Reckoning Inc. and Roots 101 collaborate to honor Kentucky’s Black Civil War soldiers

(Louisville, KY) Reckoning Inc. is partnering with the Roots 101 African American Museum for a photographic exhibit entitled We Fought for Our Freedom: Kentucky’s African American Civil War Soldiers. It will open with a press conference at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 10 and will remain at the Roots 101 museum through the end of 2022.

The photos in the exhibit are all of soldiers who served in the Union Army’s 108th U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment, which
was mustered in Louisville in June 1864. The regiment consisted predominantly of formerly enslaved men from Kentucky
and served with distinction guarding Confederate prisoners of war at the Rock Island military prison in Illinois.

For Black men in Kentucky, enlisting in the Union Army was a difficult and often dangerous proposition. Kentucky was
the last state in the Union to allow Black men to join the Army, whether enslaved or free. And even after it became legal
in the summer of 1864, it was still a deeply unpopular policy among many white Kentuckians, with some using deadly
force to keep enslaved men from enlisting. It was also treacherous for enslaved men to travel through the state to
enlistment sites, as they could be caught by “slave catchers” who were paid bounties to return enslaved people to their
enslavers.

And yet, nearly 24,000 Black men from Kentucky braved these challenges and joined the Union Army, with over 44% of
eligible Black men enlisting, the highest percentage of any state. This represented roughly 13% of the 186,000 U.S.
Colored Troops who served in the Civil War, and one-quarter of all the soldiers who served in the Union Army from
Kentucky.

For More Information
To explore the research Reckoning, Inc. has done into the lives of the Kentucky’s Black Civil War soldiers, including
archival documents and detailed family trees, please visit their project website at KYUSCT.org.

Reckoning, Inc. is 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to examine the legacy of slavery in America, and to
create ways for communities to engage with this information through research projects, media productions, educational
curricula, online content, and other means.

The Kentucky U.S. Colored Troops Project is made possible by grants from the Gheens Foundation, J. Graham Brown
Foundation, Humana Foundation, Community Foundation of Louisville, Brown-Forman, LG&E and KU Foundation, David
A. Jones, Jr. and Mary Gwen Wheeler, Hardscuffle, Inc., Sociable Weaver Foundation, Snowy Owl Foundation, Kentucky
Humanities, Kentucky Arts Council, Brooke Brown Barzun and Matthew Barzun, American Historical Association, and the
Owsley Brown III Philanthropic Foundation.

We’ve attached our media kit for your review.  Also, attached are photos from the exhibit.  Plus, a google drive link is provided for additional photos. 

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1NMn-cX7BOFOeR1RFhpJf8lJ578EfDNqw?usp=share_link

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Contact: VIPP Communications
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 range from small businesses, non-profits, corporate leaders, entertainment to current and retired professional athletes.  Contact one of our team members to see how we can assist you at info at vippcommunications dot com.  www.vippcommunications.com

News conference announcement: Reckoning Inc. and Roots 101 will hold a news conference to announce a new exhibit just before Veterans Day

Media Advisory

(Louisville, KY) Reckoning Inc. and Roots 101 African American Museum will hold a news conference to announce a photographic exhibit entitled We Fought for Our Freedom: Kentucky’s African American Civil War Soldiers.

WHAT: We will officially open the photographic exhibit, which will remain at the museum through December 31, 2022. We will also explain that the soldiers featured in the exhibit were all enslaved men from Kentucky who joined the Union Army’s 108th U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment, which was founded in Louisville. The regiment was assigned to a military prison in Rock Island, IL, guarding Confederate prisoners.

WHEN: Thursday, November 10th at 11:00 a.m.

WHERE: Roots 101 African American Museum, located at 124 N. 1st Street, Louisville, KY 40202

WHO:

  • Dan Gediman, Executive Director, Reckoning, Inc.
  • Denyce Peyton, Kentucky U.S. Colored Troops Project Director, Reckoning, Inc.
  • Lamont Collins, Founder/CEO, Roots 101 African American Museum
  • Descendants of Harrison Mudd, a member of the 123trd U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment, also founded in Louisville.

VISUALS: We will have a power point during the program, and you will have an opportunity to tour the exhibit

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit our website reckoninginc.org

Reckoning, Inc. is 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to examine the legacy of slavery in America, and to create ways for communities to engage with this information through research projects, media productions, educational curricula, online content, and other means.

The Kentucky U.S. Colored Troops Project is made possible by grants from the Gheens Foundation, J. Graham Brown Foundation, Humana Foundation, Community Foundation of Louisville, Brown-Forman, LG&E and KU Foundation, David A. Jones, Jr. and Mary Gwen Wheeler, Hardscuffle, Inc., Sociable Weaver Foundation, Snowy Owl Foundation, Kentucky Humanities, Kentucky Arts Council, Brooke Brown Barzun and Matthew Barzun, American Historical Association, and the Owsley Brown III Philanthropic Foundation.

News Conference Announcement: Reckoning Inc. and Roots 101 will announce a new exhibit remembering some of Kentucky’s Black soldiers prior to Veterans Day

(Louisville, KY) Reckoning Inc. and Roots 101 African American Museum will hold a news conference to announce a photographic exhibit entitled We Fought for Our Freedom: Kentucky’s African American Civil War Soldiers.

WHAT: We will officially open the photographic exhibit, which will remain at the museum through December 31, 2022. We will also explain that the soldiers featured in the exhibit were all enslaved men from Kentucky who joined the Union Army’s 108th U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment, which was founded in Louisville. The regiment was assigned to a military prison in Rock Island, IL, guarding Confederate prisoners.

WHEN: Thursday, November 10th at 11:00 a.m.

