9-year-old girl accidentally kills gun instructor with Uzi
Aug28

9-year-old girl accidentally kills gun instructor with Uzi

Press release courtesy of PoliceOne.com  DOLAN SPRINGS, Ariz. — The accidental shooting death of a firing-range instructor by a 9-year-old girl with an Uzi has set off a powerful debate over youngsters and guns, with many people wondering what sort of parents would let a child handle a submachine gun. Instructor Charles Vacca, 39, was standing next to the girl Monday at the Last Stop range in White Hills, Arizona, about 60 miles south of Las Vegas, when she squeezed the trigger. The recoil wrenched the Uzi upward, and Vacca was shot in the head. Prosecutors say they will not file charges in the case. Gerry Hills, founder of Arizonans for Gun Safety, a group seeking to reduce gun violence, said that it was reckless to let the girl handle such a powerful weapon and that tighter regulations regarding children and guns are needed. “We have better safety standards for who gets to ride a roller coaster at an amusement park,” Hills said. Referring to the girl’s parents, Hills said: “I just don’t see any reason in the world why you would allow a 9-year-old to put her hands on an Uzi.” The identities of the girl and her family have not been released. Sam Scarmardo, who operates the outdoor range in the desert, said Wednesday that the parents had signed waivers saying they understood the rules and were standing nearby, video-recording their daughter, when the accident happened. Investigators released 27 seconds of the footage showing the girl from behind as she fires at a black-silhouette target. The footage, which does not show the instructor actually being shot, helped feed the furor on social media and beyond. “I have regret we let this child shoot, and I have regret that Charlie was killed in the incident,” Scarmardo said. He said he doesn’t know what went wrong, pointing out that Vacca was an Army veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. Jace Zack, chief deputy for the Mohave County Attorney’s Office, said the instructor was probably the most criminally negligent person involved in the accident for having allowed the child to hold the gun without enough training. “The parents aren’t culpable,” Zack said. “They trusted the instructor to know what he was doing, and the girl could not possibly have comprehended the potential dangers involved.” In 2008, an 8-year-old boy died after accidentally shooting himself in the head with an Uzi at a gun expo near Springfield, Massachusetts. Christopher Bizilj was firing at pumpkins when the gun kicked back. A former Massachusetts police chief whose company co-sponsored the gun show was later acquitted of involuntary manslaughter. Two gun experts said Wednesday that what...

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Top scholarships for minority students heading back to school
Aug27

Top scholarships for minority students heading back to school

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — The summer is over and the 2014-2015 school year has already started; Students all over the country have returned back to the classroom. To officially kick off the back-to-school celebration, here are the top 10 scholarships with upcoming deadlines for African American and other minority students: #1 – The Coca-Cola Scholars Program is a very competitive program for high school seniors throughout the United States. Sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company, the largest soft drink company in the world, the program awards millions every year in college funding. The deadline is in October. For more details, visit www.scholarshipsonline.org/2012/04/coca-cola-scholars-program.html #2 – The Xerox Technical Minority Scholarship Program is designed to help cultivate minority students for potential recruitment in the field of technology. The scholarship amount award depends on the student’s tuition balance, academic excellence and classification. The deadline is in September. For more details, visit www.scholarshipsonline.org/2012/03/xerox-technical-minority-scholarship.html #3 – The “From Failure to Promise” Essay Scholarship Contest offers an opportunity for high school seniors, undergraduate, and graduate students to earn scholarship money by writing a 1,000 word essay. Students will be asked to describe the challenges they have faced in achieving academic success. For more details, visitwww.scholarshipsonline.org/2013/02/from-failure-to-promise-essay.html #4 – The Gates Millennium Scholars Program (also known as the Bill Gates Scholarship) awards scholarships each year to African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American or Hispanic American students who plan to enroll full-time in a two-year or four-year college or university program. The deadline is in January. For more details, visitwww.scholarshipsonline.org/2012/08/the-gates-millennium-scholars-program.html #5 – The CIA Minority Undergraduate Scholarship Program was developed, in part, to assist minority and disabled students, but the opportunity is available to all students who meet the requirements. Sponsored by the U.S. government’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the program consists of an actual scholarship award and a full-time paid summer job in Washington, DC. For more details, visit www.scholarshipsonline.org/2012/05/cia-undergraduate-scholarship-program.html #6 – LAGRANT Foundation Scholarships are targeted toward minority undergraduate and graduate students, offering scholarships for students interested in careers in advertising, marketing, public relations, anthropology, or art. Students must be American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian/Pacific Islander, Black (non-Hispanic) or Hispanic. For more details, visitwww.scholarshipsonline.org/2013/02/lagrant-foundation-scholarships.html #7 – The Go Red Multicultural Scholarship Program champions greater inclusion of multicultural women in the nursing and medical industries, address important gaps in treatment, and ensure that all Americans have an opportunity to work with their healthcare providers to make the best choices that lead to good health. For more details, visitwww.scholarshipsonline.org/2012/09/go-red-multicultural-scholarship-fund.html #8 – The First Freedom Student Competition is a national essay and video contest open to high school students in the U.S. and U.S. territories. Students in grades 9-12 may participate. Two awards will be given, one essay award and one video...

