New executive positions announced at Chicago Urban League

Congrats – to a fave-o-rite media brutha, Roderick K. Hawkins, on his rise at the Chicago Urban League from communications director to the enviable and lofty position of vice president of communications.

Congrats – to a fave-o-rite media brutha, Roderick K. Hawkins, on his rise at the Chicago Urban League from communications director to the enviable and lofty position of vice president of communications. Along with his duties as the lead on internal and external communications and public relations strategies, Roderick’s now the key adviser to Andrea L. Zopp, Urban League president and CEO, and to senior staff members on communications, public relations, media relations and issues management. Hawkins will continue providing communications support to Urban League department heads and project managers. And more! Longtime business and not-for-profit gurus, Thresa A. Nelson and Shari E. Runner, have joined the Urban League’s executive leadership team; Nelson is the new chief financial officer and Runner has taken on the newly established role of senior vice president for strategy and community development. “Shari and Thresa each bring decades of successful business experience, not-for-profit leadership and a passion for the people we serve at the Chicago Urban League,” said Zopp in making the announcements. “As the Urban League lays the groundwork for the next phase of its growth and impact in the community, I am honored to have them as key advisors and leadership partners. Roderick has worked hard to raise the visibility and prestige of the Chicago Urban League and I look forward to working closely with him to continue increasing our presence,” she added. Art Works – Hats off to sculptor Debra Hand, who has created a portrait bust of President Barack Obama for the DuSable Museum. Hand created the piece especially to honor its principal founder, the late Dr. Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs, who personally discovered Hand as well as arranged for her first gallery exhibit and museum acquisition. Prior to the art work’s permanent placement at the DuSable Museum, Hand’s presidential bust – along with three other of her art works – is currently on exhibit at the Museum of Science & Industry as part of the 2011 juried art exhibit, "Black Creativity," running through Feb. 28 …

Also, artist Cheryl Toles has two of her works of art on exhibit in MSI’s 2011 Black Creativity Exhibit. "Waters Rush In" is an acrylic painting depicting the power of water, music and the human spirit. It tells the story of how a people and culture survived the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. "Flamingo Energy" depicts the power of dance and celebrates the Latin culture. Toles studied and honed her craft at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and has exhibited at a number of prestigious venues, including Gallery Guichard, South Shore Cultural Center, eta Gallery and the 57th Street Art Fair. In Partnership – The South Side Community Art Center has partnered with the DuSable Museum to present Speaking of Margaret: A Spoken Word Tribute to Dr. Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs on Saturday, 3 p.m.-5 p.m., in The Karnak Institute of Malcolm X College. This free public program will be video-taped as well as streamed live, and attendees are asked to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the program for greeting and seating. No video or audio recording will be permitted; however, the program will be telecast on “The H3O Show,” which airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. and repeats Sundays at 3:30 p.m. on CAN-TV, Ch. 19. DVDs of the program will be made available at the museum as well as at SSCAC, so says Dr. Gloria Latimore-Peace, host-producer. Descendants Descending – A’Lelia Bundles, great granddaughter of Madame C.J. Walker, and Michelle Duster, great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells, speak at a symposium, “Heritage of Resistance: Redefining the Struggle” on Feb. 18, 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m., at DuSable Museum. It’s being presented in conjunction with the exhibit, “Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits.” Four descendants of the African Americans whose legacies forever changed the face of entrepreneurships, medicine, intellectualism and activism in our nation, remember their ancestors and share how the legacy of resistance continues. The evening also includes a Q&A and book signing. Additional panelists: Charlene Drew Jarvis, daughter of Dr. Charles Drew, and Arthur McFarlane, great grandson of W.E.B. Dubois. General admission, $10; museum members and students with IDs, $5. Curtain Call – In recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (Feb. 7) eta Creative Arts Foundation hosts a discussion, HIV/AIDS in the African American Community, following Friday’s 8 p.m. performance of "Tearing Down the Walls," led by: Dr. John Schneider, assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at U of C’s Medical Center. He specializes in infectious diseases and internal medicine and his clinical interests include HIV and LGBT health. “TDW” is a critically acclaimed play about responsibility, choice and finding the courage to transform pain into power.

"Daniel Beaty’s comedic drama illuminates the risks and consequences of irresponsible behavior in a time when HIV and AIDS is devastating the African American community," said producing director Kemati Porter. "It provides a rare opportunity for eta – and theater in general – to add its voice to a complex health issue." Call (773) 752-3955. Whazup! Whazup! – The three-month Miles Davis Fest  (running through April in venues all across the city) presented by the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University and a number of local jazz clubs and institutions, continues Feb. 11, at the Marmon Grand during “Chicago’s Best Jazz Clubs Pay Tribute to Miles.” Doors open at 7 p.m.; showtimes, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Admission, only $10. Visit or call (312) 225-8100. Newsy Names – Happy b’day to LeRoy Martin, Oprah Winfrey, Jim Williams, Trudy Murrell, Warner Saunders, Jim Hinton, Wallace “Gator” Bradley, Gil Walker, David Milliner, Gus Cage, Nelson McLemore, Renee Bradford, Ernie Banks, Margaret Boyd, Sheila Agnew, Dr. Dorothy Parker, Maze Jackson, Walter “The Spellbinder” King, Kelly Rooks, Rosie Caldwell, Sharif Atkins, “Cadillac Seth” McCormick and Natalie Perkins … Congrats go out to Dr. Harold Pates, retired president of Kennedy-King College. He and his longtime sweetie, Thurma J. Dorsey, tied the marital knot in December during lovely Christmas nuptials officiated by Albert Porter, retired judge and longtime friend of the couple. The newlywed snowbirds are currently in Palm Springs, Calif. where they’ll spend their winter and early spring seasons … Happy 13th anniversary wishes to Mr. and Mrs. Steven Jones (Dayna) … Our sympathy goes out to a dear friend, Rosielyn Utley Lassiter, on the loss of her father-in-law, John Lassiter Sr., 95, retired business manager and Pension Board trustee of the Amalgamated Beef Boners and Butcher Workers of North America and retired chair of the Deacon Board of Monumental Baptist Church. Mr. Lassiter was preceded in death by his wife, Ethel, and a son, John Jr., my former high school and college classmate and founder of The Financial Designs Group Inc. Additional survivors: a son, Rev. Herbert Lassiter (Rev. Emma Luster-Lassiter); five grandchildren, and five great grandchildren; a sister, Pearl Husband of Omaha, and a host of nieces, neph
ews and friends … And our sincere condolences to another dear pal, Eveline Horton (Mrs. Frank), on the passing of her beloved 97-year-old mom, Katie Odum-Sweatt (“Mama K”), whose services were conducted at the14th Ave. Missionary Baptist Church in Nashville … Emilie McKendall broadcasts “live” from Macy’s on State St. on Saturday, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. In honor of Black History Month, she’ll celebrates the life and legacy of Ebony Fashion Fair icon Eunice W. Johnson. Visit … Seven-time Grammy winning Gladys Knight, a.k.a. Empress of Soul and an R&B/soul singer, songwriter, actress, businesswoman, humanitarian and author, “sings for her supper” come May 13 at Horseshoe Casino’s The Venue in nearby Hammond, Ind. Tickets are currently on sale at the box office, or by calling (800) 745-3000. Text “tickets” to 427724 to enter in a monthly drawing. Visit Copyright 2011 Chicago Defender


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