Sheila Oliver Voted New Jersey’s 1st Black Lieutenant Governor

New Jersey Lieutenant Governor-elect Sheila Oliver (photo via amsterdamnews.com)

via amsterdamnews.com

Reports indicate that Democrat Phil Murphy is projected to win the New Jersey governor’s race making his running mate, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, the state’s first Black lieutenant governor. She is now the second highest-ranking official in the State of New Jersey.

She was elected to her new title after the election of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy takes a sweeping victory from the Republican candidate, lieutenant governor Kim Guadagno.

“I certainly know how the legislature works,” Oliver said during her campaign. “I certainly have relationships with 119 members of the state Legislature. And to run an effective government and to get things done, you need to cooperation in the state Senate, the general assembly and the executive branch.”

Oliver, 65, is a native of Newark and is the first African-American woman Assembly Speaker in New Jersey. She has more than a dozen years of legislative experience, serving in the lower house of the New Jersey Legislature since 2004. She also served on the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders from 1996 to 1999.

Source: http://amsterdamnews.com/news/2017/nov/07/sheila-oliver-becomes-first-black-lieutenant-gover/

Taraji P. Henson to Host BET’s 2017 ‘Black Girls Rock’ Awards Saluting Issa Rae, Yara Shahidi, Roberta Flack & More

Taraji P. Henson, Issa Rae, Yara Shahidi (photos via eurweb.com)

via eurweb.com

Taraji P. Henson has been tapped to host BET’s 2017 Black Girls Rock Awards honoring “Insecure” creator, writer and star Issa Rae, “Black-ish” star Yara Shahidi and others. The ceremony will take place on Aug. 5 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. Rae is set to receive the Star Power Award while actress/activist Shahidi will take home the Young Gifted and Black honor.

Other honorees include singer Roberta Flack (Living Legend Award); financier Suzanne Shank (Shot Caller Award); and community organizers Derrica Wilson and Natalie Wilson of The Black & Missing Foundation (Community Change Agent Award).

The 2017 Black Girls Rock Awards will air on BET on Aug. 20.

Source: Taraji P. Henson to Host BET’s 2017 ‘Black Girls Rock’ Saluting Issa Rae, Yara Shahidi & More | EURweb

Family in New Jersey Wins $429 Million Lottery, Uses Money to Fight Poverty

The Smith Family (photo via thegrio.com)

via thegrio.com

Last year, the Smith family in Trenton, New Jersey, won the $429 million Powerball lottery, and they planned to use all that money to help fight poverty. Pearlie Mae Smith and her seven children meant what they said at a press conference when they promised to give that money back to their community.

“It was like affirmation from God because we each have dreams that we want to fulfill in this life, and do for our community and do for each other and for our families and we have been funded to do that,” Smith’s daughter Valerie Arthur said last year when the family won about $25 million apiece after taxes when they decided to take their winnings in a lump sum.

They used the money to pay off bills and student loans before they put it back into their community with the Smith Family Foundation. “We want to fund programs that directly affect systems of poverty so we can help change the systems or change the dynamics that are causing people to be in poverty,” Harold Smith told NJ.com. “Rather than just helping them find food or give away food, we can make it so they now have the ability to obtain employment, get their proper education in order to be able to go out and get their own food.”

The foundation will work with the city in order to provide both long- and short-term grants for Trenton.

Source: Family wins $429 million lottery, aims to use money to fight poverty | theGrio

63 Year-Old Duvinson Jeanty Receives College Degree Alongside 27 Year-Old Son Benjamin

Benjamin Jeanty (l) and Duvinson Jeanty (r) [image via huffingtonpost.com]

by Zahara Hill via huffpost.com

At your typical graduation, parents are somewhere beaming in the audience as their kid switches their tassel to the left. But last Friday, 63-year-old Duvinson Jeanty was right alongside his son receiving a bachelor’s degree of his own. Duvinson and his 27-year-old son Benjamin both graduated from William Paterson University in New Jersey and are the first in their family to receive college degrees. Duvinson, a Haitian immigrant, retired from his 25-year stint as a New Jersey Transit bus driver in 2013 to become a full-time student at the university. “It’s always been my dream, my goal to finish college,” Duvinson told CBS New York.

Like Duvinson, Benjamin didn’t take the straight and narrow path in his pursuit of higher education. After a year at Rutgers University in 2008, he left the school and began working in the fast food industry. Three years later, he realized he wanted to pursue something he felt was more purposeful.

“I starting making good money, and making money is cool, but how am I serving the community? How am I helping others?” Benjamin told Fox News.

Part of the inspiration for Benjamin’s change of heart came from witnessing how passionate his dad was about obtaining an education.

