Ashanti Joined “Good Morning America”

This morning, singer Ashanti joined “Good Morning America” to talk about rerecording her debut album to own her masters and her new children’s book.  In case you missed it, the performances included a special appearance from Ja Rule.

Ashanti performs a medley of hits on ‘GMA’ The Grammy-winning singer performs some of her most popular jams, including “Rock Wit U,” “Happy” and “Mesmerize,” and brings out a special guest.

Ashanti performs ‘Falling for You’ and ‘Foolish’ on ‘GMA’ The hit singer performs her brand-new song live for the first time along with one of her biggest hits.

Ashanti chats about new music and re-recording past hits The singer said she was inspired by Taylor Swift to re-record her debut album, which was released 20 years ago.

Credit: Good Morning America/ABC News

National Women’s Business Council Gains New Insight with a New Member

Selena Rodgers Dickerson secures another seat at the table. Business award-winning founder, President and CEO of SARCOR LLC and Selene LLC, is making her mark nationally through the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC)! Her appointment to this council will allow her to continue prioritizing the advancement of opportunities for women on a national scale as she speaks with Government officials including the President, U.S. Congress, and the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Rodgers Dickerson, a Birmingham native, has been leading discussions and taking control of the narrative by securing her spot on multiple local boards including the city of Birmingham’s Small Business Council, and through being a panel speaker at the Essence Fest in 2022. Her appointment to the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) last month is a huge achievement as it presents an opportunity to make real change across the nation for small, female-owned businesses.

“I am extremely honored to be on the National Women’s Business Council. This new opportunity allows me to take another step forward and continue to be a part of the conversation to make fundamental changes and promote real opportunities for women entrepreneurs and young professionals.” – Selena Rodgers Dickerson, President, SARCOR LLC

Her selection as a council member is based on her achievements through her businesses as well as the mark that she has made on her local community. Rodgers Dickerson started SARCOR with a single employee and grew the business into a team of engineers. The woman-owned business provides innovative solutions to the challenging projects of its private, corporate, and municipal clients. She also made history as the first African American sponsor of an iconic Vulcan statue as part of a community art project in which miniature replicas of Vulcan are displayed throughout the city of Birmingham.

Selena R. Dickerson is the president of SARCOR, LLC, located in Birmingham, Alabama. She strives to educate others on how to become successful business owners. Her mission is to utilize her expertise to leverage strategic solution-based diverse, equitable, and inclusive initiatives through business endeavors, philanthropy, integrity, and spirituality.

Mastercard Supports Black-Owned Businesses During World Games

Mastercard commemorates The World Games by supporting Black-owned small businesses in the Magic City! The initiative will kick off the high-level, diverse, and spectacular sports competition beginning July 7 through 17th.

Birmingham is proud to be one of seven cities participating in Mastercard’s In Solidarity initiative, a 500 million dollar commitment to closing Black Americans’ racial wealth and opportunity gap across America. In partnership with the Birmingham Business Resource Center (BBRC), Mastercard is launching the Birmingham Loyalty Campaign, offering a 20% rebate on qualifying purchases at Black-owned businesses during The World Games! Mastercard made the announcement at a press conference Thursday in Kelly Ingram Park with special guests Mayor Woodfin, Bob Dickerson of the BBRC, and Arian Simone, founder of The Fearless Fund, the first venture capital fund built by women of color. The conference celebrated Mastercard’s commitment to the city while highlighting two local, women-owned, Black-owned businesses, including one that will be featured at the Civil Rights District Marketplace. The five-day festival hosted by the BBRC, and in partnership with Mastercard, will showcase Black-owned businesses, entertainers, interactives, and artisans at Birmingham’s historic Kelly Ingram Park beginning July 8.

The Civil Rights District Marketplace is in collaboration with the World Of Opportunity Vendor Program, a division of The World Games 2022 Birmingham. “Where do I begin. I am so excited that Mastercard has intentionally found a way to support our local minority businesses and their cardholders through the Loyalty Program. In both the Merchant Market and The Civil Rights District Market, a win-win opportunity has been designed for the business and consumer. Not every company will really be as bold or as courageous as they are being to encourage people to buy from Black businesses. It means a lot when you can see that someone believes in you. Mastercard is showing they believe in Black businesses and in Birmingham”, said Kathy Boswell, Executive Vice President of Community and Volunteer Engagement at The World Games 2022 Birmingham.

