October 18, 2012

LAWT Wire Service 


Academy Award® nominated actress Viola Davis lent her voice to raise awareness about rape and the sexual abuse of children by hosting the annual brunch to benefit the Rape Treatment Center (RTC) at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center October 14, at Greenacres in Beverly Hills. The event honored American television icon writer and producer Norman Lear while spotlighting the RTC’s national leadership in advancing the care of rape victims and sexually abused children, establishing model prevention programs, advocating for victims’ rights, and changing the nation’s consciousness about rape.

RTC Director Gail Abarbanel welcomed Davis and Lear, along with Rape Foundation board members David Schwimmer and John Varvatos. Eric McCormack, Jayma Mays, Sophia Bush, KaDee Strickland, Jason Ritter, Jacqueline Emerson, Matt Lanter and Tamara Taylor were among the almost 800 guests in attendance.

Schwimmer opened the afternoon by introducing Davis, who addressed the crowd with a powerful and heartfelt speech praising the RTC for its work in the treatment and care of rape victims and sexually abused children. RTC Director Gail Abarbanel introduced the afternoon’s honoree Norman Lear who spoke about his commitment to the Center that began in 1977.  Clients of the RTC and Stuart House also spoke, sharing personal experiences with sexual assault and of finding hope and healing at the RTC.

Abarbanel spoke of Stuart House, the RTC’s internationally recognized model program for sexually abused children. Through this unique multi-agency program, the RTC provides comprehensive psychological, medical and advocacy services for child victims in a therapeutic environment designed to make children feel welcome and safe.  Stuart House is a public/private partnership that brings together in one facility police, prosecutors, and child protective services workers and child forensic interview specialists to facilitate investigations and prosecutions of child sexual abuse cases.

Davis’ work with the Rape Treatment Center arose from her portrayal of a rape victim counselor in the film “Trust,” directed by Schwimmer. Davis spent time at the center and collaborated with the staff in preparation for her role in the film.

Lear is a pioneering male voice advocating for victims of rape. His contributions began in 1977 when he created an unforgettable episode of All in the Family in which the beloved character, Edith Bunker, was confronted by a rapist. The Emmy Award-winning, one-hour special, “Edith’s 50th Birthday,” reached forty million people and forever changed the nation’s consciousness about rape.

Lear continues to stand up for rape victims, lending his voice and talents as a dedicated RTC board member. He has taken the stage at countless events to educate and raise money for RTC services and programs.  He also helped build Stuart House, the Rape Treatment Center’s model program for child victims. His guidance and example have been invaluable in changing discriminatory attitudes towards rape victims and has inspired other men to stand up.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

October 18, 2012


Your money instincts are itchy! Go ahead and scratch, because you’ve got the golden touch this week. Promise yourself that you’ll take at least one small step toward your dreams each day this week. You go! Soul Affirmation: I seek connection with the best that is in me.



A loved one may feel a bit neglected as you pursue your material dreams with vigor this week. Time set aside for this person after you’ve made some gains will prove to be extra sweet. Try not to push a mate’s understanding nature too far, though. Soul Affirmation: My needs will be met if I just ask.



Stay open-minded this week and you’ll actually feel the good vibrations! Co-workers will wonder at the smile on your face, but let it be your secret for now. Your smile itself will make others smile about their own lives! Soul Affirmation: I smile as I think about faraway places.



Big appetites this week! Indulge at least one of your passions and then get back to work. You are making incredible strides toward your dream by just reminding yourself of it. Drive carefully and pay attention to brake lights. Soul Affirmation: Smooth communications is the key to my success this week.



Relax a bit and review your “things to do” list”. Move methodically, and check off each item as you complete them. You’ll be surprised by the progress you are making. Spend the afternoon with family, and friends. Soul Affirmation: This week family is the source of my joy.



Your best self is on parade this week, and wow! You look good! Co-workers will beat a path to your cubicle, so be prepared to turn chatterboxes away gently. Give your honey a phone call or send a loving email. Soul Affirmation: I open myself up to the vibrations of love.



This week’s a good week to approach that person you’ve been wondering about. While you’ve been working very hard, you need to play, too. Good playmates make work seem more rewarding to you. Soul Affirmation: I master life by mastering myself.



