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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

# ##

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

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

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

By Sherlene M. Shanklin

Louisville, Kentucky

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

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

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

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

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

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

DCorey Johnson Photo by Sherlene Shanklin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sherlene M. Shanklin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preview(opens in a new tab)

Birdie Maxwell Photo Courtesy Sherlene Shanklin

By Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 ABC Louisville

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sherlene & Birdie Maxwell

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

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

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: 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.

VIPP Communications End of 2020 Message

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sherlene Shanklin

Sherlene Shanklin

December 31, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Virtual Event: Honoring Our She’roes

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

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

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

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

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

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

###

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.

###

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: 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.

###

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

 
107611420_600322290616947_7378863546289098989_n

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 reality show stars arrested in Louisville during a Breonna Taylor demonstration

Special Report By Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television, ABC Affiliate Louisville

Photo credit: Louisville Metro Corrections

(Louisville, KY) Its been four months since the shooting death of Breonna Taylor.  On Tuesday, some 90 demonstrators were arrested on the lawn of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s home in Louisville. 

Among those arrested were two reality show stars.  Porsha Williams from Bravo’s Housewives of Atlanta and Yandy Smith from VH1’s Love and Hip Hop New York. 

Both Williams of Georgia and Smith of New York are charged with criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and intimidating a participant in a legal process.  They are currently in Louisville Metro Corrections and their arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday morning. 

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

Sherlene Shanklin is an Emmy nominated journalist and two-time SPJ winner for sports writing and best use of social media. She created The VIPP Report to give her community a voice on platforms and open the dialogue on issues, topics and in depth news. thevippreport@vippcommunications.com-@thevippreport

                                                  Sherlene Shanklin

 

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

GTY_deshauna_barber_courtestyABC

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: Raphael Saadiq makes a stop at Paristown Hall

Raphael saadiq promotion photo

Saadiq writes about real-life situations that no one wants to talk about but necessary for healing and you get a chance to hear him live at Paristown Hall

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It’s exciting to see how much the entertainment circuit has grown over the years in the Bluegrass market. All types of genres, all forms of art and of course the area has some top notch venues.

Grammy Award winning R & B musician, songwriter and the man artists go to for collaborations will be in Louisville for a concert.

Raphael Saadiq will be at the Old Forester Paristown Hall on Monday, February 17th. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and the show will begin at 8:00 p.m. with some new music off of his latest solo project, Jimmy Lee. It was released in August.

The former member of Tony! Toni! Tone! entitled the album after his late brother who died of a heroin overdose.  Through music, Saadiq will take you through the journey of addiction and later loss which many times causes confusion and sadness.

Over Saadiq’s 40 year career, he has many chart-topping hits from “Something Keeps Calling”, “Good Man” to “Ask of You”.  He’s produced songs for John Legend, Solange Knowles, TLC, En Vogue and the late Whitney Houston.

General admission tickets are $35.00 but if you feel like a V.I.P. experience that evening they have a premium ticket which will cost you a little more. Also, there’s a meet and greet ticket available.

The VIPP Report: Ball N’ Out is common for Rupp Arena but Wild N’ Out takes over in March

wild n out

There’s some shows that you just can’t turn away from. I’m surfing the channels and I always have to stop on MTV’s Wild N’ Out. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable when it comes to pop culture but I literally learn something new every time I watch that show.  It’s a rap and comedy battle on steroids, performances by top artists and the latest in trends. With its resurgence of the show Nick Cannon has decided to hit the road.

Save the date of Tuesday, March 24th for Wild N’ Out in Lexington, KY.  The show will be held in Rupp Arena.

Fans of the show can expect some standup as well as some music performances.  Some of the cast members you will get to see on tour, DC Young Fly, Karious Miller, Emmanuel Hudson, Justina Valentine and DJ D-Wreck.  The 27-city tour kicks off in March with the lineup changing up for each city along with some surprise guests.

Tickets start around $30.00.  You can purchase tickets at LiveNation.com, Ticketmaster.com and the Lexington Center Ticket Office.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at thevippreport@vippcommunications.com.  Follow us on Twitter @thevippreport @vippcomm.

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: Tickets go on sale today for legendary ‘Supreme’ Diana Ross

DianaRoss_EventDetails

Courtesy: Louisville Palace Promotions

Ross will ease on down to the Palace in 2020.  The superstar will be in Louisville at the Louisville Palace on Sunday, February 23rd

Ross is one of the most successful recording artists of our time.  The Motown legend got her start as the lead singer for the Supremes and then went on to have an unbelievable solo career with hits like “I’m Coming Out”, “Endless Love”,” “Touch Me in the Morning” just to name a handful of her mega hits. 

The multi-Grammy Award winning performer will be backed up by a six-piece band during her show.  Her last performance in Louisville was April 26, 2012.

Tickets go on sale today at 10:00 am for the Louisville, Kentucky concert.

If you have a story idea, send it to thevippreport@vippcommunications,com.  Follow us on Twitter @thevippreport.   

