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: Moments that Matter with Huanmei Wang

By Sherlene Shanklin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Sherlene M. Shanklin

Louisville, Kentucky

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

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

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

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

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

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

DCorey Johnson Photo by Sherlene Shanklin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Special from Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 ABC Louisville

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sherlene M. Shanklin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sherlene M. Shanklin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preview(opens in a new tab)

Birdie Maxwell Photo Courtesy Sherlene Shanklin

By Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 ABC Louisville

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sherlene & Birdie Maxwell

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

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

Kentucky Representative Pamela Stevenson gives a passionate testimony

Kentucky Rep. Pamela Stevenson

By Sherlene Shanklin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Life before politics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Courtesy: The Lincoln Institute

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

By Sherlene Shanklin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

His parents also played an important role in history.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television, ABC Louisville

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To see the story click the link ->

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

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

Laura Douglas

By Sherlene Shanklin, Special Report with WHAS11, ABC Louisville

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laura Douglas and Sherlene Shanklin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Special Report from Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11, Louisville

Orginially aired on January 14, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11, ABC Louisville

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Williams showing me a piece of art that Ali created.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The VIPP Report: 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: 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: 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: 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 will host a grand re-introduction event featuring the first secretary the Smithsonian

bunch_lonnie_g_preferred_0SMITHSONIANINSTITUTE

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 an ABC affiliate, Louisville

Louisville, KY,  When you think of re-introduction you think about how you are going to embrace change.  The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, (Heritage Center) will turn a page to history by starting a new chapter with the launch of their Inaugural Quarterly Membership event that they are calling “An Extraordinary Evening” honoring Dr. Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution on Wednesday, September 25th at the Heritage Center from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

I’ve had several people ask me who is Dr. Bunch?  He’s the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian and the first African American to hold the position.  He assumed the position on June 16, 2019 where he now oversees 19 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, along with numerous research centers and several education units and centers.

His past position was the director of Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The re-introduction event will hold it’s first bourbon tasting west of 9th Street which will feature 12 top tier exclusive brands which they call the “Bourbon Alley”.  Woodford Reserve’s Master Taster Katie Farley will be sharing her craft with the guests. At this event, they will also honor the first African American master distiller on record Uncle Nearest.

Did you know that Brough Brothers Distillery has a micro-distillery in West Louisville?  They will also be apart of the event.

Dr. Neeli Bendapudi, President of UofL will serve as the emcee for the event as Mayor Greg Fischer, and other elected officials and dignitaries will be in attendance as guests enjoy a tour of new exhibits, cocktails, food pairings and of course networking opportunities.

For additional information visit the Heritage Center’s site at www.kcaah.org.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at The411@whas11.com.  You can follow me on social for the real-time news and announcements at Twitter @sherlenemediapr & FB @SherleneShanklin.

The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage is located at 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd.

KCAAH Evite Ticket Link-sm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sherlene Shanklin: KCAAH welcomes Dr. Lonnie Bunch of the Smithsonian

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: Hip-hop legends Wu-Tang Clan adds Louisville to their 36 Chambers 25th Anniversary Tour

WuTang10229blackRT_01312019065834_large

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Louisville (ABC Affiliate)

Since the 1970s, hip-hop was destined to become a force to be reckoned with. Slick lyrics meshed with edgy beats kept many emcees constantly evolving their craft.

Twenty-five years ago, a group of individuals from New York translated their street life to gritty lyrics, which many recognized as the harder side of the craft. They blended it with martial arts terminology while giving it a unique mythology known today as hardcore hip-hop.

The members of the Wu-Tang Clan will hit the road to celebrate their silver anniversary of their 1993 debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).

All nine members – RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa and Cappadonna are headed to Louisville for their “36th Chambers 25th Anniversary Tour on Friday, October 18 and the new Old Forester’s Paristown Hall at 8 p.m.

Wu-Tang is regarded as one of the most influential hip-hop groups of all time with conscious albums like Wu-Tang Forever, A Better Tomorrow, and The W just to name a few of their studio albums.   Some of the singles you might hear at the concert is Can it Be All So Simple, Method Man, Protect Ya Neck, Triumph and The Heart Gently Weeps.

