White House Initiative on HBCUs Announces Third Class of All-Stars

"Two North Carolina A&T State University students have been included in the 2016-17 class of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) All-Stars.

Senior public relations major Niyah Brooks and third year mechanical engineering doctoral candidate Paul McGhee are among 73 students from across 63 HBCUs named to the 2016 HBCU All-Stars, which includes undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

“Being nominated for the 2016-17 White House HBCU All-Stars for North Carolina A&T State University was one of the most honorable and exciting opportunities I've ever received,” said McGhee. “I’m an active leader, scholar and supporter of the community, university and the rest of the world, striving to bring out the best in everyone that I have the honor to cross paths with.” 

HBCU All-Stars are recognized for their outstanding accomplishments in academics, leadership and civic engagement.
Throughout the next year Brooks and McGhee will serve as ambassadors by providing outreach opportunities and communicating with other students about the value of both education and the White House Initiative as a networking source.

"Now that I have been appointed as [an] HBCU All-Star, I will be tasked with serving as a liaison between N.C. A&T and the White House,” said Brooks. “I will spread awareness of initiatives that are important to me. I really want to focus on the "It's On Us" initiative, which aims to reduce sexual assault on college campuses. I also want to promote the importance of voting to my peers."

Using social media, relationships with community-based organizations, and sessions with industry professionals, Brooks, McGhee and all other HBCU All-Star ambassadors will share proven practices that support opportunities for all young people to achieve their educational and career potential. They will also participate in the White House HBCU Week Conference, national and regional events, and webinars with Initiative staff and other professionals on a range of disciplines that support a spirit of engagement and personal and professional development.

“During the course of one academic school year, the 73 All-Stars will distinguish themselves as exemplars of the talent that HBCUs cultivate and as noble ambassadors of their respective institutions,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “The Initiative is looking forward to working with this third class of All-Stars and is confident this opportunity will allow the Initiative to meaningfully connect with HBCU students and advance academic excellence at their schools.”

“Our goal is to provide a unique opportunity for these talented students that exposes them to critical national conversations and thought leaders. No doubt they will make their mark and represent their campuses well,” said Deputy Under Secretary of Education and Acting Executive Director White House Initiative on HBCUs Kim Hunter Reed.

The All-Stars were selected from over 300 students from 24 states, the District of Columbia, Ghana, Nigeria, and the Virgin Islands."

- A Press Release

Transgender Superhero and Triad Comic store take on HB2 in September

"Winston-Salem, NC -- This September, a transgender Superhero will join the fight against North Carolina’s discriminatory ‘Bathroom Bill.’

Triad-based comic shop Ssalefish Comics has commissioned an exclusive edition of Alters #1, the first issue of a brand new comic book series published by AfterShock Comics written by Paul Jenkins (Wolverine, Hellblazer) and illustrated by Leila Leiz. This exclusive, limited edition comic book features a special cover drawn by Richard Case wherein costumed transgender vigilante Chalice makes a bold stance against North Carolina’s HB2, by ripping down the gendered bathroom signs in front of a public restroom and replacing them with unisex bathroom signs.

Ssalefish will debut the exclusive edition of Alters #1 at their Winston-Salem store during a special signing event at 12-3pm. on Sat., Sept. 17. Jenkins and Case will be there to sign copies of the book and answer questions from fans. 

Bret Parks, owner of Ssalefish Comics, says his store will donate 10% proceeds from the sale of the book to Equality NC to aid in their real-world fight against HB2.

A North Carolina native, Parks believes HB2’s targeted discrimination against the LGBTQ community has made a negative impact for entrepreneurs across the state. And while he seldom mixes politics with business, this was one instance where a public response was necessary.

“I felt a bit helpless until Aftershock Comics and Paul Jenkins requested a conference call with me to discuss Paul's new book Alters,” Parks said. “ I believe I can show my support for ENC and take a jab at HB2 but in a way that still allows readers to enjoy Alters as a great story with a unique cover!”

Since Alters was first announced in June, the book began generating national headlines in the New York Times, NBC News and CBS News for challenging readers with an unconventional superheroine in a genre that was once dominated by less-than-diverse cis white male superheroes like Iron Man or Batman. Like many of her superpowered peers, Chalice has the power to fly. But rather than hide one secret identity from her friends and peers, she must maintain two. 

