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Pruning the Ashbury Tree

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Black women succumb to breast cancer at a higher rate than other women, according to Eudora Mitchell president of Quinn Community Outreach Corporation (QCOC), a nonprofit organization that promotes breast cancer awareness and self-breast exams in African American women throughout the Inland Empire.

Richard O. Jones, playwright and QCOC Board Member, recently wrote the play, “Pruning The Ashbury Tree” to save lives and educate women and African American families about early detection and the serious need to discuss breast cancer issues within the family.

The idea was adapted from a national breast cancer study of African American Families called Jewels in Our Genes. The resounding message of the play is that the mere diagnosis of breast cancer is not a death sentence. “Pruning The Ashbury Tree” is about the Ashbury family and their code of silence about the epidemic of breast cancer in the family that spreads from one generation to the next.

The silence is held as long as possible until one member discovers how to prune the family tree of the disease. This godly inspired play is designed to help reduce the morality rate from breast cancer in African American women and to a smaller extent in men as well.

A portion of the proceeds from “Pruning The Ashbury Tree” is donated to Quinn Community Outreach Corporation. The play opens for two shows 1 PM & 6 PM on Saturday, Novmber 10, 2012 at A.K. Quinn AME Church at 25400 Alessandro Blvd. in Moreno Valley, CA. This play will also be performed on Friday, November 16 at 7 PM in the Ballroom of Country Village Senior Apartment at 10250 Country Club Dr. Jurupa Valley, CA (10 minutes east of downtown Riverside).

For more information or tickets for either show go to website www.qcoc.net or call QCOC office (951) 485-3734 or Richard O. Jones (951) 210-9767.

Bravo Media Serves A Double Dose of Drama With 'The Real Housewives Of Atlanta: Hairstylists Tell All'

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Bravo Media packs a punch as it heads down south with a new special “The Real Housewives of Atlanta: Hairstylists Tell All,” premiering Sunday, October 28 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, and “The Real Housewives of Miami” immediately following at 10p.m. ET/PT. As the ladies gear up for the fifth season of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," well-known Atlanta hairstylists and friends of the Housewives, Lawrence and Derek J, take a trip back in time to showcase some of their favorite moments from the Atlanta women. Women tell their hairstylists everything and Lawrence and Derek J are ready to share their colorful insight, present their favorite clips, and spill the "tea" (beans) on the ladies before the November 4 season premiere. For more information, visit www.BravoTV.com and follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BravoPR.

Then at 10p.m. ET/PT, in a new episode of “The Real Housewives of Miami,” Lisa's Lingerie Party continues with a shocking confession from Marta that sends Joanna on a rampage, but Joanna's fury is put on pause when Elaine Lancaster confronts one Karent’s friends. As Lisa throws a full-on tantrum, Adriana becomes even more convinced that something needs to be done about Karent. The night spirals out of control as the fighting escalates and the violent aftermath leaves the party in disarray. For more information on “The Real Housewives of Miami,” visit: http://www.bravotv.com/the-real-housewives-of-miami

Mastering the Art of Mentoring to Save a Lost Generation – MENTOR OR DIE

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Profile on Author, Motivational Speaker & Master Mentor Kevin Hall

By Natasha Simone Ferguson

Author Kevin Hall has been working with at-risk youth for over 20 years and is passionate about reaching the lives of today’s youth through mentoring. His latest book ‘Mentor or Die’ gives readers valuable insight from a Master Mentor on how to become a mentor and make a difference in the lives of troubled youth. Hall is a veteran of the United States Marine Corp, and currently works in the judicial system helping at-risk youth. He is also founder and owner of Kool As Nerdz, a pro-education clothing company. A native of South Los Angeles, Hall is a graduate from Long Beach State University and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. In addition, he serves on the board of directors for Brother II Brother mentoring organization.

Mentor or Die: The Ultimate Blueprint to Developing a Mentoring Mindset (now available on Amazon.com) is a powerful new self-help book. Mentor or Die is founded on biblical principles and equips the reader with the necessary tools to teach you the importance of mentoring, and inspire you to make a difference in the life of a struggling child or youth.