The group has 7 gold and platinum studio albums to their credit. Selling more than 40 million albums.

Tickets go on sale Friday, June 4th at 10:00 am.  When I receive the price point I will update the story.

For additional information you can call the Kentucky Center for the Arts at 502-584-7777 or visit their site at www.kentuckycenter.org.

I you have a story idea, send it to mw at The411@whas11.com.  You can also follow me on Twitter @Sherlenemediapr for real-time community and entertainment news.

Paristown Hall is located at 724 Brent Street.

IMG_20180823_144440_683

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: Countdown to Derby 145 in Louisville, KY

derbyweek-kentucky-derby-145-v2

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin:  WHAS11 Television, an ABC Affiliate Louisville

Down the Stretch: It’s the countdown to Derby 145 held on the first Saturday in May.  There will be plenty of events to attend but the question everyone seems to ask me “What celebrity will travel to Louisville to be apart of the celebration?”  So, I create a list along with their confirmed event.  If you’re having a Kentucky Derby event and you have a special guest attending, please send it to me so I can announce.

Here’s some of the celebrities heading to the Bluegrass State.

Usher Raymond-  Trifecta Gala (performing)

Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds– Urban League Gala (performing)

Tank– Darrell Griffith Foundation “Experience”

After 7- Annual Derby Gala 100 Black Men of Louisville

Joe Torry– Annual Derby Gala 100 Black Men of Louisville

Angel McCoughtry– Skills Camp for youth

Asia Durr-Skills Camp for Youth

Steve Harvey-Trifecta Gala

NeNe Leakes– Trifecta Gala

Cynthia Bailey– Trifecta Gala

Warren Moon-Unbridled Eve

Jamon Brown-Unbridled Eve

Darnell “Superchef” Ferguson– Unbridled Eve

Bryson Tiller-Trifecta Gala

Johnny Gill-Barnstable Brown Gala

Randall Cobb-Barnstable Brown Gala

Percy “Master P” Miller-Barnstable Brown Gala

Romeo Miller-Barnstable Brown Gala

Trey Songz-Barnstable Brown Gala

Boyz II Men-Barnstable Brown Gala

David Alan Grier-Barnstable Brown Gala

Von Miller– Barnstable Brown Gala

DeVante Adams-Barnstable Brown Gala

Opening night of Churchill Downs is Saturday, April 27th.  Thurby is held on Thursday, May 2nd. Kentucky Oaks is on Friday, May 3rd and the Kentucky Derby is on Saturday, May 4th all held in Louisville, Ky under the “Twin Spires”.

If you have a story idea, and/or would like to announce your guest(s) for your Kentucky Derby event send it to me at The411@whas11.com.  Follow me on social for real-time updates Twitter: @sherlenemediapr, Instagram: @sherlenemediapro and FB: SherleneShanklin.

 

 

 

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: Rap pioneer re-releases his 1988 album and will perform on Strahan & Sara with a Louisville native backing him up

 

By Sherlene Shanklin, The411 on WHAS11/ABC Louisville

Make sure you DVR Strahan and Sara on Wednesday, March 20th. Hip-hop pioneer Slick Rick will be on the show.  You know that I’m always looking for a connection to the Bluegrass state and of course you know I found one! When you see Slick Rick performing I want to draw your attention to the man on the turntables.  That’s Louisville native and Dwight “DJ Kaos” Chatman.  He’s been Rick’s DJ for many years.  Kaos has been all over the world with this legend of hip hop.

I have been in contact with ABC and they confirm the performance on the show.  I asked,  “is the artist releasing new music?”  He’s actually celebrating the re-release of his debut album The Great Adventures of Slick Rick some 30 years later.  The album was originally released on November 1, 1988.  Still known today as one of the best rap albums by Source Magazine.  In 2008, VH1 ranked the single “Children’s Story” a part of their 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.

The album consisted of 12 songs, 49 minutes in length.  You may remember some of the songs on this album.  “Children’s Story”, “Teenage Love” and “Hey Young World”.   The album was produced by some of the biggest names in hip hop.  Jason Mizell better known as Jam Master Jay, Hank Shocklee, Ricky Walters and Rick Rubin.