WHERE: Roots 101 African American Museum, located at 124 N. 1st Street, Louisville, KY 40202

WHO:

  • Dan Gediman, Executive Director, Reckoning, Inc.
  • Denyce Peyton, Kentucky U.S. Colored Troops Project Director, Reckoning, Inc.
  • Lamont Collins, Executive Director, Roots 101 African American Museum
  • Descendants of Charles Mudd, a member of the 108th U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment (he is one of five brothers who all served in the Union Army)

VISUALS: We will have a power point during the program, and you will have an opportunity to tour the exhibit

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit our website reckoninginc.org

Reckoning, Inc. is 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to examine the legacy of slavery in America, and to create ways for communities to engage with this information through research projects, media productions, educational curricula, online content, and other means.

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Kentucky native is racking up awards at film festivals across the country

Ericka Nicole Malone

ERICKA NICOLE MALONE ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES HULU DEAL

Official Release

(Los Angeles, California) Louisville, native, former Western Kentucky University, (WKU) student, Ericka Nicole Malone of Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment, LLC, is available for interviews. The Youth Performing Arts School, (YPAS), graduate of Manual High, a JCPS school is a successful writer, director, and executive producer. He latest award-winning project is “Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story” starring Ledisi, Columbus Short, Janet Hubert, Keith David, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and Keith Robinson.

Malone says “I am so excited about this latest project; we took this film to various film festivals receiving so much attention. I am so excited to announce that this project you can now see the film on Hulu. This is a major deal for film and my production company. I am so proud of my Kentucky roots and every opportunity I get I acknowledge my home state.”

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

To setup an interview via phone and/or zoom, contact Sherlene Shanklin at VIPP Communications at sshanklin@vippcommunications.com or by calling 502.341-7306.

To read learn more on the Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment go to www.erickanicolemalone.com.

To see the official trailer https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=remember+me+the+mahalia+jackson+story&docid=608026812518581063&mid=FE5AFC0CF9B3F0B12F5EFE5AFC0CF9B3F0B12F5E&view=detail&FORM=VIRE

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

Miss Black Kentucky USA announce winners in Teen, Miss, and Ms. divisions tonight in Louisville

Immediate Release

October 9, 2022

Photo courtesy: Terrence Humphrey

Winners from left to right: Miss Ariel Thompson, Ms. Dominique Joy Thompson and Teen Nia Franklin

OFFICIAL RELEASE

(Louisville, KY) Tonight, at the Louisville Memorial Auditorium in Louisville, KY. For the first time in more than ten years, a woman was crowned Miss Black Kentucky USA.  Miss Ariel Thompson was crowned in front of some 250 friends, families and newfound fans. 

Each division crowned a representative who will represent the Commonwealth of Kentucky for the next calendar year and will head to the national pageant. 

 Here’s this year’s winners:

 Teen division winner is Miss Nia Franklin of Louisville, KY

 Miss division winner Miss Ariel Thompson of Louisville, KY

 Ms. division winner is Ms. Dominique Joy Thompson of Louisville, KY (Hometown Chicago, Il)

 Just minutes after her win, Thompson says “It is amazing! To finally win something. I always get second and/or third but to win it feels surreal.” 

Dr. Ashley Anderson says “It was truly a night to remember. To hear the audience cheering for the young ladies brought tears to my eyes. These ladies have worked hard and will represent this pageant in a grand way, and I’m so honored to have played a part in their journey.” 

This evening, thousands of dollars of scholarship money was awarded along with Miss Congeniality, Volunteer Award and People’s Choice Awards.

The birth of the Miss Black Kentucky USA franchise is one that will have an impact on young women of Kentucky for generations to come. Beyond the scholarships that will be awarded in Miss, Ms., and Teen divisions, the life skills programming will be sure to elevate the minds and lives of all participants. It will

groom leaders, shed light on issues of concern in the community, and meaningfully fund the educational pursuits of Black women in Kentucky. It is my intent that this program becomes the largest scholarship funding source for young women of color across Kentucky.

Stay tuned for details of the pageant Miss Ariel Thompson will attend plus how you can be a part of Miss Black Kentucky USA 2023. 

To have setup an interview with any of our winner, please contact VIPP Communications at mail@vippcommunications.com.

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TheVIPPReport: Miss Black Kentucky USA announces this year’s participants

WINNER WILL BE CROWNED IN LOUISVILLE IN OCTOBER

(Louisville, KY) Miss Black Kentucky USA and United Crown Productions announce this year’s participants.  Each young woman of color will get the opportunity to experience a pageant format, showcase their talent and earn scholarships to assist them with their educational endeavors. 

Here is a list of this year’s contestants in the Teen, Miss and Ms. categories:

Nia Franklin (Teen)- Louisville 

Bria Byrd (Teen) Elizabethtown 

Alyesse Coonrod (Miss) Lexington

Jada Outten (Miss) – Louisville

Jade Spaulding (Miss) – Louisville

Lanisha Porter (Miss) – Louisville

Sherae Brackens (Miss)- Louisville

Bianca Blakely (Miss) – Louisville

Arielle Thompson (Miss) – Louisville

Taylor Dudley (Ms)- Maysville 

Andrea Johnson (Ms) – Louisville

Mandy Lemond (Ms) – Lexington

Dominique Joy Thompson (Ms)- Louisville

Mashayla Hays (Ms) – Louisville

Shekinah Armstrong (Ms)- Louisville

The pageant will be held October 9th in Louisville, Kentucky at Memorial Auditorium.

Dr. Ashley Anderson, Executive Director of Miss Black Kentucky USA says, “We have a fantastic group of women.  I had the opportunity to meet with them in August, and this is going to be a great pageant but judges will have the tough duty of selecting the young woman to represent the state of Kentucky.  This group has set the bar high for our inaugural return.  I hope you will come out and support these women as they compete for the title but also scholarships to help further their dreams and aspirations.”

The birth of the Miss Black Kentucky USA franchise is one that will have an impact on young women of Kentucky for generations to come.  Beyond the scholarships that will be awarded in Miss, Ms., and Teen divisions, the life skills programming will be sure to elevate the minds and lives of all participants. It will groom leaders, shed light on issues of concern in the community, and meaningfully fund the educational pursuits of black women in Kentucky.  It is my intent that this program becomes the largest scholarship funding source for young women of color across Kentucky.