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Popular author Sandra Belton seeks writing from young readers on her new blog
Aug21

Popular author Sandra Belton seeks writing from young readers on her new blog

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Sandra Belton, author of the popular Ernestine and Amanda series about two African-American girls growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, wants to hear what young readers have to say. In the first post of her new blog, Sandra’s Write Place, she asks her readers, “If you could talk to Ernestine or Amanda which one would you choose and what would you say?” “In creating a community of readers and writers, which I very much want to do,” Belton says. “I want to know what young people today know about the Civil Rights era and might say to kids their age who grew up during those times,” Belton says. Readers who respond will have the opportunity to be published on the blog and to receive an autographed copy of the latest Ernestine and Amanda book, Goodbye. Hello…, which tells of an unexpected event that befalls the two girls in their middle school years and triggers the question that has been asked throughout the Ernestine and Amanda series: “Can Ernestine and Amanda ever be friends?” The two girls are very different, and dislike each other from the beginning of the series, even though circumstances keep bringing them back together. Musically gifted but lacking somewhat in self-confidence, Ernestine thinks Amanda is stuck up. Amanda, outwardly more confident but with family problems, thinks Ernestine is too fat. As the series progresses, the two girls grow from third graders to teenagers, encountering adventures and challenges along the way: musical competitions, summer camp, family separation, first loves. A companion website, www.ernestineandamanda.com, allows readers to learn more about the people and events mentioned in the series – historical figures and occurrences that characterize and help define their times. These include, for example, not only well known figures from American history like Rosa Parks, Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington and Harriet Tubman but lesser known African American luminaries like classical pianist Philippa Duke Schuyler, and choreographer Katherine Dunham. Belton began the series with the first book, Ernestine and Amanda, published by Simon and Shuster in 1996, because, as she says in her blog, “Ernestine and Amandas stories tell ones I wish I had been able to read when I was growing up – stories about black girls like me.” “My friends and I longed to read about kids who looked like us and talked like we did. Kids whose neighborhoods were similar to ours and whose families cared and talked about the same kind of things at the dinner table that we did. Kids who went to the same kind of schools we went to.” Of the series, Publisher’s Weekly has said, “Lots of texture and perceptive writing make...

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Honoring Robin Williams
Aug13

