Birmingham Arts and Music (BAAM) Festival Returns This Weekend

Can lightning strike twice in the same place? Forces of nature are hard to contain, especially when it comes to the power of music.

At last year’s inaugural launch of the BAAM Festival, co-founder Sharrif Simmons and his band played “Beautiful Day,” where the superb bass player lays down this hard-thumpin,’ blood-pumpin,’ signature funk rhythm that makes you wanna jump, jump, up and down. And so the crowd at Stillwater Pub went wild. As much as I wanted to do the same, I couldn’t because I was holding my little video camera. Continue reading →

Skilled Labor and Schools

Skills and Schools: A Crucial Connection

SkillsUSA Alabama– a two-day expo, competition and conference that allows businesses in industries such as construction and technology to expose schoolchildren to technical careers – starts today in Birmingham.

If you’re wondering why I would take the time to write about this, let me explain.

Recent reports, such as a recently completed Harvard University study, show that too many of our kids and youth are not prepared to enter the workforce as well-trained workers, and certainly not enterprising entrepreneurs who create jobs. Continue reading →

Gala With A Purpose: The 2011 Birmingham UNCF M.A.S.K.E.D. Fundraiser

I grew up hearing the slogan, “a mind is a terrible thing to waste,” not knowing the power behind the words.

I knew it was the catch phrase for the United Negro College Fund. Most of the time when I was growing up, it meant Lou Rawls would headline an all-star fundraising telethon for UNCF, much like Jerry Lewis did for muscular dystrophy around Labor Day.

So now, these many years later, I have a much better appreciation for what that slogan and those raised funds mean. Continue reading →