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: 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: 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

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: 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.

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: 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.

 

The VIPP Report: Civil Rights icon Rep. John Lewis dies at the age of 80

Official Congressional Photo

Rep. John Lewis

By Sherlene Shanklin

Late Friday evening, word spread quickly about the passing of Civil Rights icon and Congressman John Lewis.

The “conscious” of the U.S. Congress died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 80.

The Freedom Rider attended Fisk University and when he was not in class he was leading demonstrations and sit-ins.

Within the last two hours the following statements were released.

Former President Barack Obama says “When I was elected President of the United States, I hugged him on the inauguration stand before I was sworn in and told him I was only there because of the sacrifices he made. And through all those years, he never stopped providing wisdom and encouragement to me and Michelle and our family. We will miss him dearly.”

The Congressional Black Caucus says “The world has lost a legend; the civil rights movement has lost an icon, the City of Atlanta has lost one of its most fearless leaders, and the Congressional Black Caucus has lost our longest serving member. The Congressional Black Caucus is known as the Conscience of the Congress. John Lewis was known as the conscience of our caucus. A fighter for justice until the end, Mr. Lewis recently visited Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington DC. His mere presence encouraged a new generation of activist to “speak up and speak out” and get into “good trouble” to continue bending the arc toward justice and freedom.”

Bill and Hillary Clinton say “We have lost a giant.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi says “Today, America mourns the loss of one of the greatest heroes of American history: Congressman John Lewis, the Conscience of the Congress.

The Lewis family tried to hold the news of his passing because Dr. Martin Luther King’s lieutenant C.T. Vivian also of Atlanta, Georgia passed away earlier in the day.  Out of respect for the Vivian family they were trying to wait.

To learn more on Rep. John Lewis’ life and countless accomplishments go to https://johnlewis.house.gov/.

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

The VIPP Report: Louisville protest move from the business district to the neighborhoods

UPDATED 7/15/2020 4:30pm: From Louisville Metro Police Dept.: Suzanne Craft the individual that was served a summons regarding vandalism with racial hate messages was arrested today by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s for failure to appear in court on those charges.

This evening, members of Louisville Showing Up for Racial Justice (LSURJ) along with other community leaders and protesters will converge on the Lake Forest neighborhood located in Eastern Jefferson County, a subdivision in Louisville.

They are going to this particular community after several driveways were spray painted with racist slurs.  The protesters are concerned that there was not enough action taken on the incident to protest the families involved and to express support for those involved.

This incident(s) took place on and/or around June 29th, following unrest after the death of George Floyd and the ongoing case right here in Louisville of Breonna Taylor.

On March 13th just before 1:00 am on Springfield Drive, Breonna Taylor was shot multiple times after LMPD executed a no-knock search warrant.  The 26 year old died from her injuries.

Protests started in Louisville, Kentucky on May 29th and they continue to this day like the Lake Forest protest as well 6th and Jefferson in downtown Louisville.

The investigation is currently in its fourth month and is in the hands of the Kentucky Attorney General’s office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, (FBI).

Follow me for up to date information on the Breonna Taylor case.

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

 

The VIPP Report: Yandy Smith along with other protesters being released from Louisville Metro Corrections

 
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By Sherlene Shanklin

(Louisville, KY)  Protesters continue to walkout of jail after being arrested Tuesday afternoon.

Love and Hip Hop star and activist Yandy Smith along will some 80 plus others were arrested for demonstrating in front of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s home.

107737209_1969195096543782_6603321511495882528_nI received these photos from Nicole Hayden. The Louisville activist has been participating in protests for weeks asking for justice in the Breonna Taylor case.

Hayden is with Smith and Porsha Williams as they wait for other protesters to be released.

Let me take you back to why the protesters came to the city.  On March 13th just before 1:00 am on Springfield Drive, Breonna Taylor was shot multiple times after LMPD executed a no-knock search warrant.  The 26 year old died from her injuries. 

Protests started in Louisville on May 29th and they continue to this day. 