Honoring Robin Williams

Written By Jade Gonzalez/ColorBlind Magazine  Millions around the world are still grieving the loss of an amazing artist. He did more than just make us laugh and cry while watching his films – he volunteered his time in countless giving ways, including going to visit our troops overseas. Robin Williams is without a doubt a legend in the eyes of the cinema. He survived three children: Zelda Williams, Cody Alan Williams, and Zachary Pym Williams and his wife, Susan Schneider. His death was definitely a shock to the world since Williams was only 63 years old. But what was more shocking was how this loved man had lost his life. Williams with his three children & ex-wife Marsha Garces According to a statement from the Marin County, California Sheriff’s Office, they believe “the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia.”  As if his passing wasn’t enough for his fans to endure, we had to hear the horrendous news that his death was quite possibly self-inflicted. His media representative Mara Buxbaum told CNN, “This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.” Many people have released statements about this loss:  “There are no words strong enough to describe the love and respect I have for my father. The world will never be the same without him. I will miss him and take him with me everywhere I go for the rest of my life, and will look forward, forever, to the moment when I get to see him again.” –Cody Williams (Son) “Robin brought so much joy into my life and I will carry that joy with me forever. He was such a beautiful man. I was lucky to know him and I will never, ever forget him. I truly hope the people in the media can find it within themselves to give his family some privacy during this horrible time.” – Matt Damon “While I’ll never, ever understand how he could be loved so deeply and not find it in his heart to stay, there’s minor comfort in knowing our grief and loss, in some small way, is shared with millions. It doesn’t help the pain, but at least it’s a burden countless others now know we carry, and so many have offered to help lighten the load. Thank you for that.” – Zelda Williams (Daughter) “Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien –...

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Jasmine Louise “Jazz’s It Up”
Aug05

Jasmine Louise “Jazz’s It Up”

Written by Jalissa Williams/ColorBlind Magazine Intern  Jasmine Louise’s second creation could jumpstart a revolution. Her love for people and her city was the driving force behind the birth of Jazz It Up Television; a blog that Louise plans to morph into a T.V. show.  “I want Jazz It Up Television to be relatable to its citizen. I want it to create change and turn negatives into positives.” But, this isn’t Louise’s first time wearing the hat of an entrepreneur. Lack of Inspiration and Motivation Dirty Pearls, a company that sold bracelets, was Louise’s first business endeavor. (Click here to read ColorBlind Magazine’s review of Dirty Pearls that appeared in the debut issue). Louise and her co-founder Ms. Jane’t Ali, a Wayne State Graduate, created the fashionable bracelets together and sold them at Fashion Vine, a store in Twelve Oaks Mall. Unfortunately, the Dirty Pearls business and partnership ended due to lack of time and motivation. “I was trying to graduate school and put myself through college,” said Louise. “I just lacked the desire to finish and the company just waned…there was no point in continuing.” The friendship between Louise and Ali remained in tact, and a new venture for Louise was on the horizon. Planning to Jazz It Up Jazz It Up Television, an online blog, was launched in February of 2014. This blog’s primary purpose is to inform the citizens of the positive interactions that take place in Detroit. “The response was overwhelming. People do want to know what is happening in Detroit,” said Louise. The blog gives residents advice on Detroit, helping the city’s citizens decide on places to shop, and updates on upcoming businesses. Currently, Louise is in the process of turning the blog into a television show with the assistance of her talented film and editing technician Vylet McCrory. “I want to interview entrepreneurs, entertainers and anyone who will bring light into the city of Detroit.” She also wants Jazz It Up Television to be a media platform for young adults to turn to when they want to engage in the community. Aside from being an entrepreneur, Louise is a “fashionista” and more importantly, a newlywed. She married Melvin Swain in April 2014, and admitted that the wedding planning process kept her quite busy. However, her love for … remained. “I can honestly say that I am proud of it because it is mine and I believe it will bring about change.”    ...

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90s Nickelodeon Nostalgia
Aug05

90s Nickelodeon Nostalgia

Written By Leah T. Johnson/ ColorBlind Magazine Time to take a trip down memory lane… Who of our readers didn’t wish they could morph into a puddle, or move objects just by concentrating on them the way Alex Mack did? Who of our readers didn’t like seeing Alfie and Gu get into trouble? Remember the song Goo Punch on My Brother and Me? And who can forget the various musical artists and skits on All That? and “Who Loves Orange Soda like Kel on Mitchell on Kenan and Kel? Well, the ColorBlind magazine team was feeling a bit nostalgic and had to share some of our favorite television shows from the 90s on Nickelodeon. For any of our readers who have older siblings or relatives, listen to them when they tell you that during the 90s ALL kids we glued to the television. Why? Because Nickelodeon was just THAT good. We will share more memories on our social media pages. What were some of YOUR favorite shows from the 90s? Let us...

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New School Year? No problem!
Aug05

New School Year? No problem!