“As I’ve said before, these businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and they deserve the support of the city they make investments in,” said Mayor Woodfin. “That’s why I’m proud of this genuine partnership with Mastercard. This effort encourages Birmingham residents and visitors to support our Black-owned businesses by shopping local.”

“We have been able to have a 3rd marketplace for The World Games in the Civil Rights District, right here on this hallowed ground! That’s important because, as the mayor talked about, supporting Black-owned businesses means paving a way and opening a door for opportunities,” said Salah Goss with Mastercard. Goss says the marketplace provided a space for businesses who couldn’t get into The World Games marketplace to benefit from the economic windfall.

In addition to the 20% cashback initiative Mastercard has issued, the company partnered with The Fearless Fund to present a check of $10,000 to Bernadine Birdsong, owner of Michael’s Steak and Seafood in Birmingham.

“Over 50% of Black businesses had to close their doors during the pandemic,” said Arian Simone, CEO & Founder of The Fearless Fund. “Now, we are facing the global, macro-economic climate of high-interest rates, inflation at an all-time high, and supply chain issues, where now people of color are being hit again. So, it is an honor to stand here today to present a $10,000 grant to Bernadine Birdsong of Michael’s Steak and Seafood! This is our way of saying we see you, we honor you, and keep going!”

Birdsong accepted the check with tears of joy in her eyes, thanking Mastercard and the Fearless Fund for this opportunity to overcome what Birdsong considers a dark time in the world for the restaurant industry.

To see a list of participating businesses in Mastercard’s Loyalty Program, along with the terms and conditions, please visit: mastercard.com/birmingham.

Birmingham Business Resource Center assists entrepreneurs in every stage of business development. Through an array of technical assistance activities, including one-on-one coaching, the BBRC focuses on helping businesses scale for growth. Services include providing resources to build capacity, attain new customers, and access capital. Emphasis is placed on economic empowerment and supporting historically underserved businesses through diverse supplier opportunities.

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart, and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships, and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments, and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.

 

Hulu’s ‘ESSENCE FEST PRIMETIME’ Line-Up Announced, Includes Janet Jackson, New Edition, Nicki Minaj, and More

As previously announced, Hulu will serve as the official streaming destination of the 2022 ESSENCE Festival, which will take place in person in New Orleans, and virtually, from June 30 – July 3, 2022.  This marks the first time ever that ESSENCE has made programming from its iconic Festival available on a streaming platform. Select daytime programming including panel discussions and evening musical performances will be available exclusively to Hulu SVOD subscribers to livestream at no additional cost*.  The “ESSENCE FEST PRIMETIME” livestream will run on the platform July 1 – 3 from 7:00pm – 11:59pm CT.

In addition to live celebrity interviews with host Angela Yee and highlights from daytime programming, “ESSENCE FEST PRIMETIME” will include the following musical performances (all times CTsubject to change):

FRIDAY, JULY 1

7:30PM – Mickey Guyton

8:10PM – Kes The Band

9:10PM – Machel Montano

10:05PM – Wyclef & Friends

10:55PM – Nas

11:45PM – Nicki Minaj

SATURDAY, JULY 2

7:20PM – Lucky Daye

7:50PM – Chloe x Halle

8:05PM – D-Nice & Friends

9:30PM – Summer Walker

10:00PM – Jazmine Sullivan

10:35PM – Patti LaBelle

11:35PM – Janet Jackson

SUNDAY, JULY 3

7:20PM – City Girls

8:00PM – Lil Kim

8:35PM – The Roots & Friends

9:45PM – Isley Brothers

10:30PM – Wizkid

11:25PM – New Edition

Hulu will also have a special presence on-site at the Festival, providing guests with an immersive experience at “The Rink @ The Hulu Motel,” a roller skating rink filled with interactive touchpoints, giveaways, and content-themed bites and drinks. Skaters will also be treated to live performances by DJ OHSO and DJ DIAMOND KUTS.  The three-day activation will be open July 1-3 from Noon – 7:00pm to guests 21+ at the New Orleans Civic Theatre.

