The VIPP Report: Support Small Business Saturday by stopping by the MELANnaire Marketplace at Fourth Street Live

(Louisville, KY) The MELANnaire Marketplace is curating the Galleria REMIX Holiday Shopping Extravaganza on Saturday, November 27th from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm Fourth Street Live indoors located at 416 W. Liberty Street, in downtown Louisville.  Did you realize that it’s been nearly 40 years since you’ve shopped in the Louisville Galleria?  The community considered it as one of the best places where people could gather to shop, eat, work, play and so much more.  On Small Business Saturday you will get to experience that same feeling with the MELANnaire Marketplace, while supporting local businesses fulfill their entrepreneurial drams of being a business owner. 

The Louisville Galleria, (now known as Fourth Street Live) at one time was the place that many in the Black community visited on a regular basis.  The Galleria Remix Holiday Shopping Extravaganza will open its doors on Black Friday. (November 26th) and Small Business Saturday (November 27th) and EVERY weekend up until Christmas Eve for all your shopping needs. 

There will also be live entertainment, pictures with Santa, family photos, food vendors plus crafts for kids and so much more.  

As you begin to shop for your holiday gifts, we invite you to stop by and support Black-owned businesses who have a large array of products and services from bath & body, clothing, handcrafted jewelry, artwork, and fresh baked goods just to name a few of the products available.   

MELANnaire Marketplace founder Nachand Trabue says “Finally, a place we can depend on to shop during the holidays.  Avoid large traffic jams and support local businesses.  That’s a win-win for the community and your dollars go right back into the community.  Come shop with local Black-owned businesses.  If you would like to be a vendor, we would love to have you just contact us at blackbusinessesmatter502@gmail.com.”

If you are looking to do a profile on Trabue and/or any of the vendors, we invite you to come out and hear the stories. If you would like to be a vendor and/or be a sponsor, please contact MELANnaire Marketplace at http://www.melannaire.com.   Please announce and/or post on your community calendars.

“Where Black Businesses Matter”

Follow us on social media and take photos using the following hashtags so we can share your experience #MELANnairesLou, #BLACKbusinessesMatterLOU & #MELANnaireMarketplace.

Instagram:  @melannairemarketplace

The VIPP Report: MELANnaire Marketplace takes you down memory lane with a Galleria Remix on Black Friday

(Louisville, KY) Did you know that downtown Louisville once had a mall visited by thousands on the property where Fourth Street Live resides today?  Families gathered, downtown employees would shop and eat lunch there and guests into Louisville picked up souvenirs and last-minute items they forgot at home.  The MELANnaire Marketplace wants to recreate that feeling of support in community and its businesses by hosting the Galleria Remix Shopping Extravaganza on Friday, November 26th (Black Friday) and Saturday, November 27th from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm at Fourth Street Live indoors located at 416 W. Liberty Street, in the heart of downtown Louisville. 

As you begin to shop for your holiday gifts, we invite you to stop by and support Black-owned businesses who have a large array of products and services from bath & body, clothing, handcrafted jewelry, artwork, and fresh baked goods plus much more. 

The founder of the MELANnaire Marketplace, Nachand Trabue says “We have been planning and working out the logistics for this for months.  We are excited to have customers ‘Buy Black on Black Friday’.  We celebrate the partnerships we are developing with other minority businesses to start the process of having something to pass down to our next generation.  If you ever shopped at the Galleria, you would understand our concept.  Being a one-stop shop for the community.  We have even extended our hours to accommodate everyone who wants to shop with us.

 If you are looking to do a profile on Trabue and/or any of the vendors, we invite you to come out and hear the stories. If you would like to be a vendor and/or be a sponsor, please contact MELANnaire Marketplace at www.melannaire.com.   Please announce and/or post on your community calendars.  If you have any questions, please contact us at blackbusinessesmatter502@gmail.com.

“Where Black Businesses Matter”

Follow us on social media and take photos using the following hashtags so we can share your experience #MELANnairesLou, #BLACKbusinessesMatterLOU & #MELANnaireMarketplace.

Instagram:  @melannairemarketplace

VIPP Communications is a full service public relations, event management and production firm headquartered in Louisville, KY with clients and/or projects all over the U.S. We can create, maintain and sustain your brand.  Our clientele range from small businesses, non-profits, corporate leaders, entertainment to current and retired professional athletes.  Contact one of our team members to see how we can assist you at info at vippcommunications dot com.  www.vippcommunications.com

MELANnaire Marketplace where local is the new Black

(Louisville, KY) The MELANnaire Marketplace will take place this Saturday, (November 6th) from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm at Manhattan on Broadway located at 716 E. Broadway. As you begin to shop for holiday gifts, why not shop local? Shoppers have an opportunity to walk around purchase items from books by local authors, clothing, candles, natural health products to hand crafted jewelry. We are excited to announce that we have brokered a deal to have gently used items for sale. Come out and support local entrepreneurs because “Local is the new Black”.

Nachand Trabue, founder of the MELANnaire Marketplace says “we are gearing up for the holidays and vendors are adding daily. Our Black businesses matter, and I get so excited each week to see new faces come out to support us. We also working with a company to be able to offer likely used home goods to clothing. Truly really put us in a category that gives us a chance to offer products and goods to anyone. I invite you to come out and see the marketplace and hear the stories of our local entrepreneurs and what they have to offer.”

If you are looking to do a profile on Trabue and/or any of the vendors, we invite you to come out and hear the stories.

WHO: MELANnaire Marketplace

WHAT: Shopping with Black-owned businesses

WHEN: Saturday, November 6th from 12:00pm-5:00pm

WHERE: Manhattan on Broadway, 716 E. Broadway

WHY: Creating a marketplace in downtown Louisville for residents & tourists to easily get too.

If you would like to be a vendor and/or be a sponsor, please contact MELANnaire Marketplace at http://www.melannaire.com. Please announce and/or post on your community calendars. If you have any questions, please contact VIPP Communications at 502-341-7306.

“Where Black Businesses Matter”

Follow us on social media and take photos using the following hashtags so we can share your experience #MELANnairesLou, #BLACKbusinessesMatterLOU & #MELANnaireMarketplace.

Instagram: @melannairemarketplace

The VIPP Report: Lady Veterans Connect Announce Inaugural Gala

(Winchester, KY) Lady Veterans Connect will host their inaugural Lady Veterans Gala on Monday, November 8th in Lexington at the Hilton Downtown, 369 West Vine Street from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. 

The evening is all about embracing the ‘sheroes’ of the armed forces.  The event will have a red-carpet entrance so guests can see the veterans as they arrive followed by the welcome address at 6:00pm.  Dinner will be served at 7:00pm.  Gala guests will be able to enjoy entertainment, raffles, and a silent auction. 

Female veterans will get to enjoy the gala free with prior registration.  You can purchase a table for ten for $600 and individual tickets are $75.00.

Phyllis Abbott, Executive Director says “Kentucky is currently the home to over 24,000 women veterans.  We honor our lady veterans every year but couldn’t accommodate everyone who wanted to participate from family, friends, and supporters.  By moving it to the Hilton Downtown it’s gives us a chance to increase awareness and our reach about the contributions these ladies have done for the military.  We want them to come out and enjoy the evening as we kickoff activities and events for Veterans Day (November 11th).  I hope you join us and support our initiatives.”

To be a sponsor, purchase tickets and/or if you need transitional housing go to www.lv-connect.org or call 859-806-4297. 

About

Lady Veterans Connect is an organization created to provide high quality, comprehensive services to assist female veterans in transitional support and preventing homelessness. Founded in 2012 under the name Sheppards Hands by Phyllis Abbott, LVC was officially renamed in 2016 and opened the first transitional healing home, the Thurman-Abbott House, for female veterans in Kentucky. Since then, LVC has connected over 500 lady veterans in Kentucky with needed resources.

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The VIPP Report: MELANnaire Marketplace heads to the Russell neighborhood showcasing Black-owned businesses in a pop-up mall


Founder, Nachand Trabue will be honored in an awards ceremony

(Louisville, KY) The MELANnaire Marketplace and Old Walnut Street presents the Black Walnut Marketplace with a pop-up mall as part of West Louisville’s 5th Annual Economic Mobility Summit. It will be held on Friday, October 22nd at the Louisville Central Community Center, 1300 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd. The pop-up mall opens at 12:00pm and closes at 9:00pm.


The summit will also recognize six Louisville entrepreneurs with the inaugural Sam Watkins Jr. ‘Light the Way’ Awards Ceremony where MELANnaire Marketplace founder Nachand Trabue will be honored for entrepreneurial excellence. The program is scheduled to begin at 6:00pm.


Trabue says “This is a true honor to be recognized by my peers. I have tried to find ways not only be a successful entrepreneur but to assist other Black-owned businesses find a way to promote and sell their products and services. Entrepreneurship as we’ve learned is a labor of love. So, many have had to close their doors over the past two years while some decided to make a career change and open a business. I try each and every week to give businesses a place where we can work together as a community to generate wealth. I’m truly humbled to be recognized along with the other recipients.”


If you would like to be a vendor and/or be a sponsor, please contact MELANnaire Marketplace at http://www.melannaire.com.
Please announce and/or post on your community calendars.


“Where Black Businesses Matter”
Follow us on social media and take photos using the following hashtags so we can share your experience #MELANnairesLou, #BLACKbusinessesMatterLOU & #MELANnaireMarketplace.
Instagram: @melannairemarketplace

The VIPP Report: MELANnaire Marketplace celebrates one-year anniversary Labor Day Weekend

Immediate Release:

August 29, 2021

(Louisville, KY) During one of the toughest times in the City of Louisville a group of business owners found a way to support themselves. From the pandemic to the social unrest that spilled into the streets due to the Breonna Taylor case and other cases across the nation. One community leader and entrepreneur Nachand Trabue, owner of Manhattan on Broadway rallied area businesses to work together to generate wealth in the Black community. 

Now, the MELANnaire Marketplace invites you to come out and celebrate it’s one-year anniversary on Saturday, September 4th from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm at Manhattan on Broadway located at 716 E. Broadway.

The MELANnaire Marketplace showcases products and services of Black-owned businesses.  Many of the entrepreneurs do not have the capital for storefronts or office space so this marketplace is critical for their growth, and it puts them in front of consumers, both local and tourist looking for shopping opportunities in downtown Louisville. 

According to local census, only 2.4% of businesses are Black owned while they make up 22.4% of the population.  That’s why are requesting your support as consumer and/or sponsor.   

When you visit the marketplace you will see all type of vendors from homemade pet treats, artwork, clothing, accessories to soul food and healthy food options and produce. 

There will be a live DJ and band playing throughout the event.

The founder and creator of the MELANnaire Marketplace Nachand Trabue says “This was birthed out of love for community and to see other Black-owned businesses reach their ultimate potential.  We are literally sitting in a food desert, and no one is coming to the aide of the residents in the Smoketown and downtown residents.  We had an urgent need, so I contacted businesses and we all agreed that we needed to help ourselves instead of waiting on someone to help us.  

Over this past year, we have had people from all over the city and surrounding communities come out and support us.  This is truly a community effort.  I just feel so blessed to be able to spearhead the initiative. I had no idea that when we started that the MELANnaire Marketplace would become so important in the community. That’s a testament for the need and the quality service our businesses bring to the table.” 

We would like to thank all the Black-owned businesses, sponsors, and community leaders who have participated and supported us over the past year.  We look forward to the next year. 

We currently have more than 30 local businesses participating on Saturday, September 4th:

We invite you to stop by and see what the entrepreneurs have to offer.

If you would like to be a vendor and/or be a sponsor, please contact MELANnaire Marketplace at www.melannaire.com.   Please announce and/or post on your community calendars.  If you have any questions, please contact VIPP Communications at 502-341-7306.

“Where Black Businesses Matter”

Follow us on social media and take photos using the following hashtags so we can share your experience #MELANnairesLou, #BLACKbusinessesMatterLOU & #MELANnaireMarketplace.

Instagram:  @melannairemarketplace

The VIPP Report: Stop by MELANnaire Marketplace this weekend

(Louisville, KY) We invite you to Louisville’s only weekly portal of Black-owned businesses.  The MELANnaire Marketplace will take place on Saturday, August 28th at Manhattan on Broadway located at 716 E. Broadway.  The marketplace runs from 12 pm to 5 pm. Shoppers have an opportunity to walk around shop and hear the stories of the start-ups.  Come out and support area entrepreneurs. You find produce to one of kind pieces from artists and designers. 

The founder and creator of the MELANnaire Marketplace Nachand Trabue says “I can’t believe it’s been a year already. All I tried to do is fill a void in our community and now this is now a staple.  I strongly believe in helping others and this is just one platform showing that we can work together as we provide for our families.  If you have not had an opportunity to shop with us.  I encourage you to stop by and see what the entrepreneurs have to offer.”

If you are looking to do a profile on Trabue and/or any of the vendors, we invite you to come out and hear the stories. 

WHO:                     MELANnaire Marketplace 

WHAT:                   Shopping with Black-owned businesses            

WHEN:                   Saturday, August 28th from 12:00pm-5:00pm

WHERE:                 Manhattan on Broadway, 716 E. Broadway

WHY:                      Creating a marketplace in downtown Louisville for residents & tourists to easily get too.

