Community & Church Events

Deadlines are Mondays at Noon for everything except wedding/engagement announcements. Wedding engagement announcements deadline are Fridays by noon. Upcoming Holiday Deadlines:
Jan. 24 edition is due Fri., Jan. 17 by noon. We will be closed for the Dr. MLK, Jr. Holiday.

Church and Community Events

Di’s Hope Women’s Conference
The 21st annual Di’s Hope Women’s Conference will be held Jan. 26 at the Cuba Baptist Church. A light breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m. in the Life Center and the Conference will begin at 9 a.m. in the Sanctuary. Women of all ages and denominations are invited to attend. There is no pre-registration or registration fee. A love offering will be taken. A Nursery will be provided for children up to 5 years of age. Please make you plans to come and join us and enjoy this time of spiritual inspiration. For further information, call Pam Wooldridge, 392-4395 or any member of Di’s Hope.

Galilee Baptist Frangelism Worship Program
Rev. Dr. B. Nelson Little and the Galilee Baptist Church of Panola cordially invites you to our annual Frangelism Worship Program (Friends, Family & Community) Sun., Jan. 20 at 2:30 p.m. Rev. Dr. Jessie White and Choir of the Trinity Baptist Church, Tuscaloosa, will bring the message from God.

Annual Board Meeting of the Mt. Herman District
All pastors and churches in the Mt. Herman District the Annual Board Meeting of the Mt. Herman District will be held on Sat., Jan. 19 at the Shady Grove Missionary Baptist Church, Hwy. 28, Livingston, where Rev. John Powell is pastor, beginning at 8:30 a.m sharp. It is very important that every Pastor/Minister of the Mount Herman District be present for this meeting with suggestions/inputs for the completion of the 2019 Annual Session Program and other Agenda items (6th Annual Banquet, etc.). If you are unable to attend, please send a representative from your church. Each church is asked to enroll with a small fee; and each Pastor/Minister and Officer of the Convention is asked to enroll with a small fee. Reverend Tyrone Thomas, Moderator; Reverend Richard Wilson, Vice-Moderator; Sister Eleanor R. Randolph Mount Herman District Women’s President (205) 652-7466.

Scale Back Alabama
Scale Back Alabama is a public awareness campaign hosted by the Alabama Hospital Association, the Alabama Department of Public Health, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama. Scale Back Alabama 2019 begins with weigh-in week, January 21-27. To enter the free program, participants must be at least 18 years of age and live or work in Alabama. At the end of the challenge, those who weigh-out during the week of April 1–7and succeed in losing at least 10 pounds have a chance to win cash prizes ranging from $100 to $1,000.

Red Cross Issues Emergency Call For Blood Donors
A donation shortfall over the winter holidays is prompting the American Red Cross to issue an emergency call for blood and platelet donors to give now to prevent a blood shortage from continuing throughout winter and affecting patient care. Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or dr.r’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood dr.. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.

Free Diabetes Class at Whatley
Whatley Health Services is once again helping people change their lives by joining a free, evidence-based diabetes prevention program, Change Your Lifestyle. Change Your Life. (CYL2). CYL2 allows participants to work with trained lifestyle coaches to develop and self-monitor individualized health and wellness plans at no cost to them. Everyone is encouraged to take the online prediabetes risk test. Anyone who receives a score of five or more on the risk test is eligible for the program. The test can be found at www.whatleyhealth.org/cyl2. Participants interested in the CYL² program should know that the classes will meet for one year. In the first four months of the program, classes will meet weekly. In the remaining eight months, classes will meet twice each month to help participants maintain healthy lifestyle changes. Parties interested in joining the classes should call (205) 758-6647, ext. 6170. Interested parties may attend any of the free information sessions to learn more. Meetings are scheduled to occur on the following dates: Thursday, January 10, 2019 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Robert Hasson Center, 1513 12th Street, Northport, Alabama 35476; Tuesday, January 15, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Stillman College Hay Center, 3601 Stillman Boulevard, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401; Wednesday, January 16, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Stillman College Hay Center, 3601 Stillman Boulevard, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401. A Spanish-language meeting is also scheduled on the following date: Friday, January 11, 2019 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Whatley Health Services, 2731 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401.

