‘Dancing with the Pastors,’ a benefit at Chicago State Univ.

Rev. and Mrs. Otis Moss III (Monica), pastor and “first lady” of Trinity United Church of Christ, will show off their dancing prowess on May 20, 8 p.m., in the Jones Convocation Center of Chicago State Univ., 95th Street and King Drive.

Rev. and Mrs. Otis Moss III (Monica), pastor and “first lady” of Trinity United Church of Christ, will show off their dancing prowess on May 20, 8 p.m., in the Jones Convocation Center of Chicago State Univ., 95th Street and King Drive. Doors open at 7 p.m. All competitors (except of Rev. and Mrs. Moss) are currently training and will dance with a professional choreographer on the night of DWTP; the Mosses will dance the tango as a couple.

Other “dancing pastors” are Rev. John Hannah, New Life Covenant Church; Rev. Ozzie Smith, Covenant United Church of Christ; Rev. Tiffany Davis, Chicagoland Christian Center Embassy; Rev. Herbert Keller, Chosen One Ministries; Rev. Greg Livingston, Mission of Faith Baptist Church; Rev. Dernard Newell, Logan Street Baptist Church; Rev. Troy O’Quinn, River Oaks Community Church; Rev. Yohannah Watson, New Bethel Church; Rev. Derrick White, Fellowship Christian Center; Rev. John Zayas, Grace and Peace Community Church; Rev. Jennifer Cruz, Faith World Church; and Rev. Toure Roberts of Hollywood, Calif. DWTP hosts: radio’s Darryl King, 102.3 FM; Rev. Michael Pfleger, of St. Sabina Church; and Kim K. Tyler, event founder. For tickets and more info: www.endureproductions.com or call (773) 203-7270. Buy tickets at your church for a special discount! Come out and vote for your favorite pastor!

Proceeds benefit participating churches and Endure Productions, a non-profit organization founded in 2006 and committed to using a faith-based approach to the performing arts to create career opportunities and increase access for underprivileged youth and adults in the Chicago area. All Endure programs offer participants access to professional performing arts training, job shadowing and mentoring to develop artistic skills and explore the possibility of pursuing careers as professional musicians, dancers, et al.

Gala Gals – I had the privilege to chat oh-so briefly with the beloved Dr. Maya Angelou, author, poet, playwright, college professor and a self-proclaimed long-time Chicago Defender fan and reader, after she received her distinguished “Celebration of Women of Excellence & Leadership Award” from Common, the rapper and actor, during his $250 per ticket Inaugural Common Ground Foundation Gala at the InterContinental Hotel. I’d been a guest in her lovely Winston-Salem, N.C. home in spring 2005, when Hallmark Channel filmed "Celebrate! Christmas with Maya Angelou," a weekend of family (her son, Guy Johnson, and great grandchildren) and friends (including singer-songwriters Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, leading Christmas songs and carols), good food, laughter, memories and a healthy dose of Angelou wit, wisdom and philosophy. It aired nationally in December 2005.

I also sat and talked a bit with The View’s Sherri Shepherd, another Common Foundation awardee. (She remembered that we met last year when DuSable Museum honored the Chicago native at “A Night of 100 Stars.”) Sherri and the love of her life, fiancΘe Lamar Sally, a TV writer, are looking to tie the knot in Chicago this summer. “I had wanted to have our reception next door to you, at the Parkway Ballroom,” she told me, “but our date is Aug. 13. And that’s Bud Billiken Day, you know! So we’re having to look elsewhere. I’ll let you know as soon as we decide!”

Whazup! Whazup! Terisa Griffin, one of the Chicago Defender’s 2011 Women of Excellence, releases her Soulzophrenic CD on Friday, 7 p.m., at DuSable Museum beginning with complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the "Hennesy Black Lounge," followed by the concert “soulfully orchestrated for the grown and sexy.” Everyone receive CD. Tickets: $25 for “Early Birds” (in limited quantities) unless you’re a Fan Club Member (www.terisagriffin.com). General admission, $30; VIP seating, $50 … Also another popular Windy City vocalist Senabella Gill with Maggie Brown and Zemrah perform in a premier jazz performance on Friday, 7 p.m., at Shultz Auditorium (on IIT campus), 10 W. 35th St., when Bronzeville presents A Mothers’ Day Tribute for the Diva in Your Life.

Newsy Names Carole Simpson, who began her TV news career in Chicago at Channels 2, 5 and 7 and went on to become the leading African American female on network news TV, comes home to tell “her story” on Tuesday at a “by invitation only” celebration and book signing of NewsLady, hosted by The HistoryMakers’ Julianna Richardson at the InterContinental Hotel … John W. Rogers Jr., Ariel Investments’ chair, graces the cover of the premiere issue of Ken Smikle’s Black Business Chicago (news for entrepreneurs, executives and empowerment). And inside the monthly publication, Barbara Kensey (Kensey & Kensey Communications) pens a piece on “Development: Foreclosure and fire haven’t ext
inguished Bronzeville’s plans for 47th & King Dr.” … Congrats to a friend and neighbor
, Latonya Vonzaa Gray (“L.V.”), for his co-starring role as Fatz Johnson in the movie, The Hostile Takeover, a Quiet Island/J Davis Production that premiered last week at the Portage Theater. Already some pundits have touted the flick as “The Funniest Indie Film of the Year.” Check out the trailer: www.jdavisproductions.net … N’Digo publisher Hermene D. Hartman’s How Would You Like Your World Today: A Collection of Contemporary Love Poetry is in bookstores now. The book is dedicated to “for those who have been barefoot in love, danced with love and know love” and “for women who have married, divorced and found comfort in being single” … Happy b’day to LaToya Huggins, Otto Bradford, Lydia Davis Eady, Les Coney, Ken Simmons, Deanna Wolcott, Rose Lassiter, Marsha Eaglin, Desiree Tate, Tony Scott, Laura Washington, George C. Fraser, Kathy Wright and Joe Bertrand Jr. Also b’day greetings to the Chicago Defender and “Teesee.” (One of us turns 106 Thursday! One of us doesn’t!)

Lunch Lore Tim King, Urban Prep Academies’ president, founder and CEO of, receives the coveted McKinley Gold Medallion on May 13 at the Mid-America Club when Ada S. McKinley Community Services Inc. celebrates its long track record of preparing first-generation students for college at its "Making College Real Luncheon." George Jones Jr., McKinley president, will also honor Terry Mazany, outgoing interim CEO of Chicago Public Schools and president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust; and Latiera Wright, a Wendell Phillips High School senior and four-year participant in the McKinley program. Arnold L. Mitchem, president, Council for Opportunity in Education, based in Washington, D.C., gives the keynote address; NBC 5’s Natalie Martinez emcees. Call (312) 385-2040 or visit www.adasmckinley.org.

Apollo Fame Stevie Wonder, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and activist (whew!), joins “super-super” stars Michael Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-f


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