 If you would like to be a vendor and/or be a sponsor, please contact MELANnaire Marketplace at www.melannaire.com.   Please announce and/or post on your community calendars.  If you have any questions, please contact VIPP Communications at 502-341-7306.

Labor Day Weekend, (September 4th) we will be at Manhattan on Broadway from 12pm-5pm to celebrate our one-year anniversary.

“Where Black Businesses Matter”

Follow us on social media and take photos using the following hashtags so we can share your experience #MELANnairesLou, #BLACKbusinessesMatterLOU & #MELANnaireMarketplace.

Instagram:  @melannairemarketplace

The VIPP Report: MELANnaire Marketplace Schedule of Events

MELANnaire Marketplace

The MELANnaire Marketplace takes place every Saturday in Louisville, KY.  Alternating between Manhattan on Broadway located at 716 East Broadway from 12pm to 5pm in the Smoketown neighborhood and Fourth Street Live from 12pm to 6pm in the downtown business district.  We will also move the marketplace where there’s a need. 

Here’s our latest schedule:

Saturday, August 28th – Manhattan on Broadway

Saturday, September 4th – Manhattan on Broadway (One year anniversary)

Saturday, September 11th– We will be at Finzer & Preston Streets (outdoors) In partnership with the Smoketown Festival and Black Wealth Week

Saturday, September 18th– Fourth Street Live

 If you would like to be a vendor and/or be a sponsor, please contact MELANnaire Marketplace at www.melannaire.com.   

Please announce and/or post on your community calendars.  If you have any questions, please contact VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com and/or by calling 502-341-7306.

“Where Black Businesses Matter”

Follow us on social media and take photos using the following hashtags so we can share your experience #MELANnairesLou, #BLACKbusinessesMatterLOU & #MELANnaireMarketplace.

Instagram:  @melannairemarketplace

The VIPP Report: S.T.A.R.S. YEP Camp Postponement Announcement

POSTPONEMENT ANNOUNCEMENT
Updated: 8-26-2021
Statement on behalf of Beth McNeill, Interim Chair & Programming Committee:  S.T.A.R.S. YEP’s entire organization that includes board of directors, partners, and volunteers look forward to a rescheduled youth camp serving the community in a responsible, safe, and collaborative way aligning with our mission and vision in the future.
An announcement will be made once a new date has been determined.

The VIPP Report

STARS Youth Enrichment Program will spend the day in Troy, Ohio empowering future leaders

(Troy, OH) With the increased interest in females wanting to participate in sports the STARS Youth Enrichment
Program, (STARS YEP) and the Lincoln Community Center team up to host an all-girls camp. It’s the 2021 Girls Life
Skills and Empowerment Camp. It will be held on Saturday, August 28th from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm at the Lincoln
Community Center located at 110 Ash Street in Troy.

This year’s camp has a vast array of experience when it comes to basketball knowledge and skill set. Former NCAA
coach and Co-author of Skills for Life Mike Jarvis will discuss his personal life experiences and perspectives that camp
attendees need to hear! In addition to Coach Jarvis, the following sports icons will be onsite throughout the day: NBA
star Dale Ellis, former NCAA Women’s assistant coach, Nikita Lowry…

View original post 288 more words

The VIPP Report: Remembering photojournalist Bud Dorsey

By Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 ABC Louisville

In today’s ‘Your Story’. Remembering famed photographer Bud Dorsey.  Who died last week at the age of 80. I spoke to Yvonne Coleman Bach, Associate Publisher and Editor who worked with him and called him a good friend. 

He could tell a story without even saying a word.  Charles ‘Bud’ Dorsey got his start with the Louisville Defender Newspaper.  I spoke to Bach about the paper that’s been in existence for over 80 years and Dorsey’s impact. 

Bach says “Bud was wonderful. I started working with Bud in the mid-1980’s.  What we try and do is bring that positive back and to let people know there’s a lot of positive things happening in the community.” 

Dorsey somedays didn’t wait for an assignment.  He went where the news was happening.  Coleman-Bach says “Working with Bud was unreal because he made my job easier. He never let me down.  He was looking and watching for things to happened and he was always there.”

Coleman-Bach says Bud had that dedication and a strong love for what he was doing even when he had to go home and care for his small children alone.  She adds “One of the things people don’t know about Bud. He has four kids and his wife died at a very young at a very early age.  Left him with four kids the youngest one under a year old.” 

Even with all of that going on he captured the essence and soul of the community.  Coleman-Bach says “He was out there for the civil rights marches, he was out there for the little league ball games he was out there for everything that was going on in the community and it showed that positive side.”   Helped create special bonds with Central High classmates like Muhammad Ali.  “The few times I was with Bud where Muhammad Ali is concerned. Every time he saw Bud, even when he couldn’t speak, when he saw Bud he would give some type of sign like oh there’s Bud.” 

I asked Coleman-Bach about some of his best moments. Coleman-Bach says “I think the coverage he did on Ali and I have to go back and say too a second one is Louis Coleman.  Bud did some fabulous coverage with Louis Coleman. He went to different cities with him. Consistently following him and following the work he was doing.  Which is very important in the community.”

It wasn’t hard for Coleman-Bach to describe Dorsey as a father and photographer.  She says “Even when talking about his as a photographer or a dad he was absolutely amazing. /Coleman 4:16-24 Bud was able to capture the community, the West Louisville community like no one could and I don’t think anyone else will.” 

In his own words, he wanted to make sure his work lived on.  Dorsey says “I want to try and leave a legacy for my grandkids and great grandkids. It’s a great place to be and a great place to live.” 

I wanted to share with you a photo Dorsey took of me some 20 years ago.  I’ve kept it all these years.  I was speaking at the Louisville Black Expo to a group of students interested in television production. 

There will be a community memorial service on Saturday where Bach will speak.  The service is from noon to two at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage at 17th and Ali. 

►Contact The 411’s Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@whas11.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. 

To see the story, click the following link https://www.whas11.com/mobile/article/features/bud-dorsey-louisville-photographer-defender-remember/417-4f8b6b1f-0174-4f5f-a135-3741d919880d

The VIPP Report: Introducing you to the West Louisville Performing Arts Academy

By Sherlene Shanklin

In today’s Your Story. Their name has changed but their music remains the same bringing all genres of music to West Louisville. I talk to the founder about their success. You recognize them as the West Louisville Boys Choir. 

In 1990, McDaniel Bluitt started The West Louisville Performing Arts Academy originally named the Moore Temple Boys Choir.  In 2002, the choir expanded by adding girls to the program. 

McDaniel says “We started the program because kids needed a way they can be engaged positively and doing the kinds of things that can make them productive members of the community.” 

Two current students, Sylvia Lontz and Alexandria Bluitt were introduced to the program differently but both believe it’s an amazing opportunity and everyone feels like family. 

Sylvia Lontz is heading to Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) this fall.  She says “I personally found out about this choir from my former choir director at Central High School.  He introduced it to me.  I though it would be an amazing opportunity for me and my younger sister.” 

Alexandria Bluitt is currently in high school but understands the importance of legacy.  She says “I’ve been in this choir ever since I was 4 or 5 years old.  Considering my grandparents started the choir.  This choir gave me a sense of family, not because they started it but because of the connections I made with people in this choir.”

The program is a melting pot of talents discovered within each child.  A. Bluitt goes on to say “It gives me a sense of structure.  For me personally anyway and I believe everyone needs a foundation to build on top of.”

M. Bluitt says “It’s a part of our slogan its more than just music…its more than just singing because children bring with us whatever they have with them at the time.  Some have training prior to coming to me while others haven’t.” 

They’ve had a chance to travel and perform all over the world from Bahamas to Las Vegas, and all over the state of Kentucky.  With that exposure caused some of his former students to think out of the box.   Key’mon Murrah & Kay’mon Murrah both participated in the program.  As adults they are both classically trained. 

Key’mon is moving to New York.  He says “I’m going to Juilliard in the fall for a graduate diploma. And then I have me Opera debut this winter.”

Kay’mon remains in the area to help others interested in the arts.  He says “I’m working with Kentucky Opera at various events but right now im working as a board member for the public arts commission in Lexington, KY. So that’s been really fulfilling. “

Mr. Bluitt says “Music evolves its never to stay the same.” And so does its leadership. His son Joshua will take the helm and carry on the tradition.  Bluitt says he will still be around consulting and help counsel but feels it’s the right time to pass the baton so his son can take the program even further. 

McDaniel says “One of the things its accomplishing its helping to dispel the myth in the minds of so many people.  Not just Black people, White people m Jewish people not just men but men and women.  They get a chance to see the program that’s holistic.  They get a chance to see the program as positive and believe it or not got their children in it. That’s ongoing and I’m proud of that.” 

Kay’mon says “You have to be open for new things and be willing to absorb it all. I really believe once you start that process you will be able to fly anywhere.”

The West Louisville Performing Arts Academy has a 100% graduation rate and they now enjoy new home for their program.  You can now find their studio in the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage at 17th and West Ali.  To support go to www.wlpaa.org

►Contact Your Story’s Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@whas11.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. 

To see the story, click the link below.

https://www.whas11.com/article/news/local/west-louisville-boys-choir-community-impact/417-4eb6cf86-d4de-447d-8908-f17c26b0b202

The VIPP Report: Helping businesses obtain construction opportunities the right way with Vincel Anthony and the 7PM Group

By Sherlene Shanklin

Love for community and wanting to see others reach their ultimate potential as an entrepreneur is the goal for Vincel Anthony and the 7PM Group.  In today’s Your Story, I spoke to Anthony about holding businesses accountable when it comes to minority construction opportunities. 

Vincel Anthony and his mentor Carl Brazley started the 7 PM Group symbolizing the number for perfection in biblical terms and P-M stands for project management. 

Anthony says “We’re the glue, the liaison between the owner of the big project and the general contractor who in many cases has been challenged with executing whatever the owner wants to have done.”

He attended Male High School and Western KY University as a student-athlete playing football for the Hilltoppers. Graduating with a Bachelors in Business Administration later receiving his Master’s Degree in information technology, (I-T).  He talks about where his focus currently is when it comes to projects. “We wanted to work specifically in our community”.
 
Many contracts allot a percentage for minority businesses. In construction its 15%. Anthony breaks it down so we can understand how its determined.  “Well, Its off of every dollar, 15 cents needs to ideally be spent with a minority business owner.  10 cents of that dollar needs to be spent with a woman owned business owner and that’s is the goal.”


He also adds, “All of this construction you see going on over this community like a lot of urban communities -decent sized cities…Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Nashville there’s cranes everywhere and the challenge is, are minority businesses actually participating.” 
 
Anthony says the community needs to lift as they climb. As you succeed, reach back down and pull someone else up. 
“To be intentional when it comes to caring about other people and to really feel in your heart that its really possible for us all to win.”

Contact Sherlene Shanklin at sherlene@sherleneshanklin.comor follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

To see the story, click the link below.

https://www.whas11.com/article/news/local/louisville-vincel-anthony-7pm-diversify-construction-projects-bible-perfection/417-ed7dcee1-399e-4cc9-be32-97d84e1f2b2e

The VIPP Report: A look back to how Ronnie Baker qualified for the Tokyo Olympics

By Sherlene Shanklin

Olympian Ronnie Baker

The Tokyo Olympics is in the books and Louisville native Ronnie Baker did us proud. He did not bring home any hardware but friends, family and supporters couldn’t be more happy on how he represented U.S.A.

Let’s take a look back at my story on Baker just days before he went to the Olympics.

It’s the race 27 year old Ronnie Baker has dreamed of and trained for all his life. Now, he’s just a few days away from making that dream come true. He tells me he’s  a product of West Louisville, JCPS and most of his family lives in Louisville.   

Baker says “I went to Ballard and Highland Middle.  I lived in the west end and grew up in Village West.  My whole family is there actually.  My mom, my brother moved back, my sister is there. Pretty much even my extended family is there.”

Baker started with cross country and then later became a sprinter.  It all happened after a coach watched him compete. 
He says “They saw me run and they were like hey you should go out for the track team.  That’s when I started running track.  That conversation I had on field day. I always had the speed. I just did not know where to put it.”

Now, he will head to Tokyo but it will be much different than he dreamed.  Missing the opening ceremonies due to the flight schedule and no fans.  I asked what he needed to run to win gold.

Baker says “I don’t know what it is going to take because Tokyo is going to be different you know Tokyo is not going to have spectators so the atmosphere, kinda the crowd, the energy that’s not going to be there.  Crossing multiple time zones and jet lag could be a factor. “

Winning the 100 meters in Monaco, the last big meet before the games. I asked does this put him in excellent position to win gold?  
The Olympian says “Absolutely, That race was It was a good momentum booster, motivational. Like… It gives me momentum going into the Olympics. I think it was great for me being there and to experience with all the guys potentially be running against in events as well.”

He goes on to say “This is when you do a lot of light work and focusing on the small, I mean the tiny-ist things that are the difference between gold and silver.” 

Ronnie Baker will run in the 100 meters on July 31st and then he will be a member of the four by 100 relay team. Baker’s wife and mom will watch with other families in Orlando at Disney World while his family in Louisville will be apart of a couple of watch parties cheering him onto gold. 

I’ve been in contact with Baker this week and he sounded confident and relaxed leading up to the biggest race of his career thus far. 