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

20190925_174542

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

The VIPP Report: Chris Tucker announces Kentucky comedy show

ChrisTuckerPalacePromoPhoto

Twenty-twenty is shaping up to be a big year for entertainment coming to the Bluegrass.  Comedian/actor Chris Tucker announces his return to Louisville.  The Rush Hour and Friday star has attended the Kentucky Derby and other events while in Louisville. He even took the stage to sing with the late Teena Marie at the Grand Gala, a Kentucky Derby Event but this time he will take the stage to do stand up.  Save the date of Friday, March 6th at the Louisville Palace.

Tickets are already on sale and they start at $39.50.  Doors will open at 7:00 p.m. and the show begins at 8:00 p.m. Fans will not be allowed to take photos and/or record portions of the show.  Tucker and his team just want you to sit back and just take in the comedy experience.

 

The VIPP Report: Snoop Dogg’s I Wanna Thank Me Tour will make a stop in Louisville

Snoop Dogg scheduled to perform in Louisville

Courtesy: Snoop Dogg promotional photo for I Wanna Thank Me Tour

Special Announcement by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11, ABC Affiliate Louisville

When you get a song stuck in your head and you begin to sing it, everyone around you tends to hum it too.  I started singing Snoop’s song and everyone wanted to know why I was humming his song.  You didn’t hear?  He’s coming to Louisville.  The “I Wanna Thank Me” Tour will drop it like it’s hot at the Louisville Palace on Saturday, January 25th.

Doors will open at 7:00 p.m. for the hip hop superstar.  The show will begin at 8:00 p.m.  Tickets go on sale Friday, October 25th at 10 am.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at The411@whas11.com.  You can follow me on social for the latest in entertainment and community news.

The VIPP Report: JB Smoove performs at the Kentucky Center

JB Smoove

Courtesy: JB Smoove official promo photo

Special contribution Sherlene M. Shanklin, WHAS11, The411, ABC Louisville

(Louisville, KY) The Kentucky Center presents multi-talented comedian/actor Jerry “JB Smoove” Brooks.  The author of The Book of Leon: Philosophy of a Fool, based on his character Leon where he’s loved by so many fans who watch the HBO comedy series “Curb Your Enthusiasm”.  He actually got his start by appearing on Def Comedy Jam in 1995.  He’s appeared on countless shows and programs from Saturday Night Live, ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat to the Real Husbands of Hollywood.

He will be at the Kentucky Center on Friday, October 25th in Bomhard Theater.  His stand up act is for mature adults due to the language and theme of the show.

Tickets are $38.50 and they are still available at the time of this report.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at The411@whas11.com.  You can follow me on social for the latest in community and entertainment news.

FB: @Sherlene Shanklin

Twitter: @sherlenemediapr

IG: @sherlenemediapro

 

The VIPP Report: KCAAH’s Grand Re-Introduction Event Featuring Dr. Lonnie Bunch

An Extraordinary Evening

KCAAH’s Grand Re-Introduction Event Featuring Dr. Lonnie Bunch

KCAAHLOGO_HORIZONAL-2

Kentucky Center for African American Heritage

1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd, Louisville, KY

 LOUISVILLE, Ky. September 25 –The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage  (Heritage Center)  is embracing the change of season with a rebirth on Wednesday, September 25th from 5 – 8:30 pm. The evening will launch the Inaugural Quarterly Membership Event with “An Extraordinary Evening” honoring esteemed guest Dr. Lonnie Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and Founding Director, National Museum of African American History.  In June 2019, Dr. Bunch assumed the helm as the 14th Secretary – and first African American – of the 19 museums of the Smithsonian Institution; its nine research centers, and the National Zoo.

The evening will begin with Louisville’s first bourbon tasting west of 9th Street, featuring 12 top tier, exclusive brands. Katie Farley, Woodford Reserve’s Master Taster will be sharing her craft in this “Bourbon Alley”. Sample Uncle Nearest, the small batch whiskey distilled to honor the first African American master distiller on record in the U.S, and Brough Brothers spirits crafted by our neighbors in the West End. These and other featured brands pay homage to the center’s drive for inclusivity.

Dr. Neeli Bendapudi will emcee our program of comments from Dr. Bunch and Aukram Burton, Heritage Center Executive Director, special presentations by elected officials, and a tour of Heritage Center new exhibits, cocktails, southern savory food pairings, and networking opportunities will all follow.

Doors will open at 5pm on September 25th at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage. Obtain entry with the purchase of a “Circle of Friends” membership to the Heritage Center for $125 per person.  In addition to admission to the Extraordinary Evening, membership benefits include admittance to three additional quarterly Heritage Center events; JB&B Holiday Celebration – Dec 2019; Miss Ida B. Wells – March 2020; Juneteenth Film Festival – June 2020.
Purchase online via Eventbrite link. Or call Kelly Dettor at 502 – 894 – 9768.

