Category: Community Written by Steven Malik Shelton
Emanuel Steward passed away on Oct. 25 in a Chicago hospital where he had been recuperating for several weeks after undergoing surgery for diverticulitis. He was 68.
Steward was an inductee of the International Boxing Hall of Fame as well as the World Boxing Hall of Fame. He molded some 41 world champions and was, perhaps, the greatest boxing trainer of all time. Yet he was much more than that.
He embodied the toughness, tenacity, industriousness and hope of an entire city.
Steward was a life coach, and he instilled in his fighters that the key to winning both in and out of the ring is to give it your best and to never give up; that if a person followed and acted upon this, they could never lose.
Legendary boxer Thomas Hearns said that when he was an adolescent starting out at the fabled Kronk Gym in Detroit, he was told by some cynical, old-time trainers to take off his gloves, go home and forget about boxing because he was too skinny. Steward did not share their sentiments, however, for he saw something special in the gangly youngster and took him under his wing;, and the rest is history.
It was Steward’s love and passion for boxing and his mission to bring out the best character traits of young people that made him a pillar in Detroit and a world renowned boxing wizard. And it was the pursuit and perfection of this passion that eventually released the floodgates of wealth and sent millions in revenue his way.
Yet it was not Steward’s pursuit of wealth that led him to boxing; it was the pursuit of boxing excellence and the development of the mental, spiritual and physical qualities (which are its flowering ground) that invigorated him and made him incredibly successful.
Of course, it was in many ways a much different Detroit that young Steward was introduced to when he arrived there from Bottom Creek, West Virginia at the age of 12. There was crime, but it was buffered by strong family and community ties.
Although the city was viciously segregated, despite this (or maybe because of it) the African American community maintained a certain communion of concern and commitment amongst its members. And Detroit’s storied Black Bottom section was vibrant with that unique blend of urban poverty and innovative artistry that has produced greatness in American cities for centuries.
Steward actually began boxing at the tender age of 7 while still in West Virginia, winning several junior titles along the way. When his parents divorced he moved to Detroit with his mother and turned from battling in the boxing ring to fighting on Detroit’s mean streets. He soon got in trouble with the law and was given an ultimatum to either find a boxing gym to take out his frustrations or be sent to juvenile detention. As fate would have it, Steward was able to hone his skills at the Brewster Recreation Center, the same boxing gym made famous by the likes of Joe Louis and Sugar Ray Robinson.
As a boxer he established an impressive amateur record of 94 wins and only 3 losses, and in 1963 he won the national Golden Gloves championship in the bantamweight division.
Steward discovered that he had a natural ability in boxing and an innate love and inclination to train and teach others. Eventually he took a part-time job at a small basement gym on the west side of Detroit called “The Kronk” and it was this move that would propel him and the gym to international prominence. For it was when he turned in earnest to training and coaching that his light really began to shine.
Yet it was not the crafting of world champions that he seemed to be the most proud of, but the ability to mold youngsters and to infuse them with hope and belief in their own abilities, even in the bleakest and most challenging of circumstances.
“When I think of boxing,” said Steward, “I think of the little boys-and probably the little girls now that go to the gym and that are jumping around and wanting to learn how to throw a punch; maybe to try and win a little trophy; especially for little kids that are physically small and would not necessarily be able to grow and compete in basketball and football and the other sports that require someone to be big.”
The lives that Emauel Steward had a positive influence on are far too numerous to mention. Yet for Detroiters he will always be fondly remembered as the man who transformed an obscure gym in a run-down section of town into an oasis of camaraderie, learning and a veritable rite of passage. A boxing mecca that along with Motown Records and the automobile industry is most responsible for putting Detroit on the world map.
“Kronk Recreation Center was really a key spot for our community,” said Steward when I interviewed him at his home several years ago “I made the little room in the basement the most famous boxing gym in the world. I’m very happy that I was able to do that in that little basement. And Kronk is still here. I have not packed up and said ‘I’m going to L.A.’ or anywhere people have offered me.“
Steward forged other men of more imposing physiques into world class fighters and champions proving that a sport usually thought of one of brawn and brute force was at its essence an endeavor of strategy, of skill and of indomitable will. Yet his most important and enduring legacy is the love and compassion he demonstrated for others along the way.