If you would like to be a sponsor and/or place an advertisement in the program, please contact VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com.

To set up an interview with Dr. Anderson contact VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com.

Stay tuned for additional information and announcements as it becomes available for the return of Miss Black Kentucky USA.    

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TheVIPPReport: Miss Black Kentucky USA adds a new category for women between the ages 28 to 35

Entry deadline is extended to give potential participants a chance to sign up

United Crowns Productions announces the return of Miss Black Kentucky USA.  Giving young women of color an opportunity to experience a pageant format, showcase their talent and scholarship to assist them with their educational endeavors.  The pageant will be held October 7th-9th in Louisville, Kentucky in Memorial Auditorium.

Due to the overwhelming response we needed to extend the entry deadline to August 20th to help give perspective participants an opportunity to sign up.  Plus, we have added a new division.  It will cater to women between the ages of 28 to 35 years of age. 

Black women from all over the state of Kentucky will be in Louisville not only to compete for the crown but to learn about their heritage, meet and hear influential community leaders, network amongst fellow contestants and to win prize money that will help them further their education. United Crown Productions mission is to encourage all women to embrace their beauty and empower them with confidence and leadership skills.     

Dr. Ashley Anderson, Executive Director of Miss Black Kentucky USA is excited to announce its return, her past involvement while encouraging the community to embrace these young ladies as they pursue their dreams. “When I competed in the Miss Black USA scholarship pageant in 2010, I dreamed of one day starting a preliminary program in Kentucky.  The birth of the Miss Black Kentucky USA franchise is one that will have an impact on young women of Kentucky for generations to come.  Beyond the scholarships that will be awarded in both Miss and Teen divisions, the life skills programming will be sure to elevate the minds and lives of all participants. It will groom leaders, shed light on issues of concerns in the community, and meaningfully fund the educational pursuits of black women in Kentucky.  It is my intent that this program becomes the largest scholarship funding source for young women of color across Kentucky.  Additionally, creating a space for women of color to unapologetically celebrate their culture, beauty and identity is necessary and extremely important to me.” 

If you would like to be a contestant, Please go to www.unitedcrownproductions.com to check eligibility.

To be a sponsor and/or if you would like to setup an interview with Dr. Anderson contact VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com

Stay tuned for additional information and announcements as it becomes available for the return of Miss Black Kentucky USA.    

TheVIPPReport: A memorial book release to be held for late journalist and Louisville native Bruce Johnson

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11, ABC, Louisville

He had a career spanning 40 plus year in the broadcast industry.

Louisville native Bruce Johnson had quite the resume – 22 Emmy Awards and a recipient of the Edward R. Murrow award, one of the highest a journalist can achieve just a few of his many accolades.

Johnson was born in 1950 and attended Shawnee High School, later studying at Kentucky State University and Northern Kentucky University where he earned a degree in political science. He would go on to earn a master’s in public affairs from the University of Cincinnati.

One of his first summer jobs was at WLOU Radio. Johnson spent much of his journalism career at WUSA (formerly WTOP-TV) in Washington D.C.

Johnson would work 44 years as a reporter, working his way up the ladder to become an evening news anchor. He covered stories all over the world.

Johnson was also a writer and released three books. His current book, “Surviving Deep Waters: A Legendary Reporter’s Story of Overcoming Poverty, Race, Violence and his Mother’s Deepest Secret” was released back in February.

He was supposed to go on a tour to support the book’s release but died on April 3 at the age of 71.

To remember the life of Johnson, a memorial book release and reception will be held on Aug. 11 at the Muhammad Ali Center at 5:30 p.m.

Organizer and former classmate Janis Carter Miller said, “I was proud of my friend and classmate’s accomplishments. He was my classmate at Shawnee and KSU. He was elegant and eloquent! His character and his carriage were distinguished and sophisticated! Bruce’s tone of voice and articulation was eloquent. Facilitating a 45-year career in journalism. I was honored that he has entrusted the coordination of his book signing now since his untimely passing, to me and my goal is to pay special tribute to his accomplishments.”

Miller said Johnson was raised on Grand Avenue down the street from Muhammad Ali in the Chickasaw neighborhood.

I remember when Johnson returned to Louisville to cover Ali’s funeral in 2016. He helped WHAS11’s News team with coverage that week, bringing a personal angle to the coverage.

https://38907008b3ea5753962fdb5334a33db6.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html The memorial book release and reception is an opportunity for family and friends he grew up with, former classmates, members of his fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi and fellow journalists of the Louisville Black Association of Journalists a chance to gather and share memories.

The husband, father, grandfather, and journalist always recognized that he was from Louisville.  Raised by a single mother, he experienced hardships as a youth but overcoming many obstacles to become one of the most respected anchors in his field.

The event is open to the public.

https://www.whas11.com/article/news/local/memorial-book-release-bruce-johnson-journalist-wusa-louisville-muhammad-ali-center/417-d9933264-14a6-42f2-b36a-f5ca8aeea428

 ►Contact WHAS11’s Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@whas11.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

TheVIPPReport: The face and shirt behind the Louisville Fairness Ordinance

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11, ABC Louisville

I sat down with the person who helped change the landscape for ‘fairness’ in Louisville.  

It all started with this t-shirt. Creating a cultural shift in the Louisville community.

“I always wanted too. If I was gonna get in this, I was in this for the fight. Because I knew it wasn’t just my fight. It was a fight for lots of people.” Says Alicia Pedreira.

Pedreira was thrust into the spotlight after thousands of people saw this photo at the Kentucky Star Fair in 1998.  It led to her firing from the Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children Inc… where she had worked for six months.

She says “So, I had two interviews and on the second one when I thought it was serious that they were going to actually perhaps hire me, that’s when I told them on the second interview that I was gay, and that if that was a problem, not to hire me.”

She was hired and loved the job. So, when the photo of her and her then partner Nance was taken she had no idea of the repercussions.  Her lawsuit against the company pushed her into the forefront of a movement that she was not expecting.  