Instead of returning to Rutgers to pursue psychology, Benjamin enrolled at William Paterson, where his dad was already studying finance.

“He was my biggest cheerleader and inspiration,” Benjamin told InsideEdition.com. “There were some times I’d come home from work or class late and I’d see him studying and it would encourage me. Seeing him walk across the stage and get his diploma was indescribable.”

To read original article, go to: 63-Year-Old Father Receives College Degree With His Son | HuffPost

17 Year-Old Ifeoma White-Thorpe Accepted to All 8 Ivy League Colleges

Ifeoma White-Thorpe from Morris Hills High School in Rockaway, New Jersey, was accepted into all eight Ivy League colleges, plus Stanford. (CBS PHILLY)

article by Jennifer Earl via cbsnews.com

Many college-bound high school seniors will have difficult decisions to make as summer approaches, but few can compare to the choice facing New Jersey teen Ifeoma White-Thorpe – she was accepted to all eight Ivy League colleges.  White-Thorpe, 17, from Morris Hills High School in Rockaway, New Jersey, was accepted into Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth, and the University of Pennsylvania. And that’s not all. White-Thorpe was accepted into Stanford University, too.

At first, she was solely focused on Harvard — the first school to officially give her the green light. But acceptance letters from other prestigious schools across the country soon flooded her mailbox, and now she’s back to square one. “I got into Harvard Early Action, so I was like I’ll just go there. And then I got into all the others and now I don’t know where I want to go,” White-Thorpe told CBS Philly on Tuesday.

The teenager already has quite an impressive list of accomplishments. She’s student government president, ranks high in her advanced placement courses and is a talented poet and writer. She recently won first place in the National Liberty Museum’s Selma Speech & Essay Contest.“Education is essential for change, and I aspire to be that change,” White-Thorpe said after winning a $5,000 prize in the national essay contest.

White-Thorpe says she wants to major in global healthy policy, and plans to look into what programs each school offers in her field. But that’s not the only factor that will help make her decision. It will likely come down to whichever university provides the best financial aid package, she said.

Source: 17-year-old New Jersey teen accepted into all 8 Ivy League schools – CBS News

Grade School Basketball Players in New Jersey Forfeit Season Rather Than Ban Girls from Team (VIDEO)

(photo via YouTube)

article via nytlive.nytimes.com

A Catholic Youth Organization basketball team in New Jersey voted to forfeit the season so they could keep two female players on the team. As NJ.com reports, the league’s director told the St. John’s Chargers that they were not allowed to play as a co-ed team, that their record would be wiped because girls had played “illegally,” and that they would be prohibited from playing the final two games of the season if the female players remained on board.

Jim Goodness, a spokesperson for the archdiocese of Newark, told NJ.com that the “rules specifically state the teams should be boys or girls only.”Parents and coaches decided to let the children vote on how they would proceed. When asked if they wanted to “play the game without the two young ladies on the team,” or “stay as a team as you have all year,” all eleven players voted to keep the girls on the team and forfeit the season.

To see video of vote, click below:

Assistant coach Keisha Martel, whose daughter plays with the Chargers, reiterated the consequences of their decision. “It doesn’t matter!” one boy replied.

To read more, go to: Grade-school basketball players forfeit season rather than ban girls from team – Women in the World in Association with The New York Times – WITW

New Jersey Educator Naseed Gifted Launches STEM Comic Book, “P.B. Soldier”

Naseed Gifted (photo via blackenterprise.com)

article by Samara Lynn via blackenterprise.com

Nat Cummings is a talented computer hacker using his skills to pay his college tuition. A covert operative, he is well-versed in hacking, hand-to-hand combat, blade combat, and stealth.All is well with Nat until he is listed as a
n International Terror Threat,­ Code Red.

The newly formed government/paramilitary organization called The Establishment gives him a simple choice, either work with them to become a highly trained assassin or be terminated. Nat is the protagonist of a new science fiction comic book series, P.B. Soldier. The series not only promises an exciting story of an African American antihero, but it is designed to teach STEM skills.

P.B. Soldier is the brainchild of PBS Media, an independent comic book publisher founded by Naseed Gifted.

Gifted is not only the comic’s writer and creator he is a long-time math teacher, was an engineer, and is currently an administrator for the Pre-Academy division of the New Jersey Public Schools system.

Today, PBS Media is launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise $8,500 for the production of episode 3.0, the sixth installment of a 13 book arc. Funds will go toward payment to line artist and colorist Abel Garcia, and the actual production of the book, including printing and distribution.

A portion of proceeds will go to the Central High School Pre­Engineering Academy in Newark, New Jersey, where Gifted has taught and led for the past 13 years.

To read full article, go to: New Jersey Educator Launches STEM Comic Book