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Murrell J. Higgins Duster, associate vice president and dean of the Angelina Pedroso Center for Northeastern Illinois University’s Diversity & Intercultural Affairs. will be honored at a Farewell & Retirement Reception on Monday, 4-6:30 p.m., in NEU

Murrell J. Higgins Duster, associate vice president and dean of the Angelina Pedroso Center for Northeastern Illinois University’s Diversity & Intercultural Affairs. will be honored at a Farewell & Retirement Reception on Monday, 4-6:30 p.m., in NEUI’s Alumni Hall in the Student Union, 5500 S. St. Louis Ave. At the gathering, which recognizes her 35 years of “Servant Leadership” and “Service to the NEIU Community,” there will be the grand announcement of the Murrell J. Higgins Duster Legacy Endowment. My, what a recognition!!!






Greg’s Guests – Everybody’s favorite good friend (mine, especially!) Greg Hinton, who is large and in charge of the Diversity Office in Prez Barack Obama’s White House, wants his legion of best buds to join him on Thursday, 6-9 p.m., for cocktails in the DuSable Museum’s Gallery Guichard, 57th and Cottage Grove, sponsored by Bombay Sapphire. The current exhibit: Journey of Hope in America, a collection of quilts inspired by President Obama.






Power Ladies – Deborah Crable, immediate past president, National Association of Market Developers, emcees, and McGhee Williams-Osse, co-CEO, Burrell Advertising, moderates when the National Alliance of Market Developers hosts The Women of Power Inter-Active Breakfast & Panel on Saturday, 9-11 a.m., at NAMD’s 60th annual conference, Urban Market Influences: 21st Century Game Changers, at the Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro Hotel, 723 W. Madison. Panelists: Sandra Finley, CEO and board chair, League of Black Women; Gleatha Glispie, senior director of supplier diversity, Walgreen Co.; and Rev. Jeanette Wilson, director of education, Rainbpw PUSH Coalition. Tickets: $45; register at www.namdntl.org; call (908) 561-4062; or email: clyed@allenandpartners.com.






Delta Ribbon-Cutting – D’Estee, Inc. and the Chicago Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. hosts a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, 5:30 p.m., at 4525 S. King Dr., following a two-year renovation to expand the interior to accommodate the growing chapter as well as ensure it is user-friendly and ADA compliant. Upgrades include Wi-Fi, an expanded room to accommodate up to 500 persons, mounted flat screens, state-of-the-art AV system and the creation of a lobby, etc. The exterior boasts a new faτade and entry with landscaping to be completed before summer’s end.





When renovations began, D’Estee House could not accommodate the many programs and members, which forced members to hold monthly meetings at King High School. Many of the programs were held at other sites. In response, D’Estee and CAC took on the task of raising the necessary funds within the chapter to begin the expansion needed to house one of the sorority’s largest chapters.





Additional plans call for a Phase II, which includes the restoration and eventual use of a neighboring building purchased in 2010. The use will include space for community meetings and the expansion of the Delta Literacy Project. Mary Moss is president of D’Estee; Taliva Tillman, president of the Chicago Alumnae Chapter.






Talkback Thursdays – Father Michael Pfleger, pastor of the Faith Community of St. Sabina Catholic Church, speaks to the questions, “When did we decide it was okay for our children to kill each other and what are we going to do about it?,” on Talkback Thursday, the first of a speakers’ series this week (April 19) at eta Creative Arts Foundation, 76th and S. South Chicago.





Noted community leaders will engage audiences in discussion following the Thursday night performances of Tangled, a play written by Nicole Anderson Cobb examining the impact of gun violence in Chicago from the unique perspectives of a family of African American female funeral directors. Future speakers: Ameena Matthews, of Ceasefire Illinois, May 3; and Diane Latiker, of Kids Off The Block, May 17. Tangled runs through May 19: Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m., and Sundays, 3 p.m.; general admission, $30; group rates available; discount Thursdays, $20. Call for reservations: (773) 752-3955






Sympathy – to a former congressman, Gus Savage (D-2nd) on the loss of his brother, Randolph, 84, whose funeral is Wednesday (today), 6:30 p.m., at Travis Funeral Home in Riverdale, preceded by a one-hour visitation. The deceased, who worked for the State of Illinois where he supervised the unit that wrote the law governing unemployment compensation, died at Ingalls Hospital in Harvey. He was married to his wife, Elizabeth, for 52 years, and is also survived by a son, Randy, and one grandchild and two great-grandchildren. Cong. Savage delivers his brother’s eulogy.





Newsy Names – Happy b’day to Myra Scott Gray, Dorothy Tucker, Randy Crumpton, Dennis Snipe, Derek Taylor, Kevin Morrissette, Anthony Green, Leedoriest Thomas, Gloria Kellum Bell, Victor Bibb, Milton Griggs, Donna Smith Bellinger and to Ron H. Gamble, Luther Heard and Peggye Weaver, three who’ll celebrate with the Chicago Rat Pack on Wednesday at their Weekly Networking Corner at The Marmon Grand Glad tidings! Chicago Mole sis, Stephanie Samuels, the financial wizard, is recuperating at home following surgery and is on the receiving end of lots and lots TLC from her ever-loving Brian … Tim King, of Urban Prep Academy, guests on Ch.7’s Windy City Live with Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini on Wednesday, 9 a.m. Program topic: Bullying! Funny girl Mo’Nique (of The Original Queens of Comedy and Oscar winner from the film Precious), promises to be a laugh a minute as she performs at the Chicago Theatre on Mothers’ Day, May 13, 7 p.m., joined by comic pals, Rodney Perry and Tone X.






Princess Charm! – Michelle Williams, three-time Grammy-winning vocalist, former Destiny’s Child member and TV sit-com star, comes this way April 28 to guest speak for The Black American Princess – School of Charm’s Inaugural Kick-Off at the Charles Hayes Center, 4859 S. Wabash Ave., from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The school was created to provide a uniquely wonderful education experience. The marketing material boasts of being “Chicagoland’s 21st century etiquette and finishing school for young ladies in grades eight-twelve.”


The mission: “embracing, educating and empowering young ladies of color with the rules of etiquette and social grace – taking them from “sass to sophistication’.” The goal: “to empower young ladies to be poised, powerful and productive citizens in society by enhancing their self-confidence to build a personal image that will lead to success through their personal and professional lives.”

For more and/or to attend the Kick-Off Event, the contact BAP School of Charm, 7451 S. Euclid Pkwy., Suite B, Chicago, IL 60649; (773) 451-5161 (phone); (866) 668-8329 (fax); info@BAPSchoolofCharm.com (email). Leave a call back number; some one will get back to you right away.





Michelle has just wrapped up a Broadway tour and is working on an album for release this spring/summer season. She’s also using her voice in other ways — right now to spread and advocate the mission of the Training, Education & Research Institute (TERI), a non-profit dedicated to social change for persons with autism and other developmental disabilities and their families.


Copyright 2012 Chicago Defender


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