VIPP Style Accessories prepares for Small Business Saturday

Checkout the some of their jewelry selections on http://www.vippstyle.com.

Black Professional Mixer Stirring Up Business in Louisville

(Louisville, KY) As we come to the close of 2022, Harper Slade invites you to their final Black Professionals Mixer, (BPM) of the year hosted by Nikki R. Lanier.  On Tuesday, December 6th at Black Jockey’s Lounge, 630 South Fourth Street at 5:30 p.m. professionals have an opportunity to network as you garner alliances to create business for 2023.  This is the third mixer of the series.

In the coming year, we are excited to announce more mixers and a new partnership.  The announcement will be made on December 6th.

The evening is a unique opportunity for establish a strong sense of community among Louisville’s black professional community.  There will be entertainment and giveaways throughout the evening and food and beverages will be available for purchase throughout the evening.  Lanier says, “This has been an incredible year for the Black Professionals Mixer. We continue to attract our region’s top professionals, business executives, entrepreneurs, non-profit and philanthropic as well as professionals in sports and entertainment industries. Sponsors like Norton Healthcare, Yum Brands, Brown-Forman, Today’s Woman and others have enjoyed access to this incredible population of black talent and consumers.  I’m excited about the future of these events as we continue to build together in Louisville, and I invite you to be a part of it.”

To be included in this Invitation Only event, email admin@harperslade.com or click the link below

 https://www.evite.com/event/0100YEA53HWZCAALCEPNNLQK4XSF7I/

Lanier designed this event as a way for Black professionals to network, build community and welcome relocating professionals to the city.  BPM currently operates under Harper Slade Racial Equity Advisory.

Please post on your community calendars and if you would like to speak to Lanier about her final Black Professionals Mixer of the year, please contact VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com or by calling 502-341-7306. 

WHO:                Harper Slade hosted by Nikki R. Lanier

WHAT:               Black Professional Mixer, (BPM)

WHEN:              Tuesday, December 6th @ 5:30 p.m.

WHERE:            Black Jockey’s Lounge, 630 S. 4th Street, Louisville

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VIPP Communications is a full-service public relation, 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

BRINGING IN THE HOLIDAYS WITH JAZZ AND SHOPPING AT THE VILLAGE

(Louisville, KY) MOLO Village is hosting Holiday Jazz & Shopping at the Village on Friday, December 9th at The Village@West Jefferson located at 1219 West Jefferson Street in Suite 204.

We invite you to this free event which will run from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Dr. Jamesetta Ferguson, President & CEO of MOLO Village says “As the Russell community continues to thrive
so does the need for shopping options. We invite you to come out and enjoy some great music while shopping
for your holiday needs with local vendors. We take pride in showcasing local entrepreneurs and we support
them any chance we get. We also invite you to checkout our brick n’ mortar businesses at The Village. When
you visit.”

Please post and/or announce our holiday event. If you would like to setup an interview, contact VIPP
communications by calling 502-341-7306 or by email at info@vippcommunications.com. If you would like to
be a vendor contact MOLO Village at 502-513-6682.

WHO: MOLO Village

WHAT: Hosting Holiday Jazz & Shopping at the Village

WHEN: Friday, December 9, 2022

WHERE: The Village @ West Jefferson, 1219 West Jefferson Street, Suite 204

TIME: 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

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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

West Louisville Performing Arts Academy celebrate 33 years of helping youth through arts

WLPAA will be in concert and honor community leaders

(Louisville, KY) The West Louisville Performing Arts Academy (WLPAA) will host its 33rd Hope Awards Dinner Concert at6:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 12th at the Galt House Hotel, 140 North Fourth Street in the Grand Ballroom.

This year’s McDaniel Bluitt Hope Award recipient and keynote speaker will be Dr. Teresa Reed, Dean for the School of Music at the University of Louisville.

Additional awards will be presented during the program to recognizes community leaders who support WLPAA.

McDaniel Bluitt, Executive Director says “We are really excited to be in-person this year. It is so important to keep our youth motivated. This awards dinner gives them a chance to highlight their talent in front of a room full of people who are there to support them. We were one of very few organizations that were able to keep our youth engaged during the pandemic with the generous support of sponsors as we continued to meet and help our youth during such a challenging time. We cannot wait to dress up and have them share what they have been working on for the last two years. We hope you come out and support us” 

Tickets are $100.00 for adults and $50.00 for students. Tickets are available on Eventbrite and/or by contacting WLPAA by email at wlbc_wlgc@yahoo.com.