*Requires Hulu or Hulu (No Ads) base plan subscription. Live content access available 7/1/22 through 7/3/22 from 7:00 p.m. – 11:59 p.m. CT only.

Martin Lawrence and Tessa Thompson join “GMA” and Meg Thee Stallion Summer Concert Performers

In case you missed it, on “Good Morning America” actor and comedian Martin Lawrence talked about 30th anniversary of ‘Martin,’ and reunion special on BET+ as well as his favorite character and career.

Plus, actress Tessa Thompson discussed her latest role and “GMA” announced the 2022 summer concert series which will include performances from Meg Thee Stallion, Ozuna, and The Black Eyed Peas. Martin Lawrence talks about 30th anniversary of ‘Martin’ The comedy legend and the cast of the hit ’90s sitcom reunited for a new special on BET+.

Actress Tessa Thompson also discusses her role as Valkyrie in ”Thor: Love and Thunder” and Creed 3.

Plus GMA Announces 2022 Summer Concert Series Performers include such superstars as Megan Thee Stallion, aespa, the Black Eyed Peas, Ozuna, Demi Lovato and OneRepublic. 

 

Good Morning America” announces its sizzling hot lineup for the 2022 Summer Concert Series with K-pop girl group aespa kicking off the free concert series on Friday, July 8.

Sponsored by Massage Envy, this year’s concert series lineup includes some of the biggest stars in music, including OneRepublic, Megan Thee Stallion, Demi Lovato, Ozuna, and the Black Eyes Peas.

Each concert will take place from Rumsey Playfield in Central Park in New York City.

This link will be updated as additional performances are announced.

·        July 8 – aespa #aespaonGMA

·        July 15 – OneRepublic #OneRepublicOnGMA

·        August 12 – Megan Thee Stallion #MeganTheeStallionOnGMA

·        August 19 – Demi Lovato #DemiLovatoOnGMA

·        August 26 – Ozuna #OzunaOnGMA          

·        September 2 – Black Eyed Peas #BlackEyedPeasOnGMA

Credit ABC News//Good Morning America

100 Things to Do in Birmingham Before You Die, Second Edition

Called the Magic City, Birmingham sprang up fast, as if a magician’s wand pulled skyscrapers out of a valley surrounded by mountains. In 100 Things to Do in Birmingham Before You Die, Second Edition you’ll discover the famous places and hidden treasures of a city brimming with character, charm, and natural beauty. Whether it’s the best barbecue or martini, a picture-perfect round of golf, or where to find clothes by famed local designers, Birmingham native Verna Gates is ready to be your personal guide to the best the Magic City has to offer.

  • Birmingham has one of the few meat-and-three restaurants with a James Beard nomination. Plus, a restaurant named the best in America by James Beard. Other fascinating restaurants include the Original Whistle Stop Cafe, where Fannie Flagg’s aunt perfected fried green tomatoes.
  • The First Lady of Liquor and the runner-up in a global bartending contest both offer drinks in establishments in Birmingham.
  • Why are there elephants in Avondale? In the early days, Miss Fancy lived in the nearby park and gave rides to children. She also drank a gallon of beer a day, making her an entertainment icon.

Book Review:

This book is a must-have for anyone visiting the city or those that have resided here for years.  It’s organized according to food, drink, music, entertainment, sports, recreation, culture, and fashion.  Personally, I can’t wait to visit the Birmingham Museum of Art.  BMA is the perfect location to learn about the culture and find inspiration for those in the creative space.

Although I have grown up in Birmingham, after moving back to the Magic City, there are several events and activities that are new to me.  For example, I have never visited Gianmarco’s Italian restaurant or the Talladega Speedway!

100 Things To Do in Birmingham Before You Die is the perfect coffee-table book or reference when venturing “outside.”  To purchase your own copy, visit Barnes & Noble.

And, although this is the 2nd edition, I am confident there will be several new editions in the future!

About the Author:

Verna Gates was born in Birmingham and can trace her local heritage back four generations to a land grant farm. She began her career as one of the original crew that launched CNN.

After moving back to her beloved home, she spent 25 years covering the state for TIME Magazine and Reuters International. She has received a lifetime achievement award from the National Federation of Presswomen.