About Kentucky Center for African American Heritage
KCAAH is situated in the heart of the historic Russell Neighborhood, located in Louisville’s West End Corridor, an area undergoing revitalization and slated to become an arts and cultural district.
Located at 18th and Muhammad Ali Boulevard, the Heritage center occupies a 55,000 sq. foot campus and overlooks the area that once was Old Walnut Street. This area holds special significance for Kentuckiana’s African American community.
The Heritage Center is the result of a collection of African American educators, artists, and historians who have collaborated to give the long-dormant history of African American’s in their region the voice and platform it deserves.  This group evolved from the Louisville and Jefferson County African American Heritage Committee into its current mold, with a single unifying goal of promoting the Kentuckiana region’s black heritage.
The Center is a vital contemporary institution, providing space for performances of all types giving the rich heritage of African Americans the platform they deserve. The Center’s long-term goals include various spaces for career specific learning for students such as music, recording, trade industries and theater. 
1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd., Louisville, KY  40203

www.kcaah.org

Sponsors for the Grand Re-Introduction event include:

Presenting Sponsor, Brown-Forman;

Platinum Sponsors, Humana; University of Louisville, Office of Research and Innovation

Reception Sponsor, Strothman and Company

Supporting Table Sponsors: AARP KY, ACTORS Theatre, HJI Supply Chain Solutions, Louisville Healthcare CEO Council, Louisville Tourism, Republic Bank, Signature HealthCARE, TOPS Magazine, York Management, Inc.

The VIPP Report: Third Annual Lionel Hampton Jazz Project

Remembering Music Icon and Louisville born Lionel Hampton with a concert benefiting Lincoln Foundation’s Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars Program®

Lincoln Foundation

(Louisville, KY) On Friday, August 23rd at the Kentucky Country Day, (KCD) Lincoln Foundation, in partnership with Dick Sisto, Ken Clay, and Owsley Brown III, presents the 3rd annual Lionel Hampton Jazz Project.  Talented local artists will perform in honor of jazz great Lionel Hampton.  The evening starts with a pre-concert reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by the concert at 7:00 p.m.

Proceeds from the event benefit Lincoln Foundation’s signature Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars Program®.  The purpose of the college prep program is to empower deserving youth to achieve successful graduation from high school and college.  Scholars have earned over 440 post secondary degrees since 2000.  The mission of Lincoln Foundation is to provide educational enrichment programs that develop and support youth in overcoming barriers to achievement.

The Lionel Hampton Jazz Project recognizes the contributions of Hampton and the influence he still holds in the entertainment industry. Hampton was born on April 20, 1908 in Louisville, Kentucky.  When his name is mentioned, fans and fellow musicians reference Hampton as an innovator, vibraphonist, showman and a major contributor to the world of jazz.  The Jamey Aebersold Quartet featuring Gabe Evens (piano), Tyrone Wheeler (bass) and Jonathan Higgins (drums) will open the evening.  Dick Sisto’s Vibraganic Trio featuring Kendall Carter (organ), Mike Hyman (drums) and Marlin McKay (flugelhorn) will round out the performances in tribute to Hampton.  Sisto serves as the artistic and musical director for the event.

During the course of the evening, Lincoln Foundation will also present the prestigious Spirit of Excellence Award. The award is given annually to individual(s) who exemplifies an active commitment to education, human/community service, and leadership.  The 2019 recipient is Dr. F. Bruce Williams of Bates Memorial Baptist Church.  The pastor, of one of the largest congregations in the city, works tirelessly in the church and community as a great humanitarian.  Past recipients include Steve and Amy Trager, Christina Lee Brown, Laura Douglas, Ed Hamilton, Mary Gwen Wheeler, Mayor Greg Fischer, Robert & Deborah Blair and Lonnie & the late Muhammad Ali.

Tickets for the Lionel Hampton Jazz Project are $65 and can be purchased through www.louisvilletickets.com.

For additional information, please contact Paula Campbell at 502.585.4733 ext. 203 or Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@vippcommunications.com.  Visit our website at www.lincolnfdn.org.

67295554_2402607269826638_2636509264272687104_n

###

vippnewlogoVIPP 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 makes its television debut on The LENS in Louisville

By Sherlene M. Shanklin

FB_IMG_1561842341373

My first segment for The Lens, a weekly program focusing  and celebrating urban lifestyle and their unique perspective on issues took place in the historic Smoketown neighborhood. It’s the oldest African-American neighborhood in Louisville, KY.

“Behind me you see the Ali gloves. Fun fact did you know they were made by Louisville native Ed Hamilton?  Now, this week’s The VIPP Report.”

20190628_131320Here’s some of the events I profiled in the inaugural show:

*It’s Bring It Live, The Dance Battle.  The show takes place on Monday, July 22nd at 7:30 p.m.

*The Juneteenth Jubilee at Waterfront Park had to be rescheduled due to rain.  So they moved it to Sunday, July 28th.  The new date signifies the adoption of the 14th amendment to the U-S constitution was certified.  The amendment granted citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United States which included slaves.

*Boys 2 Men will be at the Indiana State Fair on Wednesday, August 14th.

*The Kentucky State Fair announces Sheila E and the GAP Experience on Friday, August 16th.  The concert is free with paid gate admission.  The KY State Fair runs August 15th through the 25th.

*The NAACP Hardin County Branch will host their 28th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet on Saturday, September 21st.  Their special guest speaker will be Roland Martin.

*It’s Wu-Tang Clan’s 36th Chambers 25th Anniversary Tour on Friday, October 18th at Paristown Hall on Brent Street.  Tickets are $115.  You can purchase them at kentuckycenter.org.

I’m excited to announce that i’m one of the producers of a new show.  I will also have the wonderful opportunity to present The VIPP Report.

