University prez to keynote Mayor’s 25th MLK Interfaith Breakfast

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Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland (at Baltimore County), comes this way to keynote the 25 Annual Interfaith Breakfast commemorating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 14 at the Hilton Hotel.

Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland (at Baltimore County), comes this way to keynote the 25 Annual Interfaith Breakfast commemorating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 14 at the Hilton Hotel. Each year Mayor Richard M. Daley and the City of Chicago host this “by invitation only” celebration to reflect on Dr. King’s accomplishments and his impact on history. Dr. Hrabowski, UMBC president since 1992, has spent his career challenging minority students to reach their full potential. He co-founded the Meyehoff Scholars Program, which since its very beginning gained national attention and attracted high-achieving minority students to the sciences. In so doing, he received the very first U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

Hrabowski chaired the National Academies’ committee that produced the report, Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. In 2008, he was named “One of America’s Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report, which in both 2009 and 2010 ranked UMBC the No. 1 “Up and Coming” university in the nation and among the top colleges and universities in the nation “for commitment to undergraduate teaching.” In 2009, Time magazine named Hrabowski “One of America’s 10 Best College Presidents.”

Attn: Jazz Junkies %uFFFD– Hyde Park Union United Church of Christ, 56th and Woodlawn, presents its 16th annual “Jazz Christmas,” a benefit for Centers for New Horizons, on Friday, 8 p.m., featuring the Willie Pickens Trio with guest artists, Tammy McCann, vocalist, and Maurice Brown, on trumpet. Cost: concert-only, $40; for only slightly more, $50, the deluxe ticket includes both the concert and an after-reception with the artists. All tickets are for general admission seating which begins at 7:30 p.m.

Pickens, jazz pianist, has made many appearances at the Chicago Jazz Festival and has performed with Quincy Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Elvin Jones, James Moody, Roy Eldridge, Max Roach, Joe Henderson, Clark Terry, Eddie Harris, Louis Bellson, Bunky Green, and Red Holloway. Pickens began his career on a national hit record, Eddie Harris’ 1961 Exodus, and remains one of our town’s most in-demand pianists.

Birthday Bashes Rainbow/PUSH Coalition’s Rev. Willie Taplin Barrow (a.k.a. “The Little Warrior”) marked her 86th b’day at a lovely dinner party with longtime friends, colleagues and numerous loving “god- children” on hand. The celebration, hosted by her devoted personal assistant, Roz Adams, at Josephine Wade’s Capt.’s Hard Time Dining was underwritten in part by NBC-5 (Larry Wert, G.M., and Deborah Olivia Brown, director of station relations) and Danielle Ashley Communications’ Tracey Alston. Of course, by Rev. Barrow’s side, Rev. Addie Wyatt, her BFF – that’s “best friend forever” for you non-texters. (And curiously enough, not one “J” person was in sight!) Carol (Kay) Bell, the Chicago Defender’s director of finance, celebrated the anniversary of her birth with a number of select friends over cocktails and dinner at The Firehouse Restaurant … And Atty. Sandra Enimil (Aya), Defender archivist and intellectual property manager, was spotted celebrating her birthday “karaoke-ing” with a brood of best buddies at Blue Frog.

Winter Warming – To help keep our young’uns warm and toasty this season, Urban Partnership Bank (reincarnated from ShoreBank) has launched its inaugural “Winter Clothing Drive for Kids,” running now through Jan. 3 at all South and West Side branches. Donations of gently-used or new coats, hats, scarves, gloves and mittens, sized for toddlers-eighth graders, will be accepted inside the lobbies at the reception desks. The items will be distributed to South Central Community Services, an agency providing mental health, education and socio-economic programs across Chicago, and El Hogar Del Nino, a provider of bicultural early childhood development programs for kids and families in Little Village and Pilsen, so says William Farrow, bank president. Drop-off branch sites: South Shore, 7054 S. Jeffery; Chatham, 7936 S. Cottage Grove; Bronzeville, 3401 S. King; Kenwood, 4659 S. Cottage Grove; Bellwood, 219 S. Mannheim, Bellwood; Stone Park, 1759 N. Mannheim, Stone Park; and West Ridge, 7555 N. California. For branch hours, call (773) 288-1000 or visit info@upbnk.com.

Newsy Names – Happy b’day to Gov. Pat Quinn, Lisa Williams Rollins, Pam Morris, “Crazy” Howard McGee, Jeanette Foreman, Thelma (“Sue Babe”) Merchant, Floyd Atkins, George Daniels, Loistene Rountree, Mabel Waters, Sylvia Ragland, David Rudd, Gloria Crawford and Terri Winston Howard Hewett, R&B/gospel vocalist and former lead singer of Shalamar, comes this way Jan. 29 to headline the Museum of Science & Industry’s “Black Creativity Gala.” The swanky cocktail and dinner extravaganza, celebrating 40 years of MSI programming, is sponsored by Allstate, ComEd and Jones Lang LaSalle … Terisa Griffin takes over Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse, on New Year’s Eve where ABC 7 will be televising her performance for “Countdown Chicago to 2011.” Tickets” $50; call (773) 381-4554. And more: Terisa’s CD, Soulzaphrenic: Personalities of Soul, drops Jan. 11 … Hats off to Ald. Walter Burnett (27th), who was honored by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless for his work on the Sweet Home Chicago ordinance. Also honored at CCH’s 30th Anniversary Holiday Party at Buddy Guy’s Legends was Gov. Quinn for Put Illinois to Work. R&B, soul and gospel singer Otis Clay performed.

Holiday Paradise Eden Place Nature Center, 43rd Place and Shields Avenue, turns into a North Pole paradise and winter wonderland for kids and families on Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., with colorful holiday decor, nativity scene with live animals, photos with Santa, wagon rides, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, family crafts, a range of holiday items for sale and a Santa-hosted food court. Free admission. Eden Place is a green, urban agriculture outdoor oasis in the Fuller Park area that’s received high praise from some of the most noted environmental groups in the country: Audubon Society, Sierra Club, Peggy Notebaert Nature Society and Wilderness Society. Call (773) 624-8686.

Talk Radio – While in Hyde Park several Saturdays ago, I ran into Cecil Hale, a legendary WVON-AM/1690 fixture and “good guy” from the 80s. After leaving the Windy City and earning master’s and doctorate degrees from Harvard Univ. and Union Institute, he’s now Dr. Hale, a professor and full-time faculty member in the City College of San Francisco’s Broadcast Electronic Media Arts Dept and a by-courtesy professor in its Department of African-American Studies. Previously he was an active member of Hollywood’s entertainment industry as vice president of A&R and general manager of Capitol Records’ Urban Music Division

The many executive producer credits of “Doc Hale” include projects with Natalie Cole, Nancy Wilson, Peabo Bryson, Maze, Minnie Ripperton, Angela Winbush, Taste of Honey and George Duke. Additionally, he also was national director of promotion, publicity and urban music for Polygram Group’s Phonogram-Mercury Records. Hale‘s broadcast media experience includes years as performer and programmer for several major market radio stations and of being a fixture in Chicago radio for a decade at WVON. His TV experience includes productions of many local educational projects and media advisor of network TV to the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the early ’80s. The much-sought-after speaker on media, race and public policy was in town for HistoryMakers’ 10th anniversary gala at the Art Institute.

Copyright 2010 Chicago Defender

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