So, tune in to see Slick Rick and DJ Kaos on Wednesday at 1:00 pm (EST) right here on WHAS11/ABC.  I’ve attached the promotional photo ABC and Slick Rick is using to promote the appearance.

If you have a story idea. send it to me at the411@whas11.com.  You can follow me on Twitter @Sherlenemediapr, IG: @sherlenemediapro and Facebook: SherleneShanklin.

 

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: Bumble, An International Social Media Platform to Honor #FirstMovers in Kentucky Through #BlackWomenBuilt Event

54255145_2138343006213717_2247319247967485952_n

On Saturday, March 16th, eight African American women from Kentucky will be honored by Bumble through Bumble Bizz and Freedom of Priss (FOP) at Flavour lounge at a private dinner. Dinner will be followed by a celebration open to the public that will start at 9 pm. These women are being celebrated for being business owners or leaders in their fields, which include fashion, media, marketing, psychology, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Founders of Freedom of Priss, LaPrecious Brewer and Joelle Robinson want to acknowledge these business heroes and shed light on the impact that they have made in their communities. FOP will also use their unique stories to serve as empowering examples for younger minority women through a series of social media campaigns that will be ongoing.

Among the women being honored are Aryea Kolubah, fashion designer who recently had her gown featured on HBO and Vogue, Sherlene Shanklin, multimedia editor for WHAS11 and owner of VIPP Communications and Braea Tilford, former Miss Kentucky USA and founder of Grow Lead Inspire; a conference that enriches young women. Councilwoman Jessica Green will also be in attendance to honor these women for their myriad accomplishments. (Full list of honorees below.)

Bumble is a social app that lets women make the “first move” in dating, friendships and their careers. Bumble was founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd (co-founder of Tinder) to challenge the antiquated rules of dating. Now Bumble empowers users to connect with confidence whether dating, networking or meeting friends online. Bumble Bizz and Bumble BFF are components of Bumble.

The Freedom of Priss is a platform created by LaPrecious Brewer and Joelle Robinson that enriches and empowers women to be their most authentic and bold self, to achieve their ideal of success in relationships, careers and in the community.  For years, society has placed great emphasis on HIStory and there is no finer time than the present to invite women from diverse backgrounds to share her story.  This platform seeks to energize women to move into their purpose while gaining knowledge and insight from one another through personal discussions on the highs and lows of being our true selves and achieving our goals. FOP will begin hosting a series of events, printed materials and online content to foster a sisterhood of authentic women and help them to achieve their personal goals that they seek to meet.

  1. Aryea Kolubah – Founder of Aryea Kolubah & Co.
  2. Braea Tilford – Founder of Grow, Lead, Inspire and Miss KY USA 2018
  3. Chelsea Ellis – Owner of MAF Café and president of Jim Reynolds Asphalt.
  4. Faith Fountain – Ms. Ashland County (Kentucky United States Organization) and addiction/prevention educator
  5. Jade Spaulding – Ms. Downtown Louisville (Kentucky United States Organization) Home of the Innocents resident counselor and founder of the Home of the Innocents Pageant
  6. Nicole Dean – Life Coach, public speaker and founder of YMCA Woman Up Teen Outreach Program
  7. Samiyyah Sledge – Doctoral candidate at a prominent institution
  8. Sherlene Shanklin – Owner of VIPP Communications and multimedia editor for WHAS11

 

 

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: B2K Reunites and announces tour dates and Louisville is on the schedule

They announced just before the holidays the would reunite and go on tour along with some of their friends.  Well now, I have the date for Louisville for Omarion, Boog, Fizz and Raz-B also known as B2K. 

The multi-platinum R & B group will kick-off their tour in March 2019 and they will make a stop in Louisville as Kentucky Derby activities will be in full swing. 

Save the date of Sunday, April 29th at the KFC Yum! Center.  The group is calling it “The Millennium Tour”.  The will visit some 25 cities in the U.S. Louisville is a part of their limited engagement tour. 