Outside of her life as a costumed superhero, Chalice is also Charlie Young, a male college student who is beginning to transition to a female, a secret she has yet to share with her family.

Copies of Ssalefish Comics’ exclusive edition of Alters #1 are available for $10 each, and signed editions of the book can be pre-ordered at http://ssalefishcomics.bigcartel.com/.

Ssalefish Comics is located on 3242 Silas Creek Parkway in Winston-Salem. You can also visit their website at www.ssalefish.com."

- A Press Release

Black Mountain Chocolate makes the BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies in North Carolina!

 Cosmopolitan.com and Yelp report local business is the best

"In an online article dated August 18, 2016, Cosmopolitan columnist Helin Jung explained the process used in determining the winners:

Cosmopolitan.com partnered with Yelp to pick the standout chocolate chip cookies in every state.  The Yelp data team looked at the number of reviews plus the star rating for every business on Yelp, along with reviews and photos of chocolate chip cookies to determine who had the best cookies.”

Yelp reviewers were quoted in the article: 
Chris W.: “The best chocolate chip cookies in town…”
Meghan R.: “Did I mention their chocolate chip cookies are heavenly… Every bite oozes with their very own dark chocolate.” 

Our "Chocolate Chunk Cookies" are loaded with both our Dominican 70% Cacao Dark Chocolate and our Mountain Milk 53% Dark Milk Chocolate.  They are sold only at the factory at 732 N Trade Street and at Cobblestone Farmers Market in Old Salem on Saturday mornings.  To ensure freshness, we bake them in small batches, so customers wanting more than a few should contact the store to place a special order. Orders placed in the morning are usually ready by the afternoon.  We are experimenting with shipping the cookies to see if we can add them to our online store.

Background information:  

Black Mountain Chocolate started in Black Mountain, NC in 2008 and moved operations to Winston-Salem in 2014.  We were the FIRST company in North Carolina and one of the first TEN chocolatiers to make bean-to-bar chocolate.

We use organic, fair trade certified Criollo (cree-O-yo) beans from a single source in the Dominican Republic.  Only about 5% of the world’s chocolate is made with Criollo beans.  (Criollo beans are to chocolate what fine Arabica beans are to coffee.)

Our recognitions include: 
The International Chocolate Salon and Taste TV awarded us "Four Stars, Superior Chocolatier" status in their 2016 ratings of Best Chocolatiers and Confectioners in America, Artisan Chocolate Awards.  

Our Mountain Milk Dark Milk Chocolate won a Good Food Award 2015.  

We are a visible factory so our guests can watch production through the windows or take a behind the scenes tour.  So that you can see us in action, here is a link to a short video that aired on UNCTV's program, NC Weekend:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ngzr5Ju63So"

- A Press Release

Open Door Ministries to Host Community Open House

 Event will showcase programs and services along
with new building updates and branding

"Open Door Ministries will host a community Open House on Tuesday, August 30, from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm (floating). The event will take place at 400 N. Centennial Street, High Point. The goal of the Open House at Open Door Ministries is to showcase our ministry, building and branding updates to the community. Open Door Ministries’ board members and staff will be on hand to provide tours of the building highlighting donations and how Open Door programs are impacting the community and serving the most in need. Refreshments will be served and door prizes will be given away.

Over the last several months, there has been a lot of work done at Open Door Ministries to improve the physical appearance of the facilities.  Thanks to community partnerships and donations, new appliances have been installed in the Father’s Table kitchen along with the addition of updated artwork in the dining room. The men’s shelter has been updated with new paint, lobby furniture and new lockers in the dormitories.  The Arthur Cassell House is receiving new kitchen appliances and countertops, new washer/dryer, and the interior is being painted. 

The impact that Open Door Ministries programs have on our clients has never been greater and we continue to strive towards our mission to end homelessness and hunger in our community.  Open Door housing programs, which include Rapid Re-Housing, Permanent Supportive Housing and Shelter Plus Care, provide opportunities for homeless individuals and families to obtain their own housing.  We assist 150 – 200 households obtain housing each year.  We continue to serve three meals every day through the Father’s Table program providing food to thousands men, women and children in our community. We are serving meals and providing food to thousands.