Mt. Pleasant Baptist Celebrates Rev. Douglas Newton’s Anniversary
You are invited to help us celebrate Rev. Douglas Newton’s 14th anniversary as pastor of the Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church, Warsaw Co. Rd. 85, Panola, Sun., Feb. 3 at 2 p.m. Rev. James McDonald, pastor of Mt. Tabor Baptist Church, Coatopa, will deliver the sermon, joined by his family, church family, and choir. Everyone is invited to this blessed occasion

Dr. Rev. MLK, Jr. Events

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Commemoration Program
There will be a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Commemoration Program on Sun., Jan.. 20 at 2:30 p.m. at the Livingston Community Center. Rev. Carolyn Branch, founder and Chancellor of Lighthouse Ministry Institute, International teacher and conference speaker will be the guest speaker for the occasion.

Panola Community Annual Unity Breakfast
The Panola Community will have its Annual Unity Breakfast Monday, January 21, 2019, at 9:00 O’clock A.M. in the Panola Community Enrichment Center, 5816 Claude Jackson 35, Panola-Aliceville, Alabama. Everyone is cordially invited to come and join the community. Come and bring some friends to eat a FREE Breakfast with us. All you can eat! (A Full Breakfast.) Theme: “We Are All One Humanity”‘
Please help us continue to make Martin Luther King’s Day 2019 “.A Day On, Not a Day Off!” on Monday, January 21, 2019, in Panola, Alabama. We invite you to be a part of this commemoration. This year, our guest speaker will be Dr. Wendolyn Pruitt-Bouie, Educational Consultant and Professor. The Rev. Arthur L. Gilliam Ill will be our Master of Ceremony. The Greater Salem AME Zion Church Choir and the Antioch Witness Church Choir Praise Group will be the guest choirs. Help make this Dr. King’s Day a celebration to remember! Mrs. Bernice Gaines & Drucilla Jackson Co-Chairpersons; 5816 Claude Jackson 35, Panola Alabama 35477; MLK Jr. Day Celebration Committee.

Gospel Singer, Journalist Highlight Realizing The Dream Events
Pastor Marvin Sapp, award-winning Gospel singer and songwriter, is the featured performer for the 2019 Realizing the Dream Concert Sun., Jan. 20. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. at UA’s Moody Music Concert Hall. Journalist and author Byron Pitts, co-anchor of ABC’s “Nightline” and author of two books, will be the Legacy Awards Banquet speaker. The banquet will take place Fri., Jan. 18, at 6:30 p.m. in the Bryant Conference Center’s Sellers Auditorium, also on campus. Tickets for both events will be available online at www.uamusic.tix.com. For more information, contact Dianne Kennedy-Jackson, 205-348-4480, dkkennedy1@ua.edu or UA communications at 205-348-5320.

MLK Day: Not A Day Off, But A Day For Action
For years, UA has celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy through the Realizing the Dream concert and community events, but now it’s expanding the celebration through a new initiative. With a goal of creating more learning opportunities for campus about King and with an increased emphasis on giving back, a universitywide committee of faculty, staff and students selected “The Fierce Urgency of Now: A Day On – Not a Day Off!” as this year’s theme for the new initiative. In addition to the opportunity for campus to volunteer on MLK Day, Jan. 21, it features a series of on-campus learning and engagement opportunities through Jan. 31. For more information, contact Jamon Smith at jamon.smith@ua.edu, or 205-348-4956.

