Teesee’s Town

Film star, multi-Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist, author and motivational speaker, Chicago’s own Common, received the much coveted 2010 Deloris Jordan Award for Excellence in Community Leadership on the opening night of the 16th Annual Black Har

Film star, multi-Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist, author and motivational speaker, Chicago’s own Common, received the much coveted 2010 Deloris Jordan Award for Excellence in Community Leadership on the opening night of the 16th Annual Black Harvest International Festival of Film and Video that runs through Sept. 2 at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 160 N. State St. With features and shorts, the fest is presenting some 42 films. And 17 of them – almost 40 percent of the total – have a Chicago connection. Local features: India of K-Town, On the Frontline: Taking Back Our Streets, Chicago Heights and Dog Jack. Closing night (Sept. 2) features a screening of the Sundance Film Festival hit, Night Catches Us, with director Tanya Hamilton in attendance, courtesy of Magnolia Pictures. Widely praised at Sundance, this potent drama is set in Philly in 1976, when an ex- Panther returns home for his dad’s funeral. The legacy of the demonized Panther movement pervades Marcus’s rekindled relationship with a widow and her 10-year-old daughter through whose eyes much of the story unfolds. A party sponsored by Whole Foods Market will follow the screening. Special thanks to fest consultant, Sergio Mims, N’Digo film critic, host and producer of the Bad Mutha’ Film Show on WHPK-FM/88.5, screenwriter, lecturer in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Art History Dept., co-founder and co-programmer of the Black Harvest Film Festival; and a member of the Chicago Film Critics Ass’n. Also thanks to the Black Harvest Community Council, NBC5’s Lee Ann Trotter, opening night emcee, and the many filmmakers who helped make the festival possible. Visit online: www.siskelfilmcenter.org or call (312) 846-2800. Centennial Celebration –Theta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. are winding down to Saturday evening’s Centennial Gala Celebration & Awards Ceremony to be staged at the South Shore Cultural Center, 71st and South South Shore Drive The event, “Alpha Style, Theta’s Way: Celebrating the Tradition,” will not only highlight the fraternity’s100 years of service to the national community but also honor a quintet of Chicago’s civic and community leaders. The honorees and categories: Tim King, founder and president of Urban Prep Academies, a network of all-male charter public high schools in Chicago, Education & Higher Learning; Cheryl Pearson McNeil, senior vice president of public affairs at The Nielsen Company, Communications, Publishing & Journalism; Dr. Terry Mason, chief medical officer for the Cook County Health System, Arts, Health & Sciences; Rev. Otis Moss III, senior pastor, Trinity United Church of Christ, Faith, Inspiration & Religion; Stephanie D. Neely, treasurer of the City of Chicago, Community Service & Politics; and Justice John O. Steele, of the Illinois First District Appellate Court, 4th Division, Law & Justice. Spearheads of the dinner-dance and centennial celebration include Corey White, chapter president; Jordan Macmillan, event chair; and Boyede Sobitan, reservations/ticket chair, (312) 953-4842. Tickets are $150; $100 for groups of six or more. The evening will also feature a live auction of a painting by Charles Jean Pierre of the original Alpha House (the first national headquarters) at 4432 S. King Dr., and live music by Agyeman. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity was founded in December 1906 at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and the founders are collectively known as the "Seven Jewels." The fraternity is the first intercollegiate Greek-letter organization established by African Americans. It uses motifs and artifacts from Ancient Egypt to represent itself and its archives are preserved at the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, which is housed at Howard University in Washington, D.C. AKA Dates! – Frances G. Carroll and her Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority sistahs are up-and-ready for three gatherings: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Kick-Off Party & Wine Tasting on Thursday, 6 p.m., at AKA-Rama Foundation’s Community Service Center, 6220 S. Ingleside, with music, hors d’oeuvres and raffle