If you have a story idea and/or if you would like to be a sponsor of the segment, contact The  VIPP Report by emailing  thevippreport@vippcommuications.com.

Follow our column at www.thevippreport.com.

Follow us on Twitter: @thevippreport

Follow us on IG: @vippcommunications/@sherlenemediapro

The VIPP Report: Ambitions airs tonight and all eyes will be on Louisville native Kendrick Cross

Kendrick Cross

“The411” Entertainment Report by  Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television, ABC Affiliate in Louisville, KY

I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with actor Kendrick Cross not once but twice in the past year talking about his career but tonight all eyes will be on the Louisville native as the Will Packer drama series Ambitions debuts tonight on the OWN Network.

Kendrick made a special visit to Louisville a few weeks ago to surprise his mother for Mother’s Day.  He sat down with me and told me a little about the show.  I’ve also been in contact with the actor this evening and you can tell he’s excited about fans getting an opportunity to see the show.  He told me to make sure I was watching. I hope you tune in to watch as well and tell me what you think.

Here’s a link about Cross’ character and just a few hints of what you can expect when you watch the series co-starring Robin Givens, Essence Atkins and Brian White.

Also, did you know that Givens has a connection to Kentucky as well?  Her parents are from the Lexington area and her uncle is the former University of Kentucky basketball legend Jack “Goose” Givens.

Link below:

Sherlene’s Interview Clip of Actor Kendrick Cross

If you have a story idea, send it to the411@whas11.com or TheVIPPReport at vippcommunications.com.  Follow me on my social platforms FB: @SherleneShanklin Twitter: @Sherlenemediapr IG: @sherlenemediapro.

IMG_20190209_180549_086

Sherlene Shanklin, an multi-Emmy nominated, two-time 2018 Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Winner for Sports Writing & For Best Use of Social Media and multiple AP Awards currently works for WHAS11 Television. She created a segment The411 and is a regular contributor to whas11.com.  You can hear her on Thursdays at 11:30 am on WLOU/104.7FM as well as WHAS11 Noon Show at 12:50 pm, Fridays at 4:25 pm and Saturday mornings on Good Morning Kentuckiana at 6:25 am and 9:25 am.  You can also read her stories on this site The VIPP Report.  She also has a  podcast entitled the same as her report, The411, Giving You The Vibe, (GUTV).

 

The VIPP Report: Former NBA star, entrepreneur and community activist Derek Anderson announces his AOK All-star weekend

AOKAllstar

The Kentucky Derby is not the only time you can see some of the most recognizable faces in sports and entertainment

(Louisville, KY) Louisville native former NCAA & NBA Champion Derek Anderson is taking his Acts of Kindness, (AOK) to another level with his inaugural AOK All-Star Weekend.

Save the dates of July 20th and 21st for a weekend of fun, celebration and of course acts of kindness as the star continues to perform off the court just like he did on it with a slam dunk of opportunities for the entire community to enjoy.

It all takes place in Anderson’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky as he celebrates his birthday with family and friends.  On Saturday, July 20th it’s the AOK Gala and then on Sunday, July 21st there’s a free picnic and back to school supply giveaway.  Both events will be held at the Majestic Arts Center located at 1535 Lytle Street.

Anderson will welcome friends: actor/singer Tyrese and music mogul Master P as his guests.  Additional names will be announced prior to the celebration.

Derek Anderson says, “The weekend’s events will help support the launch of “Program You,” a program designed to enhance the mindset and support the future of tomorrow’s leaders by teaching life skills and providing scholarships through the Stamina Foundation.  The AOK All-Star Weekend is a celebration of life and compassion for the city I hold dear to my heart.  There’s nothing like home. Come out have fun and know that you are helping youth reach their ultimate potential.”

Individual tickets are $50 and couples $75.  You can purchase them at www.StaminaFD.com.  To be a sponsor and/or purchase a table contact us at AOK@staminafd.com.

If you would like to setup an interview Anderson, please contact Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@vippcommunications.com or by phone at 502-295-0435.

Stamina-Logo

vippnewlogoVIPP 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: TheSlice: Spice, Style & Soul is just days away as the city prepares for Kentucky Derby 145

ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL DERBY FESTIVAL EVENTS HELD IN WEST LOUISVILLE WILL CELEBRATE DERBY BOHEMIAN STYLE

TheSlice2019

(Louisville, KY) The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage. At KCAAH and Griot Attraction Management & Events LLC (GAME) presents TheSlice: Spice, Style & Soul on Saturday, April 27th from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm.  We are delighted to announce that the James E. Pepper Distillery of Lexington, KY is our 2019 Presenting sponsor.

It’s a Salute to the Afro Bohemian Life from arts and culture, music, fashion to language.

The event has a great reputation for great food by bringing talented area chefs and caterers and their favorite dishes all under one roof.  And, new this year TheSlice will offer a cash bar to guests who would like to have more than complimentary wine.

This year, TheSlice will use their newly renovated buildings on campus to host various genres of music so guests will have an opportunity to enjoy the flavor of the evening.

Tickets are $70 in advance and $80 the day of the event.  The attire is upscale and after-five is suggested. As well as Bohemian meets Derby with bold and beautiful colors and styles.  The Ultimate Show Band will be the Main Stage Entertainment along with DJ Maverick.  There will also be a fashion show, so guests can see the latest Derby styles before Derby 145.