The investigation is currently in its fourth month and is in the hands of the Kentucky Attorney General’s office and the FBI. 

Follow me for up to date information on the Breonna Taylor case. 

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

 

The VIPP Report: Porsha Williams walking out of Louisville Metro Corrections after being arrested in a Breonna Taylor protest

By Sherlene Shanklin

After a long night, reality star and activist Porsha Williams exits Louisville Metro Corrections around 3:30 am.

She along nearly 90 others were arrested Tuesday afternoon for demonstrating in front of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s home.

I just received this photo of Williams as she walks out of jail. There was a crowd of people on the exterior of the jail waiting for Williams and other protesters.

The Bravo star is in Louisville seeking justice for Breonna Taylor.

                                                Credit Nikia Williams

 

Credit: Louisville Metro Corrections

The VIPP Report: Two Louisville chefs make their debut on Guy’s Grocery Games on the Food Network

Davonte and Randy photo

(Pictured left to right Davonte Bolden and Randy Pasch)

THE DYNAMIC DUO TAKES ON GUY’S GROCERY GAMES

(Santa Rosa, California) Two Louisville chefs get a one-way ticket to Flavortown.  On Wednesday night, Chefs Davonte’ Bolden and Randy Pasch team up to take on other chefs in Guy’s Grocery Games hosted by Chef Guy Fieri.

Randy PaschChef Pasch, a native of Yellow Springs, Ohio who currently lives in Louisville says “As a chef I let the food speak to me.   When my creative juices flow, I can turn simple dishes into masterpieces.”  The Sullivan University culinary graduate goes on to say, “It’s about teaching the new generation of chefs that it not only takes skill but passion it can be seen through from every dish that comes out of my kitchen.”

Chef Bolden, a native of St. Louis, Missouri who also lives in Davonte BoldenLouisville found his passion for food at an early age but never getting the break he needed to extend his career.  The Sullivan University culinary graduate followed his dream and kept his faith even through the hard times.  The tough times brought him to this moment. He says “He wants to live a life that shows all others that the best blessings are when we become one to others.  Food is my therapy and its healing to soul and the stomach.  My time is now, I’m getting the opportunity to showcase my skills.”

Darnell “Superchef” Ferguson, owner of Super Hero Chefs says “I couldn’t be more proud of these two men.  It proves that their hard work and dedication is being rewarded.  To be in the national spotlight and to represent Super Hero Chefs lets everyone know that my team is strong and love food.  They are innovative and can take on any challenge Guy gives them.”

Bolden and Pasch will scramble through Flavortown Market to make something sweet and savory.  How did they do?   You need to watch the Food Network on Wednesday at 9:00 pm (ET) and 8:00 (CT).

To setup an interview contact sshanklin at vippcommunications dot 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: Hip-hop Artist R. Prophet speaks out on police brutality in his new book

HIP-HOP ARTIST R. PROPHET IS FINALLY READY TO SHARE HIS ENCOUNTER WITH POLICE THAT LEFT HIM CHARGED, HOSPITALIZED AND UNKNOWN FATE

Ryan-Prophet-3-D-Cover-1-e1581984003631-166x300

It’s a story of survival when he felt like he was in a fight for his life

(Atlanta, GA)  We’re hearing their stories of racism and police brutality leaving many horrified that they never noticed before now. Today, you hear the names George Floyd and Breonna Taylor plus countless others.  Many lost their life and we will never be able to hear their stories but there’s some survivors.  Let me take you back to April 2013 where, two-time Grammy nominated hip-hop/rap artist Ryan “R. Prophet” encountered law enforcement on a Kentucky road.  He shares his story and the things he’s been dealing with since that night.

In Prophet’s new book, “Grams to Grammy”, it takes you back to that early morning safety checkpoint where things escalated leaving Ryan in the hospital, arrested, charged with third-degree assault, resisting arrest, and menacing among other the charges for the former member of Nappy Roots.  He also gets candid about what happens when these traumatic incidents take place.  Prophet can explain first-hand the affects it causes.  From expressing anger, to depression followed by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Currently, the book is charted as #1 new best seller on Amazon as part of the #sfirmcelebrityseries.  It’s filled with issues that many in the African American community face but often times rarely discussed from mental illness to living in impoverished neighborhoods where people feel like there’s a target on their back.