Their special guests for the concert will be Mario, Pretty Ricky, Lloyd, Ying Yang Twins, Chingy, and Bobby V. 

Tickets go on sale to the public at 10 AM on Monday, January 14, 2019 at the KFC Yum! Center box office, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at ticketmaster.com. Tickets start at $42.50. 

The show is scheduled to begin at 7:30 pm.  Doors open at 6:30 pm.

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

Is your city on this list? See tour schedule below:
   

Here’s a link to Sherlene Shanklin’s story on WHAS11.com. You can follow her on Twitter @sherlenemediapr, Instagram @sherlenemediapro and Facebook @SherleneShanklin.

https://www.whas11.com/article/news/entertainment-news/b2k-announces-tour-date-in-louisville/417-5b1478a0-c470-4b7d-aa34-3d63d21c3090

The VIPP Report: Will he win the “Hart” of Oscar fans?

KevinHartTwitter

By Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Louisville, ABC Affiliate

And the hosting duties of the 2019 Academy Awards goes to none other than comedian/actor Kevin Hart.  The Academy did not get to make the announcement but the man with 64.9 million good friends also known as his Instagram followers received the “exclusive” announcement.

Hart announced Tuesday evening by posting an Oscar with the message saying “The day has finally come for me to host the Oscars. I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time….To be able to join the legendary list of host that have graced that stage is unbelievable.”

KevinHart tour media photoThis is not the first time the academy asked Hart to be the host but Hart feels like this is the right time for him to take on this task and mark it off his bucket list.

He thanked his fans for their support and of course his close friends and family but what was so powerful was acknowledging his late mother by saying “I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now.”

The 91st Academy Awards will present some 20 plus awards for their artistic and technical merit in the film industry.  You can see the show live on Sunday, February 24, 2019 on ABC.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at the411@vippcommunications.com.  Follow Sherlene Shanklin on Twitter @Sherlenemediapr and Instagram @Sherlenemediapro.

Follow The VIPP Report on Twitter @thevippreport and @vippcomm.

Travis Scott’s Astroworld Tour is announced

TravisScott Astroworld Tour

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

The411 with Sherlene Shanklin:  It’s been a busy day when it comes to concert announcements.  Hip hop star Travis Scott announces his “Astroworld: Wish You Were Here” Tour.  The show is slated as a show unlike anything done before and unlikely to be topped with the artist’s explosive and wild performances.  The tour will kick off in Baltimore, Maryland on November 8th.  Several days later he will make a stop in Louisville, KY at the KFC Yum! Center on Monday, November 19th.

The tour is the same name of his third album, ASTROWORLD.  Scott;s album earned the second highest debut of the year on the Billboard Top 200.

Tickets go on sale Friday, August 24th at 10 am for the Louisville show.

Also, did you know that he was giving away $100,000 to fans? Travis uses his platform to give back to fans and he actually handed out $100,000 on his Cash App. He calls it transferring his blessing to others.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at The411@whas11.com.  You can follow me on Twitter @Sherlenemediapr, IG: @sherlenemediapro and FB @SherleneShanklin for the latest in community and entertainment news.

Here’s Travis Scott’s AstroWorld Tour schedule:

Thursday, November 8, 2018 – Baltimore, MD @ Royal Farms Arena

Friday, November 9, 2018 – Raleigh, NC @ PNC Arena

Sunday, November 11, 2018 – Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena

Monday, November 12, 2018 – Tampa, FL @ Amalie Arena

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 – Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena

Thursday, November 15, 2018 – Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center

Monday, November 19, 2018 – Louisville, KY @ KFC Yum! Center

Wednesday, November 21, 2018 – Toronto, ON @ Scotiabank Arena

Saturday, November 24, 2018 – Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center

Sunday, November 25, 2018 – Pittsburgh, PA @ PPG Paints Arena

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 – New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden

Thursday, November 29, 2018 – Washington, DC @ Capital One Arena

Friday, November 30, 2018 – Hartford, CT @ XL Center

Saturday, December 1, 2018 – Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center

Sunday, December 2, 2018 – Boston, MA @ TD Garden

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 – Cleveland, OH @ Quicken Loans Arena