GMA3: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW’ HEADS TO NEW ORLEANS 

To kick off this year’s ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ presented by Coca-Cola®, ABC News’ “GMA3: What You Need to Know” co-anchors Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes and ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jen Ashton will host a special broadcast originating from the heart of New Orleans at Brennan’s in the French Quarter.  

 

On Thursday, June 30, the “GMA3” team will be live from “The Big Easy” to kick off the festival, which ends on Sunday, July 3. Drawing more than 500,000 attendees annually over the holiday weekend, ESSENCE Fest is one of the largest festivals in the country. 

 

As DJ D-Nice spins throughout the show, Robach, Holmes, and Dr. Ashton will interview actress Marsai Martin and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, and look at the hottest fashion trends to expect at this year’s festival with ESSENCE beauty and fashion editor Blake Newby. The show will also give viewers a look back at the history and beginnings of ESSENCE Fest and detail how it became the massive celebration of Black culture it is today with ESSENCE CEO Caroline Wanga. 

 

“GMA3” executive producer Catherine McKenzie said, “After these last few years, as cities are opening their doors to embrace tourists, we are excited to take the show on the road and capture the joy throughout ESSENCE Fest and New Orleans. We hope this coverage will shine a light on this important celebration and help grow appreciation for the amazing contributions of Black culture to American society.” 

 

“As the nation’s largest festival by per day attendance, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture is the crown jewel of celebrating Blackness, which fuels commerce, capital, and capacity that garners true economic impact for our global community,” said Wanga. “We are excited to return to New Orleans live and thrilled that there are options for virtual participation, that our full diasporic family, through our unapologetic “It’s The Black Joy for Me” manifesto, is happy to share with GMA3.” 

 

In addition, this year, The Walt Disney Company is the exclusive entertainment sponsor for ESSENCE Fest, bringing talent, exclusive screenings and experiences from across the Company’s iconic brands and touchpoints, including ABC, ABC News, Disney Branded Television, Disney Cruise Line, Disney+, Disney Studios Content, Disney Television Studios, Disneyland Resort, ESPN, Freeform, FX, Hulu, Marvel Studios, National Geographic, Onyx Collective, Pixar and Walt Disney World Resort. Specific programming, experiences and talent appearances will be announced next week. For more information about Essence Fest, click here. 

 

Follow “GMA3” and the journey to ESSENCE Fest on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook. For more information, attendees can download the ESSENCE app or join virtually on Essencefestival.com.  

 

ABOUT ESSENCE COMMUNICATIONS, INC.

Essence Communications is the number one—and only 100% Black-owned—media, technology and commerce company at scale dedicated to Black women and communities. With a community of more than 31 million Black women, ESSENCE inspires a global audience through diverse storytelling and immersive original content rooted in Culture, Equity and Celebration. The brand’s multi-platform presence in/ publishing, experiential and online encompasses its namesake magazine; digital, video and social platforms; television specials; books; and signature live events, including Black Women in Music, Black Women in Hollywood, ESSENCE Black Women in Sports, Fashion House, Street Style and the ESSENCE Festival of Culture.

 

First African American Sponsor of a Vulcan Statue

Selena Rodgers Dickerson makes history as the first African American sponsor of an iconic Vulcan statue. Rodgers Dickerson’s statue is the 15th edition of the Vulcan on Parade project, a community art project in which miniature replicas of Vulcan are displayed throughout the city of Birmingham for public enjoyment.

Painted by local artist Erica Chisolm, the i3 Academy-hosted statue is named “S.O.A.R,” an acronym used to encourage students to be Safe, on task, go Above and beyond, and be Respectful. The statue will remind i3 Academy students of the endless possibilities awaiting them. The statue was erected in front of the school last month. “I wanted this statue to be something that students of i3 Academy would see every day that they could carry with them. When times get tough, this is a symbol that represents us as people and our community here in Birmingham. That was my vision for this statue.” Selena Rodgers Dickerson, President, SARCOR Rodgers Dickerson has a long-standing relationship with both the Vulcan Park Foundation and the i3 Academy as she sits on both boards and has a daughter currently enrolled in the academy.