Here’s a fun fact. Former Olympian and Kentucky native Tyson Gay and Baker are cousins. So, running literally “runs” in the family.  For “Your Story.” 

Contact Sherlene Shanklin at sherlene@sherleneshanklin.com or follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

To see the story, click the link below.

https://www.whas11.com/article/news/local/louisville-native-ronnie-baker-going-for-gold-in-tokyo-olympics/417-b2712e88-29c0-4770-9270-852159c6b09f

The VIPP Report: Preparing Young Ladies To Be Successful Both On And Off The Basketball Court

STARS Youth Enrichment Program will spend the day in Troy, Ohio empowering future leaders

(Troy, OH) With the increased interest in females wanting to participate in sports the STARS Youth Enrichment
Program, (STARS YEP) and the Lincoln Community Center team up to host an all-girls camp. It’s the 2021 Girls Life
Skills and Empowerment Camp. It will be held on Saturday, August 28th from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm at the Lincoln
Community Center located at 110 Ash Street in Troy.

This year’s camp has a vast array of experience when it comes to basketball knowledge and skill set. Former NCAA
coach and Co-author of Skills for Life Mike Jarvis will discuss his personal life experiences and perspectives that camp
attendees need to hear! In addition to Coach Jarvis, the following sports icons will be onsite throughout the day: NBA
star Dale Ellis, former NCAA Women’s assistant coach, Nikita Lowry Dawkins, and NBA scout Don Sellers. Sellers will
make a debut as alter ego: “Professor Basketball”, a motivational, fun-spirited coach who encourages participants to
strive for excellence, will emcee the event.

The camp will also begin to lay the foundation on how the camp participants can begin to prepare themselves with
useful life skills lessons. There will also be plenty of fun, food, music and much more! This camp is free. Registration
begins at 6:30 am with opening ceremonies beginning at 9:00 am.

Jarvis is excited to be a part of the program and encourages others to participate in the camp. “I have the unique
opportunity to teach these young ladies the proper techniques of basketball and teach them the necessary life skills to
be successful. I hope to help inspire them to be the best version of themselves. As a former player and coach, I have
been in their shoes. I can share what worked and did not work that helped to mold me into the person that I am today”.

We would like to thank our program partners Magnified Giving, Never the Less Inc., and the Lincoln Community
Center for working with us to help make the camp a wonderful experience for everyone involved.

If you would like to be a sponsor for this camp and/or another S.T.A.R.S. youth programming activity, please visit our
website at http://www.starsyep.org or email info@starsyep.org. To setup interviews please contact Sherlene Shanklin, VIPP
Communications at 502-341-7306 or by email at sshanklin@vippcommunications.com.

S.T.A.R.S. Youth Enrichment Program (Skills, Talent, Action, Results, and Success) is a unique program that supports
and mentors youth ages 8-15. And a certified 501 ©(3) non-profit organization.

Follow us on social: Twitter: @starsyep; LinkedIn: starsyep-org & Facebook: SHININGSTARSYEP

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The VIPP Report: MELANnaire Marketplace at Fourth Street Live! in downtown Louisville this weekend

HEAD TO FOURTH STREET LIVE! THIS WEEKEND FOR MELANNAIRE MARKETPLACE

            Where the community comes out to Shop, Socialize & Support

(Louisville, KY) The MELANnaire Marketplace welcomes you to come out to Fourth Street Live! on Saturday, July 17th from 12pm to 6pm. This week’s theme: Summer Breeze Festival featuring live jazz with the Baconaters and entertainment provided by DJ Cam, FaithWorks Studio and Redline Performing Arts.. We have a large array of Black-owned businesses from handmade jewelry, fresh baked goods, fresh produce to clothing and unique crafts.  This is a FREE event that we invite the whole community to come out and support. 

If you are looking for a great story, we invite you to come out and hear the stories of how these entrepreneurs got their start.  We will help coordinate your request and/or you can walk to see who catches your eye. 

WHO:                    Melannaire Marketplace Summer Breeze Festival  

WHAT:                  Pop Up Mall

WHEN:                  12:00pm-6:00pm

WHERE:                Fourth Street Live!

If you would like to be a vendor and/or be a sponsor, please contact MELANnaire Marketplace at www.melannaire.com

Please announce and/or post on your community calendars.  If you have any questions, please contact VIPP Communications at 502-341-7306.

“Where Black Businesses Matter”

Follow us on social media and take photos using the following hashtags so we can share your experience #MELANnairesLou, #BLACKbusinessesMatterLOU & #MELANnaireMarketplace. 

Instagram:  @melannairemarketplace

The VIPP Report: Remembering Wilma Rudolph one of U.S.A’s greatest track and field stars

*PHOTOS: When you open the story you can see the slideshow of photos courtesy Rudolph family

Rudolph set the “gold” medal standard for sprinters

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin. WHAS11, ABC Louisville

With the Summer Olympics just weeks away, there was an athlete that changed track and field in the 60s.  Did you know that Olympic champion Wilma Rudolph has family in Louisville?  I sit down with her nephews who just know her as Aunt Wilma.

She was an Olympic champion, civil rights activist, coach, educator and mom of four. Born Wilma Glodean Rudolph, a premature baby having pneumonia, scarlet fever and polio. At five she wore a leg brace and could barely walk but was later named the fastest woman in the world.  She was the first American woman to win three gold medals at one Olympic games back in 1960.  Some of Rudolph’s family lives right here in Louisville. 

Larry Rudolph, Wilma Rudolph’s nephew tells me how they are related. “I am Wilma Rudolph’s nephew.  Wilma and my dad were brothers and sisters.”  Larry and Sammy Rudolph tell me there were 22 children in the family.  Wilma was number 20 and their dad was the first son.  Rudolph was called the Black Pearl, the Chattanooga Choo Choo but if you called her by her childhood nickname you really knew the track and basketball star.

Larry says “Skeeter was her nickname,. They called her Skeeter because she was so small. (Laughter) She was called Skeeter all through college and most people don’t call her Wilma. The ones who really know her called her Skeeter.”

Even as a child she was resilient and turned obstacles into opportunities.  Rudolph says “She had polio and had to wear braces the whole nine. More or less they thought she couldn’t walk again but she proved them all wrong.  And when she finally got to walk and then run she would always race against the boys, would beat the boys. After a while, boys would never want to race her because they  let a girl beat them  and she was that fast.”

Sammy did not know his aunt was an international star until he was in fourth grade. Here’s how he found out.            

“I called my dad. I’m doing a story on a Wilma Rudolph, he said do you know who that is? No sir, that’s your auntie, that’s my sister.  I went back to school telling everybody that Wilma Rudolph was my aunt. I was so proud to have a famous aunt in a book that you read in school. It was just amazing.” 

Larry says his dad actually kept Wilma’s three gold medals from the 1960 Olympics in his Louisville home for years.  “They were in his basement at one time. I remember going to his house and they were hung up in the basement.  They were there for years but to us it was common knowledge and paid no attention it was medals to this day I couldn’t tell you what happen to them.”

Sammy tells me that a young Cassius Clay and Wilma were an item after the Olympics.  He talks about the time when they showed up at his school in Louisville. 

“Well that’s funny. I used to play basketball for Thomas Jefferson High School my junior year and a big limo pulls up outside Wilma Rudolph and Muhammad Ali at the time was Cassius Clay they came to my school to watch me play ball. I was telling everybody that’s my aunt. You don’t know that woman.  I said Aunt Wilma and she came over and gave me a hug  and I got to shake Muhammad Ali’s hand.”

This week, Wilma would have been 81 years old.  She died in 1994 of cancer.  The state of Tennessee recognizes it as Wilma Rudolph Day.  I asked how significant is her legacy?

Larry  says “For a poor Black woman, little Black girl to come up , reach the status she did equivalent it means a lot to the whole town because she put that town on the map Clarksville, TN was known because of Wilma Rudolph.” 

Sammy added by saying “Not only did she win three medals in one games. You realize she was the fastest woman in the world in the 60s.  Its amazing. The fastest woman in the world. So she was the GOAT. She was the goat of track and field.  Its hard to believe coming from what she went through as a kid. To be the fastest woman in the world. It’s just an amazing story.”

“Her name will live forever”

To see the story, click the following link https://www.whas11.com/video/news/local/wilma-rudolphs-louisville-family-reflects-on-her-legacy/417-9257361c-c952-461b-a6cb-2639d21bc52f

Contact Sherlene Shanklin at sherlene@sherleneshanklin.com or follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

The VIPP Report: Your next Miss Kentucky and Miss America Outstanding Teen is…….

YOUR NEXT MISS KENTUCKY AND MISS AMERICA’S OUTSTANDING TEEN REPRESENTING THE COMMONWEALTH  IN THE MISS AMERICA COMPETITION WILL BE…….

June 20, 2021

(Louisville, KY)  After four days going through preliminaries we now know who will be representatives in the Miss America competition representing Kentucky..  The winner was crowned d in front of a large audience  held at the Kentucky International Convention Center in downtown Louisville.  This year’s winner is Haley Wheeler, (Miss Louisville Metro). 

This year’s Miss Kentucky Outstanding Teen is Chloe Yates., (Miss Nulu). 

These programs empower young women across Kentucky through pageantry to develop the leadership skills and confidence to achieve their biggest goals in life. The Miss Kentucky Scholarship Organization continues to develop role models for communities not only in Kentucky but the world.

Awarding over $70,000 in cash scholarships and over $2 million in in-kind scholarships, the Miss Kentucky Scholarship Organization is a celebration of the talent, scholastic achievement and commitment to service of Kentucky’s finest young women. This organization is so much more than a crown…it is changing Kentucky, one young woman at a time!

To set up an interview, please contact VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com.

For additional information on the pageant please visit www.misskentucky.org.

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The VIPP Report: Remembering Muhammad Ali, the GOAT five years later

I’ve covered Muhammad Ali for many years since I’m from his hometown of Louisville, KY. Even receiving an EMMY nomination. When i received that call five years ago preparing me for what was about to happen I will never forget. Then one day later, the champ passes away. Only a handful of people outside the family received that call. I will forever be grateful that the Ali family trusted me as a journalist, a person who really cared and someone that grew up in the same Black neighborhood he grew up in.

Sherlene Shanklin

By Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 ABC Louisville

Five years ago today, boxing legend and Louisville native Muhammad Ali passed. In today’s Your Story, we remember his legacy. I talk to Marilyn Williams.  Ali’s caregiver and sister-in-law who shared some fond and funny moments about the champ. 

Williams says “When he would have visitors over to the house he would play possium.  He would sit with his eyes closed. He knew if they were leaving he would wake up so they could take pictures and autographs and they were excited. Muhammad knew…everybody knows he was Muhammad Ali is. He’s known around the world and he wanted to know who you are and I thought that was really neat about him.”

Williams got to witness so many things up close that some people had no idea.  She remembers one doctor who liked to make house calls to see Muhammad because they both shared a common interest. She says  “He would come every other Sunday. Muhammad and I were always watching westerns.  And Muhammad always thought he was a Black cowboy.  With Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson and Kris Krostophenson. Those were actually his friends.”

Williams also tells me that legendary musician Sam Cooke and Ali were best friends. I found tons of footage and photos of the two talking about things they were working on even a singing project. 

When Marilyn was a teen Muhammad gave her some advice.  That she still cherishes. “I got a problem. He said what’s your problem.  So, I told him. He said that’s not a problem.  And I said its not? To me it is..but he would tell me he said a problem is when you can’t solve it.  When you can solve it, it’s not a problem.”

Another fond memory. Marilyn and Muhammad would take rides all over Louisville.  She reflects on the reaction when people would recognize him. “We would get in the car we would go in the Westend to Shively the Eastend and we were all over riding and every now and then somebody would notice him and say Muhammad Ali, Muhammad Ali. He would wave and give them that bite like he was going to fight.  He would blow them kisses.”

As the family continued to learn about his Parkinson’s diagnosis.  They took it one day at a time. Williams says  “The only thing I could tell Lonnie at that time was Lonnie were gonna push him as far as we can and eventually he’s going to come back. But if we get him so far he will live long and that exactly what happened”

Williams did get a chance to say goodbye to Ali and she shares a little of what she said to him. She tells me “The last word I said to Muhammad was that he was going to go to heaven. I whispered in his ear and I was going to meet him and they would do this again.”

And still today….

Williams says “His legacy lives on.”

If you have a story about Muhammad Ali you would like to share send it to sshanklin@whas11.com

►Contact Your Story’s Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@whas11.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. 

To see my story click the link-> https://www.whas11.com/article/news/local/5-years-after-muhammad-ali-death/417-7d8da576-5081-46bd-be9e-d50f737ac8c8

The VIPP Report: Moments that Matter with Huanmei Wang

By Sherlene Shanklin

In today’s Moments that Matter, As we come to the close of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month we have learned a lot about culture, lifestyle and to learn more about our neighbors.  I spoke to a JCPS teacher who helps make a child’s transition a little smoother.

Let me to introduce you to Huanmei Wang.  She was born in China. Serving as an ESL teacher at Camp Taylor Elementary. 
She says “I help ESL student to learn English. ESL stands for English as a second language.”

Ms. Wang as students call her explains her role and importance.  She says many of the students have never been to school until they get to her.
Wang says “This program is designed especially for those who like speak a language other than English at home. A lot of students come from foreign countries and a lot of people are even refugees.”