Pedreira says “Absolutely not! No, I was a volunteer. As a matter of fact, I think Nance at the time was a volunteer coordinator for the fairness campaign. And I volunteered but neither one of us would have imagined.”

So, how did the t-shirt come into play and when did she wear it? She says “This was a walk for AIDS and it was at the Belvedere.  And that was my then girlfriend, Nance Goodman was her name then her name has since changed and we were waiting for the festivities to start because it was kind of like a party before they needed the walk or whatever… I remember a photographer came by and I’m kind of a ham and so we just smiled at the camera and he took his picture went on his way and that was it.”

Out of the lawsuit, the Louisville Fairness Ordinance went into effect after three attempts on January 26, 1999.  Giving legal protection in the workplace and the right to live anywhere you want. That was a pivotal moment.  Pedreira agreed saying “Yes, yes. I mean, for I think it was a cultural shift for the queer community, because we live in fear that if someone were to find out, then they could throw you out of your home. I actually didn’t live in fear.  I wasn’t put in that situation when it all came out. I was renting a house and my lovely landlords called me up and said, We don’t care. You guys are great. We love you and we stand by you don’t have to worry about that.”

Fast forward twenty years later, Pedreira finally got some type of closure in the court system but not in a monetary way.  “Well, I didn’t get a settlement, because that usually sounds like I got money. I didn’t get a dime ever. As a matter of fact, I signed with the ACLU not too settle because those attorneys all wanted to change law. They wanted it for everyone.”

So, this shirt, won as a door prize in a local bar becomes a conversation piece. Starting a conversation of change. But with all of the heartache, setbacks and years in litigation was worth it? She say “Honestly, I want to say yes,  and if it isn’t my fight, then it’ll be somebody else’s.”

►Contact WHAS11’s Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@whas11.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. 

Here’s the link to my story: https://www.whas11.com/article/news/community/moments-that-matter/pride-louisville-fairness-ordinance-creation-lgbtq-issues-local/417-47beae98-fdcd-4959-a409-baa2c88df3a2

TheVIPPReport: Robin Givens, actress/director will start filming her lasted movie in Louisville later this week and extras are needed

The Nana Project starring Mercedes Ruehl will start filming Wednesday

Photo by Stephan Mu00fcller on Pexels.com

Special Report: Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 News, ABC Louisville

The buzz is still in the air from all of the celebrity sightings during Kentucky Derby weekend and other films being shot around the state featuring major Hollywood stars.

Actress Robin Givens is set to return to the area to shoot another film, according to her team.

Her new movie, “The Nana Project” will be shot around the Louisville area.

The storyline is set in a retirement home with a “feisty chess master” played by Academy Award winner Mercedes Ruehl.

Her character Helen “Nana” Lewis has two estranged grandsons Andrew and Cody who will be played by Nolan Gould and Will Peltz.

The family will head out on a road trip to support Nana’s rise to the state championships.

They are expected to begin filming on May 18 and will be here through June 4.

We hear the filming was scheduled for another city, but I have learned Louisville is a good spot.

It could be from the great response that was given to the “The Cookout” that was also filmed in Louisville and directed by Givens.

Submission instructions can be found by clicking the following link: https://www.facebook.com/Alexis-Leggett-Casting-118037106989200

You need to be fully vaccinated for this project. You need to provide proof of vaccination and take a mandatory COVID-19 test upon arrival on your shoot date.

If you get a role in this film, please let me know.

►Contact WHAS11’s Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@whas11.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

Original report: https://www.whas11.com/article/entertainment/television/programs/the411/the-nana-project-robin-givens-louisville-mercedes-ruehl-alexis-leggett-casting/417-2d6ff00d-20c4-457c-a342-9cb8bec8d966

TheVIPPReport: A look at retired Capt. Carol Hickman’s career

When she signed up to be a Jefferson County Police officer, Carol Hickman said she wanted to make a difference. Hickman is a retired captain and was the first woman and African American officer to lead a district for the county. She said she started out as a clerk typist. 

“The police department didn’t have any women, and in 1972 I went to school and became an officer,” she explained. Hickman climbed the ranks from sergeant to lieutenant to captain. Because of her rising within the ranks, she said someone told her no one would listen to her because she’s a woman.

“I thanked him, and ironically, the chief, he retired then came back as interim chief. When he came back, he was the person I made major,” she said.

She said within Jefferson County Police, the chief appoints majors within the department. Whenever a new chief is selected, they have the option to change who has the major rank. It is not a demotion she said, only a change in title.

Hickman talked about the difficulties working in a predominantly male profession.

She said, “I can’t say so much of being a woman of color as being a woman. We would go out on cases and people would ask us to go to the back door but when the white officers came they would go through the front door. I didn’t particularly like it but it was a job I had to do and I did it.”

Then one day, Hickman said she had enough and walked through the front door.

She recalled reminding the person they had called them for help. The homeowner allegedly wasn’t happy and called Hickman’s district to complain.

All these years, Hickman said she never forgot the incident and so many others.

Hickman’s first case was the Valley Drive-Ins.

“I was working in missing persons. We got the reports of the soldier and young lady that was missing from the ticket booth at the Valley Drive-In,” she said.

She explained the department were getting leads, but it was pushing them to a second possible case.

“The person who abducted the first people also had abducted this young lady,” Hickman said. “Well, I got the young lady back.”

Another case that stood out to Hickman was Danny Tetrick’s. As of right now, he’s still serving a life sentence at the Kentucky State Penitentiary.

She said in her free time she coached little league baseball for both boys and girls. She also volunteered for Black Achievers for many years and served as a liaison for community and police relations.

She has one son and her late husband, Charles Hickman, was with the Louisville Metro Police Department.