Prophet shared his experience with several media outlets shortly after the incident but has rarely spoken publicly until now.

Prophet, an advocate against police brutality feels like he needs to take a stance and talk about his experience of being tased some 15 times at the hands of Kentucky State Police. His case did not go through the judicial process, but it was reported but not confirmed by involved parties that he was awarded a one million-dollar judgment.

To setup an interview with R. Prophet and/or any other media inquiries please contact Sherlene Shanklin with VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com.

Be sure to stay connected with R. Prophet on all social media platforms. Facebook.com/rprophetofficial and Instagram.com/rprophetofficial

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About R. Prophet:

Prophet is an American Rapper, Actor and TV personality. Known by most as the former lead of Grammy Nominated Group, Nappy Roots, R. Prophet has been changing the music scene since the early 2000s. Currently R. Prophet is developing hip hop educational tools for children. He has also been acting and recording his solo album with hopes to raise awareness of police brutality. One of R. Prophet’s biggest honors, in addition to being nominated for two Grammys, is the appointment to the Board & Advisory Council of the Muhammad Ali Center where he serves as the youngest member alongside Diddy, Denzel Washington and more. Stay tuned for more to come with Rap Artist and Actor R. Prophet.

!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: A retired pastor talks about two things many places of worship are dealing with during COVID-19 which are ‘faith’ and ‘finance’

Did you ever wonder what it takes to keep a place of worship open?  From services, events to meetings from both its members and the community.

In times of uncertainty many depend on their faith to get them through difficult times.   It’s the one place we were taught in this generation that the church is the one institution you could depend to be open.

Many understand that extreme measures were needed to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, but many religious organizations will need to turn to more than their faith but now finances or should I say the lack of finances.

Congregations across Kentucky were already struggling with the increase in expenses and the decline in membership and visitors. Now, in these times will many survive the shutdown?

Without the constant of tithes, offering and donations many across the Commonwealth they must seek funding just to keep their doors open.

With so much on everyone’s plate churches are missing the collection plate being passed. I’m sure anything you can give will help them in ways you have no idea.  Many are still trying to assist members and many of the church’s leadership are reaching into their own pockets to keep some programs going.

Whether you go to your place of worship once a week, once a month and/or once a year bills still need to be paid.

IMG_6666Rev. Alex C. Shanklin, retired pastor as pastor of Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church located in the Smoketown neighborhood in Louisville, KY.  Prior to retiring Shanklin and members of the congregation paid off their mortgage and held a mortgage burning ceremony on February 28, 2016.   Shanklin served as pastor for 35 years.

 

The VIPP Report: Metro Disability Coalition announces their Breaking Barriers Spotlight Award honorees

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       METRO DISABILITY COALITION THANK THEIR UNSUNG HEROES AT AN AWARDS CEREMONY

(Louisville, KY) The Metro Disability Coalition invites you to attend their 21st Annual Breaking Barriers Spotlight Awards on Monday, March 16th from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at the Rudd Heart & Lung Center located at 201 Abraham Flexner Way.

There will be a reception prior to the ceremony for special guests, honorees and those participating in the program.   This year’s theme is Working Toward a Fully Accessible Community for All Disabled Individuals.

MDCThe awards ceremony will honor community unsung heroes and community leaders in their various fields from service workers, educators to youth who go above and beyond the call of duty to assist those in need. Several Jefferson County Public Schools, (JCPS) students and faculty will be honored.