“Emanuel will be missed because he was taking care of a lot of people,” said current IBF junior middleweight champion Cornelius “K9” Bundrage. “Whenever I needed help I could always go to Emanuel whether it was money or a place to stay or whatever. I will always remember him for that.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 10:19
Category: Community Written by Huffington Post
826Michigan, the Ann Arbor offshoot of the writing and tutoring centers across the U.S., received a $100,000 grant from DTE Energy to expand their programs to Detroit in 2013. The organization plans to hire one individual and recruit 100 volunteers over the year.
When the group that runs a robot supply store announced plans to expand to Detroit next year, it had nothing to do with the upcoming "Robocop" remake, or even the city's growing tech scene.
Instead, it's the writing and tutoring nonprofit tucked behind that Ann Arbor shop that will bring its services to Detroit students.
826Michigan, the local offshoot of a network of nonprofit tutoring centers founded 10 years ago in San Francisco by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius), will expand with help from a $100,000 DTE Energy grant. They've long wanted to bring the student-focused programs to the city, said Amanda Uhle, executive director of the Michigan chapter.
"From the outset, certainly since I started in 2006, we have aspired to do more in Detroit and serve students in a really significant way," Uhle said. "In the meantime, the economy has been challenging and we've had enough to do to stabilize our organization."
826 Michigan has run some programs for Detroit students and schools, but Uhle said the challenge has been that their volunteers are primarily Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti-based.
"That's really not our model … we recruit volunteers who are from a certain community and allow students to be inspired by and learn from adult members of their community," she explained.
The grant will let 826Michigan hire a Detroit-based individual to recruit and train local volunteers, with the hope to have a corp of 100 by the end of the year. In Washtenaw, the nonprofit serves 2,500 students and has 400 to 500 volunteers participating annually.
The organization plans to work in schools around the city, and has begun forming relationships with DPS and charter schools as well as community organizations. They offer a range of tutoring programs and workshops, including everything from playwriting to college essay workshops in the Ann Arbor area.
"Most of our students are in the category of saying they don't like writing or they aren't good at school, and we give them the opportunity to experience other things," Uhle said. "The core of our program is one-on-one interactions between students and volunteers."
In Ann Arbor, and likely in Detroit, many of the programs happen at off-site locations, unlike some of the urban locations where students and families are more likely to be able to walk to the center.
"A lot of our programming is led by input from the students we're serving, their families and our volunteers who make it possible, where our volunteers are able to access, whether they have cars, have availability during the day," Uhle said.
Though the 826 locations are known for eccentric, kid-friendly storefronts, like Ann Arbor's Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair and Boston's Bigfoot Research Institute, finding a permanent space is not the first priority.
"We really want the time in the community to get feedback," Uhle said. "What neighborhoods have taken to our program and which schools."
The nonprofit will likely open a center with a retail front after they have become more established. The stores may bring in some money, but they have a more important purpose than keeping robots in working order.
"They make students feel even better about coming to get help. It takes the stigma away, makes students feel that it's an engaging and fun place," Uhle said.
For more information about 826Michigan programs and volunteer opportunities, see their website. They will begin recruiting volunteers at the beginning of next year.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 08:59
Category: Community Written by Michigan Chronicle
The great acts of good people were on display at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute’s 18th Annual Heroes of Breast Cancer Awards ceremony last week.
The event, which honors the individuals and organizations that have distinguished themselves by educating people about breast cancer, conducting breast cancer research and promoting breast cancer awareness though early detection, treatment and survivorship — is steeped with emotion.
It’s hard to escape cancer’s reach. With nearly one in eight women nationwide diagnosed with cancer today, this fight is personal.
The Michigan Chronicle and LivingWELL Magazine was proud to stand beside these honorable individuals and, most particularly, breast cancer researchers, survivors and their families who inspire us daily.
