Winners Selected for DROP: A Story of Triumph National Creative Expressions Contest

For Immediate Release
Contact: Karen Carrington, 202-210-4005

The Positive Change Foundation, in affiliation with Black Women for Positive Change (BW4PC) has selected winners for the National Creative Expressions Contest, based on the film, “DROP: A Story of Triumph.” Nine winners from Middle and High Schools and a Homeschool have been selected from schools including Darnell Cookman Middle/High School of the Medical Arts, Jacksonville, Florida; Pittsburgh School for Creative and Performing Arts, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; South Carolina Virtual Charter School, in Columbia, and Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher Middle School, in Greenville, South Carolina; Luke C. Moore Senior High School, Muhammad’s Homeschool Coop; and H. D Woodson High School in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the Creative Expressions Contest was to provide youth an opportunity to express their reactions to messages about dropping out of school, portrayed in the film “DROP: A Story of Triumph,” produced by Black Women for Positive Change.

The National Creative Expressions Contest attracted 109 applications from 18 states and the District of Columbia. Seventy-six (76) youth completed contest submissions and entered essays, poems, videos and drawings. Contestants were from 52 high schools, middle schools and a homeschool. Winners won prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. In a joint statement National Co-Chairs Dr. Stephanie Myers and Honorable Daun S. Hester stated, “We sponsored the Creative Expression Contest as part of the 6th Annual Week of Positive Change, Non-Violence and Opportunities. We appreciate the support of our major sponsors American Family Insurance, Saint and Streetfighter Foundation, and Highmark Inc., and other partners. Their donations enabled us to provide youth rewards for winning essays, poems, drawings and videos. The views of the youth are powerful and describe the challenges they face regarding staying in school, the dire results of dropping out, and the importance of family support when pursuing education, during and after high school.

Tom Johnson, President and CEO of the Saint and Streetfighter Foundation said, “The Saint and Streetfighter Foundation is dedicated to fighting for social justice and reducing gun violence in the United States. When we keep our nation’s children in school, our communities are strengthened, and our children are made stronger – intellectually, emotionally and physically – able to go forward with the education that will enable them to achieve more in life instead of a path that increases their exposure to gun violence. We are thrilled to support DROP and the Creative Expressions Contest developed by Black Women for Positive Change and the Positive Change Foundation. We are excited that students have viewed the video and eloquently expressed their views about the importance of education and staying in school.”

The National Creative Expressions Contest was managed by Dr. Stephanie Myers, President of the Positive Change Foundation and BW4PC National Co-Chair, Karen Carrington, Creative Expressions Contest Committee Chair; and Nadira Akina, Creative Expressions Contest Administrator. A team of 12 Volunteer Judges evaluated the submissions and selected the winners. Interviews with the winners who are minors, may be available to the press on a request basis.

CREATIVE EXPRESSION CONTEST FILM: DROP: A STORY OF TRIUMPH

AVAILABLE FOR VIEWING AT www.weekofnonviolence.org

Produced by Black Women for Positive Change

Black Women for Positive Change Announces 2018 Week of Non-Violence

For Immediate Release
Contact: Karen Carrington, 202-210-4005

(Washington, D.C.) Black Women for Positive Change, (BW4PC) in affiliation with the Positive Change Foundation, announces the Sixth Annual 2018 Week of Non-Violence, Justice and Opportunities, October 13-21, 2018. In a joint statement, Daun S. Hester and Dr. Stephanie E. Myers, National Co-Chairs of Black Women for Positive Change said, “We are reaching out to leaders around the United States and the World, to join us in the sixth annual Week of Non-Violence, Justice and Opportunities. We are honored that an outstanding group of leaders are joining this effort to promote the concepts of violence prevention, anger management, and de-escalation of violence. This year the theme is ‘Opportunities As Alternatives to Violence.’ The goal is to inspire communities and families, to actively change the culture of violence by helping youth to pursue opportunities as alternatives to violence.”  In 2017, forty cities participated in the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa and Republic of Congo.

The 2018 National Honorary Co-Chairs for the Week of Non-Violence, Justice and Opportunities are: Congresswoman Gwen Moore, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Dr. Charles Steele, President and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Michelle Bernard, Esq., MSNBC News Anchor and President/CEO, the Bernard Center for Women; Antonio Knox, Immediate Past Grand Basileus, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity; Tamika Mallory, National Co-Chair, The Women’s March; and Kemba Smith, Social Justice Advocate. An Honorary Co-Chair of Baltimore, Maryland, is John Olszewski, Jr.

In accepting the role of National Honorary Co-Chair Congresswoman Gwen Moore stated, ““As a Black woman, it’s easy to get discouraged about the state of America. Day in and day out, we find ourselves at the intersection of oppression and injustice. I am proud to join Black Women for Positive Change in declaring that we shall overcome these times. Progress is on the horizon. In our hearts and in our Congress, hatred will not win.”