Written By Jade Gonzalez/ColorBlind Magazine  The new school year is near and thoughts from students range from excitement to distress. A new school year can be something to look forward to because you have a “fresh start” filled with new classes, classmates, teachers, and of course getting to see all of your friends. But as they say, “with the good always comes the bad.” The new school year can also bring worry, anxiety, and perhaps the worst- lack of sleep. ColorBlind Magazine is here to make the start of the new school year just a little easier by giving you some helpful tips & tricks to get rid of the “summer is over” blues. Be Optimistic. No one ever got forward in life by dwelling on the negative side of things. Make a list of the things you look forward to at school such as dances, spirit week(s), seeing friends, etc. The list is something you can go back to and reference when you start feeling in the dumps again about school starting. Start Eating Better. We all tend to forgot about those diets we started & healthy snacks we ate once summer comes around. Summer is usually filled with BBQ’s and sweet treats which is A-Okay! However, once school rolls around you should start picking up those healthy snacks again. This will not only make you feel better but you will be surprised how much more energy you’ll gain by fueling your body correctly! Click here for a helpful video by Bethany Mota on some great snack ideas! Exercise. This may actually be easier to do when the school year starts since a lot of you participate in sports and extracurricular activities. But even if you aren’t, starting up some simple exercises in your day will do both your mind & body wonders. Let’s get those endorphins flowing! Try Something New. One of the biggest reasons that people do not look forward to a new school year is because they find it monotonous. Of course it can be, but the school year is what you make it. Try something new to make this school year that much more exciting. Whether it be joining a club, trying out for a new sport, or even just making a new friend. Set Goals. A new school year will go by quickly and will be more enjoyable if you set goals for yourself other than just “passing.” You can register for that class you aren’t too sure about to learn new subject material or schedule a set time that you’ll make for purely studying each day – the possibilities are endless. Take A Social...

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Web Working Women
Aug05

Web Working Women

Written By Jade Gonzalez/ ColorBlind Magazine  The Internet has become one of the largest sources for jobs. There are countless amounts of jobs on the web ranging from software developers, web editors, and social media specialists. ColorBlind Magazine had the pleasure of speaking to a well-known woman in the web industry, Halston Herrera. Herrera is the web editor for WDIV where she produces, edits, writes and manages ClickOnDetroit.com, the corresponding news website for NBC’s Detroit affiliate, WDIV-TV/Local 4.   ColorBlind: You previously worked at the Michigan Journal (U of M-Dearborn’s campus newspaper) in college, (as did I!) did your career as a web editor stem from working at the MJ? Halston Herrera: I can honestly say I owe my career choice to the experiences I had in college working for the student newspaper, the Michigan Journal. I took a chance on applying to write because I really just wanted to go to more events and meet more people. What came out of it was more than just a social activity. I fell in love with researching, storytelling and, of course, writing. ColorBlind: Was this a career that you always had in mind for yourself – did you always have a passion for writing? Herrera: I didn’t grow up with a passion for writing. I just didn’t like it. It seemed tedious to me. To this day, my mom will still tell you the hardest subject in school for me was writing, especially grammar. So, I know she gets a good laugh when I tell her how I spent 20 minutes debating the placement of a comma or my strong dislike for gerunds. ColorBlind: What aspect of your job would you say has become your biggest passion? Writing, social media, networking, etc.? Or even a mix of all of the above? Herrera: To me, the most passionate aspect of my job isn’t the writing itself, it’s the storytelling behind them. Working in news, no one likes to write words about shootings, fires, political corruption or deaths. But when you put them together, you end up with words that stand for strength, resilience, change and forgiveness. ColorBlind: Since starting your career on the web, what kind of growth have you seen in social media? What would you say are some pros & cons of that growth? Herrera: The growth of social media in the last five years has been tremendous. I’d like to think of myself as a product of the technology age because I did grow up [using] AOL chatrooms, Live Journal (remember that?) and a cell phone – but even I struggle to keep up with the impact [of] Twitter,...