We would like to thank our supporters over the 33 years and this year’s donors; LG&E, PNC Bank, Gheen’s Foundation, Direct Relief, and the Fund for the Arts.

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

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History

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

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

Santa and Mrs. Claus will make a stop by Roots 101 this weekend to have cookies and coco with some of their biggest fans

(Louisville, KY) Roots 101 African American Museum invites you to “Cookies & Coco with The Clauses”. Starting Friday, November 4th through Sunday, November 6th.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will take your holiday five-by-seven (5×7) printed photo for $25.00. Parents get in free if the child they are accompanying is taking photos. To make sure each family is satisfied with their photo. Each session is scheduled up to 45 minutes if it is needed.

There will even be a special appearance by the Grinch and Black Panther. There will also be three drawing for gifts.

To schedule your session call 812-207-3433.

 WHO: Roots 101 African American Museum

WHAT: Hosting along with Santa George Smithers “Cookies & Coco with The Clauses”

WHEN: November 4th-6th (Friday through Sunday)

WHERE: Roots 101, 124 N. 1st Street, Louisville

TIME:  Friday and Saturday 1:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.

For additional information on “Cookies & Coco with The Clauses” or to reserve a date for your holiday events, call Lamont Collins at Roots 101 at 502-384-1949. To learn more about Roots 101 African American Museum visit our website www.roots-=101.org.  

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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 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: Louisville Native George T. French, Jr., President of Clark Atlanta University, to speak at the Louisville UNCF Luncheon honoring Alice and Wade Houston and give a full scholarship to a high school senior in Louisville

George T. French, Jr., graduate of Trinity High School and the University of Louisville and now the President of Clark Atlanta University is coming to Louisville to help Mayor Fischer honoring Wade and Alice Houston for all their years of dedicated service to the UNCF (United Negro College Fund).

To help celebrate the event and especially the Houstons, President French will provide a full scholarship to Clark Atlanta University for the Fall 2023.

For upcoming high school seniors, please submit a one pager (no more than 500 words) on why you want to attend Clark Atlanta University and why community service is so important to your educational experience.

The HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), Clark Atlanta University initiatives include:

·Innovative research to help cure prostate cancer and Alzheimer’s

·Create new solutions in cybersecurity

·Accelerate new avenues of entrepreneurship

·Opportunities in finding new ways to eradicate social and racial injustices 

Clark Atlanta University (CAU) was the nation’s first institution to award graduate degrees to African Americans and was the nation’s first four-year liberal arts college to serve a primarily African American student population. Today, with over 4000 students, representing 9 countries, CAU is the largest of the four institutions (CAU, Morehouse College, Spelman College and Morehouse School of Medicine) that comprise the Atlanta University Center Consortium. Clark Atlanta University is also the largest of the 37-member United Negro College Fund (UNCF) institutions.

Clark Atlanta University continues a 150-year legacy rooted in African American tradition while focusing on the future through global innovation, transformative educational experiences and high-value engagement.

CAU Programs Include:

•The only Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development of its kind

•A Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development

•An Institute for Civic Engagement, Social Justice & Leadership Institute

•The W.E.B. Du Bois Southern Center for Studies in Public Policy

•A Center for Workforce Development

•A program in Cyber Physical Systems

•39 undergraduate programs, 28 graduate programs, 9 doctoral programs

“I am proud of my Louisville legacy – being born and raised with my sisters, graduating from Trinity High School and then from the crown jewel of the city – the University of Louisville. Now, as the President of the largest College Fund school – Clark Atlanta University, I want to provide an opportunity for a 2023 high school graduate – a future innovator, entrepreneur, C-Suite Executive through a full scholarship to Clark Atlanta University.”

For upcoming high school seniors, please submit a one pager (no more than 500 words) on why you want to attend Clark Atlanta University and why community service is so important to your educational experience.

For interviews with President French: sshanklin@vippcommunications.com

Please send your 500-word essay to: Rohena@nichemktg.com

TheVIPPReport: STARS Youth Enrichment Program travels to Louisville, KY empowering future leaders both on and off the basketball court

(Dayton, OH) The S.T.A.R.S. Youth Enrichment Program, (STARS YEP) will be at Louisville’s Doss High School, 7601 St. Andrews Church Road on August 19th and 20th for a life skills and basketball camp along with a coaches clinic.