Partners for the Week of Non-Violence include National Black Nurses Association, Moms Demand Action, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Next Generation Action Network, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, North Carolina Central Law School,  Saints and Streetfighters Foundation, Wednesday Clergy Fellowship (partial listing) To find out more information or sign up for the 2018 Week of Non-Violence, Justice and Opportunities, go to  www.blackwomenforpositivechange.org. For media questions or interviews please contact, Karen Carrington, National Communications Chair, at 202-210-4005.

About Black Women for Positive Change

Black Women for Positive Change is a national, interfaith, multicultural network of volunteer women, “Good Brothers” youth and millennials. Participants in the 2017 Week of Non-Violence were in Alabama, Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and the United Kingdom, Republic of South Africa and Republic of Congo. Interviews are available.

The mission of Black Women for Positive Change is: (1) To strengthen and expand the American Middle/Working class, with an emphasis on the African American community; and (2) To Change the Culture of Violence in America, and the World.  The 2018 Week of Non-Violence, Justice and Opportunities, October 13-21, 2018 is one of the organization’s major initiatives.

Contact: Karen Carrington
202.210-4005
Bkwomen4poschange@gmail.com

Website: www.blackwomenforpositivechange.org
Twitter: @WKOfNViolence
Hashtag: #WKOFNViolence
Instagram: WKOfNViolence
FB: Week of Non- Violence
FB: Black Women for Positive Change

###

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

RELEASE OF SHORT-FILM–“DROP: A STORY OF TRIUMPH,” TO DISCOURAGE YOUTH FROM DROPPING OUT OF SCHOOL…FEATURES TRAY CHANEY OF HBO’s “THE WIRE”

Mar 22, 2017

Black Women for Positive Change (BW4PC), a national civic organization, announces release of the
short-film, “DROP: A Story of Triumph.” DROP is dedicated to discouraging high school students from
dropping out of school. The film features actor Tray Chaney, formerly of HBO’s ‘The Wire,’ actors
Jordan Norris, Dominque Spencer, and a crew of new actors. In a joint statement, Virginia Delegate
Daun S. Hester and Dr. Stephanie E. Myers, National Co-Chairs of Black Women for Positive Change
said, “Our goal with DROP is to discourage students from dropping out of school. We are shocked at
statistics that show dropping out is a pathway to prison for young men and women. We want to be
sure students understand the risks they are taking when they drop out and how this affects their
futures and can lead them towards poverty and/or prison.”

Chaka Balamani, of Maryland, is Director of DROP. The film highlights the struggles of a young man
who is demoralized, confused and contemplating dropping out of school. “This 39- minute film is a
must see for students, parents and teachers,” said Karen Carrington, BW4PC National Co-Chair of
Media and Events, “DROP: A Story of Triumph” is available via live steam at
https://urgentissueschannel.pivotshare.com/ ; a 2-minute trailer is available on YouTube; and DVDs
can be ordered at: www.blackwomenforpositivechange.org

A 2014 Brookings Institute Study reports a 70% chance that African American men without high school
diplomas, will be imprisoned by their mid-thirties. Statistics from the National Center for
Education indicate black girls drop out of high school almost twice as often as white girls and,
while high school graduation rates have improved in recent years, over 750,000 students still drop
out of school per year, in the United States.

Black Women for Positive Change and the Positive Change Foundation are Executive Producers of the
film. Funding was provided by sponsors including the United Steelworkers Union, the National Black
Nurses Association, Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds, author of the new biography of Coretta Scott King,
Bishop Edwin Bass, representing Church of God in Christ, Poise Foundation, of Pittsburgh, PA, AT
Winds Foundation and donor/members of the BW4PC Network. For information
contact Karen Carrington, at 202-210-4005 or, 202-327-4301.

Black Women for Positive change
Preserving and Strengthening the Middle/Working Class “Changing the Culture of Violence in America”
1220 L. Street, NW, #100-181, Washington, DC 20005; Fax 202-403-3743
Bkwomen4poschange@gmail.com; www.blackwomenforpositivechange.org
For Immediate Release Contact: Karen Carrington, 202-210-4005 Bkwomen4poschange@gmail.com

Black Women for Positive Change Marched in Seven U.S. Cities

Black Women for Positive Change (BW4PC) members participated in Sister Marches across the nation as
part of the 2017 National Women’s March. Networkers marched in 7 U.S. Cities including Washington,
D.C., Baltimore, Maryland; Hampton Roads, Virginia; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Omaha, Nebraska and Ayer, Massachusetts. Virginia State Delegate Daun S.
Hester, National Co-Chair, BW4PC who marched at the Hampton Roads, Virginia Sister March said,
“There were over 1,000 people at the Hampton Roads, Virginia Sister March. Our goal was to
emphasize the importance of women’s voices being heard regarding healthcare, education, the
environment, business opportunities and all of the new policies planned for the nation”
Daun S. Hester, National BW4PC Co-Chair, at Hampton Roads Sister March (Red cape on right side of
photo)