TheSlice: Spice, Style & Soul is an official Kentucky Derby Festival event.  Guests must be 21 years of age and up.

If you would like to setup an interview and/or a cooking demonstration contact VIPP Communications at  info at vippcommunications dot com.  

###

vippnewlogo

VIPP Communications is a full service public relations, event    mgmt & 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: “DON’T STOP TILL YOU GET ENOUGH” is more than just a song its the motto of Kentucky Derby fans experiencing all things derby

IMG_23361

NOW, AN OAKS DAY BRUNCH WILL DO A TRIBUTE TO THE MEGASTAR THAT MADE THE SONG SO FAMOUS

(Louisville, KY) Louisville Central Community Center, (LCCC) in collaboration with VIPP Communications announces their second annual Kentucky Derby event.  On Friday, May 3rd at 11 am at Old Walnut Street, 1300 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd, it’s the Oaks Day Derby Brunch. This year’s tribute will take you through the music catalog of Gary, Indiana native and pop megastar Michael Jackson.

The Derby Brunch hosted by Sherlene Shanklin is from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm.  Some of Louisville’s top artists will perform some of the King of Pop’s 13 singles that hit number one on the charts.  Sheryl Rouse, Jason Clayborn and Jon-John Johnson will perform some of Jackson’s memorable and greatest hits.  The Youth Repertory Theater Troupe will showcase their talents after LCCC’s leadership and performing arts department prepared a curriculum giving the youth a history and music lesson on the humble beginnings of Jackson in Indiana living in a two-bedroom home with seven brothers and sisters at the time along with his parents practicing night and day to make the Jackson 5 a household name. Motown Records signed the group and the rest was history for Michael and his family.

Tickets are $45 in advance and $50 at the door.  You can purchase them at louisvilletickets.com.  Doors open at 10 a.m. and guests are asked to wear their Oaks Day attire including your fascinator and/or hat to the brunch.  There’s will be vendors with your last-minute items needed for Oaks and Derby.  If you would like to reserve a booth contact Erica Bledsaw, Oaks Day Coordinator at Erica.bledsaw@lcccnews.org or by calling LCCC at (502) 583-8821 ext. 130.  Proceeds benefit LCCC youth programs.

Last year in our inaugural event music icon and Motown legend Stevie Wonder was highlighted along with J. Holiday as our featured music guest.

The Louisville Central Community Centers is a 501c(3), private, non-profit community-based organizations.  We offer a variety of programs and services in support of children and families.  Early childhood, education, youth development, arts education and other after school programs, employment services and job training for adults, money management, and homeownership are just some of the services provided

We would like to thank the following for their support for this year’s event: Erica Denise, VIPP Communications, Manhattan on Broadway and WoodForest National Bank.

If you would like to be a sponsor, request media credentials and/or request interviews, please contact us at please contact VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com.

###

vippnewlogo
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.  http://vippcommunications.com/

 

 

 

The VIPP Report: Hip hop artist R. Prophet announces new single and partnership to have his own label

RProphet JesseJames.png

It’s the “RETURN” of R. Prophet dropping knowledge while delivering a conscious message on today’s current climate with his new single

(Atlanta, GA) Two-time Grammy nominated hip-hop/rap artist R. Prophet releases his new single “Jesse James”, that speaks the truth beyond all the fog of negativity when it comes to artists and the climate of the music industry.

The former member of the multi-platinum hip-hop group Nappy Roots has inked a deal.  Prophet will have his own label which he calls it VVS Music 1.  He’s partnered with Ray Hamilton, former CEO of Legion of Doom DJ’s of That Rabbit Distribution which is a joint venture with Sony Music Orchard. Many compare Prophet’s deal similar to the landmark deal made by Master P that changed the hip-hop game when it comes to business and artist music ownership.

With the powerhouse partnership, the highly anticipate album of Prophet, “THE VOICE” with the first single and anticipated smash hit “Jesse James” will rock the radio airwaves, YouTube channels and other media platforms worldwide.  Prophet has made a name for himself in the industry and this single will give his fans a sense of hip-hop doctrine speaking the truth, going against the grain with a rebel like vibe we used to hear when rap legends NWA wanted to make a statement.

Prophet says “I just want people to know my truth and how I’m really feeling. Some folks may think it’s a diss but it’s me speaking my truth. “Jesse James” was inspired by the police brutality R. Prophet came face to face with a few years back.” The single was written to give people the power, control love they deserve and to erase the hate.  R. Prophet is an advocate against police brutality after surviving being tased 15 times at the hands of Kentucky State Police.  It was reported but not confirmed by involved parties but he was later awarded a $1 million-dollar judgment.

With the current climate in society, people are looking for a lyrical voice that can take experiences and incidents ripped from headlines that rock neighborhood across the country.  (Atlanta, GA)

To learn more about “Jesse James” visit https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/jesse-james-single/1450856886 to make a purchase or head over to Spotify at https://open.spotify.com/album/2RdXcHKo0Ppc1RuPDuZrRc.

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/rprophet and Instagram.com/rprophetofficial

###

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.