Here’s a list of this year’s Breaking Barriers Spotlight Award honorees:

Ms. BJ Levis

Lifetime Achievement Award

Nina Mosely

Merit Award

Dia Erpenbeck

Cedric Jones

Jenny Tyree

Sonora Crosby

Jodi Grajek

Cheikh El Moustapha

Certificate of Merit

United Auto Workers Ramp Building Program

Community Honoree

Breaking Barriers Spotlight Student & Teacher Awards recipients: 

Students

Ava Baker

Goldsmith Elementary

Makenzie Harman

Georia Chaffie Tapp

Gabrielle Runyon

duPont Manual High School

Teachers

Pamela St. John

ECE Teacher

Lincoln Elementary

Performing Arts School

Eileen Foote

Implementation Coach

Crosby Middle School

Christina Delk

Itinerant Teacher

Marion C. Moore High School

Our guest speaker will be Rev. Corrie Shull, Senior Pastor of the Burnett Avenue Baptist Church.  He also serves as the sixth district board member for the Jefferson County Public Schools Board of Education.  Under his leadership at Burnett Ave, the congregation has experienced tremendous growth through the addition of hundreds of families into church membership, creating relevant ministries, implementing twenty-first century technology and embracing new and dynamic ways of engaging people from all walks of life for the purpose of life transformation.

A proponent of education, Rev. Shull holds degrees from Fisk University and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and works as an adjunct professor for Louisville area colleges.

Some our special guests will be Michelle Dillard, Assistant Superintendent, JCPS; Metro Council President David James and Metro Councilwoman Barbara Sexton-Smith.

We would like to thank the following that support the Metro Disability Coalition not only for this event but support us throughout the year: University of Louisville Health, Bates Memorial Disability Ministry.

Bridgehaven, The Center for Accessible Living, Council on Developmental Disabilities, Dayspring, God’s Gatekeepers St Stephen Youth Ushers, Independence Seekers, Kentuckians for Single Payer Healthcare. KIPDA, Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission. NAMI, Paralyzed Veterans of America and Superior Van & Mobility.

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Marcellus Mayes by calling 502-774-8993 or Ronel McCombs at 502-836-1245

If you would like to setup an interview with a member of the Metro Disability Coalition for the 21st Annual Breaking Barriers Spotlight Awards held on Monday, March 16th at the Rudd Heart & Lung Center please contact VIPP Communications at  info@vippcommunications.com.

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The Metro Disability Coalition is an organization of individuals and agencies in Louisville, KY who advocate for those with disabilities to have a better quality of life.  The 501c (3) organization was established in 2001.

Metro Disability Coalition Board Members

Marcellus Mayes, Bobbie James, Cheryl Medley, Ronel McCombs, Chuck Rogers, Beverly Peterson, Elaine Weisbard, Ira Grupper, Ronnie White, Teddy Young, Antonio Wickliffe, Manetta Lemkheitir, Charlie Sims, Grace Smith, Bill Wright and Goldina Lofton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The VIPP Report: The Stamina Foundation Throws Their “Rose” Into the Kentucky Derby Gala Field

With an over-the-top couture fashion show led by a Project Runway designer and entertainment by a Grammy Award nominated artist the Grandstand Gala is a sure bet

(Louisville, KY) The Stamina Foundation is happy to announce their inaugural Grandstand Gala during Kentucky Derby weekend in Louisville, KY.  As racing fans begin to arrive in the city, they will find out that this event on Thursday, April 30th will set the tone for style influencers trying to make a fashion statement during the Run for the Roses.  The Grandstand Gala will take place at the Kentucky International Convention Center, (KICC) Ballroom at 7:00 p.m. located at 221 S. 4th Street.

The lavish Derby event will have a red-carpet entrance as partygoers enjoy a runway style show featuring Project Runway’s Season 17 and Louisville native Frankie Lewis’, Frankie Lew Demi-Couture Collection.  The designer will debut her summer collection with one of a kind pieces. We will give you an exclusive look periodically showing you the designer working and creating right up until the models hit the runway Derby week.

Frankie Lew Is a demi couture fashion house that specializes in artistic clothing for every occasion. Guests should feel free to be bold and make a statement. Unconventional materials are our favorite because they destroy the limits of fashion and expression. Join us in a night of wearable art and fashion freedom.