She’s a support system for many. She tells a story of a young child born in the U.S. that went back to her country so her grandmother could care for her while her parents worked. Upon her return, Ms. Wang was an link to home. She says “That person came, she wouldn’t talk to anybody else except for me because maybe I talk maybe in her language. They say this student cant talk.  Yes, she can just with me. I think I am a support for her. A person she can come too.”

Today, that young lady is a sophomore in college.  Ms. Wang meets each student where they are working to get them caught up with their peers. 
So when did Ms. Wang know she wanted to be a teacher? “That’s very funny (laughing) I  had a dream actually. Wang you are a kindergarten teacher in that local school. I said oh really you know. I think I was meant to be a teacher.”
She literally followed her dreams.  She beams so much pride and a sense of accomplishment when they learn.  “When you see a student say something you teach you feel really excited aww we got it. We got it.”

Ms. Wang wanted to give fellow educators some advice on non-verbal communication. She says to try and greet them with a smile.  It will go a long way.  She goes on to say “God created everybody in different purposes maybe was made for that purpose.  If kids like you, they will be willing to learn.”         

►Contact Moments that Matter’s Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@whas11.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. 

To see the story click the link > https://www.whas11.com/article/news/community/moments-that-matter/jcps-esl-teacher-helps-students-cross-language-barrier/417-bdca5638-a73e-4c24-a278-6b4b66478253

The VIPP Report: Its the return of Kentucky’s Miss America and Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Competition

Who will represent the state of Kentucky?

(Louisville, KY) We are excited to announce that tickets are now on sale for the Miss Kentucky and Miss Kentucky’s Outstanding Teen competitions being held at the Kentucky International Convention Center, (KICC) in the heart of downtown Louisville.

The state preliminaries will run from June 16th -19th with the finals and the crowning at 6:30 pm on Saturday, June 19th where we find out who will represent the Commonwealth of Kentucky for the Miss America and Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Scholarship Organization.

These programs empower young women across Kentucky through pageantry to develop the leadership skills and confidence to achieve their biggest goals in life. The Miss Kentucky Scholarship Organization continues to develop role models for communities not only in Kentucky but the world.

Dr. Ashley D. Anderson, Executive Director for the pageant and President of the Miss Kentucky board says “We are so excited about being back on stage giving amazing opportunities to so many talented Kentuckians. We like the rest of Kentucky businesses and organizations have been on a hiatus but we are stronger and even more passionate about helping these young ladies reach their goals. I encourage you to come out and support the program that help develop our future leaders.”

As soon as our two representatives are crowned they will immediately begin to prepare for the national stage.  Kentucky is always a major contender and this year will be no exception.

Awarding over $70,000 in cash scholarships and over $2 million in inkind scholarships, the Miss Kentucky Scholarship Organization is a celebration of the talent, scholastic achievement and commitment to service of Kentucky’s finest young women. This organization is so much more than a crown…it is changing Kentucky, one young woman at a time!

Tickets start at $30.00 for events June 16th-19th.  The June 19th crowning event starts at $50.00.  You can purchase them on Eventbrite under Miss Kentucky Scholarship Organization. https://www.eventbrite.com/o/miss-kentucky-scholarship-organization-17407366534

The Miss America Board of Directors voted unanimously in favor of postponing the Miss America 2021 Competition (which was to take place in December 2020) and has advised the 51 qualifying competitions across the country to do so as well.

Following the recommendation of the MAO and in an effort to ensure the health and well-being of our candidates and volunteers, the Miss Kentucky Board of Directors has cancelled the Miss Kentucky Competition (taking place in June 2020). All current titleholders will be eligible to vie for the title of Miss Kentucky 2021 during the summer of 2021 (June 16th-19th @KICC)

To set up an interview, please contact Sherlene Shanklin, at sshanklin@vippcommunications.com.

For additional information on the pageant please visit www.misskentucky.org.

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The VIPP Report: Kentucky woman wins ‘Best Short Film’ at Dreamer’s Film Festival

ERICKA NICOLE MALONE ENTERTAINMENT’S ‘DREAMS FROM THE EDGE’ TAKES HOME BEST SHORT FILM AT THE DREAMER’S SHORT FILM FESTIVAL IN LONDON

(Los Angeles, California) A Louisville, Kentucky native takes home the United Kingdom’s Dreamer’s Film Festival’s Best Short Film. Ericka Nicole Malone’s international short film ‘Dreams from the Edge’ starring Mary Curry, Alexia Faith Roberts and Bernadette Stanis is awarded the top honor during the festival.

Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment, LLC is working to bring positive images from Black actors to the big screen by making it her business to make films with historic, educational value with a social consciousness in mind. ‘Dreams from the Edge’ is a short film that tells the story of a young girl by the name of Davina, (Alexia Faith Roberts) who tries to embrace her uniqueness. Davina sets to make it in Hollywood and follow her dreams, facing many obstacles attempting to derail her, including emotional challenges from her mother, Rose (Bernadette Stanis). It speaks to difficulties we often face in work/life balance.

Writer, Director and Executive Producer of the short film, Ericka Nicole Malone says ‘Dreams from the Edge’, is more than a young Black woman following her dream but it speaks about the inclusiveness of people who may be different but they are the very people who make our society so unique. I wanted that to be reflect in this film. By receiving such a prestigious honor my message is relatable, understandable and universal because everyone has a dream to be successful.”

To learn more about Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment and the current projects she’s working on like ‘Remember Me The Mahalia Jackson Story starring Ledisi, Columbus Short, Janet Hubert, Keith David, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and Keith Robinson go to www.erickanicolemalone.com.

To setup an interview, contact Sherlene Shanklin at VIPP Communications at sshanklin@vippcommunications.com.

ERICKA NICOLE MALONE ENTERTAINMENT is a production company focused on the development, production/co-production and distribution of film, television, and animated projects nationwide. 

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VIPP Communications is a full service public relations, event management and production firm headquartered in Louisville, KY with clients and/or projects all over the U.S. We can create, maintain and sustain your brand.  Our clientele range from small businesses, non-profits, corporate leaders, entertainment to current and retired professional athletes.  Contact one of our team members to see how we can assist you at info at vippcommunications dot com.  www.vippcommunications.com

The VIPP Report: DCorey Johnson’s rendition of the National Anthem is opening doors for the young star

The story and video that went viral of a nine-year old Louisville sensation with a special gift

By Sherlene M. Shanklin

Louisville, Kentucky

For the last few weeks, my story of DCorey (DC) Johnson has been truly an unbelievable journey.  I was tagged on Facebook by several friends and family members because I do a segment for WHAS11 Television, ABC Affiliate in Louisville called The411.  I highlight people and organizations who you normally don’t see on a newscast until I started doing it.  I currently, have a new segment called “Your Story”. I thought he could talk to me about all of the attention he has received.

I watched the video of DCorey multiple times around 11:00 pm one night.  Instead of going to bed I reached out to the Jefferson County Public Schools, (JCPS) public information office to see if I could get permission to go into Bates Elementary School to speak to the student and his parents. 

The first story on DCorey Johnson before the world met this young superstar with a big voice. Sherlene Shanklin’s story #SherlenesStory

I had to move quick because I knew this child had a gift and I wanted to be the first to speak to him.  I got the interview setup and was assigned a photojournalist to assist me with the story. 

Everyone that knows me, know that I’m not a morning person. So, I had a hard time going to sleep.  So, as I laid there watching the clock afraid that I would oversleep for the interview.  I starting thinking about different scenarios.  What if the third grader is actually shy and I can’t get him to talk.  So, I considered a few alternatives just in case. 

Well, I hate that I worried about it because there was no need to worry about this rising star what so ever.  DCorey was full of personality and at one point I just let the nine year old go.  He laughed, talked and one thing we all know children speak is the truth.  He had no problem explaining to me who did and did not help him on his musical journey. 

DCorey Johnson Photo by Sherlene Shanklin

DCorey gave me so much material to work with. I actually had enough for multiple stories.  I was wrapping up the interview, I promised to follow the third  grader on his journey. 

As I drove home from the interview, I envisioned how the story would look and sound.  Because of COVID-19 restrictions my photographer and I work from our homes but we had already discussed a game plan. 

Once I handed off the approved script, I voiced the package. I sent it Phillip for editing.  I felt great about the wording, my pacing and the interview itself. I knew Phillip would make it come to life.

Just a few hours later, we were ready for air.  When the story aired on WHAS11, ABC Louisville my phone starting ringing from text messages, social media messages and people wanting to congratulate me on the story.  I knew if I was getting that type of response I could only imagine what the Johnson family was getting. 

I have a company that host events and someone texted me asking, “Don’t you remember in your KY Derby event that DCorey played young Michael Jackson in the tribute?”  I remembered the amazing talent and I remember that a child received a standing ovation but I had not put two and two together. 

As soon as I got a link to my story, I started to circulate.  Within a couple of hours ABC contacted me and wanted to know who was this gifted child?  Because I worked for an ABC affiliate tv stations all over the country were running my story. I have gotten calls Tennessee to Washington. The network used my video and script and made stories that aired on almost every show from World News Tonight to GMA3.  I have received some of the craziest calls from professional sports venues to large scale prominent productions wanting me to help get in touch with the child’s parents. 

I’m in contact with his mother and we touch base every few days so I can give her the messages and she shares with me what is happening behind the scenes.  I hang up somedays saying “I’m witnessing the makings of a future star.”  I cant wait to share more on DCorey. 

I’ve provided a link of my story for you to review.  Kentucky student singing National Anthem on PA system goes viral | whas11.com

You will be amazed if you watch other stations around the world use my wording and approach to the story.  As a journalist and storyteller to see your work hit numerous media outlets and they keep its original form for three weeks is a testament to myself and Phillip’s work.  Its hard to change when it was done so beautifully the first time. 

Checkout some of my other stories.  I think you will like my style and approach to storytelling.  Articles by Sherlene M Shanklin | WHAS-TV (Louisville, KY) Journalist | Muck Rack

Contact Sherlene Shanklin at sherlene@sherleneshanklin.com or follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

The VIPP Report: Actor Hill Harper’s Financial Tour Makes A Stop In Louisville

Special from Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 ABC Louisville

The Good Doctor’s Hill Harper aka Dr. Marcus Andrews is known for giving medical advice but when he’s not on the set he’s giving guidance on how to create generational wealth. 

Hill, a Brown University and Harvard graduate founded the Black Wall Street Digital Wallet which promoted financial independence and economic influence. 

Hill also cofounded The Digital Financial Revolution Tour and it will make a stop in Louisville of Sunday, May 23rd from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Club Cedar, 416 South 26th Street. 

The financial tour will be virtual but participants will gather at Club Cedar. 

To learn more about the tour and the Black Wall Street Digital Wallet go to www.theblackwallstreet.com

You can watch the Good Doctor’s on Mondays at 10:00 p.m. on WHAS11. 

►Contact The 411’s Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@whas11.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. 

The VIPP Report: Lady Veterans Connect Dedicate Anna’s House For Women Veterans

LADY VETERANS CONNECT ANNOUNCE DEDICATION AND RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY OF ANNA’S HOUSE FOR WOMEN VETERANS

(Winchester, KY) As Kentuckians works to get back on track due to the pandemic. Lady Veterans Connect is dedicated to changing the lives of women veterans by giving them a safe place to stay as they heal and transition back into society.

On Saturday, June 12th at 1pm you are invited to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony and dedication of our Winchester facility located at 11400 Irvine Way.

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development female veterans are two to three times more likely to be homeless than any other group in the United States adult population? [LVC is committed to changing these statistics by providing a safe place to heal and become the proud women they were while serving our country.] Kentucky is the home to over 24,000 women veterans with that number expected to double in the next five-years?

Phyllis Abbott, Executive Director says “This transitional housing [program] is vital for women who maybe dealing with PTSD and other forms of trauma. We had to postpone the celebration but our services were needed more than ever.  This ribbon cutting symbolizes the support we have received from sponsors, volunteers and the community who made this possible. By taking a few minutes to say thank you for helping make this dream a reality.” 

To apply for transitional housing and/or to be a volunteer for the Lady Veterans Connect visit our site at http://www.lv-connect.org.

If you plan to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony please RSVP at info@ladyveteransconnect.org.

To setup an interview please contact VIPP Communications at sshanklin@vippcommunications.com.

About

Lady Veterans Connect is an organization created to provide high quality, comprehensive services to assist female veterans in transitional support and preventing homelessness. Founded in 2012 under the name Sheppards Hands by Phyllis Abbott, LVC was officially renamed in 2016 and opened the first transitional healing home, the Thurman-Abbott House, for female veterans in Kentucky. Since then, LVC has connected over 500 lady veterans in Kentucky with needed resources.

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VIPP Communications is a full service public relations, event management and production firm headquartered in Louisville, KY with clients and/or projects all over the U.S. We can create, maintain and sustain your brand.  Our clientele range from small businesses, non-profits, corporate leaders, entertainment to current and retired professional athletes.  Contact one of our team members to see how we can assist you at info at vippcommunications dot com.  www.vippcommunications.com

The VIPP Report: NFL star Bilal Powell is building relationships and homes in Indiana and Kentucky

NFL’s Bilal Powell building relationships and homes off the field

The Former University of Louisville running back says Louisville is a good place to raise his family

Sherlene M. Shanklin

Your Story: As we wait for the football season to get started.  A former Cardinal and NFL star actually lives in Louisville hoping to build relationships and homes.  WHAS11’s Sherlene Shanklin talks to Bilal Powell. 
As Bilal Powell awaits to hear what team he will play for this NFL season he continues to build.
Homes that is…The former UofL Cardinal and NY Jets Running Back is now the co-owner of a home building company. 