What Is a Mentor and Why Does It Matter?

Hall tackles the question of exactly what a mentor is and what a mentor does in the first section of the book. He outlines how adversity affects children and how a strong mentor can help them overcome that hurdle to grow and thrive.

“You can learn how to adopt a mentor mindset, understand the power of education and build mentoring relationships with Mentor or Die,” said Hall. “Mentoring has changed my life, and I want to help people move from sitting on the sidelines wringing their hands to being actively engaged doing good in their communities.”

Hall gives you the skills and understanding you need to provide proper guidance to children and young people struggling with adversity. You can help before they get far down the wrong road.

Learn by Leading Mentoring young people is not an entirely selfless act. It provides real and meaningful benefits to those who choose to become mentors. Your own self-discipline will improve as you develop a new understanding of what it really means and how to apply discipline to your own life with Hall’s five steps to a disciplined mind. Mentor or Die tackles topics that make you think deeply about your own life and beliefs such as being strong without being violent, discovering your own reasons for success and finding strength through God. Becoming a mentor means a positive change in your own life as well as your community.

Hall is currently on a book tour and will be signing books on Sunday, November 4th from 4 to 7 p.m. at Hourglass Art & Wine Gallery at 8200 Haven Ave., Suite 300 in Ranch Cucamonga, Calif. For more information visit www.mentorordie.com.


Come meet and greet Author Kevin Hall at his book signing.
Sunday, November 4th from 4 to 7 p.m.
@ Hourglass Art & Wine Gallery
8200 Haven Ave., Suite 103 in Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730

Cooking Up a Nutritional Change at RUSD

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By Ashley Jones

In July 2012, Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) began to implement major improvements to their nutritional programs in hopes of promoting better nutrition and reducing childhood obesity. The inspiration behind these new changes came from First Lady Michelle Obama’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids (HHFK) Act of 2010. RUSD currently serves 43,000 students and has 47 school sites.

Prior to these impactful changes, RUSD’s Nutritional Services Director, Rodney Taylor, sought to find a leader to head the Catering Department and support RUSD’s vision to promote better nutrition for students. Mr. Taylor selected Chef Ryan Douglas.

Chef Douglas came on board in 2008 and currently serves as the executive chef and catering supervisor at RUSD. His functions include supervising the production of administrative meals for the school district and overseeing food preparation for the Catering Department. Prior to his employment with RUSD, he served as the culinary operations manager at the University of California, Riverside (UCR), where he supervised total day-to-day culinary operations for residential restaurant.

Douglas received his education and training from the United States Air Force (Denver, Co), Culinary Institute of America (Napa Valley, Ca and Misawa AFB, Japan) and the Effectiveness Institute, Inc. (Riverside, Ca).

Over the past four years, Douglas has seen notable changes in students’ health, which can be attributed to RUSD’s recent healthy initiatives. “I can directly affect change in the way kids in our community eat especially in the African American and Hispanic communities. As a professional chef, I have a positive influence on changing the perception of school food,” said Douglas.

In June 2012, Douglas had the honor of meeting First Lady Obama as one of the guest chefs invited to the White House to help launch Mrs. Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign to end childhood obesity. As many as 500 chefs from 37 states participated in the event held on the South Lawn of the White House. The participants were challenged to help children make healthier choices.

In addition to the special task of helping children make healthier choices at RUSD, Douglas is also working locally with the Riverside County Department of Social Services to produce a video program that aims to help low income families enrolled in CalFresh to prepare healthy meals for their loved ones. CalFresh is the federal food stamp program.

“RUSD Nutrition Services had the opportunity to Partner with Riverside Department of Public Social Services to produce 7 cooking videos for CalFresh recipients. All of the nutrition classes and cooking videos were produced by RUSD high school students featuring myself. The filming of the videos was very exciting. Not only was it a live production set, but the interaction with the kid actors was great,” said Douglas.