Open Door Ministries is extremely grateful to our donors and volunteers for the generous support that we receive through donations and volunteer service.

We invite the community and media to join us at our Open House at Open Door Ministries, this Tuesday, August 30th, to learn about our ministry and how to get involved in making a difference in the lives of those in need.

Please RSVP for this event by calling Leslie Graham at 336-885-0191."

- A Press Release

The Masonic Center of Winston Salem: Open House Sept. 15 and the Grand Opening Oct. 23, 2016.

"The Masonic Center of Winston Salem, a state-of-the-art meetings and events venue, was built as the fraternal home to some 1,200 Freemasons in the Triad.  Our long history of service to the community will be extended through the use of this facility as a place to gather, celebrate and learn. 

The facility’s first public event, an Open House Reception is scheduled for Sept. 15, 5-7pm. Contact us through the website or Email gary@masoniccenterws.com to RSVP.

The Grand Opening Celebration on Oct. 23, 2-5pm is open to the general public.  The Mason’s Grand Master will be present for the ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony. 

The Masonic Center of Winston Salem is available for corporate meetings, training events, awards ceremonies, and all types of social events.   The new center has the latest in multimedia technology with professional audio, lighting, large screens and laser projectors.  We are located at 4537 Country Club Road, Winston Salem.

Masonic Center Highlights

·         16,000 Square Feet of Meeting Space accommodating groups of 10 to 450
·         Corporate and Training Events and Social Events and Parties
·         High-Speed Wireless Internet and Theatre Style Lighting
·         Large Screens and Laser Projectors with Professional Sound System
·         Full Commercial Kitchen with Large Cookers

Freemasonry Today

There is no singular definition of Freemasonry.  Freemasonry is many different things to each man who joins the fraternity.  For some it is a place to make friends and acquaintances.  For others it is a place to engage in introspection or discuss philosophy. And, for others it is a place to practice charity and goodwill.  Through each of these endeavors–and countless more–Freemasonry seeks to unite good men of all backgrounds and make them better husbands, fathers, and citizens by encouraging and cultivating friendship, morality, and brotherly love."

- A Press Release

Community Celebration and NEW United Way Announcement

"Greensboro, NC, August 26 – The community is invited to join United Way of Greater Greensboro on August 31, 5 to 7 p.m., at Belk, Friendly Center in Greensboro, for a celebration like they have never seen before. 

The celebration, which kicks off United Way’s 2016 campaign, will include free food, drinks, giveaways, a DJ and more and will feature a special announcement outlining the “NEW” United Way at 6 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring non-perishable food, gently used handbags or school supplies.

Gregg Strader, Executive Vice President, Chief Banking Officer at American National Bank & Trust and United Way Board member is chairing the 2016 campaign. 

Strader says, “I am honored and thrilled to serve as this year’s campaign chair. Our focus on reducing poverty is brave and bold and we are achieving positive results. We are grateful to all of our supporters including volunteers, community partners, corporations, foundations and citizens who want to make a difference in our community.” 

Additionally during the celebration, results from this year’s Pacesetter Campaign that began in July will be announced. The Pacesetter Campaign is made of 16 companies that decided to conduct their United Way campaigns early to pave the way for a successful community-wide campaign.

2016 Pacesetter Campaigns:

·       Allen Tate Realtors
·       American National Bank & Trust
·       Carruthers & Roth, P.A.
·       City of Greensboro
·       Duke Energy
·       First Citizens Bank & Trust
·       Guilford County
·       Mylan Pharmaceuticals
·       Piedmont Natural Gas
·       Procter & Gamble Manufacturing
·       Senn Dunn Insurance, A Marsh & McLennan Agency
·       Sharrard, McGee & Co., P.A.
·       Target Corporation
·       Volunteer Center of Greensboro
·       United Way of Greater Greensboro
·       UPS


The NEW United Way is creating partnerships to reduce poverty in greater Greensboro. We bring together dynamic and caring professionals and volunteers who teach, coach and inspire the 57,000 people in our community, struggling to obtain basic needs. The federal government defines poverty as family of four earning $24,300 per year. With so many of our neighbors struggling to meet basic needs, United Way believes poverty must be addressed so that our community can thrive. www.unitedwaygso.org "

- A Press Release

Friends organize Benefit Ride for Josh Stewart.