Powell says “I was always into real estate and my partner and I was introduced through some mutual friends. It started off a friendship and we got to talking finally realized he was a builder.”

His business partner at GreyBuilt Homes is Aaron Witt. They decided to team up to grow the business. Named after Witt’s daughter.
He says “The people I know and the people he knows we figured that we don’t have to be a small time business we can really take over the area.”

Powell me on a tour of Floyd Knobs, Indiana . He’s currently looking into opportunities to help in West Louisville. I asked the Florida native why did he decide to come back to Louisville? “Louisville is a great city you know my wife is from here.  The city is so family oriented. And I was like this is a great place to raise a family.”

I had to ask the question his fans wanted to know.  If a NFL team calls tomorrow would he go back?  He says his magic number is 10. So he continues to work out five days a week in the morning before heading into his office.  His answer, “Yes, I want to get in 10 years.  Its just a personal goal for me to get in ten years.  I got the opportunity to play under Ladamion Thompson and he did 10 years obviously Matt Forte’ did 10 years.”

Powell keeps up with his brothers of U of L and the Jets and some plan to team up on future projects.  
“Just being an alumni of U of L, the brotherhood. I actually have other teammates they do concrete, they do all of these different things we are now starting to connect which is awesome.”

He gives some advice to those who want to be in the NFL. It’s not where you start but how you finish and he’s a true testament to that.  He was drafted in the fourth round at 126.  “You definitely have to have a focus and dedication. One thing about the NFL the talent margin is small. “It doesn’t matter if you come in as a first rounder or a seventh rounder or undrafted. If you work hard and do what you need to do and be consistent at what you do. You can stick around for a long time.” 

I also asked Powell what legacy would he like to leave behind? He says, “I’m a guy of few words, but my actions speak louder than my words. I just want to be a guy known to be consistent, my profession, my friendship, my marriage whatever it maybe I was consistent in what I did and something like this is an opportunity to leave something like this for my kids.” 

Bilal Powell hopes to build six to eight homes this year since the economy is now on the upswing. Focusing on building on both sides of the river.  The free agent had nine successful seasons in the NFL to date. 

Contact Sherlene Shanklin at sherlene@sherleneshanklin.com or follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

The see the WHAS11 story on Powell click the link provided https://www.whas11.com/article/features/bilal-powell-focused-on-building-homes-in-louisville/417-df751bbf-c074-432a-b06c-2839dd630e99

The VIPP Report: Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month by talking to Olympic Silver Medalist Grandmaster Hwang

Sherlene M. Shanklin

May is Asian American and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month.  I spoke to a man who was born in Korea but now calls Louisville his home.
Raising a family and teaching our children the art of Taekwondo.  In today’s Moments that Matter, I introduce you to Jung Oh Grandmaster Hwang.

I have seen the business & community leader many times but this was the first time I had the opportunity to sit down with him.  I had so many questions and he was sincere and patient with me.

Grandmaster Hwang called me before the interview to make sure I found his studio.  I told him I was just waiting outside awaiting my photojournalist to arrive.  The door swings open and he came out to greet me.  He stood out there with me until we were ready to begin. 

As we entered Hwang’s Marital Arts we were welcomed by students.  They were clapping and cheering as we entered the venue.  Once we entered they gave us a demonstration of what they have learned under Hwang.  His daughter Mimi was directing the students but he was off to the side giving additional instruction.    

Mimi led me to his office so we could sit and talk.  I had so many questions.  Some of the most simple questions in Asian culture like is it disrespectful to bow when you don’t know the meaning.  I have to say he was very patient with me to make sure I understood. 

So, when we officially started the interview I asked him to give the pronunciation of his name. 

He says “My name is Jung Oh Hwang”.  He tells me where he was born. “I’m from South Korea. I come to the United States in 1987 I studied at the University of Tennessee.”
When he was in elementary school in South Korea he started learning taekwondo and judo.  Leading him to the Olympics not once but twice.  He missed the opportunity of a third because his country sat out.  Hwang says “Seoul Korea boycotted the Olympic games so he had to wait for more years for his chance to compete. 
1984 changed my life I got a silver medal at that time.” 

Hwang also tells me that he was the international referee for his sport in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. 

Hwang, his wife Sun and their two year daughter Mimi came to America in 1987. Eventually moving to Louisville and opening three martial arts studios in the city.  He says “Louisville is my hometown.  I love Louisville. Louisville is the best city. I love Louisville.” 

He also loves to teach children the core values of his heritage that we all can relate to regardless of where you are from.  “I wanted to give more opportunity to children to learn respect, discipline, and positive attitude.  He can do, she can do, why not me? Yes I can positive attitude.” 

Grandmaster Hwang believes every person should have the following: Focus, Discipline and Respect this is very very important.
In Asian culture It’s mind and body together. That’s respect.  That’s for all Asians especially Marital Arts.  Giving over a million dollars to charity like the Crusade for Children, and now starting his own foundation.  He just wants to leave a legacy of hope. 

Hwang says “I want to share my Olympic three’s. Never, never never give up. You know.  Teach the generation they quickly give up. We always never, never, never give up. Yes, I can I can do it!”

Contact Sherlene Shanklin at sherlene@sherleneshanklin.com or follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

To see the story, click the link https://www.whas11.com/amp/article/news/community/moments-that-matter/grandmaster-hwang-teaches-his-students-respect-and-discipline-in-louisville/417-8fd30281-40c1-4b7b-8aea-9832046c7f3b

Birdie Maxwell named a Muhammad Ali Scholar and first student-athlete in the prestigious program

Preview(opens in a new tab)

Birdie Maxwell Photo Courtesy Sherlene Shanklin

By Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 ABC Louisville

They call her ‘birdie’ because her mother called her an early bird. Now, the Louisville Cardinal will take a month overseas exploring social justice issues as part of a prestigious program. The University of Louisville rower Kyelia ‘Birdie’ Maxwell talks about being named a Muhammad Ali Scholar. 

Birdie says she was absolutely amazed I was even selected as a student athlete but as a student in the university to be part of such an important program and such an important part of UofL’s history, of Louisville’s history, the home of Muhammad Ali I felt honored that they would allow me to be apart of the program with a bunch of other amazing students. 

The UofL rower is the first student-athlete to be named a Muhammad Ali Scholar since its inception six years ago.  Birdie says “I honestly didn’t think it was that big until everyone was texting me, emailing me saying congratulations its such an honor.”

The Biology and fine arts major grew up in Clarksville, TN. Both of her parents served in the military giving her an opportunity to see the world.  She says “my mom was in the air force for five years and then my dad was in the army for 32 years. I’ve lived in Germany, Korea, I went on vacation well I guess you wont call a vacation it was more of a senior trip to Spain, London, France, stayed in Austria and I stayed in Peru as well.”

Birdie had several options to attend college but knew UofL was the right fit.  “When I came on this campus-I just fell in love with the campus automatically and plus I was introduced to rowing” says Maxwell.  

I asked her with social unrest in the city and around the world. Birdie says she wants to be a part of change.  She goes on to say that she even participating in the campus protest lead by the men’s basketball team. 
“I think with all the injustice that’s happening in Louisville and especially in Minneapolis with George Floyd and Breonna Taylor it really feels close to home with Breonna Taylor being that I want to go into medicine. Im a Black woman and I live in Louisville. I think I have some type of personal connection where I thought it could have been me!

If Birdie had the opportunity… she’d like to help change laws. She remains positive while keeping her eye on the prize just like Muhammad Ali both with the mentality of wanting to shake up and change the world . 

She says “I would like to become a doctor and be that face of change for young black students, brown students, people in poverty, underprivileged children to look up to me and say I can do that.”

Birdie recently had hip surgery but we hope to see here on the water soon. As for her role as a Muhammad Ali Scholar she will take about a month oversees to explore justice issues in a different cultural, political, social, and economic context. Here’s the 2021  Ali Scholars: Lorenzo Rowan, Shradda Patel, Taylor Griffith, Edison Pleasants, Maegan Heller, Ashley Aguilera-Rico, Pamambuna Touray, Kaylee Boyd and Kyelia Maxwell. 

Sherlene & Birdie Maxwell

Contact Sherlene Shanklin at sherlene@sherleneshanklin.com or follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

To see story click the link -> https://www.whas11.com/article/features/kyelia-birdie-maxwell-muhammad-ali-scholar/417-4f3f9af8-b936-456d-a30b-1d1186660917

VIPP Style Accessories adds additional pieces to their online boutique

As the world begins to reopen and the economy is on the upswing many consumers prepare to get back into a some kind of new norm. Which means that its time to start getting dressed up again for work. Why not, make a true statement with VIPP Style Accessories.

Checkout our website http://www.vippstyle.com. Follow us on Instagram @VIPP_Style/ Facebook @VIPPStyleAccessories/ Twitter @StyleVipp

Kentucky Representative Pamela Stevenson gives a passionate testimony

Kentucky Rep. Pamela Stevenson

By Sherlene Shanklin

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentuckians who may not have known freshman state Rep. Pamela Stevenson likely do following a heartfelt, impromptu speech given as the legislative session came to a close.

The retired Air Force Colonel and associate minister at Oak Grove Baptist Church represents District 43.

As lawmakers worked against the clock to finish bills, veto overrides and other business, Stevenson chose to speak after listening to Rep. Fugate (R-84) during a debate over the partial ban on no-knock search warrants.

“Banning no-knock warrants? That’s not the answer,” Fugate said. “Our society will never get better until we’re allowed to lift up the name of Christ in the public sector again.”

According to Stevenson, Fugate then said, “Life was good in America until 1962 when they took prayer out of the schools. God calls us to love everyone.”

She had decided she was not going to say anything because everything had been said then she heard another representative speak. She said the lawmaker is a friend and pastor but she couldn’t let the moment be lost.

“I start sitting in my seat and I get irritated because in 1962 life for African American and brown people sucked,” Stevenson said. “You could be lynched, raped, you couldn’t walk down the street, you had no freedom.”

She chose respond to the lawmaker who she considers a friend.

“You want to tell me about putting God back in schools? Well, put Christ back in Christians,” Stevenson said. “Don’t you dare ever propose to know what it’s like to be less than, what it’s like to be in a country that disowns you, what it’s like to be lynched, what it’s like to be raped, what it’s like to be a nothing.”

While trying to put her mask back on after the speech, Stevenson said she noticed a crowd beginning to grow around her.

“Other representatives started coming up to me either wanting to hug, saying they didn’t want to break the rules or ‘I want to say thank you,'” Stevenson said. “And my friend who made the statement came to me we had a great, beautiful conversation.”

Life before politics

Stevenson was born and raised in Louisville — her parents still live in her childhood home in West Louisville. She attended Shawnee and graduated from Brown High School before joining the US Air Force.

During her 27 years of service, Stevenson said she lived in 11 different countries and several parts of the United States.

“Then I switched over and became a JAG [Judge Advocate General],” Stevenson said. “So I spent most of my time in the legal world, training people, prosecuting. I was chief criminal defense attorney, negotiating contracts, running my own office and deploying to Croatia, Bosnia and Africa.”

Because she’s traveled the world, Stevenson said she understands the common thread that unites everyone.

“Whether I was In Europe, Africa, the Middle East or California, what I discovered was we all basically want the same thing,” Stevenson said. “They want their children to grow up and be better than them, they want to leave their children something and they want their life to matter.”

Now, she’s using her knowledge to represent a district stretching from Brownsboro Road to the Portland neighborhood and a portion of West Louisville.

“You can’t tell me how things are for me when you don’t know,” Stevenson said. “All people, all lives have different experiences than yours and don’t be presumptive to know you understand. Listen and ask, and then based on what they say — not what you think —  come up with a solution.”

Contact Sherlene Shanklin at sherlene@sherleneshanklin.com or follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

To see television of my story click the link provided -> https://www.whas11.com/article/news/politics/pamela-stevenson-louisville-rep-air-force-colonel/417-e130961a-eb46-4afc-8074-25cf1583b4a5

What do you know about Kentucky native Whitney Young Jr.?

Lincoln Institute remembers civil rights leader Whitney M. Young Jr.’s historical impact on Kentucky, nation

He’s advised presidents and even held the top post at the National Urban League. Young also had a role in the famous March on Washington more than 50 years ago.

Photo Courtesy: The Lincoln Institute

The Lincoln Institute remembers civil rights leader Kentucky native Whitney M. Young Jr.’s and his impact on the Civil Rights Movement

By Sherlene Shanklin

SIMPSONVILLE, Ky. — Whitney M. Young Jr. had the respect of many, especially around the state of Kentucky.

He was an advisor to Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon.

Young was born on the campus of the Lincoln Institute – a boarding high school for Blacks created by trustees of Berea College after integrated education was outlawed in Kentucky in 1904 due to the Day Law.