National Day of Racial Healing Livestream
Join creator of the movie Selma, Queen Sugar, and 13th, Ava DuVernay (virtually), the Kellogg Foundation, and TRHT Selma for a livestream event Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at 3 PM – 7:30 PM to commemorate National Day of Racial Healing. The continuous livestream event will be shown around the country, including at the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth and Reconciliation. It will include a combination of performances, interviews, in-person audience conversations, and more. The Selma Center will provide popcorn, drinks, and a Beloved Community meal in order to build the relationships necessary to transform ourselves and our community. *RSVP separately under our event listing for the MLK Day trip to the Equal Justice Initiative museum & memorial the day before: https://www.facebook.com/events/1952877295006861/?ti=icl

Uniontown Film Screening
Join filmmaker Fraser Jones and members of the Black Belt Citizens Fighting for Health and Justice for a screening of Uniontown, a documentary film at Pop Start, 211B Broad Street, York, on Fri., Jan. 18, at 7 p.m. Uniontown weaves together the untold narratives of local heroes in Uniontown, Alabama, a long-silenced southern city continuously polluted with industrial waste and environmental racism. Driven by the story of Esther Calhoun, a community leader and president of the Black Belt Citizens Fighting for Health and Justice, the film is an intimate look at the lives of modern day environmental justice warriors determined to clean up their town and preserve what’s left of their natural resources, in the midst of a high stakes local election.
After the screening there will be a moderated Q&A with Jones and members of Black Belt Citizens facilitated by teaching artist Salaam Green.
Uniontown opens the Coleman Center for the Art’s new screening series which will be held once a month on Friday evenings. The series will feature the work of six Alabama or regional filmmakers in our newly renovated Pop Start facility. The screening series is open to the public and free of charge including refreshments (popcorn, bottled water). Whenever possible the filmmakers will be present for post-screening talk backs and workshops.
Upcoming films include Hale County This Morning, This Evening, dir. RaMelle Ross and The Send Off, set in the Florida Everglades.
There will be a second screening of Uniontown hosted by the Black Belt Citizens Fighting for Health and Justice on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Mon., Jan. 21, at Quinn Chapel AME Church (394 Washington St.), from 3-5 p.m.. There will be refreshments, education, and fellowship. Please text Black Belt Citizens Coordinator to RSVP and/or ask questions at 205-847-0835.
Fraser Jones is an independent filmmaker from Atlanta, Georgia. They hold a B.F.A. in Film & Television from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2016 and have worked for Nickelodeon and Capitol Records. The Coleman Center for the Arts is a 33-year-old arts organization located in rural west Alabama. Its work is done through five main programmatic arms: arts education for area youth and adults; a community-based artists’ residency producing socially engaged public art projects and events; exhibitions featuring the work of regional artists; a free, public community garden that promotes small-scale food production; and Pop Start, a permanent community pop-up offering a storefront space for artists-community experimentation.
For more information please contact the Coleman Center at info@colemanarts.org or (205) 392-2005.

School EventsS

Sumter County School Announcements
JAN
21 Martin Luther King Holiday (No School)
FEB
8 3rd 9 week progress reports
11 Extended Work Day
18 Inservice/Weather day (No School)

University Charter School Announcements
JAN
19 UCS will be on the Today Show on Jan. 19. Exact air time is unknown.
21 Mon M.L. King Holiday

