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: Vincent James Sr, Dare to Care’s new president

Vincent James Sr. works “faithfully” in the community. Once the Chief of Community Building for Metro Louisville, and pastor of Elim Baptist Church, to now… President and CEO of the fourth largest non-profit in Louisville.

James says “I went to Stephen Foster Elementary School, Gutermuth Elementary School because bussing had started at that time and graduated from elementary school went to Southern Middle/High at the time the middle school and high school were actually in the same facility.”

James graduated from Atherton High and got a finance degree from UofL with hopes of becoming a Wall Street investment banker, but he told his church, his purpose in life shifted.  
He said “We are going to be involved and engaged in the community and pretty much we were doing things in isolation as many churches do.”

Then violence renewed his purpose.  He will never forget. “It was a life changing moment.  May 17, 2012 there was a triple homicide outside my church. I was there.  I actually arrived when the first responders arrived.  I saw two young men who had shot at each other and had killed each other and that was devastating to me. And then a couple of hours later a couple of ladies with 60 police officers, detectives and news reporters shot another young lady shot her that was traumatic for the community, myself. I said whatever I need to do I’m going to do it.”

Then Mayor Fischer put James in the forefront.  James says “I know I made a change. When I look at not as much as I want too but when I look at the response of the community. How our community was hurting.  Things in terms of the administration was in. what was happening across the country one of the things I intentionally did as a pastor and chief of community building was how do we begin to build healing in our community.”

 James believes he laid the ground work for the office, and now he plans to nourish the community after being named President and CEO of Dare to Care. “I’m excited! I can’t tell you enough how excited I am about Dare to Care Food Bank.  It’s an incredible organization. Dare to Care’s mission is to led the community feed the hungry and ending the cycle of need.”

 James has found his mission in life.   “I’m walking in my purpose.  I get excited every morning when I wake up and I get to live out my dream in terms of helping people.”

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/article/news/community/vincent-james-sr-dare-to-care-elim-baptist-church-chief-community-building/417-53813831-6c28-4de9-8933-38f1551bb636

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

Snoop Dogg scheduled to perform in Louisville

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

Special Announcement by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11, ABC Affiliate Louisville

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kendrick Cross

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

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

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

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

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

Link below:

Sherlene’s Interview Clip of Actor Kendrick Cross

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

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

 

The VIPP Report: Countdown to Derby 145 in Louisville, KY

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

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

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

Usher Raymond-  Trifecta Gala (performing)

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

Tank– Darrell Griffith Foundation “Experience”

After 7- Annual Derby Gala 100 Black Men of Louisville

Joe Torry– Annual Derby Gala 100 Black Men of Louisville

Angel McCoughtry– Skills Camp for youth

Asia Durr-Skills Camp for Youth

Steve Harvey-Trifecta Gala

NeNe Leakes– Trifecta Gala

Cynthia Bailey– Trifecta Gala

Warren Moon-Unbridled Eve

Jamon Brown-Unbridled Eve

Darnell “Superchef” Ferguson– Unbridled Eve

Bryson Tiller-Trifecta Gala

Johnny Gill-Barnstable Brown Gala

Randall Cobb-Barnstable Brown Gala

Percy “Master P” Miller-Barnstable Brown Gala

Romeo Miller-Barnstable Brown Gala

Trey Songz-Barnstable Brown Gala

Boyz II Men-Barnstable Brown Gala

David Alan Grier-Barnstable Brown Gala

Von Miller– Barnstable Brown Gala

DeVante Adams-Barnstable Brown Gala

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

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