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Smiley and West to air final edition; Clarence Sasser inducted to Medal of Honor Hall; ASPiRE gains rights to ‘Inside The Game’

Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West (36079)
Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West
Dr. Gloria Morrow (36084)


Psychologist and author Gloria Morrow’s most recent release, “The Things That Make Men Cry” is set for a November theatrical debut in Los Angeles. Published in 2008, the book focuses on extensive research conducted by Morrow into the emotions men experience and what ‘makes them cry’ internally and externally. Through Morrow’s research, effective strategies are presented to help men bandage these wounds and learn to effectively communicate. Based on the strong response to these strategies, Morrow, who is known as Dr. Gloria, launched a campaign on fundraising platform, Indiegogo, to bring her teachings to the stage. Directed by Dino Shorté, the play will have its Los Angeles preview at the Barnsdall Gallery Theater on Nov. 1. “I couldn’t be more proud that my book will offer an entirely new perspective via the stage,” states Dr. Gloria. “These learnings have changed lives and given liberty not just to men, but to the women who love them. Speaking to a live audience in this format provides a safe environment for men’s voices to be heard. For info, ”

Shuanise Washington (36086)

District of Columbia

The last remaining African American owned bank in the Washington area got a boost last month when it received $1 million deposit from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. The foundation purchased $1 million worth of certificates of deposit from Industrial Bank as part of a new initiative to help make loans more readily available to underbanked communities and minority-owned business. “Minority- and women-owned banks have been an important source of credit and other financial services to minority communities,” said A. Shuanise Washington, president and chief executive of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Minority-owned banks were particularly hard hit during the recent recession. Many are smaller institutions with less than $100 million in assets and have struggled to stay afloat amid the recent financial turmoil. There were 54 African American owned banks in 1994. Today there are 21, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.


The cable channel ASPiRE has acquired national cable rights to “Inside the Game,” the nation’s longest-running sports highlights show devoted exclusively to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Hosted by ESPN host/analyst/producer Stan Lewter, the series provides viewers with football and basketball highlights, interviews and features from HBCU institutions around the country. “Inside the Game” will air on Fridays at 10 p.m. with encore airings on Saturdays at 9:30 and 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The series is produced by Urban Sports & Entertainment Group. Now in its 17th year, “Inside the Game” is the source for weekly HBCU sports highlights from the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC), Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) and independent schools, taking viewers to the heart of HBCU sports with highlights, tailgating, cheerleaders, bands, player profiles and HBCU legends.


The Tavis Smiley Show announced that it will expand to two hours beginning January 2014. The new two-hour format is a renewal of Smiley’s commitment to conversations of importance to America. The show will continue to focus on a wide range of issues including politics, business, health, sports, arts and culture, and will feature a broad spectrum of newsmakers and commentators. Tony Marcano, formerly of Weekend Edition on NPR, will be the program’s senior producer. In addition, the final edition of Smiley & West will air the weekend of Dec. 27, 2013. “I was blessed to work with my dear brother Tavis, and we stood on the forefront of bringing prophetic perspectives to loyal listeners on the important issues we face today,” said West. “As I move forward, I carry with me the knowledge that Smiley & West leaves a definitive mark in public radio.”


The Toledo Legends Luncheon, recently held inside the Perrysburg Hilton Garden Inn, was one of several events scheduled throughout the weekend to honor both longtime and up-and-coming leaders. The program was hosted by Toledo’s African American Legacy Project and sponsored by The Blade and Buckeye TeleSystem. Those honored included Crystal Ellis, 80, the first Black superintendent of Toledo Public Schools; Lola Glover, the founder of the Coalition for Quality Education; Joseph Sommerville Sr., professor emeritus at the University of Toledo; Wilma Brown, first woman to become president of Toledo City Council; Samuel Price, a former football player who as a businessman has owned a fast-food franchise, restaurants, and a dental office; and Myra Waters, director of the counseling center and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Baltimore. Honored posthumously were Daniel Mack, who owned and operated the Candlelight Café—also known as the Shrimp House—and Robert Powell Sr., of Powell’s Beauty and Barber Supplies.


The Nashville-based National Museum of African American Music has announced changes to its leadership team. H. Beecher Hicks III has stepped down as the group’s chairman to serve as president and CEO. Hicks replaces Paula Roberts. Meanwhile, Kevin Lavender will replace Hicks as chairman of the group’s board of trustees. Lavender is managing director, national corporate banking, of Fifth Third Bank, and will serve until a permanent chair is named. Plans for the museum were floated several years ago, but the group has struggled with fundraising. The museum could be included as part of a redevelopment of the old Nashville Convention Center. Under Hicks’ leadership, the group is launching a campaign, “My Music Matters,” to serve as a catalyst for its capital push. The campaign will feature board members, local business executives and influential Nashvillians discussing the music and artists they are inspired by.

Clarence Sasser (36082)


The Medal of Honor Hall, the solemn Memorial Student Center walkway, will have a new addition this November—the halls’ first African American inductee, Clarence Sasser. He received the Medal of Honor in 1968 for his service in the Vietnam War. While serving as an Army medic in 1968, Sasser helped evacuate soldiers wounded in a helicopter crash in a flooded Vietnamese rice paddy. He performed this rescue under enemy fire and was wounded in both legs. In August 1969, following this conflict, Sasser enrolled at Texas A&M as a chemistry major with a scholarship from school’s then-President James Earl Rudder, but did not graduate. According to a press release, university officials said although he did not graduate, Sasser “embodies all that the Hall of Honor represents.” Willie E.B. Blackmon, class of 1973 and recipient of the university’s distinguished alumnus award, and Lt. Gen. Joe Weber, university vice president and class of 1972, were at the forefront of the effort to honor Sasser. Weber said the university was long overdue to recognize Sasser for his courage and sacrifice.

Compiled By Juliana Norwood.