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 – Detroit, MI @ Little Caesars Arena

Thursday, December 6, 2018 – Chicago, IL @ United Center

Saturday, December 8, 2018 – Minneapolis, MN @ Target Center

Sunday, December 9, 2018 – Milwaukee, WI @ Fiserv Forum

Monday, December 10, 2018 – Omaha, NE @ CenturyLink Center Omaha

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 – Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center

Saturday, December 15, 2018 – Sacramento, CA @ Golden 1 Center

Tuesday, December 18, 2018 – Phoenix, AZ @ Talking Stick Resort Arena

Wednesday, December 19, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Forum

 

The VIPP Report: Busy year for three artists that performed in Louisville during Derby weekend

 

20180503_223415 (1)

Lil Wayne performing in Louisville, KY at Derby Soundstage 2018 Courtesy Sherlene Shanklin

CHECKING IN TO SEE WHAT THEY ARE CURRENTLY WORKING ON SINCE PERFORMING AT DERBY SOUNDSTAGE 2018

Video:  Derby Soundstage 2018 in Louisville, KY  

Special post by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television, an ABC affiliate, Louisville

It’s time to check in and see how the artists are doing that performed at this year’s Derby Soundstage 2018 in Louisville, KY. On Thursday, May 3rd at Broadbent Arena hosted by Liv Suite.  The had a dynamic trio of 2 Chainz, K. Michelle and Lil Wayne.  Three unique chart topping sounds all under one roof.  Let’s see what they have been up too since their Kentucky Derby show.

20180503_210959 (3)

Derby Soundstage 2018 with 2 Chainz in Louisville Courtesy Sherlene Shanklin

It’s definitely been a busy summer for rap artist 2 Chainz.  Just days after the concert in Louisville, he attended the Met Gala and while on the Red Carpet he took to his knee to let the world know that he would marry his wife Kesha all over again by proposing. They have been married since 2013 and have three children.  His new smash hit Bigger Than You features Drake and Quavo.  2 Chainz will be in London on July 14th and his next U.S. concert will be on July 22nd in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Michelle was in great spirits when she was in Louisville.  She thanked the fans for their support while she was out recovering from two blood transfusions and several surgeries due to the removal of silicone injections.  As she continues to recover, the R& B artist’s album Kimberly: The People I Used To Know continues to do well and her fans are excited to

20180503_201724

Derby Soundstage 2018 with K. Michelle in Louisville, KY Courtesy Sherlene Shanklin

see her on Love and Hip Hop.  She’s teasing on her Instagram page that we need to watch on July 23rd.  I’m sure she’s getting a cast member all worked up and upset.  We’ll have to wait and see.

And Lil Wayne closed the Louisville show and fans loved the live elements in his show by the drummer. This artist’s drive is in “Trukfit” mode.  He’s working on a Fall release date for has a new album, Tha Carter V and he even signed two players to his Young Money Sports Management.  One of his artist’s Drake released an album last week that has a song regarding the Louisville basketball scandal plus Drake used a couple of songs on

IMG_20180504_041044_967

Lil Wayne in Louisville for Derby Soundstage 2018 Courtesy Sherlene Shanklin

his album from Louisville native, the late Stephen “Static Major” Garrett. Wayne will perform in his hometown of New Orleans on Saturday, August 25th.

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

Website:  https://thevippreport.wordpress.com  Twitter: @TheVIPPReport/@VIPPComm

 

 

 

 

 

The VIPP Report: Rev. Jesse Jackson is expected to attend Rev. C. Mackey Daniels funeral in Louisville

lcj138563-1_20180519

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin

(Louisville, KY) Later today, Rev. Dr. C. Mackey Daniels will be laid to rest after being sick for the last few months according to a family spokesman. He peacefully passed away on Mother’s Day, May 13th.

The pastor for more than 40 years of the West Chestnut Street Baptist Church leaves behind a daughter, four sons and three grandchildren. Rev. Daniels was the first black arbitrator to the courts of Jefferson County Kentucky Bar Association among many positions held throughout his life as a community and civil rights leader.

jessejackson-1

I understand his good friend and fellow civil right activist, Rev. Jesse Jackson of the Rainbow Coalition will travel to Louisville to be apart of the service. I do know that Rev. Jackson was arrested Monday, (May 21, 2018) just two days before Daniels funeral on Wednesday, May 23, 2018.