Dr. Ashley Anderson, co-founder of the Grandstand Gala understands that the world not only watches the “Run for Roses” but for its unique and bold style. She says “The Kentucky Derby is known across the world for its fashion! This event pays homage to that by tapping Project Runway Designer and Louisville’s own, Frankie Lewis to provide inspiration for attendee attire and by putting designs from artists, designers and boutiques on display in a live fashion exhibition.  We couldn’t be more excited about this event.”

Grammy Award nominated artist Raheem DeVaughn will be the Grandstand Gala’s featured entertainer.  The R&B and Neo Soul artist known as “Radio Raheem” and “The Love King” continues to make great music with hits like “Woman”, “Just Right”, “You”, “Ridiculous” and his latest hit the “Love Reunion” is his seventh studio album entitled by the same name.

The singer/songwriter will take Derby fans through a love experience as we countdown Kentucky Derby 146.  DJ Reggie Reg will provide entertainment throughout the evening.

During the gala, NBA champion and Louisville native Derek Anderson and his wife, entrepreneur and community leader Dr. Ashley Anderson will present this year’s Grandstand Gala 2020 award honorees.  The AOK Inspiration Award will be presented to Allan Houston, former NBA all-star.  The AOK Commitment to the Community Award will be presented to Nicole Hayden, founder of Friends of Nicole 50/50 Mentoring Collaborative, Inc.

Houston, a Louisville native played in the NBA for 12 seasons in which he played for the New York Knicks nine of those seasons. He also won a gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.  The two-time NBA all-star shooting guard retired and currently serves as special assistant to the general manager for the Knicks and the general manager of the Westchester Knicks, the Knicks’ G League team.  He’s not being honored for his accomplishments on the court but what he’s done off the court as a humanitarian through the Allan Houston Legacy Foundation and the Allan Houston Mentoring Initiative.  Houston is married to Tamara Houston and they have seven children.

Hayden, a Louisville native and Miss Plus America 2014 works tirelessly to educate the community with the resources and information needed to build confidence and leadership skills essential for transitioning youth through their educational journey.  The Founder & President of Friends of Nicole 50/50 Mentoring Collaborative Inc. gives her opportunities to be a role model.  Her #IOWNCONFIDENCE campaign motivates and inspires not only locally but nationally.

Derek Anderson, co-founder of the Grandstand Gala says “We’re so excited to bring a new event to our city.  The Grandstand Gala will offer the unique opportunity to celebrate Derby week and support the local fashion scene while supporting the mission and programming of the Stamina Foundation within the community.”

Tickets are $150 for individual tickets and they can be purchased on Eventbrite.  To reserve a table and/or to be a sponsor contact DrA@AshleyDAnderson.com.

Proceeds from the inaugural Grandstand Gala held on Thursday, April 30th at the KICC benefit the programs of the Stamina Foundation.  The foundation is a 501©3 organization with the mission to empower youth and young adults with the resources and life skills they need to follow their dreams.

The Stamina Foundation will pursue this mission with educational programming and events throughout the year, but the first major project will be the development of the Stamina Academy. The purpose of the Stamina Academy is to teach life skills to youth both in and out of the school system with the goal of bringing this generation back to life’s basic skills: manners, being respectful to others, self-confidence, self-motivation, and self-education.

Youth today are greatly influenced by their peers and social media. Without proper guidance or a positive infrastructure, they tend to go down a bad road, which results in negative, long-term life consequences. Stamina will teach youth to identify and pursue their passions and to focus on being great instead of trying to fit in. For additional information go to http://www.staminafd.com.

To obtain media credentials and/or to setup interviews contact Sherlene Shanklin, VIPP Communications at sshanklin@vippcommunications.com. ***Stay tuned for special guest announcements. ***

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musi#EverythingisAOK

 

The VIPP Report: Miss USA Deshauna Barber will be in Louisville to speak at Black Achievers Celebration

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By Sherlene M. Shanklin

With scholarship as their main objective, the Chestnut Street Family YMCA Black Achievers program announces their keynote speaker for their 41st celebration.