 On Friday, August 19th, NBA scout and evaluator Don Sellers will lead The Sellers Interactive Coaches Clinic. The respected professional will instruct coaching staffs how to celebrate their togetherness of the sport. In addition to learning from each other so they can work as a cohesive team. Sellers travels across the country demonstrating that all positions are vital for the success of a program. Working with organizations like the Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzles, Portland Trailblazers to the San Antonio Spurs. The Louisville workshop is open to any basketball coach at any level interested in growing their basketball knowledge and networking with their peers. Registration begins at 5:00 pm and the clinic begins at 5:30pm to 9:00 pm (EST).

Then on Saturday, August 20th, it is the S.T.A.R.S. YEP Life Skills & Basketball Camp for youth between the ages of 8 to 15 years of age. This free camp will give campers a vast array of experience when it comes to basketball knowledge and skill set that translate into discipline, work ethic and respect for themselves and others off the court. The camp is structured after Coach Mike Jarvis’ ‘Skills for Life’ book which focuses on modules that give players life skills that can sustain after the sport.   Jarvis along with former NBA star Dale Ellis will be in Louisville and will be facilitators of the basketball sessions.  WesBanco will facilitate the youth literacy programming as part of the life skills curriculum.    

We must limit our skill’s camp to the first one hundred applicants and pre-registration ends on July 30th. Check-in will be from 6:30 am to 7:30 am. Then the camp opens at 9:00 am which will include breakfast, lunch, and snacks. To conclude their day, there will be a keynote speaker and an awards ceremony at 5:00 pm.

Due to the generous support of our program partner, WesBanco the camp and coaches clinic will be free. We would like to thank them for collaborating with us to help make the camp a wonderful experience for everyone involved. Jody Gump, WesBanco’s AVP & BCM Business Development says “WesBanco is proud to partner with the S.T.A.R.S. Youth Enrichment Program. The values the program is instilling on the youth aligns with our pledge to serve the local communities.” 

To obtain an application go to https://starsyep.org/camp-application/. To setup an interview, contact VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com or by calling 502-341-7306. Please add our announcement to your events calendar. We will be adding additional coaches and special guests in the coming weeks so stay tuned for those announcements.

S.T.A.R.S. Youth Enrichment Program (Skills, Talent, Action, Results, and Success) is a unique program that supports and mentors’ youth ages 8-15. And a certified 501 ©(3) non-profit organization.

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

TheVIPPReport: Louisville native Marzz shoots for the stars

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 ABC Louisville

Inside the Mercury Ballroom on a June summer night, Louisville’s newest sensation Marzz waits in anticipation to give fans a show.

As music fills the streets of South Fourth Street, crowds begin lining up with tickets in hand, ready to see the return of the up and coming R&B singer at the Ballroom.

“I feel it’s the atmosphere is what makes it so different,” they said.

Marzz, who is signed to Keep Cool/RCA Records, is back at the venue for a second time where others like fellow Louisvillians Bryson Tiller and Jack Harlow have also graced the stage.

“I just wanted to connect and vibe with yall, this is my home,” they said.

This night, it’s different. It’s the first time since releasing their full-length album “Love Letters” to fans – Martians as they call them, across the country.

“Baby, that’s my heartbeat. Got me looking – going crazy,” they said.

The journey to Marzz started in Louisville for Laria McCormick, a Fairdale High School graduate. The humble beginnings put the singer on the path to reaching for the stars.

They started singing in church from an early age where their mother and grandmother were both heavily involved in church leadership.

“Since I was a kid, I grew up in church. Singing in the children’s choir, I feel like that had a lot influence too. Literally being a pk, my aunties and them always had me singing solo in the choir, I used to hate it cuz it’s like literally all eyes on me,” Marzz said.

Marzz said their sound and gender identity, which is non-binary, moved them away from the church and toward the R&B billboard charts.

Marzz prefers the pronouns “they, their and them” – not “she.”

“I feel like in the church there was a lot of judgmental people. You know what I’m saying, it’s kind of weird to transition from that, but it felt good to transition into a place where I felt welcome – where I knew that ain’t nobody going to judge me,” they said.

Drawing from personal experiences of hardship and heartache, Marzz poured out feelings on pages of notebooks – each with different colors – that would eventually become the inspiration for their debut release.

“I feel like really didn’t start getting into song writing in my music until I was like 11. You know what I’m saying, that’s when my mom and dad was going through a divorce. I kind of just went to notebooks. You know, just expressing myself, I wasn’t a real verbal kid growing up. I have different color notebooks that I write in,” they said.