Jackson said on his social media page after the arrest, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”- #DrMLKingJr.

So, I hope he’s able to get to Louisville in time for the funeral service.

Rev. Daniels’ funeral is at 11:00 am at the church followed by the burial at Cave Hill Cemetery. Rev. Dr. C. Mackey Daniels was 81.

Just days after his passing, 17th and Chestnut where the church is located was renamed Rev. C Mackey Daniels Way.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at thevippreport at VIPPCommunications.com. You can follow me on social, Twitter: @sherlenemediapr, @thevippreport & @vippcomm.

*Rev. Jackson was arrested in Washington, D.C. for protesting the #poorpeoplescampaign.   Jackson along with Rabbi @JonahPesner, @RevDrBarber,  & @liztheo refused to be removed in the US Capitol building.  Jackson said, together we will awaken our nation’s consciousness to the plight of the poor in our country! #PoorPeoplesCampaign 

https://t.co/uQXaKSBsBH. 

 

 

The VIPP Report: Comedian Eddie Griffin announces date of Louisville show

Eddie Griffin image

The actor/comedian will be in Louisville at the Brown Theatre on Saturday, July 21st.  In February, Showtime premiered his fifth stand-up special, Eddie Griffin: Undeniable and now fans can see him live on stage.

In 1990, Griffin took a dare to get up in front of an audience in a comedy club and do three minutes of stand up. Needless to say some 45 minutes later the choreographer for the Kansas City Chiefs half-time shows hung up his dance shoes and headed to Los Angeles with a one-way ticket to pursue his gift to make people laugh. Some 28 years later, Griffin continues to make people laugh on television and venues across the country.

Tickets for Eddie Griffin’s Louisville show at the Brown Theatre start at $45.  They go on sale at 10:00 am on Friday, May 18th.

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

 

The VIPP Report: VIPP Communications, one of the top PR firms in the Midwest explains why they are considered media pros in business

!cid_A431B594D7B4419F8E91FA0D5F1A9765@SherlenePC

Welcome to VIPP Communications.  We are your one-stop Public Relations, Marketing, Branding and Event Management firm.

Our company was founded in 1998, after an overwhelming demand for our freelance services. We cater to every realm of business from professional athletes, entertainers to community and business leaders in their industry.

VIPP stand for “Visualizing into People’s Personality” and it’s pronounced V-I-P because our clients always get the V.I.P. treatment when we work on their project.  Our dedication, experience, hard work and innovation is why clients enjoy our services.

SHANKLIN_pink

Sherlene Shanklin started this firm with giving back in mind.  VIPP helps groups needing assistance with planning and receiving media coverage.  Many had no idea where to begin and Shanklin came in and helped develop a plan which many today still use her services and techniques she taught them.

The symbol we use is a circle meaning that that its never ending, continuous, and everlasting.  We are what you call a timeless team of communication professionals working to shape your business to have longevity and prosperity. vippstyle

If you would like to speak to one of the members of “Team VIPP” contact us at mail at vippcommunications dot com.

Follow us on Twitter @VIPPComm and Instagram @VIPPCommunications

 

 

 

The VIPP Report: Its like hitting the “trifecta” when attending Junior Bridgeman’s Derby Gala

1524489768979

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television, ABC Louisville

(Louisville, KY)  Down the Stretch with Sherlene Shanklin:  The celebrity guest list for events surrounding Kentucky Derby 144 continues to grow as we are now on the fast track to the finish.

It’s always exciting to see who will attend the galas.  I now have the list for the Trifecta Gala. They have previously announced Music legend Stevie Wonder as the entertainment and the host for the evening is night talk show legend Arsenio Hall.   It will be held on Friday, May 4th in the Omni Hotel in downtown Louisville at 7:00 p.m.  Their proceeds benefit the West End School and the University of Louisville Autism Center at Kosair Charities.