“I am not anxious to be the loudest voice or the most popular. But I would like to think that at a crucial moment, I was an effective voice of the voiceless, an effective hope of the hopeless.”.

He served as president for the National Urban League and played a significant role in the Civil Rights movement.

“He was part of the Big 6 and how President Nixon even asked him to be part of his cabinet and he felt like he could do more for us as a race if he used his platform versus being in the cabinet,” Vivian Warren Overall, a retired community member and Lincoln Foundation board of trustee member said.

Young also helped organized the March on Washington for jobs and freedom with his Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity brother, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

His parents also played an important role in history.

“Whitney Young Sr. was the first African American president of Lincoln Institute certainly having his own prominence as well as Whitney Jr.’s mom was the first African American postmaster in Kentucky and second in the nation,” Paula Campbell, development director said.

The permanent exhibit in Young’s childhood home is like taking a journey to the past. Campbell said there’s so much history – not just Kentucky history but US history that’s steeped on the land.

Young died on March 11, 1971 at the age of 49.

“He was overseas in Lagos, Nigeria for a conference and had gone swimming and the story is that he drowned,” Campbell said. “Some suspect that was not the case, including his sister. He was a champion swimmer she does not believe he accidentally drowned.”

Campbell explained there are many people who believe that Young may have been one of the leaders during the movement that may have been assassinated. She said it’s something they will never know because it’s been a big mystery.

“President Nixon sent his personal jet over to bring his body back and at that time – one of the Tuskegee Airmen flew that jet now that was special,” Overall said.

Young’s funeral was held in Kentucky with thousands in attendance which included Rev. Jesse Jackson and Dr. King’s widow, Coretta Scott King. The eulogy was given by President Nixon.

“The funeral procession part of it came back here to the campus and circled the campus. That was his last ride,” Overall said.

What would Young think about the fight for social justice happening now?  

“I think this correlation between the 1960’s and now – because all of the things he did to fight for equal rights,” Campbell said.

To see the story click the following link-> https://www.whas11.com/article/news/local/black-history/whitney-m-young-jr-black-history-month-draft/417-edb48591-ade6-4b58-8a16-26bad7b8b721

►Contact The VIPP Report’s Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@vippcommunications.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. 

The VIPP Report: A Louisville church bouncing back after unrest in the city due to Breonna Taylor and pandemic

Little Flock Missionary Baptist Church uses their faith to motivate its members and the community they serve

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television, ABC Louisville

In Today’s ‘Your Story’ organizations and churches are starting to help get the COVID-19 vaccines to those in need. Even though, Little Flock Baptist Church has faced some setbacks due to their unwavering faith they press on.

In the Smoketown community sits the church on South Hancock. It’s pastor Rev. Bernard Crayton tells me of their beginnings which dates back to 1867. 

Rev. Bernard Crayton “By newly freed slaves.  The church was originally on Ormsby back in that time. They actually put the building on trees and rolled it here to the site on Hancock Street. It’s been a fixture in this community every since. It has a rich, rich, history.”  

Growing up in Cleveland Ohio.  Being a part of a family of ministers.   Rev. Crayton in April 1999 moved to Louisville in hopes of becoming a pastor of his own church. 

Crayton says “I never been to Louisville, I’ve been through Louisville but applied for the church Little Flock Baptist Church and when I got here, I knew this was the place I was supposed to be. It’s been a great blessing for the past 22 years.”

With COVID-19, he tells me how he’s been keeping up with his members to see how they are doing? Crayton: “People call in on the prayer line.  I have anywhere from 60 something people that will call in.  It’s not only my members but people from all over. I mean all over the United States.”     

Dealing with the pandemic and protests in the city last summer.  The pastor takes a call in the middle of the night that tried to break his spirit.  He tells me what was said, “Well, that was just unbelievable. One our members passed by the church and said the church doors had been shot out and I was going, WHAT!. That was right during the time when tensions were high in the city. I just couldn’t believe, I don’t know  why but I just couldn’t believe it happened to our church. When I saw where the front door windows had been shot out and bullet holes in the foyer. It really took me back.  I had a lot of people not only the black community but the white community in this city. That came and wanted to do whatever they could.”   

Turning to his faith, the pastor took a call from a company that wanted to fix their doors free of charge. Whichh renewed his faith.  Crayton said, “Even in spite of that there are still a lot of good people in this world.” 

So even though the doors of the church remain closed for services.  Little Flock wanted to find a way to help. So, they will open their doors  Saturday to help its members and the community.  Crayton says, “Saturday we are having our own pop up clinic. We have partnered with Norton Healthcare. We have been talking reservations but walk ins will be available.  Anyone who wants to come.”

Rev Crayton is trying to reassure people of color to get vaccinated.   He says “It comes from those who are just not trusting the govt. Historical things that have happened. It comes from misinformation. It comes from lies. It comes from conspiracy. And we’re trying to break all that down to make sure that people of color understand how important it is especially African Americans understand how important it is to get your shot.”

People of faith have been asking for a sign and the pastor believes this is it. “If you’ve been praying to God about a healing praying this will go away. God has given us the answer.  Its right there in front of us.  And what you need to do is just trust him. Call in and get your shot. That’s how I see it.  That’s how I really see it.”  

The church is working on renewed faith that you should never give up regardless of your situation. 

Crayton says “What I have tried to preach every single Sunday is HOPE.”

Ending Covid-19 ONE SHOT at a time vaccine clinic“ will be on Saturday, March 20th from 10:00am to 4:00pm at Little Flock Missionary Baptist Church located at 1030 S. Hancock Street.  Walk ups are welcomed but if you would like to schedule an appointment call Delane at 502-381-2354 or Charlotte at 502-494-8411. 

►Contact Your Story with Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@whas11.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. 

To see the story click the link ->

https://www.whas11.com/article/news/local/outreach/vaccine-clinic-at-little-flock-missionary-baptist-church-louisville-your-story/417-ffbdf381-6cd5-4266-96ab-9dbb57b0c81a

The VIPP Report: The Muhammad Ali Center announces Laura Douglas as their first Black woman interim president

Laura Douglas

By Sherlene Shanklin, Special Report with WHAS11, ABC Louisville

After nearly a decade in Louisville, Donald Lassere will leave the Muhammad Ali Center and move back to his hometown of Chicago. In his seat as president and CEO, Laura Douglas.
In ‘Your Story’ I sit down with the respected corporate leader.  

To many in the community she is called the stabilizer.  Because she helps corporations and non-profits maintain their business practices while stabilizing their leadership. 

First, Laura Douglas did it at TARC; now she’s moving to the Muhammad Ali Center; serving as its first Black woman president.  Making history in her hometown. 

Douglas discusses her family and her close connection to the city. “Well, I grew up here in the Russell neighborhood.  I had eight brothers and sisters.  We started out at James Bond Elementary School which is now Byck. I went to Western Junior High School and to Shawnee High School. 

After graduation, Douglas continued her education to become an attorney.  She explained her career path. “I started out my career as a lawyer, I’m a graduate of the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law and I’ve been a general counsel at several organizations and my most recent position was at LGE and I retired from there.  Throughout my career I have always been a volunteer and I’ve always served on a number of boards in the community.  And one of the places I invested a great deal of my board serve was here at the Muhammad Ali Center.”

As the immediate past board chair, she is now ready to get the doors of the Ali center reopened.  Douglas says “Here at the Muhammad Ali Center the good news is, it’s an outstanding organization with a very impeccable national a reputation.  My role is here is to keep the ship steady in the water as the board looks for a permanent CEO. I’m happy to do that”.

Douglas came out of retirement to take on this role, but i wanted to know if she planned to go back into retirement, as she shaped the next generation’s CEO’s at home. Douglas with a smile says “Yes, yes I will.  I was a granny and my grandchildren kinda run my life for me.”

Douglas is excited about keeping the Ali Center moving until the national search is completed which could take up to six months.  Douglas’ family is happy about her and understand the importance of the position but see what her family thinks her most important title is to them.  She says “My family is proud but one thing they remind me every day, I’m just granny as far as they are concerned and I’m mom.”

June will mark the fifth anniversary of Muhammad Ali’s passing.  The Ali Festival will honor him with his six core principles:  Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect and Spirituality. I asked Douglas did she expect the opportunities she’s seeing today?
She says “As a small child I know my mother and father encouraged all of us to expand our horizon and to dream big. I’m really fortunate to have the opportunity and to be able to continue to work in a community that I really love

Laura Douglas and Sherlene Shanklin

The Muhammad Ali Center will reopen to the public on Thursday, April 1st. 

This year’s Ali Festival will be June 4th to the 13th.

The Truth Be Told Temporary Exhibit has been extended to 2022. 

The Muhammad Ali Center is located at 144 N. 6th Street, Louisville, KY 40202. 

Contact The 411’s Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@whas11.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram

To see the story click the link: https://www.whas11.com/video/news/community/louisville-native-laura-douglas-named-muhammad-ali-centers-interim-president/417-738e504a-52d4-47fb-8bdd-f03f6ffcf312

The VIPP Report: Muhammad Ali’s caregiver opens up to Sherlene Shanklin for the first time since the GOAT’s passing

Special Report from Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11, Louisville

Orginially aired on January 14, 2021

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — On Sunday, Muhammad Ali would have been 79. 

On June 3rd, 2016 Ali passed away and thousands lined the streets of Louisville to thank the champ who was not only a boxing champion but an activist and philanthropist respected by many across the world.

For the first time, in an exclusive interview, WHAS11 talked to the person who was his childhood friend, caregiver and sister-in-law. You saw her in many photos over the years. 

Now, Whas11’s Sherlene Shanklin tells you her story of the Champ you didn’t know.

Marilyn Williams says “Muhammad’s mother Odessa Clay and my mother Marguerite Williams were best friends.”

Their families were very close. As a child, she looked up to him as a big brother having no idea that years later she would call him her brother-in-law.

‘Lonnie Ali is my big sister,” Williams said.

Prior to working with family, she was a successful entrepreneur owning her own salon and then worked at the Ford Plant right here in Louisville.

So, when Lonnie was looking for someone to help with their business affairs and later assist Ali and with his Parkinson’s diagnosis, Marilyn was the perfect choice to be his caregiver while some even thought she was their bodyguard.

“I was his security because if you got close to Muhammad you were in trouble if you weren’t supposed to be there,” said Williams.

She talked to me about being a caregiver for Ali. “I knew I had to do the best I could do. I had to be the best. I had to be on it. I knew this man. I knew him ever since I was a child so I had to be on it.”

People always asked, could he speak after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s? Williams said, “Muhammad could smile, stars eyes would just sparkle and he talked a lot with his eyes, he talked with his voice, his hands. He definitely got his message across.”

Anytime ‘the Champ’ could get home he did and Marilyn shared this fond memory.

“Muhammad loved Louisville. You say Louisville if I was working and I said I was going on vacation. Where are you going? I said I’m going to Louisville. I wanna go.”

I also asked Williams could she tell me something about Ali people didn’t know. She sighs before answering–“Muhammad and Lonnie will say this too. He had a kind and loving heart. He saw nothing wrong with no one. He would be with kings and queens, presidents and then turn around and be with the poorest person on this earth or the sickest person on this earth. It didn’t matter to him. He loved all.”

To see everything happening in Louisville sometimes even along the street that bears his name and across the country how does that make you feel?

“Well I can’t actually speak for Muhammad because he can speak for himself but a few things he taught me and that was respect for all mankind. One thing I asked him, I was always asking him questions when I was younger growing up and he told me that there’s good and bad in every race and every religion. There’s good and bad,” Williams said.

The final question of the interview I had to ask what she misses the most about the GOAT?

With tears in her eyes, she responded by saying “His eyes, his kindness, his spirit, his spirit was so beautiful. To be around him he gave you energy. Even if there was a gray day outside he made the sunshine.”

I had to use the video one more time of Louisville’s own, the man who had no problem telling you “I’m still the greatest!!!”

Link to the WHAS11 story https://www.whas11.com/article/news/local/muhammad-ali-caregiver-marilyn-williams-talks-greatest-of-all-time-goat-champ/417-b3ecdbeb-97b1-4062-9e01-ecf439074c89

Since the story aired on WHAS11, an ABC/Tegna affiliate here’s some of the other stations that picked up my story:

King5.com, 11Alive.com, WTHR.com, 12newsnow.com, ksdk.com, WUSA9.com, kentuckydailynews.com, firstcoastnews.com, kcentv.com, wkyc.com, wfmynews2.com, WLTX.com and MSN.com.

The VIPP Report: Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment releases latest project ‘Dream from the Edge’

STARRING MARK CURRY, BERNADETTE STANIS AND ALEXIA FAITH ROBERTS

(Los Angeles, California) As we remember the significant contributions of the past during Black History Month.  In 2021, there’s businesses and people working behind the scenes to continue the legacy. 

Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment, LLC is working to bring positive images from Black actors to the big screen.  Their latest project, ‘Dream from the Edge’.  The short film tells the story of a young girl by the name of Davina, (Alexia Faith Roberts) who tries to embrace her uniqueness.  Davina sets to make it in Hollywood and follow her dreams, facing many obstacles attempting to derail her, including emotional challenges from her mother, Rose (Bernadette Stanis).  It speaks to difficulties we often face in work/life balance.