Can you take a week off from work? It’s a perfect week to relax with a loved one in one of your favorite ways. Even if you can only spend a few hours decompressing you’ll be surprised at how little it takes to feel bliss this week. Soul Affirmation: I let the outer world and inner world change places this week



Vibrations this week make everyone feel as if the universe has given them another chance. Your fresh start may come in a romantic area. Buy a bouquet of flowers for your partner on your way home from work. See what happens. Soul Affirmation: I celebrate freedom of mind this week.



A short trip for business reasons gives you a little personal space to make some notes to yourself. Remember your best self, and keep a positive outlook. Buy a lottery ticket this week at your destination, or watch for some other type of “found” money. Soul Affirmation: I judge no one, especially myself this week.



Your home may need some of your attention. This is a fine week to check the fire alarm battery, put away gardening equipment, or redecorate your dining area. The results of a shopping trip for new bed linens will please you very much. Soul Affirmation: I keep my smile shining, especially at home.



Spend some time in the company of friends early in the week, then spend your afternoon relaxing. Your ability to tune out and mediate on the goodness that surrounds is comes easy. Let the good vibrations massage you with bliss. Soul Affirmation: I let positive emotions carry me through the week.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

October 18, 2012

The StarQuest Singing Compe­tition, a Bakewell Media Production, held auditions last Thursday at the Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw Plaza, to find our community’s next singing sensation.   Hundreds of contestants gathered to compete onstage at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, vying for the chance to sing before thousands at the Taste of Soul Family Festival.  Among an array of talented artists, semi-finalists were chosen to perform at the Taste of Soul on Saturday, October 20 from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.  

The hopefuls nervously assembled before the sizeable crowd of mall patrons as they waited to take center stage.  For many, the stage symbolized more than an opportunity to compete American Idol style in front of judges, executive producer, Tony Cornelius (son of  Don Cornelius, the legendary Soul Train Creator), Yvette Bailey (former Soul Train Producer), talent executive, Rayva Harrell, (Nickel­odeon’s All That, The Steve Harvey Morning Show), Brandon I. Brooks (co-managing editor of the Los Angeles Sentinel the Watts Times) and Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. (creator and executive producer of StarQuest and Taste of Soul, chairman of Bakewell Media and executive publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Sentinel and the Watts Times).  The quest for stardom would not be complete without the presence of actual stars. Celebrity guest judges including Kel Mitchell, Nickelodeon’s Kenan And Kel, Jazz Raycole from the Soul Man TV Series and Marilyn Batchelor, Universal Records executive, made an appearance.   The competition represented an opportunity that could be potentially life-changing.

“My Mom heard about [the competition] on the radio and called me,” said Shandrella Rayford. “She told me this could be it; this could be my chance, so I showed up!”

One 12 year old in particular moved the room with his velvety smooth voice. Convinced that he has what it takes to be the winner, Solomon shared what he thought made him the best in the room.

“I’m going to win because I’m amazing and I know I can sing,” the 12 year old boasted.

StarQuest semi-finalists selected to perform at the Taste of Soul on the StarQuest Stage are:  Adrian Battle, Beau Williams, Britt J, Carla Bagnerise, Cherose, Corinna Brown, Duprice, Goward Horton, Herman Chamblee, Jacnique, Kyra Smith, LaMarr “Deuce” Lubin, Lloyd Perodin, Mabvuto, Mo-Que, Phallon Brown, Ria Borman, Rory Darvel, Solomon, Tanek Montgomery, Tarsha Rodgers, Tommie Rae Powell, Rashondra Angelle and Pamela Bellamy-Franklin.

From the list of semi-finalists, two will be selected.  One finalist will perform on the Radio Free KJLH (102.3 FM) stage and the other on The Wave (94.7 FM) stage. They will perform in front of an expected crowd of 250,000 people.

The StarQuest guest performers will be the House of Vibe All Star Band, Dijon Talton, Megan Moret, Sahiba, SledgeGrits and Yours Truly.

StarQuest celebrity hosts will be Kim Whitley (NBC’s Animal Practice), Joe Torry (Def Comedy Jam, House Party, Poetic Justice, Hall of Fame), Ray J (The Rickey Smiley Show, Recording Artist, For the Love of Ray J TV Show), Wesley Jonathan (The Soul Man, City Guys, What I Like About You), Kyle Massey (Dancin w/the Stars, Disney, That’s So Raven), Christine Devine (Fox News, Wednesday’s Child), Ernest Thomas (Rog on “What’s Happenin” Everybody Hates Chris, Malcolm X), Jazz Raycole (The Soul Man, The Nina Simone Story) and Kel Mitchell (Back House Party, Good Burger, Kenan and Kel Show).