The Honorary John Dingell & Debbie Dingell
Breast cancer was the first issue John and Debbie Dingell took on as a couple thirty years ago. As the Dean of the House, Representative Dingell has had an active role in every major piece of breast cancer legislation, including the Mammography Quality Standards Act, which established national safety standards for mammography facilities, the Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act of 1990, the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act of 2000 and the Native American Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Technical Amendment Act of 2001.
He also co-sponsored legislation to re-authorize the special postage stamp to benefit breast cancer research and is a co-sponsor of the Breast Cancer Protection Act, banning “drive-thru mastectomies” by mandating minimum stays in a hospital after mastectomies and lymph node dissections.
For decades, Mrs. Dingell has been a national advocate on women’s health issues. She founded the National Women’s Health Resource Center in the late 1970’s to address the exclusion of women in medical research. Along with her husband, she was one of the founders of the Susan G. Komen National Race for the Cure in Washington, D.C, and was instrumental in the first Komen walks in Michigan as well. She chaired the Karmanos Cancer Breast Cancer Committee for many years, and helped establish this Heroes of Breast Cancer tradition.
LivingWELL Magazine, published by the Michigan Chronicle, takes an inside look at health issues that impact African Americans, telling the personal stories behind the health challenges and triumphs of its readers. The 2011 profile of Karmanos patient and breast cancer Venessa Slayton resulted in early breast cancer diagnosis and treatment of 10 women who sought screening as a result of Slayton’s story.
The Magazine has chronicled groundbreaking breast cancer research and treatment and introduced its annual Black research directory in 2011, which is credited for helping to bring awareness to the large number of African American health studies occurring here in Michigan.
LivingWELL is a media partner of the Komen Detroit Race for the Cure, which is locally presented by Karmanos Cancer Institute.
Nada Charara – PR/Marketing Director, Middle Eastern Broadcasting Network of American
Ms. Charara, the PR/Marketing director at the Middle Eastern Broadcasting Network of America, is leading efforts to inform and educate Middle Eastern women about the importance of early detection and care and, as important, works hard to overcome the cultural myth, fear and awareness prevalent among the station’s Middle Eastern viewers.
"It is said women are driven by passion. Let our passion for life and humanity drive us towards prevention and unite us for the cure," commented Charara.
General Motors Foundation - Vivian Pickard, president of the GM Foundation
Health and Human Services is one of four key focus areas of the General Motors Foundation. This year, the Foundation donated $400,000 to the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute for cancer research, bringing GM’s support to nearly $6 million over the last 15 years. GM Foundation President Vivian Pickard led efforts to raise more than $1.7 million to benefit Karmanos at GM Foundation’s 30th Annual Dinner.
The GM Foundation continues to be a dedicated supporter of the state-of-the-art cancer research being done by Karmanos here in Detroit.
The Young Family
Led by William C. Young, president; Amy Morgan, treasurer; William Patrick Young, vice president and Tracey Deal, secretary; the Young Family Foundation has contributed significantly toward important capital improvement and cancer research initiatives. The Foundation has funded the renovation of the outpatient clinics, infusion area and main lobby, providing patients with greater comfort while they wait for treatment in a calming and soothing environment. In addition, more than $500,000 in grants has been provided to advance novel breast cancer research focused in the area of immunotherapy.
Diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in March 2011, Meghan Malley underwent 15 rounds of chemo, followed by a double mastectomy, and 28 cycles of radiation-- all before the age of 30. Meghan wasted no time transforming her trouble into help for others. She co-founded the Young Women's Support Group at Karmanos Cancer Institute, participated in the "In Living Pink" Fashion Show benefiting the Metro Detroit chapter of the Young Survival Coalition. and was Komen Mid-Michigan Race for the Cure’s Honorary Team New Balance member. Malley opened Lansing’s Race with her inspiring remarks.
“My hope is that no young woman will ever feel like she has to travel this road alone,” stated Malley.
Sharon Helmer, M.D.
Dr. Sharon Helmer is the clinical service chief of the Karmanos Imaging Department and medical director of Breast Imaging. Expert screening is the cornerstone for detection of breast cancer, a disease that is highly survivable when found early. Under Dr. Helmer’s leadership, Karmanos performed 32,000 mammograms and 975 stereotactic and ultrasound-guided breast biopsies, while sensitively addressing individual patient needs with compassion and concern.