A Benefit Ride for Josh Stewart will take place Sun., Sept. 25 starting at Time Out Sports Bar located at 727 E Mountain St in Kernersville.

A CT scan revealed that Josh had several tumors in his chest, neck and abdomen. More tests confirmed that he has Stage 3 Grey Zone Lymphoma. This type of Lymphoma is incredibly rare and due to the lack of studies the best treatment option is not really known. The good news is that since his first round of chemo things are looking very positive for him. Unfortunately, he faces a long road of treatment. As you may know, chemo and everything that goes with it will be very expensive, so all donations are greatly appreciated.

Ride starts at Time Out Sports Bar ..registration is at 11am...ride leaves at 12:30 and proceeds to Ole Watering Hole..then Baggerz Saloon..and will end at Double D's Burn out Saloon. There will be a raffle..auction...bands..and food.. Cars are welcome to come on the ride as well.

Our Request: Any amount of donation, gift certificate, or items to auction that you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Your support would be greatly appreciated! Feel free to contact the following organizers.

Carly Dukes: 336-309-6259 carly@kpmoto.comHope Griffin: 336-408-1595 hroth481@gmail.comCandice Woolard: 336-398-4398 candicewoolard@kpmoto.com

Piedmont Wind Symphony to Open 27th Season with a Mardi Gras Masquerade!

"Winston-Salem, NC (August 25, 2016) – The Piedmont Wind Symphony is proud to announce the opening concert of their 27th Season, entitled “Mardi Gras Masquerade!” under the direction of new Music Director Maestro Matthew Troy. 
This one of a kind concert will be held Saturday, October 8, 2016 at 7:30 PM at the Stevens Center of the UNC School of the Arts located at 405 4th St NW, Winston-Salem, NC 27101. The Mardi Gras celebration concert highlights the unique contribution of New Orleans to the world of music. Tracing the musical roots from Congo Square all the way to the birth of Ragtime, Dixieland Jazz, and how this distinct city is still influencing music of today. The PWS will also feature the world premiere of “Bamboula” by the renowned composer Michael Shapiro.
Of this concert Troy said, “I am so excited to build on the incredible success of last season, which was my first, with the Piedmont Wind Symphony. This concert is not to be missed and will take the audience on a unique journey that is both exotic and distinctly American. I look forward to seeing you at this incredible musical event as we explore the sights and sounds of New Orleans!”
Tickets are available at the door, online at www.piedmontwindsymphony.com/tickets, or by calling (336) 721-1945.

About Piedmont Wind Symphony
For 27 years the Piedmont Wind Symphony (PWS) has provided excellence in the performance of symphonic wind music for the Piedmont of North Carolina and continues this tradition for the 27th season under the leadership of new Music Director, Maestro Matthew Troy. Maestro Troy is known for his innovative and engaging programming to make great music accessible to all audiences. Each season the PWS presents Classical concerts, Holiday Pops with world-renowned artists, and Special Event Gala concerts, as well as educational and community engagement outreach. The Piedmont Wind Symphony is proud to be a funded partner of the Arts Council of Winston-Salem, Forsyth County. Season sponsors include Windsor Jewelers, Chris & Mike Morykwas, Hard Pressed Co., and Berkshire Hathaway. For more information about the Piedmont Wind Symphony visit www.piedmontwindsymphony.com.
About Maestro Matthew Troy
Maestro Matthew Troy is one of the most versatile and active conductors in America today. He has conducted extensively in the United States for a wide variety of performances. On the podiums of the Rochester Philharmonic, North Carolina Symphony, Portland Symphony, Greensboro Symphony, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, UNC School of the Arts Symphony, Salisbury Symphony, and was the conductor for the Cannon Music Camp in 2015. Troy is familiar to local audiences due to his previous work as Associate Conductor with the Winston-Salem Symphony from 2009-2014. In this role he conducted on Classics, Pops, Handel's Messiah, Discovery, Education, Holiday Pops, Side-by-Side, and Special Event Gala concerts. Recently Troy was selected to conduct the Oklahoma All-State Orchestra for 2016, the North Carolina Regional Honors Orchestra, and returned to the faculty as conductor of the Cannon Summer Music Camp."

- A Press Release