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.  http://vippcommunications.com/

 

 

 

The VIPP Report: Being nominated for Most Admired Woman by Today’s Woman Magazine

 

D1AeLZhWsAEWY3k

By Sherlene M. Shanklin

When I was contacted by Today’s Woman Magazine I had mixed emotions. – shocked to even be nominated even though no one knows anything about me.

People have no idea that I’ve worked in the media for almost 27 years.

When teachers told my graduating class that we would likely have to start at a smaller market to get your experience and then work your way back to your hometown.  I beat those odds and jumped straight to my hometown of Louisville.  I was hired part-time as an associate director. Working crazy hours, weekends and holidays.  All while I worked in a new healthcare division full time and attending graduate school obtaining two master’s degrees.

I’ve worked in just about every position behind the scenes.  Receiving several award nominations for floor directing and my camera work for some of the biggest news events in Louisville.  I had the opportunity to first produce/coordinate the very first forum where community leaders said some 20 years ago that Louisville was ready for a professional team.  Many of the same believers in that idea are still believing in the vision today and its moving in the right direction.  I believe there will be a farm team that’s affiliated with an NBA team who will make Louisville their home first. Those players, when developed, will be called up to team.

After proving I could produce I went from production to the newsroom where I had the opportunity to write and produce some of the biggest stories of our lifetime like 9-11. Then I was recruited away in 2003 to WHAS11.  I started off as a producer but later moved to the assignment desk.

I had an opportunity to start one of the first webcasts in the area about entertainment and community news that you did not see on the air.  I took the challenge upon myself to help promote people and events.  My original concept was to find national figures throughout the world that had Kentucky ties.  That helped me create that niche in the market and The411 with Sherlene Shanklin was born.

In 2018, the Society of Professional Journalists announced my story about the NBA as their Best Sports Writing piece of the Year.  I also won Best Use of Social Media for Louisville’s own Bryson Tiller announcing his national tour and pop-up concert series.  In 2017, I was nominated for an Emmy Award for the coverage of Muhammad Ali’s memorial coverage.

411After, first using web-based and social media platforms to promote my stories. I had the opportunity to go on air.  There was only a few stories out there at the time but now the table has turned and dozens of stories are developed with the emphasis on “did you know that person is from Kentucky?”

Now, you can watch The411 on Thursdays at 12:50 p.m., Fridays at 4:20 p.m. and Saturday mornings during Good Morning Kentuckiana Weekend.

You can hear me on 104.7/WLOU on Miss Krystal Goodner’s show on Thursdays at 11:30 a.m. and of course you can read my stories on www.whas11.com and www.thevippreport.com.

Can you believe it all started from an idea and now it has flourished into its own standalone brand.  My primary job at WHAS11, an ABC Affiliate is the assignment desk.  In a nutshell I’m reading and/or listening to all of the story ideas, news tips and helping develop the story.

Even if the story doesn’t make air I still try and assist as many people as I can with their problems.

So, no I’m not new to the area.  Some people consider me as the go-to in the community when they need assistance.  Even if I can’t assist, I try to lead then in the right direction to get assistance.  Once I think we can do the story.  I consult with the reporter I believe has the sources and passion to get the story done.

vippnewlogoWhile working around the clock in the media.  It gave me other opportunities to help people.  Once the demand was so real I started VIPP Communications.  It’s a one-stop public relations, branding, marketing, special events and video production firm.

Then The VIPP Report was created so I could have a platform to talk about clients.  Then through supply and demand everyone wanted to know where I vippstylemakeastatementpurchased my jewelry, so I created VIPP Style an online accessory store.

So, to be nominated as “Most Admired” by the magazine is simply humbling.  I’ve worked so hard for so long that I didn’t think anyone was noticing.  I’ve chosen not one but multiple fields that are highly competitive.  When no one wanted to help me, I created and developed what others would not give me a chance to do.  To now receiving calls for assistance simply brings me to tears.  This was not an overnight, an instant potato career. I’ve been moving mountains my entire adulthood and making ways out of no way.

I still have a lot more to accomplish because I’m never satisfied but to know others are watching and acknowledging that I’m on their radar lets me know that a real breakthrough is just around the corner.  This is a little bit about me and what I do.  I will be sharing more in the future about my journey, who I work with and why I refuse to lose.

If you have time between now and March 22nd at noon, please vote for me in the #media category for Today’s Woman Most Admired for WHAS11 Television.

www.todayswomannow.com/maw

 

 

trending_drk

The VIPP Report: Metro Disability Coalition celebrate 20 years in Louisville

MDC

By honoring those who “Break Barriers” in their annual celebration

 (Louisville, KY) The Metro Disability Coalition invites you to attend their 20th Annual Breaking Barriers Spotlight Awards on Monday, March 18th from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at the Our Lady of Sorrows, 770 Eastern Parkway in the bingo hall facility.  There will be a reception prior to the ceremony at 5:30 pm for special guests, honorees and those participating in the program.

The 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.

A Lifetime Achievement Award recipient will also be announced during the program.

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.

In 2018, former University of Louisville football standout and entrepreneur Herb Henry was the keynote speaker and in 2017, Marques Maybin, ESPN Louisville radio show host and former University of Louisville basketball star inspired the guests.