Douglas’ mother inspired him to become a professional chef. “I learned to cook from my mom. She is no doubt and by far the best cook I have seen, and I have seen cooks and chefs from all around the world,” said Douglas.

Douglas grew up in Pasadena with his four siblings: Rodney (his twin brother), Russell, Eric, and Orin. He met his wife Lisa when they were in the military. They have been married for 27 years. They have three children, Magen, Nichole and Ryan Jr. and four grandchildren, Jeremiah, Julian, Kyrie, and Brooklyn (twins). Douglas and his wife serve as a deacon and deaconess to their church.

An Evening With Brian McKnight

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Riverside - Bill Malone, operator of the Fox Performing Arts Center is thrilled to announce an additional show to its spectacular Fall line-up, R&B superstar Brian McKnight in An Evening With Brian McKnight - An Intimate Solo Concert on Saturday, September 29 at 8pm. Tickets for An Evening With Brian McKnight: $27 - $67 plus limited VIP best seating at $77. The Box Office is open Monday - Friday from Noon to 6:00 PM, Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and on all show days from 10:00 AM to Show Time. The Box Office Phone number is: 951-779-9800.

As an artist who needs no introduction, McKnight has earned himself a spot in contemporary music history. He has released 14 albums to date, 7 of them have gone platinum, with several going 2 and 3x platinum, and he has sold over 20 million albums worldwide. McKnight is also a multi- instrumentalist who plays nine instruments including piano, guitar, bass, drums, percussions, trombone, tuba, flugelhorn and trumpet. In an industry known for a constantly revolving door of artists, McKnight has easily established himself with an enviable record of chart consistency, has toured successfully for over a decade, and has collaborated with performers across every genre including Quincy Jones, Justin Timberlake, Mariah Carey, Diddy, Christina Aguilera, Rascal Flatts, Nelly, Vanessa Williams, Willie Nelson and Kenny G.

Born in Buffalo, New York, McKnight’s musical career began in childhood when he became a member of his church, NY choir and a bandleader for his high school, Sweet Home High School. By the age of 19, he signed his first recording deal with Mercury Records subsidiary, Wing Records. In 1992, his self-titled album “Brian McKnight” was released followed by “I Remember You” (1995) and “Anytime” (1997). Anytime sold over two million copies and was nominated for a Grammy. In 1999, McKnight released Back at One on Motown Records, which sold over three million copies.

Along with several Grammy nominations, Brian McKnight has been the recipient of American Music Awards, Soul Train Awards, NAACP Image and Blockbuster Awards, and Billboard Songwriter of The Year. He has crossed the boundaries of EVERY medium. He has hosted "Soul Session Countdown with Brian McKnight" on BETJ. In addition, "The Brian McKnight Morning Show" on KTWV the Wave Smooth Jazz radio station, was a Top 5 rated show 2 years running. In 2009 Brian started hosting his own radio show "The Brian McKnight Show" which ran in over 60 markets and was syndicated through ABC Radio. Brian also hosted his own nationally syndicated TV show "The Brian McKnight Show".

McKnight has also used his vast industry knowledge as a red carpet host for Extra! and in 2007, McKnight stepped into Broadway with a successful run as Billy Flynn in Chicago. Brian was also a contestant on the Donald Trump hit show "Celebrity Apprentice" and toured nationwide in the musical play "Cheaper to Keep Her" with Vivica A. Fox.

2011 saw the release of Brian's 14th album, entitled "Just Me" along with a worldwide tour and live DVD. Brian made it a family affair and was joined on tour by his brother Claude McKnight and sons BJ and Niko also known as "BRKN RBTZ" (broken robots), for what has been spectacular one-of-a kind show.

In 2012 Brian and his sons started their own record label; Trif3cta Records. Brian is looking to create a haven for true singer songwriters and artists who want to have control not only in their music, but in their careers in general. Brian and his sons are also producing other artists under the name “C.A.T.S” an acronym for Care About The Sound. 2012 will also see the launch of his McKnight 360 Foundation to help raise awareness and provide solutions for the lack of funding for musical programs in schools across the country.

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