Click the link to see the story: https://www.whas11.com/article/news/community/moments-that-matter/louisville-kentucky-police-captain-first-african-american-officer/417-9e8d013b-c980-4916-9283-d9808bcac8c4

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

It’s the return of Miss Black Kentucky USA

As we celebrate March as Women’s History Month, we recognize legendary women as well as the unsung women leaders who work tirelessly without any recognition.  United Crowns Productions announces the return of Miss Black Kentucky USA.  Giving young women of color an opportunity to experience a pageant format, showcase their talent and scholarship to assist them with their educational endeavors.  The pageant will be held October 7th-9th in Louisville, Kentucky in Memorial Auditorium. 

Black women from all over the state  of Kentucky will be in Louisville not only to compete for the crown but to learn about their heritage, meet and hear influential community leaders, network amongst fellow contestants and to win prize money that will help them further their education. The mission of United Crown Productions is to encourage all women to embrace their beauty and empower them with confidence and leadership skills.     

Dr. Ashley Anderson, Executive Director of Miss Black Kentucky USA is excited to announce its return, her past involvement while encouraging the community to embrace these young ladies as they pursue their dreams. “When I competed in the Miss Black USA scholarship pageant in 2010, I dreamed of one day starting a preliminary program in Kentucky.  The birth of the Miss Black Kentucky USA franchise is one that will have an impact on young women of Kentucky for generations to come.  Beyond the scholarships that will be awarded in both Miss and Teen divisions, the life skills programming will be sure to elevate the minds and lives of all participants. It will groom leaders, shed light on issues of concern in the community, and meaningfully fund the educational pursuits of black women in Kentucky.  It is my intent that this program becomes the largest scholarship funding source for young women of color across Kentucky.  Additionally, creating a space for women of color to unapologetically celebrate their culture, beauty and identity is necessary and extremely important to me.” 

If you would like to be a contestant, Please go to www.unitedcrownproductions.com for more information.

To be a sponsor and/or if you would like to set up an interview with Dr. Anderson contact VIPP Communications at info@communications.com

Stay tuned for additional information and announcements as it becomes available for the return of Miss Black Kentucky USA.    

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

The VIPP Report: Lady Veterans Connect Announce Inaugural Gala

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

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

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

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

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

About

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

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

Immediate Release:

August 29, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Where Black Businesses Matter”

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

Instagram:  @melannairemarketplace

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

By Sherlene Shanklin

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

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

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

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


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

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

To see the story, click the link below.

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

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

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

June 20, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who will represent the state of Kentucky?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About

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

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

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

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

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

Sherlene M. Shanklin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About

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

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

HARBUT-STACKED copy

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

ericka-malone

FROM STAGEPLAYS TO A DRAMA SERIES AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN

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

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

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

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

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

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Ericka

http://www.erickanicolemalone.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 
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By Sherlene Shanklin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The VIPP Report: Derby Soundstage 2020 announces concert lineup with T.I. and Megan Thee Stallion co-headlining KY Derby weekend

 

WE’RE AT THE POST WITH THE STALLION AND THE KING OF THE SOUTH PERFORMING AT DERBY SOUNDSTAGE 2020

When hip hop meets Derby two of its hottest stars T.I. and Megan Thee Stallion will be in concert

(Louisville, KY) The Twins Spires at Churchill Downs are always a main attraction when travelling to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby, but this year another duo will also be demanding the attention of Derby-goers. Multi-Grammy award winner T.I. and rising hip-hop superstar Megan Thee Stallion will gallop their way to the Bluegrass State to co-headline Derby Soundstage 2020.  The concert will be held on Thursday, April 30th in Freedom Hall at the Kentucky Fair and Expo Center located at 937 Phillips Lane at 8:00 p.m.

T.I. is an actor and entrepreneur known for his southern rap and ‘Trap Music’ with masterful lyrics. He has a lengthy catalog, which includes Billboard #1 hits like ‘Whatever You Like,’ ‘My Love,’ and ‘Live Your Life,’ just to name a few.

Megan Thee Stallion has skyrocketed to stardom amid the 2019 releases of her first full-length mixed-tape ‘Fever’ and hit song ‘Hot Girl Summer.’ These projects earned her a 2019 BET Hip Hop Award and an MTV Video Music Award. Megan has stamped her reputation as a hit-maker with songs like ‘Simone Says,’ ‘Diamonds,’ and ‘Realer.’

Derby Soundstage is produced by The Livsuite. Tickets start at $50 and go on sale Friday, March 6th at 10am at ticketmaster.com.

To obtain media credentials you must be an accredited media outlet and will need to fill-out a form to enter the concert and be staged in the media section.  To receive consideration contact info@vippcommunications.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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musi#EverythingisAOK

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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History

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

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

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

AuthorsExpoLexington2020

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

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

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

AuthorsExpoLexington

 

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

wild n out

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

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

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

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

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

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

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By Sherlene M. Shanklin

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

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

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

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

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The VIPP Report: The Kingdom Choir will perform in Kentucky

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They were introduced to the world when they performed “Stand By Me” at the 2018 Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

Now, The Kingdom Choir announces their North American tour.  On Wednesday, October 16th they will travel to Louisville  and perform at Brown Theatre.

Founded in 1994. The choir draws their inspiration from various Christian traditions and is dedicated to creating a sound that reflects the community.

Tickets start at $25.00 for the two hour show.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at thevippreport at vippcommunications dot com.

 

The VIPP Report: Your next Miss Kentucky and Miss Kentucky’s Outstanding Teen for 2020 will be….

Miss Kentucky 2020

Two young ladies crowned in Louisville will represent the Commonwealth of Kentucky for the next year

Miss MAOTeen 2020

(Louisville, KY) On Saturday, June 8th at the Brown Theatre in Louisville Miss Kentucky and Miss Kentucky’s Outstanding Teen announced who would represent Kentucky in the Miss America and Miss America’s Outstanding Teen competitions.

Miss Kentucky 2019

Lexington native Alex Francke was crowned Miss Kentucky Saturday night in Louisville.  She will represent the Commonwealth of Kentucky at the Miss America competition. The official dates will be announced by the Miss America officials in the coming days.