Miss USA 2016 DeShauna Barber will be the keynote speaker.  The U.S. Army Reserve Captain will motivate young aspiring leaders to stay disciplined as they follow their dreams even when there’s a hardship not to stop trying to reach their goals.

Youth Achiever of the Year is Tajalia Tillman who attends DuPont Manual High School.

The 41st YMCA Black Achievers Celebration will be held on Saturday, February 22nd at the Galt House Hotel at 5:30pm.  Tickets are $100 per person and they can be purchases and the Chestnut Street YMCA or by emailing ljohnson@ymcalouisville.org.

The YMCA Black Achievers Program includes events such as Spring Break College Tours, Community Service Projects, Leadership training, ACT workshops, college & career fairs plus much more.

I have the great honor of announcing the scholarships and institutions they plan to attend.  For many families, this will be the first time they will hear the school and the amount of scholarship money their child will receive.  It’s truly an exciting moment and I have to say that when I received the long list of names and the amount of money they will get in scholarships it’s super impressive and I can only imagine what their families will feel on Saturday.

Congratulations to the scholars of the Chestnut Street Family YMCA Black Achievers.  Our future is in great hands with your leadership.

The VIPP Report: Kentucky woman heads to the White House to be honored for entrepreneurship during Black History Month

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KENTUCKY NATIVE AND CEO OF DB BOURBON INVITED TO WHITE HOUSE TO BE RECOGNIZED AS A GAMECHANGER IN BUSINESS

(FRANKFORT, KY) In honor of Black History Month, DB Bourbon Candy’s CEO Robyn Stuart is invited to the White House in Washington, DC on Friday, February 21st to celebrate black entrepreneurship.

There will be a summit where Stuart and other business owners from all over the U.S. Resized_20180321_204200will get the opportunity to meet high ranking federal agency representatives and discuss the expansion of contracting opportunities for minority-owned businesses and the creation of more mentorship programs for minority entrepreneurs to collaborate with the private sector.

Stuart, a native of Lexington, KY will participate in a summit that begins at 7:30am.  Later in the date, at 5:00pm there will be a reception.  She says “The doors of opportunity just keep opening for me and my business.  I’m excited to represent the Commonwealth of Kentucky at the White House for this once in a life chance during Black History Month.  I plan to learn common practices of other successful businesses, then come home, implement and help others who are wanting a chance to grow their business.”

635907542947281631-DB-4DB Bourbon Candy, LLC can be found in various locations throughout Kentucky from the Kroger Company to the Muhammad Ali International Airport.  To learn more about Robyn Stuart and DB Bourbon Candy and how to place your customized order visit http://www.dbbourboncandy.com.

If you would like to setup an interview and/or invite DB Bourbon to your next event, please contact Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin at vippcommunications dot com.

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History

In 2002, Stuart started her business after the passing of her mother Johnnye S. Cunningham   During the holidays, her mother would create the delicious treat as a family tradition. Robyn wanted to honor her mother, so she decided to start the business and make the original candy recipe apart of her business. With the support of Four Roses Distillery, Louisville Convention Center and Bourbon Country as well as the many events and activities she participates in everyone loves to see the wonderful creation that she produces.  From initially starting with candy the business has grown into developing other products such as chocolate covered fruit, bourbon cheesecakes to chocolate covered popcorn.

!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.  http://vippcommunications.com

The VIPP Report: Showcasing Kentucky Black Authors in Lexington at an Expo

AuthorsExpoLexington2020

In celebration of Black History Month, it’s the Kentucky Black Authors Expo at the Lyric Theatre, 300 E. Third Street in Lexington on Saturday, February 22nd from 11:00am to 4:00pm.

Some of the authors featured will be Rev. Dr. Jim Thurman, Frank “X” Walker, Rev. Dr.C.B. Akins, Rev. Herbert Owens, Vanessa Sanford, Ron Spriggs, Dr. Junior Greenlee, Rosetta Quisenberry. James “Chali” Jones, Shonda White plus many other talented writers.