It wasn’t until an Instagram post, standing out from the typical scrolling, that garnered the attention of super producer Timbaland. The stars began aligning for the young artist.

“Usually, I get like 300 views but then the day that I posted it this Jhené Aiko freestyle I believe. I had went in my phone, I woke up, and I see my phone kept going off – what’s going on with my phone and I look on my Instagram — I seen Timbaland repost it and I was like hold up – I was like hold up I started screaming, I was crying. I was like is this really him?” they said.

The social media post, plus their connection with Timbaland and several recordings in tow, landed them in front of RCA Records.

The songs of love and heartache would be released as a six-track EP that would take on a deeper meaning.

“Just me exploring, you know, figuring out self, loving myself, and understanding who I am as a person, you know what I’m saying.”

The standout single, “Countless Times,” dives right into their world.

The Mercury Ballroom would seem as far away as the moon, where Marzz was headed. 

They captured national attention performing during the Soul Train Awards on the BET Amplified stage, receiving kudos from the likes of JaRule.

From that moment, Marzz skyrocketed into the stratosphere. They have been named a “Future Five Artist” by SiriusXM and Billboard magazine’s “R&B Rookie Artist” in April.

“It was a super humbling moment for me. I was like dang, ‘this is so incredible’, you know what I’m saying? I was like, speechless, I was like they really mess with me. I appreciate all the love cuz what else can I say other than thank you for hearing me,” they said.

The young artist’s career is coming at a time when the tide is changing in the music industry. Social media is playing a huge role in how hits are determined.

Their meaningful melodic vibe is separating them from the rest, pushing the realm of R&B music beyond its limits.

“I think I’m outside the box, like I don’t think that I make just R&B music. I make everything, like, it don’t matter what it is. I don’t even know if it’s got a name to it. The genre or the type of – whatever the beat or wherever the beat is taking me, that’s where I go,” they said.

Music and the way hits are made might be changing, but it’s not about topping the charts for the young artist.

“I ain’t gon’ lie I don’t think I would be this far—you know what I mean? I still have so much more to go but I’m super grateful to be where I am at,” they said.

It’s the emotions of break-up and finding new love that gives Marzz and their Martians a world of their own .Contact Sherlene Shanklin at sherlene@sherleneshanklin.comor follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram

To see the story click the link: https://www.whas11.com/article/news/local/marzz-louisville-music-r-b-music/417-64505fd4-3d92-4a20-a750-66a6ec7f50bf

The VIPP Report: Have you ever wanted to make the call? Now you can. Become an officiate.

 

(Louisville, KY) The Kentuckiana Football Officials Association, (KFOA) are looking for men and women who are interested in participating as officials for high school football.   KFOA will conduct two orientation meetings to explain what it takes to officiate a game.  The first meeting will be held on Thursday, June 16th and Monday, June 20th. 

Both meetings will take place at 6:30 p.m. at Waggener High School, 330 S. Hubbards Lane.  Then training is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, July 13th.   

If you are unable to attend one of the meetings but interested in learning more about KFOA and how to officiate, call 502-419-8814 for your next steps to help area student athletes. 

KFOA is one of the premier high school football officiating associations in the nation.  Currently, members of KFOA officiate every level of high school (Varsity, Junior Varsity and Freshman) in Metro Louisville.  Members will also have opportunities to officiate youth leagues.   

We are proud to acknowledge that we have officials that have gone on to be officials on the collegiate and professional football leagues. 

The Kentuckiana Football Officials Association holds regular membership meetings each Wednesday evening in July through the first week of October. 

To learn more about KFOA and how you can join, visit our site at kfoa.info.  To setup interviews contact VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com or by calling 502-341-7306.

###

TheVIPPReport: Bryson Tiller aka Pen Griffey teams up to hit a homerun with clothing line with Ken Griffey Jr.

Louisville’s own R &B/Trapsoul artist Bryson Tiller and baseball legend Ken Griffey, Jr. have teamed up to release the S24 X Trapsoul Apparel and Accessories Collection.  The collection was released at midnight on March 24th.   The collaboration is a combination of classic swingman style gear with a R&B/Trapsoul edge. It’s bringing culture, sport and style.  It’s designed to reach the next generation of fans with a fusion of Tiller and Griffey’s style. 