Landry Feldmeier was crowned Miss Kentucky’s Outstanding Teen. She will present Kentucky at the 2019 MAOTeen Competition in Orlando, Florida on July 23, 24, 25 & 27th at the Linda Chapin Theatre in the Orange County Convention Center.

 

MissKentuckyTeenPageantThe Miss Kentucky and Miss Kentucky’s Outstanding Teen programs empower young women across Kentucky through pageantry.  The participants develop leadership skills and confidence as they work to achieve their biggest goals in life.  The Miss Kentucky Scholarship Organization continues to develop role models for communities not only in Kentucky, but the world.

Dr. Ashley D. Anderson, Executive Director for the competition and President of the Miss Kentucky board says “We had an outstanding week from the “Kickoff to the Crown” where the community met the participants during an event at Fourth Street Live, to the crowning of the two ladies who will represent Kentucky for the next year.  Our judges had a very difficult task, but they chose two great young women that Kentucky will be proud of.  We have no doubt that on the national stage these two will make us proud.”

The Miss Kentucky Scholarship Organization is a celebration of the talent, scholastic achievement and commitment to service of Kentucky’s finest young women. This Organization is so much more than a crown…it is changing Kentucky, one young woman at a time!

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

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

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

The VIPP Report: KCAAH announces plans to develop a Media Arts Center named to honor Kentucky native Colonel Charles Young

The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage announce plans to develop a Media Arts Center named to honor the Legendary Colonel Charles Young

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Logo_no_TxtThe Kentucky Center for African American Heritage (Heritage Center) is embarking on the expansion of a new Media Arts Center in a vacant 14,000 square foot wing on the campus. The proposed media arts center will be a state-of-the-art facility serving as the communication arm of one of the primary heritage centers in the state of Kentucky. The Media Arts Center will house a 40′ x 50′ “black-box” with a maximum seating capacity of 200, providing a unique and versatile space where artists of all disciplines showcase their creative work. The center’s layout will also include a lower and upper level. The lower level will include a dressing room with sink and toilets, green rooms, options for loading in and out, public restrooms, office and storage spaces. The upper level will include editing suites, sound booths, meeting rooms and access to the control room and lighting grid over-looking the “black-box” theatre. This venue will offer local artist and media producers a platform to produce video, theatre, music, dance, literary, public lectures, community forums and more.

The new Media Arts Center will offer a professional learning environment where media and the arts are used to promote and preserve Kentucky’s African American heritage and the shared heritage with the African Diaspora by hosting and producing programs, performances, exhibits, and a repository of video programs that will be broadcasted and/or distributed throughout Kentucky and the nation. The fund-raising goal for the project is 3.5 million dollars.

To initiate this capital campaign, the Heritage Center has retained the services of Charles Blatcher III, as the Project Fundraising Director for the construction and development of the new Colonel Charles Young Media Arts Center located on the 68,000 square foot campus in Louisville, Kentucky.

Mr. Blatcher brings a wealth of experience working as a principal organizer for the National Coalition of Black Veteran Organizations (NCOBVO). The coalition came together in unity of purpose to promote a greater understanding of the important role Black service men and service women perform in the defense of the nation. As chairman, Mr. Blatcher has led the coalition as the chief advocate for Black Military History and Colonel Charles Young.  Under his leadership, the call for the posthumous honorary promotion for Colonel Charles Young to the rank of Brigadier General has gained prominence. He is not a stranger to Kentucky. He has played a major role in promoting educational tourism in the Kentucky/Ohio region. The Coalition dubbed the route connecting the Colonel’s birth cabin in Mays Lick, Kentucky to the national monument and archives in Wilberforce, Ohio as “the Colonel Charles Young Corridor.” We have seen some things move in a positive direction under his leadership.  We look forward to the expertise and dedication he brings to the Media project.  Mr. Blatcher recounts why naming the Media Arts Center in honor of Colonel Charles Young:

I welcome the opportunity to be a part of developing the Media Arts Center. Especially in the name of the legendary Colonel Charles Young. It’s an honor he deserves. In his period of history, he was more than an outstanding Soldier, he was a great communicator as a visual artist, musician, and poet, who spoke several languages. Colonel Young stood with

intellectuals of the times, such as W.E.B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington, and poet, novelist, and playwright Paul Laurence Dunbar who were among his close friends.

Colonel Young has a presence in African-American art and literature. One of the most notable instances of this is Countée Cullen’s 1925 poem “In Memory of Colonel Charles Young.” Another case of Young’s legacy in literature is from his close friend, W.E.B. Du Bois, who spoke at Young’s eulogy. DuBois claimed that “The life of Charles Young was a triumph of tragedy.” Charles Young is also represented in paintings and other art. Notably, a painting by J.W. Shannon titled “Portrait of Cadet Charles Young,” which currently belongs to The National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce, Ohio.

He was a creative man who left behind a treasure of musical scores, poetry, and writings. The thought of him one day having his name above a Media Arts Center would have pleased him. What is pleasing for me is to think one day some of his work may be presented in a theater in a building named in his honor. I welcome being a part of making it happen. I am optimistic in the pride this effort will bring to the Community, City of Louisville and the State of Kentucky.

KCAAH is working in tandem with the Black Media Collaborative (BMC). BMC is a network of media professionals including directors, producers, writers and specialist working in the film, television, radio, animation, theatre, literature, journalism and Internet industries. BMC is dedicated to developing media literacy and skilled people in the production of media to provide significant economic, employment and cultural benefits in our community.   BMC will provide the human resource capacity to develop an onsite media production facility which will be dedicated to radio, film, video and theatre productions, which will provide both training and performing venue.

The center will also collaborate with the African American Theatre Program (AATP) at the University of Louisville. AATP produces theatrical productions about Black life in Kentucky and throughout the African Diaspora. Founded in 1993, the African American Theatre Program is committed to staging works by new and established African American dramatists, developing a broad audience for African American theatre, and offering an in-depth curriculum that focuses on the theory and craft of acting, directing, and designing for Black Theatre.