She serves as the President and CEO of SARCOR, a women-owned small business enterprise that provides innovative solutions to the challenging projects of its private, corporate, and municipal clients. Selena R. Dickerson is the president of SARCOR, LLC, located in Birmingham, Alabama.

She strives to educate others on how to become successful business owners. Her mission is to utilize her expertise to leverage strategic solution-based diverse, equitable, and inclusive initiatives through business endeavors, philanthropy, integrity, and spirituality.

Luster Premium White’s Pearl Infused Pro Light Dental Whitening System: Unboxing Video

Luster Premium White’s Pearl Infused Pro Light Dental Whitening System works up to 7X faster than all major whitening kits! With three easy steps, you get visibly whiter teeth in just 30 minutes and 6 shades whiter in 3 days! By using both light and heat, the patented Xenon teeth whitening light is proven more effective and quicker than other teeth whitening LED light systems. Developed by dentists, this kit includes: Pro Light, Serum, Rinse, and Pearl Infused Mint Whitening Toothpaste.

Reveal your brightest smile, cleanest teeth, and happiest gums NATURALLY with GuruNanda. Their NEW dentist-recommended Oxyburst Whitening Mouthwash is a patented formula that truly does do it all – freshens breath, supports tooth and gum health, and gets teeth their brightest white, all within seconds. The cutting edge of oral care and beauty, this patented mouthwash contains two components: a proprietary blend of seven 100% pure and natural essential oils for whole mouth health and fresher breath, and oxygen-powered whitening ingredients. Together, they gently remove stains, create fresh breath, and support stronger teeth and gums. No other mouthwash whitens teeth better or faster while seamlessly integrating the natural healing of Ayurveda and state-of-the-art Western medical technology to help you reveal your most dazzling smile.

Teeth Whitening System Unboxing Video

Getting the Right Diagnostic Medical Supplies

One of the many important areas to consider when you work in the medical profession is ensuring that you have an appropriate number of supplies and the right supplies for getting a diagnosis. This means you’ll need to purchase from legitimate, reputed suppliers and ensure your diagnostic gear is of world-class quality. With this in mind, consider the following information on getting proper diagnostic supplies and why doing so is absolutely crucial.

Featured Photo from Scary Mommy

Quality

When you work in medicine, giving patients the correct diagnosis is quite possibly one of the most important parts of your job. To do this correctly, you need to ensure you have all the diagnostic supplies for any possible diagnosis. If you find this difficult or don’t know where to look, there are various websites that sell a variety of medical diagnostic machines to suit every diagnosis there is.

Of course, you need to ensure the machines you buy are of good quality and that they will provide an accurate diagnosis, as giving a patient the wrong diagnosis could be catastrophic – not only for them but also for you and the reputation of either the medical practice or hospital that you work at.

Therefore, to avoid medical mishaps with low-quality supplies and equipment, it is always important you do plenty of checks on the website you are buying the equipment from and on the equipment itself to ensure you are getting the best quality for your money and your patients.

Variety

It’s also important to ensure the site you are ordering from has a wide array of products. This doesn’t just include the type of products you want to order but also the various brands you have to choose from. Most trustworthy medical supply sites will give a number of different kinds of products for you to choose from and should have every single medical item you could ever need, more or less.

Also, within the scope of available products of the same nature, there should additionally be plenty of individual brands for you to choose from so you can compare them against one another, such as based on their price or what other customers have to say. If the website doesn’t offer you variety, it’s best to shop elsewhere.

Not only does a website offering a wide choice of products and brands mean you can compare them against one another, but it also means you can try out all the many brands and models to see what works best for you and your patients.

In addition, there may also be a chance that a diagnostic tool may work better for some patients than others, so having this variety means you can overcome the potential issue of certain goods being ill-suited to certain patients, as well as use trial and error to find the best products.

Labeling and Information

You must also double-check what purpose each product is for and that they have all been labeled correctly. This, again, is why you should use a reputable site, as they will mark the products accurately, but if you go through a sketchy website, they may not label the products correctly or may even put labels on the wrong products – which could be catastrophic for both you and your patients.

Ultimately, making sure that the website you are using for your medical supplies has a wide range of product and brand choices, is legitimate, and that the supplies themselves are genuine and properly labeled is crucial – because it will save you so much hassle, time, and money in the long run, in addition to potential medical disasters.