The Kentucky Black Authors Expo is free and open to the public.

AuthorsExpoLexington

 

The VIPP Report: Celebrating the Legacy of Black Louisville with entertainment memories from the past

Jazz at the Top Hat 2020

(Louisville, KY) Music is healing to the soul and jazz is the essence of the heart and when you combine the two, you celebrate music and its legacy.  Legacies Unlimited Inc. presents Jazz At The Top Hat Club featuring the jazz renderings of saxophonist Rick DeBow and The Palm Room Crew on Friday, January 24th at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, (KCAAH) located at 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd formerly known as Old Walnut Street at 7:30pm.

Although members of the group CRISIS have not played as a unit for a number of years, they will come together as The Palm Room Crew for this Jazz At The Top Hat event.

We invite you to The Top Hat Club, it’s the place to be and to be seen as we celebrate the legacy of Black Louisville. Tickets are $35 for general admission.

On Saturday, January 25th, it’s “Ladies Night Out” with The Walnut Street Revue.  We take you back to the 1930’s, 40’s and 50s.  Louisville legends song stylist Tanita Gaines and showstopper Sheryl Rouse will perform.

Ken Clay, founder of Legacies Unlimited says “Its two evenings full of great music and memories.  We take you down memory lane as we remember our music legends from Louisville in particular Old Walnut with music powerhouses of today.  We will also honor an entertainer on that Saturday with the Helen Humes Jazz Legend Award.  We’ve only given the award to a handful of people over the years, but we feel the particular artist we will honor is so deserving.  We invite you both evenings as we party Old Walnut Street style.”

The award is named in honor of Helen Humes. A jazz and blues singer from Louisville, KY who was a vocalist with Count Basie’s band.  Enthusiasts and historians have documented that Humes was a vital voice in the swing-era.  Helping them shape and define the sound of vocal swing music.  The only child of a school teacher and her father was the first black attorney in the city.  In 1937, Basie asked Humes to join his band, replacing Billie Holiday. The Louisville music icon  recorded her last album in 1980 and died from cancer in 1981 at the age of 68 years old.

Tickets for The Walnut Street Revue are $50 for general admission and $60 for cabaret seating. (limited space)

Celebrating the Legacy of Black Louisville is presented by Legacies Unlimited in partnership with the KCAAH.  It is made possible through support from Christy Brown, the Owsley Brown II Family Foundation, Hardscuffle Inc., WLKY-TV and George & Mary Lee Fischer.

Tickets for the both JAZZ AT THE TOP HAT and WALNUT STREET REVUE are available at Better Days Records in Lyles Mall or at 1765 Bardstown Road. You can also purchase them online at redpintix.com.

Please announce and/or post our event to your entertainment/event calendar.  To set-up an interview, please contact VIPP Communications at  info@vippcommunications.com.

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Jazz at the TOP Hat 2020 BACK

The VIPP Report: Handling the pandemic

Many were able to maintain some type of normal routine while some have had their lives and livelihood turned upside down. 

Brain fogs, panic attacks and sleepless nights worrying about the well-being of family and friends have been draining. 

How is your mental health? I have tried yoga and could not concentrate long enough to keep it going.  I started reading but only read in spurts.  I listen to music, all genres to help calm my soul. I found writing down my feelings and then crumbling it up and throwing it away helped instantly but have no long term benefits. 

We are so bogged down with a ray of emotions and with no expiration date for this timeline on the pandemic and social unrest. 

What have you’ve been doing in the past year to keep your sanity? 

The VIPP Report: It’s the countdown into the new year benefiting area youth

StaminaSoiree

The Stamina Foundation rings in 2020 with a clear vision for the year ahead

(Louisville, KY) The Stamina Foundation presents their inaugural New Year’s Eve Soiree hosted by Louisville native former NCAA & NBA Champion Derek Anderson and his wife Dr. Ashley Anderson at the Hyatt Regency Louisville at 9:00 p.m.