The collection will include jerseys, hoodies, t-shirts, pants, ball caps and backpacks.  This is a limited edition S24 X TRAPSOUL Capsule Collection.  To commemorate Griffey’s all-star legacy with the Seattle Mariners you will see the colors teal, ocean blue, black and white in the collection.  The unisex collection ranges in sizes XS (extra small) to 3XL (triple extra-large) and it will cost you from $35 to $195. 

The photos given to me for this story we actually taken in Louisville for the launch of the collection photographed by Antonio Pantoja.  They were taken here in homage to Tiller and his hometown. 

Excitement is building around the launch.  Dorian Washington, SVP of Artist Relations for S24 says “I’ve been involved in a lot of great projects throughout my 30 year career in the music industry, but this is without a doubt the most exciting,”.

The original swingman brand was founded in 1995 reaching accolades as one of the highest grossing sports brands worldwide.  Now, with the collaboration with Tiller its expected to reach that status once again by knocking out the previous records out of the park. 

S24 X TRAPSOUL launches exclusively online at www.werunthegame.com.

TheVIPPReport: Louisville’s own dancer/model/actress Jhana Waddell making a name for herself in the entertainment industry

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 ABC Louisville

Courtesy Jhana Waddell

A rising star in the entertainment realm is backing up some of the biggest entertainers in 2022. Louisville native Jhana Waddell is showing up in music videos and live shows like Beyonce’s Academy Awards performance at the open of the show to performing with Mary J. Blige at the halftime of the Super Bowl 56.

I’ve been staying in touch with Jhana since I’ve learned of her great success. I spoke to her just days after the Super Bowl in February and she was still on a high after the performance and how it was a surprise to everyone but her parents. Jhana says “It was no secret.  I told them. (laughing) They were beyond supportive and they love Mary J. Blige. They know as me being a professional dancer this is a big deal.  So, everybody was getting calls the weeks leading up till asking are you ready, are ready, are you ready. Yes guys I’m so ready. I’m so excited It was all super exciting.” 

Jhana grew up in the Park Duvalle and Shawnee neighborhoods attending YPAS,(Youth Performing Arts School), Spelman, a HBCU and then finishing at the University of Louisville.  The professional dancer whose trained in ballet, modern, dance and tap currently lives in L.A. took me through how she was chosen to perform with the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul. 

Jhana says “We have auditions out here. I have an agent. The agent relays that there’s an audition. You’ve been selected here’s the time, here’s the location. So you come with your best hair and makeup. Come with your best self ready to perform. So you learn the step. You perform in front of the choreographer. If they like you they let your agent know. Hey we want to use them. This will be the days of rehearsal and day of the show.”

Courtesy Jhana Waddell

During big productions normally the artist or host normally has a fill-in to stand in for them so they don’t have to be there all day. I asked did Mary J ever practice with her? She says “Yeah, not very surprising. It was fun you know. It showed that her as an artist she too wanted to make sure it looks good and felt right. So, we practiced with her and stand ins.  She was there a lot.  So, I’m off her left shoulder which when you look at the video I’m on the right. I’m the second on the right. Um but yeah. it was so fun.”

I asked her to explain the feeling when she knew it was showtime.  Jhana tells me “It’s so indescribable the breathe of everybody when you walk into the stadium and it’s just full and packed with people. It’s a pandemic so I haven’t seen that many people in so long.  I felt like tears of joy and my smile immediately came out. I’m so happy this is just a big experience.  Here we go. We’re about to do it.”

She’s no stranger for big moments. She’s performed at many of the biggest music award shows with Selena Gomez to Bruno Mars and touring with Lil Baby and Future.  She has some exciting news she hopes to share with us soon.

She gave some advice if you want to be in the same field.  She said to trust yourself, follow your heart, be consistent, know your craft and research where you want to move were just a few of the positive words of encouragement she gave.   

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

To see the television version to this story just click the link: https://www.whas11.com/video/entertainment/television/programs/the411/the-411-louisville-native-opens-up-about-super-bowl-performance/417-bccc1974-a671-44bc-978f-a2e71ddfa889

TheVIPPReport: Meet the leader behind the MOLO Village

Dr. Jamesetta Ferguson is building back her community one block at a time

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 ABC Louisville

Kentuckiana has so many fascinating women leaders working for the betterment of the community.  Dr. Jamesetta Ferguson had a vision that takes up a whole block. I spoke to the visionary in today’s Moments that Matter. 

Ferguson spent a lot of time just across the street in Beecher Terrace at her aunt’s when her mother was at work. Not knowing as a little girl that someday she would be able to turn the parking lot into a block of desperately needed resources.  But before she had the vision Dr. Ferguson also fondly known as Pastor  J travelled to Africa on a mission trip where her vision became clear.   