Here’s a few names that will walk the Trifecta Gala red carpet:

-Actor, comedian and star of ABC’s Blackish Anthony Anderson

-Actor, writer, director and the star of the new Avengers: Infinity War Don Cheadle

-NFL Hall of famer and Super Bowl champion Orlando Pace

-Attorney and television personality Star Jones

-Super music producer and Kentucky native Finis White

-Kentucky basketball assistant coach, former NBA player and former Louisville star Kenny Payne

-Louisville native known as Dr. Dunkenstein for the Utah Jazz and Louisville basketball Darrell Griffith  

Many of these guests will also attend the Celebrity After-Party hosted by Diddy at the Louisville Palace from 11:00 pm to 4:00 am.

To learn more about both events and ticket availability go to www.trifectagala.com.

If you have a Kentucky Derby event send it to me at The411@whas11.com.  You can follow me on Twitter @sherlenemediapr and Instagram @Sherlenemediapro.

Sherlene Shanklin also created The VIPP Report to highlight events, community affairs, entertainment, sports and client news.  It also highlights the Emmy-nominated and Regional Murrow Award winner for being on the WHAS11 team for Best Newscast in the Rick Pitino and University of Louisville suspension/investigation.  For projects and speaking engagements.  Follow her on Facebook @SherleneShanklinmediaprpro, Twitter @Sherlenemediapr and Instagram @Sherlenemediapro.  

 

 

 

 

 

The VIPP Report: Oaks Day is the start of a Kentucky “Holiday” and LCCC welcomes the artist with the same name to kickoff the celebration

JHolidayPromoPic

(Louisville, KY) Louisville Central Community Center, (LCCC) in collaboration with VIPP Communications announces their inaugural Kentucky Derby event.  On Friday, May 4th from 10 am to 2 pm at Old Walnut Street, 1300 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd, it’s the Oaks Day Derby Brunch. This year’s theme: Songs in the Key of Life, a Stevie Wonder Tribute starring R & B/Soul artist J. Holiday.

The Derby Brunch hosted by Sherlene Shanklin is from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm.  Some of Louisville’s top artists will open for Holiday.  Ade’, Sheryl Rouse and Junior J will perform some of Wonder’s 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 Stevie Wonder.  The youth studied the multi-Grammy Award winning artist and his long span career in the entertainment industry.

Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 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 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.

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 who made our inaugural event successful: JIGGA MCC Ent., Erica Denise, VIPP Communications, Passport Health Plan, 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 at vippcommunications dot 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 ranges 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.

OaksDayBrunchOfficialFlyer

The VIPP Report: Louisville Health Department announce another Hepatitis A virus case at a local restaurant

clinic-doctor-health-hospital.jpg
Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television, ABC Louisville

(Louisville, KY)  Tonight, just after 9:00 pm the Louisville Metro Health Department released the following information in regards to a new Hepatitis A virus case.

Here’s what they are releasing:  “An employee at the Applebee’s restaurant located at 4717 Dixie Highway has been diagnosed with acute hepatitis A. As a result, customers who ate at the restaurant from March 23 to April 12, 2018 may have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus.”

It takes about 15 to 50 days after a person is exposed it the virus. People normally has symptoms of fatigue, decreased appetite, stomach pain, nausea, darkened urine, pale stools and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). If you are experiencing any of their symptoms Anyone experiencing symptoms should seek medical attention.

Hepatitis A is usually transmitted by putting something in your mouth such as an object, food or drink, which has been in contact with the feces of an infected person.

The Department of Public Health and Wellness recommends anyone working in the hospitality industry, particularly those who serve or prepare food and beverages, protect themselves and others by getting the hepatitis A vaccine. The independent business owners of the Applebee’s restaurants in the state of Kentucky as well as surrounding markets in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Tennessee will provide free Hepatitis A vaccinations to their employees.

For more information about hepatitis A visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/health-wellness/hepatitis or CDC.gov.

If you have a story idea, send it to Sherlene Shanklin at the411@whas11.com.  You can follow me on Twitter @sherlenemediapr and Instagram @Sherlenemediapro.