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

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

 

 

 

The VIPP Report: Former UK and NFL player Jared Lorenzen teams up with Rajon Rondo Foundation, Kroger and Now Let’s Get Fit Foundation for Health and Wellness Tour

JaredLorenzenGet Fit

Louisville/Lexington (May 7, 2019) Former NFL Quarterback and University of Kentucky Hall of Famer, Jared Lorenzen has teamed with the Now Let’s Get Fit Foundation, Kroger and the Rajon Rondo Foundation for the 2019 Kentucky Health and Wellness Tour.

The tour will kick off Saturday May 18 at Kroger locations in Louisville at 12501 Shelbyville Rd, Louisville Middletown store.

The next day Sunday May 19 will be in Lexington Kroger at 3101 Richmond Rd location.

Both events are from noon-4:00 pm.

Let’s Get Fit Foundation’s mission is to combat obesity and instill Health and Wellness through Fitness and Nutrition. Each event is family friendly, Free to the public and includes fitness classes, nutrition stations, health screenings (for obesity related illness), kid zone activities and giveaways. Jared Lorenzen along with other former local athletes will be in attendance and participating.

“I want to show everyone that it’s never too early or too late to start the journey towards health. I want people to know that if I can do it then you can do it. My goal is to use the tour to put a face to obesity. Each event is a platform that everyone can join, have fun, feel safe to express themselves, get the inspiration and answers on health and wellness they need to make the change in their life.”  Jared Lorenzen.

Prior to Jared’s journey he had reached 500 lbs.  In the last year, he has lost 100 lbs. and counting.  Jared understood that he had to admit that there was an issue and then he got busy to get it.  We invite you to meet Jared and fitness professionals that can show you techniques that can help you and your entire family get fit.

Sponsors for the event are Kroger, Optup, Powerade Zero, Core Power, Rajon Rondo Foundation, The Little Clinic and Planet Mogul. The tour will extend to other locations in Louisville, Lexington and surrounding areas the remainder of 2019.

To learn more follow https://www.facebook.com/TheJaredLorenzenProject/ visit and sign up for Fitness Classes at http://www.nowletsgetfit.eventbrite.com or contact Anthony Holt @aholt@nowletsgetfit.com or call 323.365.3371

If you would like to setup an interview with Jared Lorenzen and/or other team members, please contact Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@vippcommunications.com or by phone at 502-295-0435.

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

The VIPP Report: Who will be the next Miss Kentucky and Miss Kentucky Outstanding Teen?

Miss Kentucky 2019MissKentuckyTeenPageant

WHO WILL REPRESENT THE COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY IN THE MISS AMERICA AND MISS AMERICA’S OUTSTANDING TEEN COMPETITION FOR 2019?

Witness the crowning of two young ladies in Louisville at the Historic Brown Theatre

(Louisville, KY) Tickets are now on sale for the Miss Kentucky and Miss Kentucky’s Outstanding Teen competitions being held at the Brown Theatre, 315 W. Broadway June 5th-8th in downtown Louisville, Kentucky.

This is the official state preliminaries of the Miss America and Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Scholarship Organization.

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

Dr. Ashley D. Anderson, Executive Director for the pageant and President of the Miss Kentucky board says “We had two outstanding representatives this past year.  Our talented candidates will have some big shoes to fill, but I’m confident that our judges will find two deserving young ladies.  As soon as they are crowned they will immediately begin to prepare for the national stage.  Kentucky will be a major contender and we are always proud of how hard these ladies work as they represent their families, community and the Bluegrass state.  I hope you come out and support them because they are all so talented.”

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

Tickets are $30.00 for events June 5th-7th.  The June 8th final event is $50.00.  If you would like to attend all four events its $130.00 per person.  You can purchase them by calling 800-775-7777 or 502-584-7777.  You can also purchase them at the Kentucky Center box office.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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About R. Prophet:

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

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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

 

 

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The VIPP Report: The first African American to reach the rank of colonel in the U.S. will be honored during a flag and plaque ceremony

A plaque ceremony and flag installation will be held the FIRST African American to hold the rank of “Colonel” in the U.S. Army and Buffalo Soldier from Kentucky

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The ceremony will be held at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage in West Louisville

 On Sunday, February 24, 2019, the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, (KCAAH) in partnership with The National Coalition of Black Veteran Organizations presents Colonel Charles Young the Epitome of Leadership.  As we near the end of Black History Month, we invite you to attend the installation of the 9th Calvary Regiment Flag and plaque ceremony for Colonel Charles Young.

Charles YCol. Young was born a slave in 1864 in Mason County, Kentucky.  He was one of the first African Americans to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point and the first black colonel in the U.S. Army.  He also served as a member of the 9th Calvary also known as the Buffalo Soldiers.  Young died in Liberia in 1922.

The ceremony will be from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at KCAAH which is located at 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd.  During the program Brian Shellum, author of three books about the life of Colonel Charles Young will speak during the program.  His focus will be Col. Young’s challenging missions during his 30 years on active duty.  Also, a part of the ceremony will be Charles Blatcher III, chairman for the National Coalition of Black Veteran Organizations, (NCBVO).  His angle will be NCBVO advocacy on behalf of Colonel Young and his importance to Black Military History and Black History Month.

If you are unable to attend but would like to have photos of the event send your request to info@vippcommunications.com and we will give you a summary of the event and photos.

http://www.kcaah.org

twitter: @kygriot

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: Louisville church surpasses the silver and gold anniversaries and now Mount Olive hits a historic number of 119 years

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Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church 

(Louisville, KY) There’s only been three pastors who’ve served at the helm of Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church.  On Sunday, February 24, 2019 the church will celebrate it’s 119th anniversary.

The anniversary will begin at 9:30 a.m. for Sunday School, followed by morning worship at 11:00 a.m. featuring the Anniversary Reunion Choir and Rev. Chris Hagan, pastor of Second Baptist Church of Owenton, Ky.