Writer, Director and Executive Producer of the short film, Ericka Nicole Malone says ‘Dream from the Edge’, is more than a young Black woman following her dream but it speaks about the inclusiveness of people who may be different but they are the very people who make our society so unique. I wanted that to be reflected in this film. With the challenges Black Americans face on a daily basis I wanted to write a story that humanizes us in a very real way. I wanted to create a story where we have dreams, we thrive, we fall, we rise, so that people could understand our lives and dreams matter. Just the history alone of the actors in this film shows that Black people in entertainment have played a vital role in this industry and helped this film come to life.’ 

The international short film drama also stars Mark Curry and Bernadette Stanis.  You’ve seen both stars’ programs that shaped the stories of Black families.  Curry on ‘Hanging with Mr. Cooper’ and Stanis on ‘Good Times’.  Grammy Award winning writer producer “Printz Board” co-producer/writer of super music group, The Black Eyes Peas hit “Where Is The Love” is Music Supervisor. Dreams from the Edge’ can be seen in film festivals across the world.

ERICKA NICOLE MALONE ENTERTAINMENT is a production company focused on the development, production/co-production and distribution of film, television, and animated projects nationwide. In addition to Dreams From The Edge her latest project is film “Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story” starring Ledisi, Columbus Short, Janet Hubert, Keith David, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and Keith Robinson.

To setup an interview, contact Sherlene Shanklin at VIPP Communications at sshanklin@vippcommunications.com.  To read learn more on the Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment go to www.erickanicolemalone.com.                          

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VIPP Communications is a full service public relations, event management and production firm headquartered in Louisville, KY with clients and/or projects all over the U.S. We can create, maintain and sustain your brand.  Our clientele range from small businesses, non-profits, corporate leaders, entertainment to current and retired professional athletes.  Contact one of our team members to see how we can assist you at info at vippcommunications dot com.  www.vippcommunications.com

The VIPP Report: Female veterans have a new facility they can now call home

Lady Veterans Connect’s new facility will serve as a transitional home for female veterans where they can heal and participate in programs to prepare them to successfully integrate back into society. 

(Winchester, KY) According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development female veterans are two to three times more likely to be homeless than any other group in the United States adult population? [LVC is committed to changing these statistics by providing a safe place to heal and become the proud women they were while serving our country.] Kentucky is the home to over 24,000 women veterans with that number expected to double in the next five-years?

 Lady Veterans Connect’s new facility in Winchester is now open to receiving female veterans in our program. We had to cancel our official dedication due to COVID but it will be held at a later date. The home is located at 11400 Irvine Road, Winchester, Ky.

Phyllis Abbott, Executive Director says “We are trying to give female veterans a sense of comfort by giving them a place they can call home. This transitional housing [program] is vital for women who maybe dealing with PTSD and other forms of trauma. We hope you join us in serving the needs of our female veterans’ housing needs.” We are currently accepting applications for the Lady Veterans Connect Transitional Home for Female Veterans which can be found by visiting our site at http://www.lv-connect.org. We would like to thank all of our partners, supporters, and volunteers who have made this facility available..

If you would like to volunteer and/or to learn more about Lady Veterans Connect go to http://www.lv-connect.org.

To setup an interview (via zoom and/or in-person at a social distance) please contact VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com.

About

Lady Veterans Connect is an organization created to provide high quality, comprehensive services to assist female veterans in transitional support and preventing homelessness. Founded in 2012 under the name Sheppards Hands by Phyllis Abbott, LVC was officially renamed in 2016 and opened the first transitional healing home, the Thurman-Abbott House, for female veterans in Kentucky. Since then, LVC has connected over 500 lady veterans in Kentucky with needed resources.

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The VIPP Report: Remembering Muhammad Ali on what would have been his 79th birthday

For the FIRST time, his life-long caregiver sits down with me for more than a hour telling me things so many people have no idea about the ‘Greatest of All Time’. This is just a small portion of my interview that I wanted to share.

 

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11, ABC Louisville

Muhammad Ali and Sherlene Shanklin at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, KY.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — On Sunday, Muhammad Ali would have been 79. 

On June 3rd, 2016 Ali passed away and thousands lined the streets of Louisville to thank the champ who was not only a boxing champion but an activist and philanthropist respected by many across the world.

For the first time, in an exclusive interview, WHAS11 talked to the person who was his childhood friend, caregiver and sister-in-law. You saw her in many photos over the years. 

Now, Whas11’s Sherlene Shanklin tells you her story of the Champ you didn’t know.

Marilyn Williams says “Muhammad’s mother Odessa Clay and my mother Marguerite Williams were best friends.”

Their families were very close. As a child, she looked up to him as a big brother having no idea that years later she would call him her brother-in-law.

‘Lonnie Ali is my big sister,” Williams said.

Prior to working with family, she was a successful entrepreneur owning her own salon and then worked at the Ford Plant right here in Louisville.

So, when Lonnie was looking for someone to help with their business affairs and later assist Ali and with his Parkinson’s diagnosis, Marilyn was the perfect choice to be his caregiver while some even thought she was their bodyguard.

“I was his security because if you got close to Muhammad you were in trouble if you weren’t supposed to be there,” said Williams.

She talked to me about being a caregiver for Ali. “I knew I had to do the best I could do. I had to be the best. I had to be on it. I knew this man. I knew him ever since I was a child so I had to be on it.”

People always asked, could he speak after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s? Williams said, “Muhammad could smile, stars eyes would just sparkle and he talked a lot with his eyes, he talked with his voice, his hands. He definitely got his message across.”

Anytime ‘the Champ’ could get home he did and Marilyn shared this fond memory.

“Muhammad loved Louisville. You say Louisville if I was working and I said I was going on vacation. Where are you going? I said I’m going to Louisville. I wanna go.”

Williams showing me a piece of art that Ali created.

I also asked Williams could she tell me something about Ali people didn’t know. She sighs before answering–“Muhammad and Lonnie will say this too. He had a kind and loving heart. He saw nothing wrong with no one. He would be with kings and queens, presidents and then turn around and be with the poorest person on this earth or the sickest person on this earth. It didn’t matter to him. He loved all.”

To see everything happening in Louisville sometimes even along the street that bears his name and across the country how does that make you feel?

“Well I can’t actually speak for Muhammad because he can speak for himself but a few things he taught me and that was respect for all mankind. One thing I asked him, I was always asking him questions when I was younger growing up and he told me that there’s good and bad in every race and every religion. There’s good and bad,” Williams said.

The final question of the interview I had to ask what she misses the most about the GOAT?

With tears in her eyes, she responded by saying “His eyes, his kindness, his spirit, his spirit was so beautiful. To be around him he gave you energy. Even if there was a gray day outside he made the sunshine.”

I had to use the video one more time of Louisville’s own, the man who had no problem telling you “I’m still the greatest!!!”

Here’s the link to the story. -> https://www.whas11.com/article/news/local/muhammad-alis-caregiver-marilyn-williams-talks-greatest-of-all-time-goat-champ/417-b3ecdbeb-97b1-4062-9e01-ecf439074c89

Contact Sherlene Shanklin at sherlene@sherleneshanklin.com or follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

Sherlene Shanklin is an EMMY Award winning journalist. Two-time Society of Professional Journalists, (SPJ) winner for sports writing and best use of social media. Multiple award winner for the Associated Press. Career spans nearly 30 years with an emphasis but not limited to news in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

VIPP Communications End of 2020 Message

As the year ends, we have experienced things that we never thought would happen in our lifetime from the pandemic to the struggle for social justice. Have you ever heard the phrase, “This was the worst year and best year of my life?”  This holds true for us. 

Many of you have put a pause on business opportunities while some were able to create new ventures.  

VIPP Communications is open and still working to cater to your specialized needs while assisting the community we love and want to see get back on track. 

In 2021, we will be launching new projects and adding even more services.  We do more than public relations and event management.  You will see our name on various initiatives from diversity & inclusion, research, developing and maintaining brands to becoming a celebrity book editor.  Please look at our site for additional services.

We will also begin to add additional team members once the pandemic is officially over and travel restrictions are lifted.  We believe in mentoring those who are willing to learn in a professional setting. 

We just wanted to thank you for the business, and we look forward to working with you in 2021. 

Take a look at our website http://www.vippcommunications.com. Follow us on social: FB/IG @vippcommunications & Twitter @vippcomm

The VIPP Report: ‘Staying Strong’ in 2020 and hoping for ‘Peace & Prosperity’ in 2021

Sherlene Shanklin

Sherlene Shanklin

December 31, 2020

What can you say about 2020?  I call it the year of the ‘thick’ skin.  We have endured a lot.  Every generation faces the unthinkable and you wondered how did they make it?  Now, we have a story to tell. Especially those of color who’ve privately faced obstacles of discrimination for many years.  From being overlooked, told they were not good enough, why can’t you just work one job, you do too much, and why do you work in your community so much with no pay helping people you don’t even know. 

If I ask that question, the majority of you will say ‘What I went to school for I was never given the chance to see where it could take me.’ Some will also point out that they never reached their ultimate potential and that’s why they had to utilize their skills in other ways. 

Some employers hire people of color and then leave it there with no further action.  Regardless, how hard you try you can never get ahead.  Then you realize that you’ve wasted valuable years being faithful to someone who could care less about your progression.  So, instead of letting your skillset go, you find alternatives to keep them sharp. 

When protests broke out across the country especially in my city of Louisville so many individuals thought to themselves, ‘So I’m not the only one?’ Feeling like you’re facing situations alone and that became a defining moment that you’re not. 

When people begin to speak out it gave those suffering in silence some hope. Even if you didn’t see them marching in the streets. There’s a lot of people in their workplace trying to change the culture even putting their careers on the line. In offices, boardrooms, and in closed door meetings people are speaking up & finally being asked their opinion. The invitation to the table will bring a long term foundation instead of a quick fix. There’s so many working behind the scenes and do not want the credit. Find your place and let’s all help make a difference.

As we head into the new year, how do we juggle our emotions? Pinned up anger while you’re still working at a high level.  Its been a year of sickness, death, and heartache.  While many want people to forget we have to remember how we got here so that we don’t let history repeat itself again. 

Facebook: @SherleneShanklin/IG: @sherlenemediapro/Twitter: @Sherlenemediapr

The VIPP Report: The Lady Veterans Connect salutes female members of the military

A Virtual Event: Honoring Our She’roes

(Winchester, Kentucky) As the country begins to hit reboot, Lady Veterans Connect is looking for unsung heroes of the military. All Female Veterans from all era’s of military service are called to be honored this Veterans Day.

Join us on Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11th, for Lady Veterans Connect first-ever free virtual event, “Honoring our She’ roes”; a Q&A panel session, with giveaways, that takes place from 4:30 P.M. to 6:30 P.M., moderated by Judge Lindsey Thurston. Registration is required for the Facebook Live event.

Visit www.lv-connect.org/sheroes.html to register and upload photos and details for yourself, or a loved one. Deadline to submit is November 8th. All photo submissions are planned to become a permanent fixture on the Wall of Honor at Lady Veterans Connect Winchester, Kentucky location.

Female veterans currently are, and will continue, to be an important part of the veteran community. Women represent about 10 percent of the total veteran population, with approximately 2 million female veterans in the United States and U. S. Territories.

To setup an interview please contact VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com.

Lady Veterans Connect is an organization created to provide high quality, comprehensive services to assist female veterans in transitional support and prevent homelessness. Founded in 2012 under the name Sheppards Hands by Phyllis Abbott, LVC was officially renamed in 2016 and opened the first transitional healing home, the Thurman-Abbott House, for female veterans in Kentucky. Since then, LVC has connected over 500 lady veterans in Kentucky with needed resources, as during COVID-19 we have not been able to have women in the home, but we are now allowed to do so.   

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VIPP Communications is a full service public relations, event management, writing services, marketing, branding and production firm headquartered in Louisville, KY with clients and/or projects all over the U.S. We can create, maintain and sustain your brand.  Our clientele range from small businesses, non-profits, corporate leaders, entertainment to current and retired professional athletes.  Contact one of our team members to see if we can assist you at info at vippcommunications dot com.  www.vippcommunications.com

The VIPP Report: One of the world’s top African American sculptors is honored by his hometown

Ed Hamilton named Louisvillian of the Year

(Louisville, KY) You’ve seen his works from The Amistad, Muhammad Ali’s steel boxing gloves both in Louisville, The African American Civil War Memorial, ‘Spirit of Freedom’ in Washington to the Unfinished March of the late Dr. Martin Luther King in Newport News.  Now, the American Advertising Federation of Louisville announces that Ed Hamilton will receive the “Louisvillian of the Year” award. 

Hamilton is receiving the award for his outstanding achievement and generous personal contributions in the areas of civic, educational and business.  The sculptor only needed to possess only one of the three, but this talented humanitarian is a true community ambassador who works tirelessly who in turn is an inspiration to so many within Louisville and communities around the U.S. The national acclaimed sculptor gives his time and talents.

Ed Hamilton says “As a citizen of Louisville, KY, I’m proud and honored to have been chosen as the recipient of the 2020 Louisvillian of the Year award.  I know I owe my success to many who saw my talent during the early years of my artistic journey.

It is in the spirit of family, parents that adopted me and are now deceased, Edward Norton and Amy Jane Camp Hamilton.   They raised me to have respect for all people, the value of hard work and development of moral values.  This enabled me to extend myself into the Louisville community. 