BW4PC Co-Chair in Baltimore, Maryland, Danyell Winkey-Smith and Sharon McCollough led a team of 50
people from Baltimore to Washington, D.C. Ms. Smith observed, “The Women’s March was amazing. There
were people from all over the country/world and they were so pleasant and so helpful. Hundreds of
people made a path for our members who were pushing their children in strollers. They shouted
‘stroller brigade coming through!’ There were women of different races wearing ‘Black Lives Matter’

There were women of different races wearing ‘Black Lives Matter’
T-Shirts and shouting Black Lives Matter; lots of men with their daughters; democrats, republicans
and independents were marching as one. You could feel the love and support from everyone.” BW4PC

BW4PC Baltimore marchers included Alia McCants, Alvin Garcia, Pamela Pitt, Edie Jenkins, Elaine Kasmer,
Ralph Brown, Linda Walker-Dorsey and many others. Donors that supported the Baltimore marchers
were: Senator Nathaniel McFadden, States Attorney 1220 L. Street, NW, #100-181, Washington, DC 20005; Fax 202-403-3743
Bkwomen4poschange@gmail.com; www.blackwomenforpositivechange.org
Black Women for Positive change Preserving and Strengthening the Middle/Working Class “Changing the Culture of Violence in America”
Marilyn Mosby, Delegates Benjamin Brooks, Cheryl Glenn, Dr. Jay Jalisi and The Baltimore County
NAACP.

Anna Marie Gire was the organizer for the Pittsburgh Sisters march that included 25,000 women.
Diane Powell, Chair, BW4PC said, “We were glad to see young women, older women, men, black and
white and Latino marchers in Pittsburgh. It seemed like the entire city was involved. We appreciate
the dedication of all of the organizers throughout the city of Pittsburgh.” Other BW4PC networkers
who marched were Charlene Ligon, Omaha, Nebraska; Mallissa Simpson, Chicago, Illinois; Faye
Morrison, Ayer, Massachusetts; and Lynne Thompson, Esq., Los Angeles, Calif.

BW4PC Networkers from Baltimore at National Women’s March in Washington, D.C.
(Left photo, Left to Right) BW4PC Group Photo of Baltimore Marchers in DC Networkers Danyell
Winkey-Smith, Bernadette Tolson and Sharon McCollough

1220 L. Street, NW, #100-181, Washington, DC 20005; Fax 202-403-3743
Bkwomen4poschange@gmail.com; www.blackwomenforpositivechange.org
Black Women for Positive change
Preserving and Strengthening the Middle/Working Class “Changing the Culture of Violence in America”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: S. Myers,
202-327-4301

Pittsburgh Neighborhood Academy Contestants Win Prizes in “On 2nd Thought” Youth Violence Prevention Essay Contest

May 21, 2015

Black Women for Positive Change (BW4PC), a national, volunteer civic organization recently
sponsored the first-ever “On 2nd Thought” Essay Contest at the Neighborhood Academy, in Pittsburgh,
PA. High school juniors and seniors wrote original essays to compete for prizes based on “On 2nd
Thought,” a youth violence prevention film produced by BW4PC.

On Wednesday, May 20, 2015, cash prizes and certificates were presented to students, at the
Neighborhood Academy, by Diane Powell, Essay Contest Chair and Latara Jones, Essay Contest
Coordinator. Winners of the Essay Contest are: First Place: Cydney J.C. Francis–$150 cash prize;
Second Place: Brittany Williams–$100 cash prize; and Third Place: Derrick Clark–$ 50.00. “Over
the past 2 years, we have shown the ‘On 2nd Thought’ film to hundreds of youth in Pittsburgh, to
encourage discussion about violence prevention. We’re glad students at the Neighborhood Academy
competed in the Essay Competition and shared their thoughts about the film’s message. We appreciate
the support of the Academy and their teacher, Jennifer Kane,” said Diane Powell, Outreach Co-Chair,
BW4PC East Coast Region.

In a joint statement BW4PC National Co-Chairs Dr. Stephanie Myers and Virginia Delegate Daun S.
Hester said, “We believe it is important to help young people understand they should think twice
and have “2nd Thoughts” before engaging in violence. BW4PC is producing socially responsible media
tools for schools, civic organizations and local governments to help youth learn how to weigh
options before engaging in violence and ruining their lives, and the lives of others.”

“On 2nd Thought” and other Social Media tools are available for purchase  at:
http://www.blackwomenforpositivechange.org/socially-responsible-media/ For interviews with Essay
Contest student winners contact Diane Powell, BW4PC Co-Chair of Outreach East Coast,
Bkwomen4poschange@gmail.com or call 202-327-4301. Photos attached.
###

Black Women for Positive Change
Preserving and Strengthening the Middle/Working Class “Changing the Culture of Violence in America”
1220 L. Street, NW, #100‐181, Washington, DC 20005; Fax 202‐403‐3743 Bkwomen4poschange@gmail.com;
www.blackwomenforpositivechange.org