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 20th Annual Breaking Barriers Spotlight Awards held on Monday, March 18th at the Our Lady of Sorrows-Bingo Hall please contact VIPP Communications at  info at vippcommunications dot com.

 

vippnewlogoVIPP Communications is a full-service public relations, event management and production 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: The story Emilio and Gloria Estefan opens tonight in Louisville

on_your_feet_OG

By Sherlene Shanklin

The phrase “On Your Feet” is symbolic for both Emilio and Gloria Estefan. One would automatically think it’s an eruption into a standing ovation which they receive during performances.

It’s goes a little deeper than that.

On March 20, 1990, Gloria’s tour bus crashed while in a snowstorm where she fractured her spine and required extensive rehab.  Doctors at one point thought she would never walk again but Estefan’s determination proved everyone wrong.

In fact, in less than a year, she was walking again and resumed her tour, performing one of her hits “On Your Feet”.

Fast-forward to 2019, now there’s a Broadway musical created by the Estefans with the same name.

Starting tonight through March 17, “On Your Feet” will be at the Kentucky Center in Louisville.  Coincidentally, it ends in Louisville just three days from the anniversary of that crash that changed Gloria and Emilio’s life.

The musical takes you behind the scenes, giving an intimate look at leaving their lives in Cuba, moving to Miami with nothing and their rise to international acclaim. The Estefans hit it big on both Spanish and mainstream charts.

The dynamic couple and business partners describe their journey of resilience by saying in the face of adversity, they found a way to end up on their feet earning a combined 26 Grammy Awards.

Tickets start at $37.00.  You need to check their website kentuckycenter.org for available show times.

VIPP Special Report: How 10-year-old Seven Bridges death is now bringing awareness to so many who don’t understand the consequences that bullying brings

50518215_1471418022993635_236139599741583360_n

The heartbreak a community is feeling because a child dies a tragic death because he was suffering in silence

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television, ABC Affiliate in Louisville, KY (Original story posted: January 22, 2019/Updated: January 23, 2019)

Shanklin, an assignment editor with more than 25 years in the broadcast field for the station took the mother’s call in September 2018 while heading into work.  In a rare and raw account which is hardly done she reflects on when she took both calls about Seven Bridges.   

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The story of Seven Bridges is making headlines not only in Louisville but nationwide after the 10-year-old committed suicide on Saturday for alleged bullying. I have to use alleged because this will likely be determined in the court of law.

I spoke to the mother Tami Charles Saturday evening after returning from out of town. I had received numerous texts wanting to know what happened to Charles’ son. I had no idea because I was traveling and could not be distracted due to extremely heavy rain.

When I got back to Louisville, I reached out to her because I knew the backstory. I didn’t expect for her to answer my text message for weeks but later that evening she responded. We texted a couple of times and then my phone rang it was Charles. She told me what happened all we could do was cry together over the phone. I got off wondering, “What else could I have done?” “What can I do now?” “Why didn’t someone say something?”

50739415_1000508566810691_3647677009657593856_nTo hear the hurt but strength of a mother on the same day she lost her child made my heart drop into my stomach. What do you say? It’s not about getting the story. I didn’t move into this community. I grew up in this community. I know the names, the faces, the unsung heroes, and the sacrifices many do day in and day out and never get a day of media coverage. I chose to stay to help and support those who needed a voice but all I could do was listen to this mother.  What could I say to comfort a grieving mother who knew something was going on but couldn’t stop it?

I walked and cried and cried and walked, all night until my family had to ask if there was anything they could do. They know I keep my work close to the vest and private and I never include them to keep my journalistic integrity. Frankly, if I told them some things, they could not erase the image from their minds. Some stories develop while others do not, but I still assist and work for an answer with as many as I can even on my off days.

My main job is to get the story out of people. Whether they are yelling at me because of their situation, their frustration and/or confusion on how to express what they are thinking and/or feeling. My task is to translate their thoughts and get to the core of the situation.

A mentor taught me a long time ago that you need to listen to the details they are in there just listen. Then, ask follow up questions to make sure I’m understanding them correctly. If I can’t understand the story, I can’t get our team to understand the importance.

With this burden on my heart and mind, I did reach out to the reporter that helped with the story in September 2018. We talked about it. We agreed not to talk to Charles about doing an interview. There was no rush since we were the only ones who did the initial story on Seven. When she along with her husband were ready they would let us know.

Then when Charles mentioned that insurance would not pay for her son’s funeral we decided that we needed to do something. That’s when we asked them to do the interview.

Reporter Heather Fountaine and I also said we wanted her to talk to anyone who could help her get the needed funds to bury her only child. Actually, her miracle child because Charles thought she was not able to have children, but she was blessed to have Seven.

Because Seven’s death was a suicide we did not think she would get a lot of coverage. Fountaine and I had to move faster than any of us wanted too, but thinking we spoke to the family during the trying time we needed to see it through and worked all weekend on our days off.

Let me take you back to September 2018 when the mother was trying to help her child when no one else thought it was anything until the untimely death of Seven on Saturday, January 19, 2019.

Charles reached out to me in September and explained to me what her child was going through and as a mother she needed to find a way to help her son. They loved the school but felt like the process might have been broken when it came to the notification process.