Ferguson says “I visited a young woman who had, who was taking the anti-viral drug. She had HIV. She had a young son and the mission that I went there for working with people infected or effected by HIV and AIDS because reckoning race and reconciliation. So when we went to this young woman’s house. I came into her house  and she grab me and starting weeping  and started saying MOLO momma MOLO and learned that meant ‘welcome home’.” 

While in Africa. Ferguson spoke to a minister with a large congregation. He shared his success and how to be resourceful. The minister said to Ferguson, “I used what I got! I use what I got! I had the mindset prior to that, that we had this historical building next door but we were not using the entire building.” She went on to say “So when I came back. We changed our attitudes  to use what we got . God would not bless us more until we start using what God had provided for us already.” 

She had a shift in her mindset. Her faithful team started serving about a thousand people a week.  Plus, providing a long list of resources and services.  “We had the clothes ministry,  we had recovery ministry, we had Dare to Care ministry, Senior ministry, We had Youth ministry. We had everything in that building. We no longer worried about the condition of the building.  It wasn’t that it was falling down  it just needed some repair.” 

Early, 2006, Dr. Ferguson was welcomed to church but not with some opposition but later being named pastor of the congregation.  She says “And at that point there were 15 German-American senior adults at the church of that 15, one left cause he did not want to worship with a person that look like me. 

Even though she could not speak German but she had an appreciation of their culture because her father. Ferguson says “My father actually was the first student at Louisville Municipal College which was the Black portion of the University of Louisville to major in German.” 

They went into planning, and creating partnerships of how to utilize the city block they owned. They started the process to resurrect the community.  “We decided to take the east parking lot of the church and develop the Village of West Jefferson. Being in a community one without for such a long period of time.  This facility here is the first new construction on Jefferson Street of West Jefferson Street in over 30 years.” 

Dr. Ferguson tells me she’s far from being done. She has a lot more work to do. Her next big undertaking will be in the renovation of St. Peter’s United Church of Christ. 

The MOLO Village is located at 1219 W. Jefferson Street in West Louisville. 

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

To see the television of the story, just click the link provided: https://www.whas11.com/article/news/community/moments-that-matter/molo-village-jamesetta-ferguson-west-jefferson-russell-outreach-ministry-africa/417-0abc671e-f2b2-47cd-8007-af312c638a74

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.

TheVIPPReport: Julia Youngblood, honoring women in our community

Julia Youngblood

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11, ABC Affiliate

Many may not know the name Julia Youngblood but countless youth and artists know her as the woman who gave them a chance to expand their horizons. I sit down with her to talk about the importance of giving back. 

Youngblood is one of the quiet forces in our community making sure the arts is available for anyone whose interested.  She worked at the Kentucky Arts Reach program. Dedicating her life to make the community better. 

Youngblood says “For the 16 years I took care of it.  I really worked on opening up the space more and more for communities especially communities of color or folks that might of felt like they really could walk in that door.  I produced 100s of events open mics and many performances on many big stages, all the stages throughout the building.”

Introducing some 50 thousand people to the Kentucky Center for the Arts space that normally would not of had that opportunity. She says “One of my biggest joys was creating culturally related performance pieces that came from the community.  It wasn’t me creating those pieces. It was reaching out to the community and saying what do you want to express today. To me that’s extremely powerful.”  

Youngblood currently owns Youngblood Harmonizing Arts. She took me to a time in her life when she decided to focus on helping others. She took me back to when she was 20 years old.  “A really pivotal part of my life. I lost the ability to walk at the time they thought I had multiple sclerosis . Over time being helped by many other people I was able to get well.”  She goes on to say “Once I really got to where I was able to function and walk again I thought that I just want my life to be of service.” 

Her unique way of looking at life and understanding that expression is a part of the process when healing a community. She says “A lot of time people feel the need to feel seen and that’s a healing.” 

Youngblood admits she’s not outspoken but her now 90 year old mother gave her some advice when she was younger. “Walk into any space and sit down.  So that is what I hope for all of us in life that we call all walk in and feel like it okay to be where we are.”

She tells me that her mom and 25 year old daughter Johnny Storm inspire her.  She goes onto say she appreciates how her daughter views life. Youngblood, a self-taught artist has an art exhibit with almost 40 pieces ranging from paintings to print on textiles.

