Three to Get Ready – A trio of folk who foster the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through their personal community contributions will be singularly recognized during the 24th Annual King Legacy Award Dinner & Gala of the Dr. Martin Luther


Three to Get Ready – A trio of folk who foster the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through their personal community contributions will be singularly recognized during the 24th Annual King Legacy Award Dinner & Gala of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boys & Girls Club of Chicago on Friday, March 23, at the Chicago Hyatt Regency Hotel.





The honorees are Val Warner, co-host of ABC 7 Chicago’s Windy City Live; Isiah Thomas, head men’s basketball coach at Florida International University; and Erlinda Dimayuga, central regional marketing analyst for Toyota Financial Services. They join the 90 previous winners as beacons to the young people in the East Garfield Park community that the Club serves. The 2012 fundraiser is themed “Great Futures Start Here.





Club programs are designed to build self-esteem and character in youth, instilling within them a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging, power and influence. Programs are offered in five core areas: character and leadership development; education and career development; health and life skills; the arts and sports, fitness and recreation.






“The Club’s ultimate aim,” explains, Martin Schneider, board president and senior manager with Ernst & Young LLP, “is to enable young people to achieve their full potential. In this changing economic climate, it is more important than ever to maintain full programming hours and high quality service to the youth and families we serve. Both the community and local businesses have an opportunity to support our children through their contributions to this event.”






The annual evening will also include a silent auction, raffle and live music by Robin Watson and The Heartbeats. To purchase tickets, commemorative program book ads or donate raffle and silent auction items, contact Don Reed, (773) 638-5464 or via e-mail at You may also visit to donate directly to the Club.






Two for the Show! – Congratulations to a couple of “well-connected” and “well-positioned” Chicago businessmen, James P. Compton, president emeritus of the Chicago Urban League and a Morehouse College alum, and Lester N. Coney, executive vice president in the Office of the Chairman of Mesirow Financial, and a major Obama) fundraiser and “insider.”





The two were honored last week by the Chicago Area Morehouse College Alumni Association “for their contributions to the Chicago Area Arts Community.” The presentations were made during a V.I.P. reception prior to the Fundraising Concert & Gala at the Harris Theatre Celebrating Morehouse Glee Club’s “100 Years of Song.”






One for the Money! – Calvin S. Morris, Ph. D., executive director of the Community Renewal Society since 1998, has announced his retirement from the faith-based agency come June 2012. His valuable works will be honored at CRS’s 130th Anniversary Luncheon on May 8 at the Palmer House Hilton “for all he has done for racial and economic justice, both in Chicago and around the country.”





CRS was founded to empower people to combat racism and poverty through community organizing and training offered with its Civic Action Network of roughly 70 congregations throughout the Chicagoland region and through the investigative independent journalism of its two award-winning publications, Catalyst Chicago (which focuses on Chicago Public Schools and urban education issues) and the Chicago Reporter (which focuses on a range of issues affected by race and poverty).





Previously, Dr. Morris held executive posit[ons at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta; Howard University’s School of Divinity; and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Social Change. His work in Chicago began many decades ago as a leader in Operation Breadbasket, now Rainbow PUSH. For more info and to purchase tickets, go to www.communityrenewalsociety//13th luncheon.






Cover Girl – Lauren Jiggetts, general assignment reporter at NBC 5 and daughter of Comcast SportsNet’s Dan Jiggetts, graces the cover of the March issue of TCW – Today’s Chicago Woman (the magazine exclusively for and about Chicago-area professionals). Several other “sistahs” and “brothas” made “The A List – Chicago Style” described (in part) as “having The Look … impeccably attired, perpetually polished and with an uncanny sense of personal style, these women and men about town are fashion standouts … they turn heads and for all the right reasons.





And among others who made “the cut” – Mellody Hopson, president, Ariel Investments; Anita Ponder, partner, Seyfarth Shaw, LLP; Diane Primo, co-chair, Primo Center for Women and Children; Linda Johnson Rice, chairman, Johnson Publishing Co.; Desiree Glapion Rogers, CEO, Johnson Publishing Co.; Marc Brooks, proprietor, Park 52; Quintin Primo III, co-founder, Capri Capital; Marcus Riley, Multimedia Entertainment Reporter, NBC Universal; and Jim Rose, sports anchor and reporter, ABC 7 Chicago. Who’d I miss!!!






Best Dressed – Cheryl Pearson-McNeil, Helen Hammond-Redding and Val Warner are “first year honorees” for Sunday’s Society of Mannequins Trophy Board’s Presentation Luncheon of the Best Dressed African American Women of Chicago for 2012 at DiNolfo’s Banquets in southwest suburban Mokena. And selected as “best dressed” for the second consecutive year are Dianne Bradie-Baskin, Shirley Calahan, Darlene Hill, Dr. Donna Simpson Leak and Alice Sharp McCann. Rounding out the 11 for the third year are Dr. S. Theresa Barker and Dina Linne Everage, who are ineligible to compete and are automatically elevated to the distinguished Trophy Board. The special 2012 “Woman of the Year” honor will go to Darryl King.






Panel Power – Earl Graves Jr., Black Enterprise mag’s CEO, heads a panel of experts to address “Black Media Reality Check: Navigating Change and Challenges in the 21st Century,” a historic, first-ever conference sponsored by Burrell Communications on March 23 in Chicago and hosted by Burrell’s co-chief executive officers, Fay Ferguson and McGhee Williams Osse.





Panelists include a cross-section of innovators from various business sectors along with research experts who will share first-hand knowledge about implementing essential changes to business models. Burrell clients, Comcast, McDonald’s and Toyota, are conference sponsors. Check






What’s New – Power Partners, a new addition to Who’s Who in Black Chicago, features power partnerships that are making powerful Chicago impacts. Included: Larry Rogers Sr. and Larry Rogers Jr., of the Power Rogers & Smith PC law firm; Sherman Wright and Ahmad Islam, business partners with commonground Marketing; Bishop Horace L. and Susan Smith, pastor and first lady of the 4,000-member Apostolic Faith Church; McGhee Williams Osse and Fay Ferguson, business partners with Burrell Communications; Louis and Diane Dinkins Carr, husband-wife philanthropist-Broadcast Media/BET; and Don and Rose Jackson, husband and wife production team, Central City Productions.





In addition to the new section implemented within the fourth edition, Who’s Who in Black Chicago will feature James Reynolds Jr., co-founder, chair and CEO of Loop Capital Markets, as writer of the introduction; and Dr. Carol L. Adams, president and CEO of DuSable Museum of African History, as writer of the forward.





Who’s Who Publishing Co. highlights the achievements of African Americans and other minority groups across the country through its brand of Who’s Who publications and signature events.






Newsy Names – Dr. Mildred Clopton Harris, founder, pastor and CEO of God First Church & Ministries, is readying for her annual “Chicago Faith-Based Community Breakfast” on April 28, in the International Ballroom of the Chicago Hilton & Towers. It’s one of the largest breakfasts of its kind in the city. Call (773) 667-5200 for info …



Copyright 2012 Chicago Defender


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