To the love of my life and soul mate of 54 years of marriage, Bernadette, I seriously believe if not for her love and support, I would not be the man, the father, or the artist that I am today.  How lucky I am to be alive today.

I extend blessings to all past recipients and indeed I’m in good company.”

Other works Hamilton has designed is the 16th President of the United States and Kentucky native Abraham Lincoln with the Lincoln Memorial which is located along the Ohio River in downtown Louisville. He’s known for but not limited to is The Booker T. Washington Memorial in Hampton, VA, Joe Louis Memorial in Detroit, MI, and the Amistad Memorial in New Haven, CT just to name a few of the many works you can visit around the U.S. 

To learn more about Ed Hamilton and his works contact, Sherlene Shanklin with VIPP Communications for appearance and speaking engagement availability at sshanklin@vippcommunications.com.

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VIPP Communications is a full service public relations, event management and production firm headquartered in Louisville, KY with clients and/or projects all over the U.S. We can create, maintain and sustain your brand.  Our clientele range from small businesses, non-profits, corporate leaders, entertainment to current and retired professional athletes.  Contact one of our team members to see if we can assist you at info at vippcommunications dot com.  www.vippcommunications.com

The VIPP Report: Two former NBA stars know all too well that their hometown of Louisville need to have a game plan

Louisville natives Allan Houston and Derek Anderson

By Sherlene M. Shanklin

(Louisville, KY) I’ve been working behind the scenes for many months in regards to the Breonna Taylor case. There’s many journalists like myself who have researched, combed through paperwork and filed ORRs to uncover much of what you are hearing about today publicly.

I have reached out to so many people to help explain, give insight and to voice their concerns.

I posted a photo that simply said: “The World Is Watching Louisville” #breonnataylor #sherlenesstory. Then I went right back to work preparing for the Jefferson County Grand Jury and the Kentucky Attorney General’s decision and announcement.

I noticed a day later, that my phone’s alert system was putting in the work so I opened it to notice that Derek Anderson had shared my message. Since the AG’s decision many are just trying to wrap their minds around what happened.

On March 13th, Breonna Taylor lost her life. On, September 23rd, 195 days since her death and 119 days of protesting in the City of Louisville and sounding counties in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. There’s still so many more questions than answers.

Derek Anderson and Allan Houston voiced their concern and what needed to be done to try and heal the community they call ‘home’. Here’s what the two Louisville natives and former NBA stars shared on my social media post.

Anderson says “It’s some really good people in Louisville and I’m proud to love my city and the people that care about it. And like every city it’s some mislead & negative people who would rather COMPLAIN rather than CHANGE!!! It starts with Government, City Leaders and Officials, Parents & the People!!!!”

Anderson attended Doss High and then later played for the University of Kentucky winning a NCAA championship. He had a great career in the NBA and before retiring he won a championship with the Miami Heat.

Houston says “Praying for My Hometown. There is extreme pain and frustration. We need justice. We need righteousness. We need to uphold the standard of God’s law. We need reconciliation. We must not stop pursuing these!! #breonnataylor

Houston attended Ballard High, played for the Tennessee Volunteers and also had a great basketball career with the New York Knicks. 

How does Louisville move forward?  Give me your thoughts. 

Sherlene M. Shanklin

►Contact Sherlene Shanklin at sherleneshanklin@gmail.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. 

The VIPP Report: Metro Disability Coalition will hold a news conference about their treatment when it comes to TARC 3

The Metro Disability Coalition (MDC) is calling a press conference for Tuesday, September 8, 2020, at 3:00 pm to call attention to the horrible situation facing disabled bus riders, and drivers, on Transit Authority of River City (TARC 3) paratransit.   It will be held in front of TARC headquarters,  1000 West Broadway.

Passengers are not adequately distanced, in a time of coronavirus, as suggested by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), our state and city governments.  Not all drivers wear masks, as required.

 “Reasonable accommodation” means safe public ridership for disabled riders, drivers, and other personnel.

 We have made countless attempts to get TARC to correct this, to no avail.  This press conference will include representatives of the disabled, organized labor and civil rights groups.

 These issues are of grave concern to the disabled community—they are life and death matters.

 TARC 3 needs to provide the disabled community assurances that drivers will be masked and that there will be social distancing—particularly important for the visually and cognitively disabled.

For more information, call Marcellus Mayes, president of MDC:  778-8922 or Antonio Wickliffe:  ajwickliffe@aol.com .

The VIPP Report: African American Bloodstock Agent Seeks Winner’s Circle at Kentucky Derby

HARBUT-STACKED copy

LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY, Aug. 24, 2020 – The 146th running of the Kentucky Derby will be like none other.  There will be no fans in the stands at Churchill Downs, and for the first time in 13 years, African Americans will have ownership in a derby qualifying racehorse.

Ray Daniels, a Lexington businessman and Greg Harbut, a Lexington Bloodstock Agent are two of three owners of the Kentucky thoroughbred, Necker Island.  The two are among a tiny group of Black men to ever own a Derby qualifying racehorse.  “My family and I are excited and truly blessed to be part of such a momentous event,” Daniels said. 

Especially noteworthy of this historic accomplishment is Harbut’s lineage.  He is the grandson of Tom Harbut, a groom and subsequently the general manager for Harry F. Guggenheim’s breeding stallion operations in the 1960s.  Tom Harbut owned a racehorse, Touch Bar that ran in the 1962 Kentucky Derby.  He did not attend to watch his horse because Black’s were not allowed to sit in the grandstands.  Greg is the great-grandson of Will Harbut, the legendary groom for Man o’ War from 1930-1946.  Many industry experts consider Man o’ War to be the greatest racehorse of all time.  “My family has been on this journey for nearly 100 years.  Horseracing is in our blood and I am humbled and honored to continue the legacy of my grandfather and great-grandfather,” Harbut said.     

Many organizations are calling for a boycott of the Derby as a pathway to justice for the unarmed killing of Breonna Taylor at the hands of the Louisville Police Department.  “There is a powerful social movement sweeping the country that cannot be ignored,” said Daniels.  “Black lives matter, and I wholeheartedly stand in solidarity with the family of Breonna Taylor in the call for justice.” 

Necker Island is a colt by Hard Spun who finished second in the 2007 Kentucky Derby and amassed nearly $3 million in career earnings.  Necker Island will be ridden by Miguel Mena on Sept. 5th.

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!cid_A431B594D7B4419F8E91FA0D5F1A9765@SherlenePCVIPP Communications is a full service public relations, event management and production firm headquartered in Louisville, KY with clients and/or projects all over the U.S. We can create, maintain and sustain your brand.  Our clientele range from small businesses, non-profits, corporate leaders, entertainment to current and retired professional athletes.  Contact one of our team members to see if we can assist you at info at vippcommunications dot com.  www.vippcommunications.com

 

The VIPP Report: Putting the ‘Soul’ back into WLOU & 104.7FM

THE HEART AND “SOUL” OF THE URBAN COMMUNITY CHANGES MUSIC FORMAT AS IT CONTINUES TO USE ITS VOICE AS A PLATFORM FOR CHANGE

(Louisville, KY) On Friday, August 7, 2020 at 10:47 am the sound of 1350AM WLOU & 104.7FM returned to its original format of soul music.

With the new stereo sound, you will see a new logo and station tagline, but the roots of the station remain intact but with a broader appeal from news and information but filling a void in the community when it comes to soul music. The format will give listeners an opportunity to go back down memory lane with music from Earth, Wind & Fire, O’Jays, Stylistics, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige, Sade, Isley Brothers, Anita Baker plus many more.

“The Original Soul of Louisville” adds Archie Dale as the General Manager and Mark Gunn as Program Director and Afternoon Drive On-Air Personality to the already dynamic team of Krystal “Miss Krystal” Goodner in the Morning Drive and others to be announced.

With 70 years on the airwaves, WLOU is one of the oldest urban stations in the U.S. So, when it was acquired by David B. Smith Sr., long time radio personality, program director and co-owner of Kentuckiana Broadcast Group he wanted to make sure its rich history was celebrated but also be a voice for African Americans. Gunn says “We’re reaching the underserved adult Black demographic by going a lot deeper musically than the other Gold based stations in the market. In addition to REAL Soul Music, WLOU continues to deal with the soul of Louisville by directly addressing social issues we are facing today and to be an information hub to our listeners not only on the air, in the community but on our social platforms.

Smith’s love for radio has been a constant especially in Louisville and Southern Indiana so when he heard that the station maybe acquired from someone outside the region he says “Passing up the opportunity to purchase such a legendary station was not an option. The possibility of WLOU being owned by anyone not from here just wouldn’t be right”. “I’m honored to walk in the footsteps of former owner The Reverend Dr. William E. Summers III”.

With more than 30 years in the radio industry, Smith says they are not deleting the Gospel programming but moving it to our sister station, AM 1240, WLLV.

For additional information, contact VP/GM WLOU/WLLV Archie Dale at 502.776.1240

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HISTORY

On October 21st, 1951, AM 1350, WLOU hit the airwaves as the Soul Of Louisville to become one of the first five full-time R&B stations in the country and over time, one of the top – rated stations in the nation.

The tradition of excellence and service to the Black Community was brought to the forefront by legendary on–air personalities like “Super Neal” O’Ray, Brenda “20th Century Fox” Banks, Bill Price and Tony Fields to name a few with The Reverend Doctor William E. Summers III leading the charge.

VIPP Communications is a full service public relations, event management and production firm headquartered in Louisville, KY with clients and/or projects all over the U.S. We can create, maintain and sustain your brand.  Our clientele range from small businesses, non-profits, corporate leaders, entertainment to current and retired professional athletes.  Contact one of our team members to see if we can assist you at info at vippcommunications dot com.  www.vippcommunications.com

The VIPP Report: Kentucky Woman Is Making Waves In The Entertainment Industry

ericka-malone

FROM STAGEPLAYS TO A DRAMA SERIES AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN

(Las Vegas, Nevada) Louisville native Ericka Nicole Malone, CEO of Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment, LLC is making a name for herself in the film/television industry. Malone is the creative behind many projects you see from tv, the big screen to stage plays. Now, the screenwriter, playwriter, producer and director announce an animation project and several projects in the optioned phase. One we can discuss is a one-hour TV drama series entitled ‘Della’.  The scripted drama illustrates and puts a spotlight on corruption against women in an urban Kentucky town where a Black female vigilante unleashes her revenge. It will leave you at the edge of your seat.

Malone to date has produced more than nine stage plays which include “In Love with Tyrone”, starring actors Robin Givens, and Leon.

One of her most recent projects, she was the executive producer for “Ward of the State” sitcom pilot. It tells the story of a rich heiress accustomed to a certain lifestyle loss it all after her fourth husband suddenly dies leaving her broke forcing her to move in with her daughter into a middle-class neighborhood. The cast consist of Janet Hubert (Fresh Prince of Bel Air), Aloma Wright (Suits) and Vanessa Williams (Soul Food.)

Ericka Nicole Malone says “There’s so many things that I’m grateful for even during a pandemic we are still able to tell great stories.  I have first-hand knowledge of Louisville because its home to me.  I hate to see everything happening from protests to the Breonna Taylor case.  That’s a storyline that the world is watching unfold.  Even, with so much uncertainty, I still want young people in the community to know that you can achieve even with adversity.  I’m a testimony and I want to be a positive example not only for people who look like me but anyone trying to follow their dreams.  Every opportunity I get to go home I do.  There’s so many unsung heroes that need their story told and I hope someday I will get to tell them.”

To see read Ericka Nicole Malone’s bio and project list go to www.erickanicolemalone.com. To setup an interview contact Sherlene Shanklin at VIPP Communications at sshanklin@vippcommunications.com.

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Ericka

http://www.erickanicolemalone.com

VIPP Communications is a full service public relations, event management and production firm headquartered in Louisville, KY with clients and/or projects all over the U.S. We can create, maintain and sustain your brand.  Our clientele range from small businesses, non-profits, corporate leaders, entertainment to current and retired professional athletes.  Contact one of our team members to see if we can assist you at info at vippcommunications dot com.  www.vippcommunications.com

The VIPP Report: Former President Barack Obama releases a statement on the passing of Rep. John Lewis

Sherlene Shanklin and President Barack Obama

By Sherlene Shanklin

Early this morning, former U.S. President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama released a statement on the passing of Rep. John Lewis.  He died on Friday, July 17th from pancreatic cancer at the age of 80.

Here’s an excerpt from the 44th President of the United States: “Not many of us get to live to see our own legacy play out in such a meaningful, remarkable way. John Lewis did. And thanks to him, we now all have our marching orders — to keep believing in the possibility of remaking this country we love until it lives up to its full promise.”

Obama also says “John Lewis — one of the original Freedom Riders, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the youngest speaker at the March on Washington, leader of the march from Selma to Montgomery, Member of Congress representing the people of Georgia for 33 years — not only assumed that responsibility, he made it his life’s work.  He loved this country so much that he risked his life and his blood so that it might live up to its promise.  And through the decades, he not only gave all of himself to the cause of freedom and justice, but inspired generations that followed to try to live up to his example.”

To read the full statement Barack and Michelle Obama statement

►Contact Sherlene Shanklin at sherleneshanklin@gmail.com or follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.