It will be an evening filled with great entertainment by The Unlimited Show Band featuring Sheryl Rouse and DJ Reggie Regg.  There will be a special performance by Hannah Drake that you don’t want to miss.  The emcee for the evening will be Oremeyi Kareem.

It’s a party with a purpose benefiting the Stamina Foundation Food Insecurity Endowment that will be used to support initiatives in the community combating hunger among our youth. General admission tickets are $75, and VIP is $125.  You can purchase them on Eventbrite.com.

Please post our announcement on your NYE event calendars and announce on your shows.  If you have any questions and/or would like to setup an interview, contact booking@vippcommunications.com.

The Stamina Foundation New Year’s Eve Soiree was made possible due to the support of the following community leaders who tirelessly give back to organizations who are trying to make a difference through compassion.  A special thank you to: Papa John’s, Pride Realty, Nail Talk, Citizens Union Bank, Republic Bank, LGE and KU Foundation, WellCare, Norton Healthcare, AFM Threads, VOME’, Simply Thai and Heine Brothers.  To be a sponsor and/or purchase a table contact us at AOK@staminafd.com.

To learn more about the Stamina Foundation visit www/staminafd.com.

Stamina-Logo

VIPP Communications is a full service public relations, event management and production fivippnewlogorm 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.  http://vippcommunications.com

The VIPP Report: WLPAA 30 Year Celebration: “A Million Dreams”

WLPAA

(Louisville, KY) The West Louisville Performing Arts Academy (WLPAA) will host its 30 Year Celebration: “A Million Years” 6:00 p.m. Saturday December 14, 2019 at the Omni Hotel Louisville in the Olmstead Ballroom.

The emcee for the evening will be the Honorable District #4 Councilwoman, Barbara Sexton Smith. Special guest for the evening will be the Honorable Greg Fischer, Mayor of Louisville.

Come!!  Enjoy!! The evening will be filled with the “sounds of hope,” orchestral sounds from Jubals Strings, and fine dining, and tribute will be given to McDaniel Bluitt, founder/director of the West Louisville Performing Arts Academy, for 30 years of service.

The Academy invites you to support the children as they celebrate this momentous occasion. Adult tickets are $100.00, student tickets are $50.00.  All tickets may be purchased at: Artspace, 4th floor 323 West Broadway

For more information regarding the 30 Year Celebration contact Kathy Washington, Event Coordinator (502) 235-0745.

To arrange an interview with McDaniel Bluitt, founder of the West Louisville Performing Arts Academy, contact: info@vippcommunications.com or http://www.westlouisvilleperformjngarts.org.

History

West Louisville Boys Choir began in November 1990. The choir is directed by McDaniel Bluitt, a retired vocal music teacher with twenty-nine (29) years of experience. He received his B. M. ED. from the University of Louisville School of Music and a Masters in Counseling from Western Kentucky University. The Boys Choir has performed throughout the commonwealth, for mayors, governors other national dignitaries. The Boys Choir’s first European Tour established international prominence in Paris, France and London, England. They received a superior rating during their first international music competition in the Bahamas. They were also awarded first place in the Music Festival at Sea.

The West Louisville Girls Choir made its debut in November 2002. The choir is directed by Mrs. Mamie Bluitt who received her B.M.ED. from the University of Louisville School of Music. The Girls Choir is also a performing choir.   Some of its more notable performances are: Governor Patton’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration in Frankfort, Kentucky, ECHO, Women for Women Conference and at Cincinnati’s National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Their first Southwestern Tour to Texas was held in 2010.

 

The VIPP Report: The first African American secretary for the Smithsonian visits KCAAH in Louisville

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By Sherlene M. Shanklin

On September 25th at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage they hosted An Extraordinary Evening with Dr. Lonnie Bunch.

Dr. Bunch is the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute.  That consists of 19 museums, nine research centers and the National Zoo.  He was previously the founding director of the National Museum of African American History.

The Heritage Center is located a 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Boulevard in Louisville, Ky.

See link for my WHAS11.com photo gallery Dr. Lonnie Bunch in Louisville, Ky

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