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

To see the television version of the story, click the link https://www.whas11.com/article/news/community/moments-that-matter/julia-youngblood-harmonizing-arts-lodgic-kentucky-performing-arts-artsreach/417-2988a064-00aa-42cb-b148-694888bc87e8

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: Inaugural Jeweled Essentials Soiree announce Jon B as their musical guest

(Louisville, KY) As we head into the new year, Jeweled Essentials, an essential oil business team based in Louisville will host their inaugural Pre-Valentine’s Day event.  It’s the Jeweled Essential Soiree on Saturday, January 22nd at the University of Louisville Activities Center located at 2100 South Floyd Street from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. 

This year’s musical guest will be Grammy nominated singer, songwriter and producer Jon B. Known for hits like ‘They Don’t Know’, ‘Someone to Love’, and ‘Are U Still Down’.

It’s a night of celebration and support.  The past two years have been difficult for many especially when it comes to health.  So, the soiree will benefit the Bespoke Global Health Initiatives.  They are dedicated to changing the world by empowering young women with health literacy, wellness, and self-confidence. As they plan to reopen the Barefoot College clinic in Sierra Leone on March 8th, which is International Women’s Day.

Tickets start at $95 which includes dinner and they can be purchased on Eventbrite at Pre Valentines Day Jeweled Essentials Soiree Tickets, Sat, Jan 22, 2022 at 7:00 PM | Eventbrite African formal attire is recommended. 

Soiree organizer Dr. Ashley Anderson explains the importance of helping reopen the clinic. “Jeweled Essentials has a passion for sustainable community impact as well as global and women’s health initiatives.  What BGHI is doing in Sierra Leone is something we had to support.  We want to raise $100,000 to support the renovations and reopening of this critical access clinic as well as sustain it for 2 years.  This project has the potential to improve the quality of life and overall wellness of women at Barefoot College in Makeni.”

We are following CDC guidelines so at this time masks will be required except while eating and drinking. While it is not required, we highly suggest a COVID19 test within 48 hours of the event. If guidelines are updated, we will follow suit. 

To setup an interview to contact VIPP Communications at info at vippcommunications dot com.

The VIPP Report: MELANnaire Marketplace will be collecting donations for those affected in the Western Kentucky tornado this Saturday

MELANnaire Marketplace Holiday Shopping Extravaganza offers unique and one-of-a-kind gift ideas

The MELANnaires will be collecting donations for those affected in the Western Kentucky tornado

(Louisville, KY) There’s only a few days left before the holidays.  Do you still need a gift for your ‘Secret Santa’?  The MELANnaire Marketplace’s Galleria REMIX Holiday Shopping Extravaganza continues this Saturday, December 18th at Fourth Street Live indoors located at 416 W. Liberty Street, in downtown Louisville from 12pm to 6pm.

This gives you a chance to support Black-owned and local businesses. You can stop in and find everything from handmade crafts, jewelry, to anything you can find in a large retail mall, but your dollars stay in the community. 

There will also be live entertainment, pictures with Santa and food vendors. If you would like to be a vendor, contact us at blackbusinessesmatter502@gmail.com.

All the MELANnaires decided that they wanted to help those affected by the tornado in Western Kentucky.  So, they will be accepting donations for residents in Bowling Green, KY.  The marketplace will serve as a donation drop off site.  They are accepting gift cards from restaurants, Walmart cards and vouchers for area hotels and gas cards just to name a few of the items storm victims currently need while they work through this tragedy.  

Nachand Trabue, founder of the MELANnaire Marketplace says “We’ve had a very successful year.  Introducing you to businesses previously overlooked.  There’s also been an increase of new businesses and the MELANnaire Marketplace gave them an opportunity to see what worked for them.  We are excited about the new year and what’s instore, but we can’t forget those in need at this time in Western Kentucky.  Many people in the Louisville area have personal ties to Bowling Green because they, including myself attended Western Kentucky University. We knew we needed to help. Please stop by and give what you can.  We know they would appreciate anything you can give.”

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

To learn more about MELANnaire Marketplace visit our website at http://www.melannaire.com.  

Please announce and/or post on your community calendars.

“Where Black Businesses Matter”

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

Instagram:  @melannairemarketplace

The VIPP Report: MELANnaire Marketplace Holiday Shopping Extravaganza continues this weekend for the ultimate shopping experience

(Louisville, KY) The MELANnaire Marketplace’s Galleria REMIX Holiday Shopping Extravaganza continues this Saturday, December 11th at Fourth Street Live indoors located at 416 W. Liberty Street, in downtown Louisville from 12pm to 6pm.