What the mother didn’t know that I was having a bad day, running late for work and was literally stuck in traffic at 2:30 p.m. in the middle of the day. But when I saw Charles’ name on my caller ID I knew I needed to answer. She said she was having a problem and wanted to get the word out. I explained to her that I was in traffic and as soon as I got to work I would begin looking into it. As soon as we hung up, I went to work. I called my newsroom and asked them to pull the video, so we could review it as soon as I walked in and asked others to listen as well, so we could make a decision. (Our evening meetings are at 3:00 pm, so if i wanted them to try and get all of the elements before the end of business we didn’t have much time or I would have to hold the story for consideration the next day.)

In Charles’ video, which has 38,000 views and more than 1,100 shares. She expressed sincere concern for her child’s well-being. Charles alleged her son was choked and verbally abused racially and no action was taken nor was she told of the incident even though her child was elementary school age. She used the words bullied. She also said several times that they loved the school, but it needed to change its procedure of alerting parents when situations like this occur. I went into the meeting and explained the situation and that the mother wanted to address the procedure and the time frame in which a parent is notified so that the child does not continue to go through a situation alone but with a support team.

The Kentucky Dept of Education defines “bullying” as any unwanted verbal, physical, or social behavior among students that involves a real or perceived power imbalance and is repeated or has the potential to be repeated: 1. That occurs on school premises, on school-sponsored transportation, or at a school-sponsored event; or 2. That disrupts the education process.

This incident met the criteria. We sat down with Charles and her 10-year-old son Seven Bridges. The reporter was very sensitive to the situation but asked the hard questions and the mother and child answered freely.

When the team came back to the station, they were so surprised of the maturity of the fifth grader and his level of forgiveness.

In our September 2018 interview Bridges said, “I know that I can get it out of my mind, and tomorrow is like a better day, so I can still make friends with him.”

Charles also in that interview said she would like to see the school’s administration held accountable and more racial sensitivity training within the school system.

The school system said in September 2018 that the incident was under official investigation.

Presently, the district is opening a full investigation. The parents of Seven Bridges say they will file a lawsuit.

Now, the grieving parents have to find a way to bury their child. Again, they have insurance but when a person commits suicide it is not covered under the policy.  So, they have started a Go Fund Me page entitled: Rest in Paradise Seven Bridges if you would like to donate, go to https://www.gofundme.com/rest-in-paradise-seven-bridges.

The community is rallying around the family be using the words “Seven Strong” – this is to bring awareness of bullying of any kind so that no other family has to go through this traumatic situation because unfortunately Seven was suffering in silence.

There’s a phrase that’s commonly used: “If I can just save one person, then I did my job.”

I will never use that phrase again because the one person I thought I helped I could not save but I hope my efforts and Seven’s memory will not go in vain.

If you know someone who may not be able to talk to you. Have them talk to someone. Give them this number 800-273-8255. Let’s not let anyone suffer in silence.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at The411@whas11.com.

Sherlene Shanklin, an multi-Emmy nominated, two-time 2018 Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Winner for Sports Writing & For Best Use of Social Media and multiple AP Awards currently works for WHAS11 Television. She created a segment The411 and is a regular contributor to whas11.com.  You can hear her on Thursdays at 11:30 am on WLOU/104.7FM as well as WHAS11 Noon Show at 12:50 pm, Fridays at 4:25 pm and Saturday mornings on Good Morning Kentuckiana at 6:25 am and 9:25 am.  You can also read her stories on this site The VIPP Report.  Sherlene’s podcast Giving You The Vibe, (GUTV) will begin in the first quarter of 2019.  

The VIPP Report: Louisville restaurant named top 12 breakfasts in the country

teamsuperchefs and roger mooking

The Cooking Channel’s Man’s Greatest Food will tackle who has the greatest breakfasts in the country.  Of course, a Louisville restaurant is on that list especially when you reference anything that mentions the “GREATEST”.  Can you guess who’s on that list?  Host Roger Mooking chose “Superchefs” owned by Darnell “Superchef” Ferguson located at 1702 Bardstown Road right in the heart of the Highlands.

Mooking visited chefs all across the U.S. and went into their kitchens to learn about their top dishes and some of the secrets behind it.  The show did visit Superchefs and they ranked the restaurant on their 12 greatest breakfasts list.  Mooking was looking for the best combinations of eggs, gravy, breakfast meat and fried dough.  You could put a check mark next to each one of those criteria when it comes to Superchefs Louisville.

Ferguson says “What a way to start the year by being placed in this prestigious ranking for breakfast.  I won the Thanksgiving challenge in November of last year.  It just gives me the confidence that the restaurant caters to any taste bud you may have.  Stop by and tryout some of the fantastic items we have on the menu.  This is really shaping up to be a great year for myself and Team Superchefs”.

Man’s Greatest Food will air on the Cooking Channel, Tuesday, January 15th at 7:00 pm (EST).

If you would like to setup an interview and/or check for availability for engagements, contact Sherlene Shanklin with VIPP Communications at sshanklin@vippcommunications.com

Here’s a link to a promo video: Cooking Channel’s Man’s Greatest Food

cookingchannel rogermooking