Teesee’s Town: Center for New Horizons to celebrate ‘Our Beautiful Children’

Attention all brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity! Your esteemed 32nd general national president, Darryl R. Matthews Sr., comes this way on June 18 to keynote an 8:30 a.m. breakfast for Center for New Horizons Inc. in Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom.

Attention all brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity! Your esteemed 32nd general national president, Darryl R. Matthews Sr., comes this way on June 18 to keynote an 8:30 a.m., breakfast for the Center for New Horizons Inc. in Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom. The theme, says Dr. Sokoni Karanja, CNH’s founder, is Watoto Wazuri: A Celebration of Our Beautiful Children. Dr. Carol Adams, secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services, will respond to the address.

Matthews is one of 12 African American men selected for the annual “Men of Influence” issue of "Urban Influence Magazine," a national publication targeting young professionals, and former executive director and CEO of the National Association of Black Accountants Inc. Matthews also serves as board vice chair of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Foundation Project Inc., and has been instrumental in facilitating the construction of a monument to the fraternity’s most prominent member.

Matthews’ commitment to volunteerism includes March of Dimes, YMCA Fundraising Board and board member of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Maryland. In 2007, he wrote a guest commentary on “gangsta rap” for the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, NY, urging the African American community to “get gangsta rap under control before we lose more of our children to the dangers of those lyrics put into action.”

“The Chicagoland area has recently been engulfed in a wave of violence, committed mostly by teens and young adults,” Dr. Karanja says. “As a response, CNH’s Board of Directors and Wakili Kijana Young. Governors Board are taking a departure from our traditional gala event, Traces, to focus on youth, exploring issues that effect teens and how to better support them. Awards will be given to deserving students to positively enforce their good work at school, at home and in the community.” Co-chairing the $100 per ticket breakfast are Robert Jackson of McDonald’ Corp. (Chicago) and Tracie Anderson of HSBC. Center for New Horizons’ mission: to develop the capacities of families to becomeself-reliant, to improve the quality of their lives and to participate in rebuilding their community. For tickets, call (773) 373-5700.

FYI, CNH has been selected for the second consecutive year as one of “Chicago’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” by the National Association of Business Resources and has been recognized as one of the “Best Employers for Workers Over 50 by AARP.”

Congrats to Teal Jolivette, who graduated magna cum laude in aeronautical science from Florida Memorial University. She’s the daughter of “peacock proud” Michele Jolivette, Ph. D., and granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Martin G. Johnson (she’s Gwendolyn Kenner). Others who gathered at the Soffitel Hotel in Miami to celebrate Teal’s lofty achievement were kinfolks and friendfolks galore, including Mr. and Mrs. Terrell Jolivette, her dad and step-mom; Mr. and Mrs. Clayton Jolivette, grandparents; the Kenner families of Atlanta and Washington D.C.; the Jolivettes of Baton Rouge; Commissioner Lula Ford of the Illinois Commerce Commission and daughter, Charisse; and Mr. and Mrs. Eric France and daughter, Shannice.

Awards Affair–WVON’s award-winning, hard-hitting host, Cliff Kelley, keynotes Concerned Christian Men’s second annual John E. Everett Awards Dinner, Spotlight on Excellence, on June 21 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Several young men in CCM’s program who have distinguished themselves through outstanding performances during the school year will be saluted, says George Glenn, CCM founder. Call (773) 401-0025 for tickets and information.

Walking the Walk–Almost a half-century after earning his bachelor of arts degree in political science from Southern Illinois University Carbondale back in 1959, Atty. Roland W. Burris, long-time Illinois public servant, is making a $100,000 scholarship endowment to SIUC to help other young people pursue their dreams of a college education. The Burris gift will provide funding for the scholarship endowment in equal installments this year and for three years to come, with the endowment earnings funding the scholarship.

The scholarship is open to Black American undergraduate students in the College of Liberal Arts from the Centralia or Chicago metropolitan areas or other deserving candidates at the scholarship committee’s discretion.

“SIUC was instrumental in helping me, and I want to give back, Burris says. “The best way is to help students. I don’t want to see students who for various financial reasons can’t further their educations, so I’m doing what I can to help. It’s always been my desire if I got in a position where I could do so, to invest in students and their futures.” Back in 1955, Burris enrolled in SIUC with a $35-per-quarter tuition scholarship.

Former Illinois comptroller (first Black elected to a statewide office) and Illinois’ first Black elected attorney general, the second in the nation, is currently the manager and CEO of Burris & Lebed Consulting LLC. He is counsel to the law firm of Gonzalez, Saggio and Harlan LLC, and an independent director on the board of Inland Real Estate Corp, a $2 billion real estate investment trust that owns shopping centers, and chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee. Burris is also an adjunct professor for SIUC’s master of public administration program. The lifetime member of the SIU Alumni Association was named in 1997 to SIUC’s Wall of Fame as one of the 10 Most Distinguished Alumni.

Book Look–Lisa Leslie, three-time Olympic gold medalist, three-time MVP of the WNBA and first woman ever to dunk in a professional basketball game, signs copies of her new book, Don’t Let the Lipstick Fool You (with a forward by Earvin “Magic” Johnson) on Saturday, 6:30 p.m., at Wal-Mart in Country Club Hills. Leslie, considered one of the greatest players in the history of women’s basketball, in her own words, points the spotlight onto her own remarkable life off the court, where being a confident champion was not always simple.

Gala Celebration–A whopping $200,000 was raised when some 300 beautifully attired partygoers attended a lovely black-tie gala at The Chicago Club to culminate the 150th anniversary of Metropolitan Family Services, one of our town’s oldest social services agencies dedicated to serving families. Chairing the charity event that included dinner, live and silent auctions, entertainment by the Calumet Mass Children’s Choir and dancing to the Bobby Schiff Orchestra.

“We are proud to be Chicago’s oldest social service agency and even more proud that we are able to provide assistance to nearly 60,000 families and individuals; 84 percent of the people we serve are of the working poor or lower-middle class,” Jones stated. “Hundreds of thousands more benefit from our social policy and advocacy efforts.”

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