Shoppers get a chance to support Black-owned businesses who have everything from daily essentials to that unique and one-of-a-kind gift items that will be a great gift for the holidays.   

Here’s schedule for the Galleria Remix Holiday Shopping Extravaganza:

  • December 11th
  • December 18th

There will also be live entertainment, pictures with Santa and food vendors. If you would like to be a vendor, contact us at blackbusinessesmatter502@gmail.com.

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

To learn more about MELANnaire Marketplace visit our website at www.melannaire.com.  

Please announce and/or post on your community calendars.

“Where Black Businesses Matter”

The VIPP Report: MELANnaire Marketplace Holiday Shopping Extravaganza add days to the ultimate shopping experience

(Louisville, KY) After a successful ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Small Business Saturday’, the MELANnaire Marketplace extends their Galleria REMIX Holiday Shopping Extravaganza to give shoppers more opportunities to support small businesses.  From December 3rd through the 5th, MELANnaire Marketplace will be at Fourth Street Live indoors located at 416 W. Liberty Street, in downtown Louisville from 12pm to 6pm.

The Galleria Remix Holiday Shopping Extravaganza opened its doors on Black Friday and every weekend up until Christmas Eve for all your shopping needs. 

Here’s our schedule at Fourth Street Live (indoors):

•             December 3-5

•             December 10-12

•             December 17-24

There will be Black-owned businesses selling everything from fresh baked goods, artwork, bath & body to handcrafted jewelry plus much more.  There will also be live entertainment, pictures with Santa and food vendors.

If you would like to be a vendor, contact us at blackbusinessesmatter502@gmail.com.

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

To learn more about MELANnaire Marketplace visit our website at http://www.melannaire.com.  

Please announce and/or post on your community calendars.

“Where Black Businesses Matter”

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

Instagram:  @melannairemarketplace

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Where Black Businesses Matter”

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

Instagram:  @melannairemarketplace

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

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

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

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

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

“Where Black Businesses Matter”

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

Instagram:  @melannairemarketplace

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

MELANnaire Marketplace where local is the new Black

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

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

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

WHO: MELANnaire Marketplace

WHAT: Shopping with Black-owned businesses

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

WHERE: Manhattan on Broadway, 716 E. Broadway

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

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

“Where Black Businesses Matter”

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

Instagram: @melannairemarketplace

The VIPP Report: Lady Veterans Connect Announce Inaugural Gala

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

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

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

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

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

About

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

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


Founder, Nachand Trabue will be honored in an awards ceremony

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


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


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


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


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

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

Immediate Release:

August 29, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Where Black Businesses Matter”

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

Instagram:  @melannairemarketplace

The VIPP Report: Stop by MELANnaire Marketplace this weekend

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

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

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

WHO:                     MELANnaire Marketplace 

WHAT:                   Shopping with Black-owned businesses            

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

WHERE:                 Manhattan on Broadway, 716 E. Broadway

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

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

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

“Where Black Businesses Matter”

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

Instagram:  @melannairemarketplace

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

By Sherlene Shanklin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To see the story, click the link below.

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

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

By Sherlene Shanklin

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

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

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

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


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

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

To see the story, click the link below.

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

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

By Sherlene Shanklin

Olympian Ronnie Baker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To see the story, click the link below.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HEAD TO FOURTH STREET LIVE! THIS WEEKEND FOR MELANNAIRE MARKETPLACE

            Where the community comes out to Shop, Socialize & Support

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

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

WHO:                    Melannaire Marketplace Summer Breeze Festival  

WHAT:                  Pop Up Mall

WHEN:                  12:00pm-6:00pm

WHERE:                Fourth Street Live!

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

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

“Where Black Businesses Matter”

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

Instagram:  @melannairemarketplace

The VIPP Report: 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: Moments that Matter with Huanmei Wang

By Sherlene Shanklin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who will represent the state of Kentucky?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Sherlene M. Shanklin

Louisville, Kentucky

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

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

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

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

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

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

DCorey Johnson Photo by Sherlene Shanklin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Special from Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 ABC Louisville

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About

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

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

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

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

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

Sherlene M. Shanklin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sherlene M. Shanklin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Birdie Maxwell Photo Courtesy Sherlene Shanklin

By Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 ABC Louisville

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sherlene & Birdie Maxwell

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

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