drawings; the AKA-Rama Gala. Nov. 13 (new date!) at the Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel, and the Holiday Affair Brunch, Dec. 18 (also at the Hyatt). , Happy B’Day – to Worsom Robinson, Lou Ransom, Melody Spann Cooper, Phyllis Banks, Hosea Sanders, Matt McGill, Jermikko Shoshanna, Vivienne Cornell, Darlene Tibbs, Beverly Reed Scott, Dr. Ann Smith, Atty. Gina Davis, Sen. Roland W. Burris, Rev. Sen. James Meeks, Marsha Stamps-White, Dr. Robert Kimbrough, Lisa Ely, Cynthia Cosby, Rev. Barbara Reynolds, Victoria Knox, Dawud Ibn Shareef, Ald. Walter Burnett Jr., Monique Mapp, Bethany Pickens, Dianna Harris Hennington, Frank Bass and Jesse Holmes. NABJ Forum ¼¼¼– Next-Up! Navigating New Media Projects  is up for discussion this Wednesday, 6 p.m.-8 30 p.m., at NBC Tower. 454 N. Columbus Dr., when NABJ Chicago gathers those behind some of our city’s latest  twists on traditional media, sharing their journeys, and the lessons and challenges of a start-up. The conversation all-stars include Marion Brooks, moderator and NBC5 anchor; Diann Burns, veteran Chicago anchor and host of the Emmy-winning NextTV; Marcus Riley, multimedia entertainment reporter for NBCChicago.com and 24/7 Chicago: Secrets of the City correspondent; Silvera RIivera, managing director, Chicago Public Radio’s Vocalo.org; Brad Flora, founder, NBC 5 at 454 North Columbus Dr.; WindyCitizen.com, which recently won a $250,000 grant as part of the Knight Foundation’s 2010 News Challenge; and Victor Henderson, host of CBS-2’s new pilot public affairs program, unSpoken: The Things We Don’t Say. Whazup! Whazup! – The Chicago Caribbean Carnival Ass’n hosts its 16th Annual Parade on Saturday and Sunday on the Midway Plaisance in Hyde Park (on 59th St. between Cottage Grove and Stony Island). The Chicago Carifete Carnival Parade begins on Saturday, at 1 p.m. Sunday, noon-9 p.m., there’ll be a concert, family day and awards. For more, contact Sherilee Gardiner, Marlin Kirby, Lloyd Coaker Jr. or Deon Lopez at 2506 N. Clark, Chicago, IL 60614; (224) 944-1444 or visit carifete@chicagocarifete.com … Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s Phi Kappa Omega chapter and Sixth Grace Presbyterian Church hosts Expo & Back-to-School Fair on Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at the church, 600 E. 35th St., with vendors, refreshments and fun. Also: book-bag and school supply giveaways, resources for business owners, preventative health maintenance and screenings, home ownership workshops, voter registration and lots more. Class Act ¼– Stephanie Garrett, an R&B & Jazz vocalist, takes centerstage when Class Act Entertainment Inc., headed by twin brother musicians, Dwayne L. and Wayne L. Barrett, present “A Summer’s Dance” on Aug. 27 at Room 43, 1039 E. 43rd St. The evening begins at 7 p.m. with Networking, a Reception and the Class Act Entertainment Combo Jazz Music ‘til 9 p.m., followed by the Class Act Entertainment Band & Orchestra with Garrett expecting to release her first CD during the evening. Tickets are $20 in advance; $25 if you wait to purchase yours at the door. For more, call (708) 927-5233. For Women Only! – Lutheran Social Services of Ill. presents a special two-day women’s conference, “Woman at the Well,” this Friday, 5 p.m.-7 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at Salem Lutheran Church, 318 E. 74th St., hosted by Connections, an LSSI program for formerly incarcerated women and others. The conference  includes a variety of workshops with the Saturday workshops only for women who have been incarcerated. There also will be special sessions for teenage girls. Valerie Everett Connections’ director, says "The purpose of the conference is to provide an atmosphere of support and love to these women. The workshops are geared toward the empowerment of the women by providing them with resources, information and a spiritual focus to help in their job searches, personal development and family relationships." Connections works with incarcerated mothers, women who are re-entering the community after being in prison, their children and the children’s caregivers. It offers Visits to Mom, which transports Chicago-area children and their caregivers to Decatur, Dwight, Greenville, Lincoln and Pekin Correctional Centers, and a support group for caregivers who accompany children to the Decatur and Lincoln prisons, as well as a re-entry program. Call (773) 783-9516. Copyright 2010 Chicago Defender

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