Dinner will be served. Following dinner, members and guests will return to the sanctuary at 3:00 p.m. for a special tribute for our retiring pastor Rev. Shanklin.

Shanklin, only the third pastor after 119 years has served 35 years as pastor and on Easter Sunday he will preach his last sermon at Mt. Olive.

The church along with our family life center is located on several acres on East Kentucky Street.

Please post and/or announce Mount Olive’s 119th Church Anniversary.  We also invite you to come worship and fellowship with us on Sunday, February 24th.

We will also update you closer to Easter Sunday plans for Rev. Alex Shanklin’s retirement.  If you would like to setup an interview with Rev. Shanklin and/or some of their members, please contact Sis. Barbara Leavell and/or Sherlene Shanklin at VIPP Communications by email at info@vippcommunications.com.

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

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

 

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

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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: Miss Kentucky Scholarship Organization official statement

December 9, 2018

From the office of the Miss Kentucky Scholarship Organization:

The young women that represent the Miss Kentucky Scholarship Organization and the Commonwealth of Kentucky are held to a high standard.  They not only represent the organization and the state, but their families and the communities in which they live.

The Miss Kentucky Scholarship Organization does not approve of the alleged behavior which led to the legal allegations and recent arrest of Ramsey Carpenter Bearse.

Please direct all inquiries in regards to Bearse’s personal and pending litigation to her attorney, A.L. Emch.

The VIPP Report: Miss Kentucky’s appearance schedule for Thanksgiving week

Miss Kentucky Katie Bouchard’s Appearance/Travel Schedule

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Monday, November 19, 2018

Morehead, Kentucky

8:00 am- Tiden Hogge Elementary School

9:30 am-Clearfield Elementary, Clearfield, KY

10:20 am-Rodburn Elementary School

12:45 pm-McBrayer Elementary School

1:30 pm-Rowan County Senior High School

2:20 pm-Rowan County Middle School

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

No scheduled events

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

No scheduled events

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving Day! No scheduled events

Friday, November 23, 2018

3:00 pm-6:00 pm Light Up Louisville Parade

Downtown Louisville, KY

Katie has been non-stop since her return from the Miss America Competition which was held on Saturday, September 9th, from historic Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ.

This week, Katie heads to Morehead, Kentucky where she will attend six scheduled events. She will take a couple days off to spend some time with family on Thanksgiving.  Then she heads to Louisville for their annual Light Up Celebration kicking off the holiday season.

The Miss America Organization, a 501(c) (4), is one of the most recognizable household names in America working to empower young women through education and service. The Miss America Organization is comprised of 51 licensed state organizations, including all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Miss America candidates contribute tens of thousands of community service hours annually and have raised over $17 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Miss America scholarships since 2007. The Miss America Foundation, a 501(c) (3), provides academic, community service, and other scholarships to young women.

If you would like to set up a media interview with Miss Kentucky Katie Bouchard please contact VIPP Communications for availability by emailing us at  info at vippcommunications dot com.   To have Miss Kentucky attend your next event, please send your request to bookmissky@gmail.com. To see videos and photos from her appearances follow her on IG @missamericaky.

The VIPP Report: Kroger Shooting Suspect Charged with Federal Hate Crimes and Firearm Offenses

Official news release from the United States Department of Justice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Gregory A. Bush, 51, was indicted today by a federal grand jury on hate crime and firearm charges arising out of the racially motivated murder of two African-American patrons at a Kroger grocery store, and the attempted murder of a third, on Oct. 24 in Jeffersontown, Kentucky. The indictment was announced by Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman, and FBI Louisville Special Agent in Charge James Robert Brown, Jr.

Today’s indictment charges Bush with hate crimes for shooting and killing two victims because of their race and color; and for shooting at a third man because of his race and color. The indictment also charges Bush for using and discharging a firearm during and in relation to those crimes of violence. The indictment alleges that Bush committed the offenses after substantial planning and premeditation, that he killed more than one person in a single criminal episode, and that he knowingly created a grave risk of death to others on the scene.

The maximum penalty for the charges in the indictment is life imprisonment or the death penalty.  The Justice Department will determine at a later date whether, in this particular case, it will seek the death penalty.

“The crimes alleged in this indictment are horrific,” Acting Attorney General Whitaker said. “We cannot and will not tolerate violence motivated by racism. We will bring the full force of the law against these and any other alleged hate crimes against fellow Americans of any race. And so I want to thank the FBI, Trial Attorney Christopher Perras, and Assistant United States Attorney Amanda Gregory for all of their hard work that has made this indictment possible. Today we take one step closer to justice for the victims and their families and one step closer to helping this community try to heal.”

“There is no place for hate-fueled violence in our community or Commonwealth,” stated U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman. “Federal, state, and local law enforcement stand united to ensure that Kentuckians can shop, worship, or attend school without the specter of fear.”

“The tragic events of October 24, 2018, are a grim reminder of why the FBI prioritizes investigations of civil rights violations among the top of its criminal programs,” said FBI Louisville Special Agent in Charge James Robert Brown, Jr. “Today’s indictment should be a reminder to those who are motivated by hate and are intent on committing violence; your hateful ideology will not have the last word. The FBI, and the Department of Justice, will be there, and you will be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to ensure justice for the victims, their families and the Louisville community throughout the investigation and prosecution of this alleged, hate-filled and violent crime,” stated Stuart Lowrey, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Louisville Division. “Today, and every day, ATF’s ongoing priority is to reduce violent crime and secure the safety of our communities.”

An indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

This case has been investigated by the FBI Louisville Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Louisville Field Division, and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Christopher J. Perras of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, and Assistant United States Attorney Amanda Gregory of the Western District of Kentucky.

 

If you have a story idea, send it to The VIPP Report, thevippreport at vippcommunications dot com.  Follow us on Twitter @thevippreport for real-time news.  

Victims in the Oct 24, 2018 shooting at Kroger in Jeffersontown, KY. Pictured below: Vickie Jones (on the left with her nephew) and in the second picture Maurice Stallard.