Robin Doreen Glover (Oct. 27, 1964 – Feb., 2012) proudly represented by her mother Denise Walloons Glover and sister.
A Market Representation Specialist for Ford Motor Company until her death at age 47, Robin’s family and friends all remember her the same way: a strong and talented woman of faith. Beautiful, both inside and out, Robin was a living Warrior in Pink as an official “Model of Courage,” living with lupus from the age of fifteen. She experienced renal failure, and finally battled cancer. As a legacy member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Robin served on several health-related committees, elected leadership positions and became a Silver Star acknowledging her 25 years of dedicated service.
“The Lord put an angel in our midst to show us how to live through adversity. There’s no letting go of Robin. Her spirit and drive are still very much with us,” stated Denise Walloons Glover.
Kristy Johnson learned of her cancer in her mid-thirties, and much of metro Detroit learned soon after. Married with a five-year-old daughter and a fourteen-year-old son, the Johnson family had lost their insurance through job changes. Kristy discovered Karmanos’ “Helping Hands” program, funded by the Komen Detroit Race for the Cure, which provided her a lifeline and critical care. Johnson shared her story in front of WDIV TV cameras in hope of providing inspiration to others.
Lawrence Lum M.D., DSc
Dr. Lum is Karmanos Cancer Institute’s scientific director of immunotherapy and bone marrow transplant and the only U.S. researcher specializing in a treatment that combines cell- and antibody-based therapy to help “clean up” remaining cancerous cells and prevent a relapse after the patient has gone through chemotherapy. In a clinical trial begun in 2002, Dr. Lum and his team report average overall survival rates two to three times that of women with metastatic breast cancer who received other research therapies.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 13:05
Category: Community Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) - The annual holiday tree lighting ceremony in Campus Martius Park will also usher in seasonal retail to downtown Detroit.
The Tree Lighting festivities begin at 5 p.m. Friday, with entertainment, live music, ice-skating shows, photos with Santa, carriage rides and other seasonal family activities. Officials will then light the 55-foot-tall Norway Spruce, which has over 18,000 lights on over three miles of wire, at approximately 7:45 p.m.
The tree lighting ceremony will also ring in a new retail season in Detroit. More that 50 pop-up shops will be open three days each week through Dec. 22 as part of “Holiday DLight: Made in Detroit,” which debuts Friday.
The lineup this year includes outdoor retailer Moosejaw, fitness studio Spinergy, Papa Joe’s Snack Rack mini-market and retailers from the Somerset Collection. Two featured retailers include The Detroit Shoppe, which has Detroit-themed merchandise, Santa’s Wonderland, a place where children can purchase and wrap gifts for family.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 08:23
Category: Community Written by Modeldmedia
The Hamtramck Recycling & Transfer Center is getting close to opening and expects to create a few dozen jobs when it begins operations in 2013.
The green business is refurbishing an old waste-transfer building at the corner of Hamtramck Drive and Denton Street. The 32,000-square-foot building will pick out a number of recyclable materials from industrial waste, such as metal, cardboard, paper and plastics. The idea is to profit off of the wasted commodities that too often end up in the garbage.
"There is not really anybody who specializes in industrial waste," says Seth Kruger, president of Hamtramck Recycling & Transfer Center. "A lot of manufacturers are looking for ways to find less of their material end up in a landfill."
The Hamtramck Recycling & Transfer Center is a family owned business that has been in the works for the last year. It currently employs 11 people and expects to employ as many as 42 when its going full steam. The company hopes to begin operations in early 2013 and is looking to hire primarily local residents. So far about 50 percent of the firm's current workforce calls Hamtramck home.
"We're ramping up our employment to operate our system," Kruger says. "We will be hiring as the intake of material increases."
The project received $470,000 in brownfield tax credits last year from the state of Michigan. When the project began, the building had been vacant for several years and had fallen into significant disrepair.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 November 2012 13:05
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