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Dancing Fire and Desire
Aug05

Dancing Fire and Desire

Written by Leah T. Johnson/ColorBlind Magazine  She moves to the rhythm in Detroit, but her dancing roots reside in Jamaica. It began with Seycon Nadia Chea as a little girl, emulating her mom, a Caribbean Folkloric dancer, in their living room dancing for hours. “She would put the skirt on herself, and then on me. Next, she would give me the rhythm and I would follow,” Chea said. “It was so fun for me!” It’s no surprise that nearly 25 years later, Chea is still in love with dance. Student Becomes the Teacher Chea’s study of dance has taken her to Puerto Rico and Jamaica, where she learned different drum rhythms and folkloric stories. “As a folkloric dancer, part of studying it [dance] means actually going there [where the dance originated]. Chea has chosen to teach dance to others by creating Hidaya Afro-Contemporary Dance Company in June 2014. Her culture is West African and Indian, but she wanted to showcase new dance styles in her home city, Detroit. “The styles in Detroit focus on traditional dance, and I do a very unique style,” she said. “ I felt there was a need to express the other parts of the continent of Africa and the Caribbean.”   The dance company is comprised of professional dancers in their late 20’s to early 30’s, rehearsing 10 hours per week. “I don’t like to compare, but we would like to be known as the ‘Alvin Ailey of Detroit’ [we want to be] of that caliber,” Chea said smiling. “I’d like us to perform at the Opera House, the Fox, and [someday] even opening at the Oscars. Chea also works as a freelance instructor, holding workshops for students ages 3 to 18 years old. Her students, who refer to her as “Ms. C”, learn a brief dance history at the beginning of their session. “I’m still a student, and most good teachers are,” she said. “I want my dancers/students to know the history of dance.” Chea admits that it’s her students who keep her grounded, as they are her biggest motivation. Dancing for her Mother The road to dancing though has had its bumps for Chea, especially when she lost her greatest teacher and supporter. Clad in a purple bomba skirt, a white ruffled blouse, and a purple flower in her hair, Chea was ready for her performance with the group Bombarica during the annual Concert of Colors in 2011. But, this wasn’t just any performance; it was a performance for her mother who had passed away just two months prior. “The craziest part wasn’t the performance itself, but the rehearsal before the performance,”...

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Managing the Quarter Life Crisis
Aug05

Managing the Quarter Life Crisis

Written by Leah T. Johnson/ColorBlind Magazine  A new quarterly series in ColorBlind Magazine is the Quarter Life Crisis (QLC). What is it? How can we deal with it? CB Magazine spoke to Aisha Diaz, 19, who is receiving training to be a LPN. She shared her thoughts… ColorBlind Magazine: What are your thoughts on the QLC? Do you think it’s real? Have you ever experienced it, even if just momentarily? If so, how?  Aisha Diaz: I feel like the QLC is real. Transitioning from teenage years to adulthood isn’t easy. You go from living somewhat of a carefree life with not many responsibilities, to figuring out what to do with the rest of your life.  [You consider things] like more schooling, a career, moving out, managing time and money so you’re able to pay for a car/ car insurance, rent, food utilities, [which is considered] all the “good stuff.” 
I thought by the time I was 20 I would have my life together. I felt like “OK I’m doing amazing spiritually, I have money to keep myself stable, I’m able to pay for things on my own, I’d be moved out of my parents house and into a new place!” But it’s nothing like that. 20 is creeping up on me and I’ve never felt so unsure of myself. CB: Discuss what helps you stay positive as a 19 year old (soon to be 20) For example, do you write a list of things you are grateful for? Do you set realistic goals?  AD: I’m trying to cross over that hump where I’m not a child anymore but I’m struggling. God always gives me what I need at the right time. He helps me stay positive. I have people around me that pick me up when I’m feeling down. Sometimes I just need to go on a long walk by myself and then vent out my frustrations to someone. So I guess what keeps me positive is letting out my frustrations. Oh yeah, and advice from older friends. CB:Do you think social media can contribute to a person experiencing feels of QLC? Why or why not?  AD: 
I think social media can have an influence on whether you’re having a QLC or not. When it comes to social media people love to “sell” their “perfect life.” If you go by what people are posting you might feel like you’re falling behind. CB: What would you say to other teens or twenty-something’s that may be experiencing the QLC?  AD: 
If you are having a QLC it’s OK. Many of us go through it. Don’t worry about where other people are...

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