with the pandemic crisis, must be met with healing and love, said Dr. Wade Nobles, a co-founder of the Black Psychologists Association. “Black people must save ourselves, for no one is coming to our rescue. Therefore, we are working towards constructing an African American Healing Hub that embraces African-centric mental wellness modalities utilizing a holistic approach.”

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Dr. Wade Nobles says the healing hubs proposed by Oakland Front Line Healers will be a first in addressing specific traumas African Americans experience daily living in a racist environment.
Dr. Wade Nobles says the healing hubs proposed by Oakland Front Line Healers will be a first in addressing specific traumas African Americans experience daily living in a racist environment.

By Tanya Dennis

Last week, the Oakland City Council approved $250,000 to assist the East Bay Association of Black Psychologists (EBABP) and Oakland Frontline Healers (OFH) open two emergency mental health centers, one at True Vine Ministries and BOSS in East Oakland.

Oakland Frontline Healers, a collaborative of Black-led non-profits and medical doctors that joined together in April of 2020, to combat COVID-19 in the African American community by providing free PPE, testing, vaccines and support services.

Last October the collaborative, after assessing their successful frontline status in serving the African American community determined they must address other critical issues. They decided to address Black mental health.

Reaching out to the East Bay Association of Black Psychologists, Oakland Frontline Healers discovered that providing mental health services specifically to Black folks would be more detailed then simply securing a space and providing services.

Dr. Wade Nobles, a co-founder of the Black Psychologists Association, revealed that the European model had done a disservice to the African American community. In October 2021, the American Psychologists Association offered a public apology to the African American community with a commitment to “shed racist and colonial roots to embody the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion to become an actively antiracist discipline.”

With that knowledge, both EBABP and OFH committed to creating an African-centered mental wellness model.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has glaringly illuminated the disparities in America that compromises Black health daily,” Nobles said. “Unfortunately, incarceration or worse is presented as the only recourse as resources addressing Black trauma is extremely limited and for many non-existent.

The economic, physical, and spiritual damage, coupled with the pandemic crisis, must be met with healing and love, he continued. “Black people must save ourselves, for no one is coming to our rescue. Therefore, we are working towards constructing an African American Healing Hub that embraces African-centric mental wellness modalities utilizing a holistic approach.”

Vice-Mayor Rebecca Kaplan spearheaded the City Council to approve $250,000 of City funds towards the training of “culturally congruent” behavioral specialists and frontline workers to support mental wellness in the African American community.

Vice-Mayor Rebecca Kaplan spearheaded the City Council to approve $250,000 of City funds towards the training of “culturally congruent” behavioral specialists and frontline workers to support mental wellness in the African American community.

Vice-Mayor Rebecca Kaplan agreed after attending the group’s town halls and submitted a proposal to award $250,000 to the project for culturally congruent training for behavioral specialists and frontline providers.

“The City Council’s vote of confidence and support is amazing! Their vote aligns with the African-centric tenet that it takes an entire community to ensure the wellness of the village,” said OFH facilitator Tanya Dennis.

The Association of Black Psychologists and Oakland Frontline Healers are currently working with Alameda County on the healing hubs and a healing center that has been in planning since 2015.

Dr. Lawford Goddard, an EBABP representative says, “We are committed to wellness, and treating the whole person and the whole community. Our project with the County, once complete, will also serve as a representative of our culture.”

They envision a space for meetings, conferences and banquets, a place where self-care like yoga, Reiki, urban gardening, massage, dance, drumming, healing circles and fun activities that promote wellness are offered.

“Unfortunately, our project with the County is three years or more in the future and we cannot wait,” Goddard said. “We must help our people now, by working with Oakland Frontline Healers and their emergency healing hubs enabling us to provide services within months.”

The County has committed $19 million toward the purchase of a site to establish a larger complex that will embody African American wellness as envisioned by EBASP.

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