In the true spirit of entertainment and community involvement, the quest for our city’s finest stars is underway on the StarQuest Stage.

We look forward to seeing you, your friends and family at the StarQuest Stage at the Taste of Soul on October 20 from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. 

Photo by  Troy Tieuel

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

October 18, 2012


Associated Press


All the single ladies will be watching the upcoming Super Bowl along with football lovers — that’s because Beyoncé is the halftime show performer.

NFL confirmed the news Tuesday afternoon after Beyoncé posted a photo of herself sporting eye black, where “Feb. 3” is written on one and “2013” on the other, on her Tumblr page. The Super Bowl is set for Feb. 3, 2013 at the Mercedes-Benz Super­dome in New Orleans.

Beyoncé, whose pop and R&B hits include “Crazy in Love,” “Irreplace­able” and “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” has won 16 Grammy Awards. The 31-year-old sang the national anthem at the 2004 Super Bowl in her hometown of Houston when the New England Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers.

Madonna performed at halftime at this year’s Super Bowl in February with guests CeeLo Green, Nicki Minaj, LMFAO and M.I.A. The New York Giants beat the New England Patriots in a thrilling rematch of the contest four years earlier. Her performance was seen by 114 million people, a higher average than the game itself, which was seen by an estimated 111.3 million people, according to the Nielsen Co.

If Beyoncé’s performance at the Pepsi NFL Halftime Show features collaborations, it could likely include husband-rapper Jay-Z and her Destiny’s Child bandmates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams.

New Orleans last hosted a Super Bowl in 2002, making next year’s game the first NFL championship in the city since Hurricane Katrina devastated parts of the Louisiana Superdome in 2005. Pepsi is returning as the sponsor for the halftime show since doing so in 2007 when Prince performed.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

October 18, 2012

By: Chelsea Battle

LAWT Contributing Writer


You may remember Iyanla Vanzant years ago, bludgeoning tough love advice onto viewers on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Today the sagacious relationship expert continues to inspire others with her advice, which she liberally dishes on her own brand new show, Fix My Life.

Through this thought-provoking talk show Iyanla works to provide her guests with the governing principles that shape how individuals deal with relationships and healing after enduring hardship. Stressing the power of forgiveness, change, and faith in God, her teachings embrace philosophies that can readily be applied by people seeking wholeness, regardless of age, gender, or circumstances.

“We all have to learn to forgive” Iyanla says, “forgive ourselves; forgive other people. We also have to change our perspective on how to do things.”

Guests who have appeared on Fix my Life run the gamut, from troubled reality television star Evelyn Lozada, who experienced abuse in her brief marriage, to an otherwise ordinary woman who, after leaving her husband and children, turned to the show to beg their forgiveness. People from all walks of life write to Iyanla during times of crisis to ask for her help. Her approach involves relentlessly working with them to address the root of their problems, while also emphasizing ways to make holistic changes in their lives as they heal.

“How do people start to heal? They change their mind about what they’re doing,” Iyanla offers. “When they’re doing something that doesn’t work, when they’re doing something that’s bringing them pain, they gotta change what they’re doing. And many of us don’t know how to change or don’t know what to do instead.”

No stranger to adversity in her own life, Iyanla shares her trials and tribulations with the world, living life like an open book, literally. As an accomplished writer for 28 years, Iyanla has written over 14 books. Her last novel, New York Times bestseller Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re going Through, is an anecdotal narrative that focuses on a vivid spectrum of personal challenges and how she learned to cope with them.

Her career as a life coach has brought Iyanla momentous success, and she has touched millions of lives with her profound wisdom. Where some might attribute her success to Oprah Winfrey’s national exposure, Iyanla credits an even higher source: God.

“I think we all have a purpose in life,” says Iyanla. “My purpose is to advance God’s law… I don’t see it [my success] as major because I have a series on Oprah’s network. I see it as major because I’m on my purpose: doing what I love out loud.”

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

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