University of West Alabama to host 2019 Career Exploration Summer Camp
The University of West Alabama’s (UWA) Division of Economic Development and Outreach is currently accepting applications for the 2019 Career Exploration Summer Camp (CESC). All applications must be received or postmarked by Monday, Feb. 25.
There will be two sessions, June 16-21 (Camp One) and June 23-28 (Camp Two), for rising high school sophomore and junior students. The residential program, held on the UWA campus, offers students the ability to explore career options and prepare for college through interactive and engaging hands-on activities, field trips and presentations. The CESC Program, sponsored by the Daniel Foundation, is open to students attending public and private secondary schools located in Choctaw, Greene, Hale, Marengo, Perry, Pickens and Sumter Counties.
“Camp selection is competitive and space is limited,” said Program Coordinator Sanquenetta Thompson. “Exposure to career opportunities is important in making long-term educational decisions. The CESC is an intense and structured learning opportunity for youth in Alabama’s Black Belt region.” The curriculum offers students a thorough look into current and emerging career fields, highlights of the knowledge and skills needed for each career, essential information on projected employment— where the jobs are and will continue to grow, and steps that students can take now, while in high school, to prepare for the future. In addition, students will participate in standardized applicant test preparation courses, business etiquette, computer training, academic enhancement activities, field trips and hands-on projects. Approximately 20 students from grades 10-11 will be accepted to participate in the 5-day summer program. Scholarships will include the following: All program costs/room fees; Workshops/Handouts; Room and Board; Facility Usage; Equipment/Supplies; Travel (Field Trips); Lab Fees; Speakers. The CESC is a competitive selection process program limited to 10 male and 10 female students per camp from eligible counties. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Parents are encouraged to participate in the application process. Guidance counselors may identify applicants to the CESC Program and assist them with completing the forms. To download an application package, www.centerforblackbelt.org. Applications may also be obtained by contacting Sanquenetta Thompson at (205) 652-3408, sthompson@uwa.edu or call UWA’s Division of Economic Development and Outreach at (205) 652-3828. Completed applications can be returned via email or mail at UWA Station 45, Livingston, AL 35470.

Application Period For Two College Scholarship Programs Closes Jan. 31
High school seniors and college students should act quickly to apply for thousands of dollars in scholarship money through two programs. Jan. 31 is the deadline to apply for both the Alfa Foundation Scholarship Program and the Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation (AFAF) Program. In its sixth year, the Alfa Foundation Scholarship Program will award 100 scholarships worth $1,000 to students studying at an Alabama college, university or technical school. Applicants must be Alabama Farmers Federation members. Visit AlfaInsurance.com for a link to the application.Visit AlfaFarmers.org and click on the scholarship banner for details about the AFAF Scholarship Program. Applicants must have a Federation membership or be a dependent of a Federation member. Auburn students should also apply for the scholarship through AUSOM (Auburn University Scholarship Opportunity Manager). While a recent report shows a small percentage of students consider studying agriculture or forestry, those jobs are in high demand. More than 20,000 agriculture-related jobs go unfilled each year, according to a recent job report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For details on career opportunities in agriculture, go to AlfaYoungFarmers.org and click on “Ag Careers Booklet” on the right sidebar.

SSCC Offers Training for West Ala. Residents
Shelton State Community College (SSCC) Workforce Development will host a come and go information session for West Alabama residents interested in the automotive and manufacturing industry on Saturday, January 26, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the New Harvest Church of God in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The event is free, and all are invited to attend. For students concerned about minimal work experience and educational background, Shelton State can provide available options in Adult Education, Ready-to-Work basic skills training, and the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC). These industry-recognized credentials will provide the skills and education necessary to succeed in the automotive and manufacturing industry. For more information, call SSCC Training for Business and Industry at 205.391.2482.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama Making Available $250,000 to Schools Statewide with the Be Healthy School Grant Program
In our ongoing commitment to help prevent childhood obesity, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama is proud to continue its Be Healthy School Grant Program. For the 2019 -2020 school year, Blue Cross will make available $250,000 and award grants up to $10,000 to 25 schools across the state that enroll students in grades K through six. Since 2012, Blue Cross has awarded more than $1.5 million in 167 Be Healthy School Grants statewide impacting over 81,000 students. The grants are for the implementation of school-based health and wellness programs that emphasize increased exercise, nutrition education and parental involvement during the school year. Applications can be completed on our website at AlabamaBlue.com/schoolgrant. The deadline to submit an application is Fri., March 22. Each selected school will receive a grant of up to $10,000, and schools will be further recognized with a Blue Cross Be Healthy School banner. In April 2020, students who successfully complete their school’s program will be presented with Be Healthy awards by Blue Cross.

2019 Girl Scout Cookie Season
Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama today launched the 2019 Girl Scout Cookie season, celebrating the largest financial investment in girls annually in the United States and a powerful entrepreneurship incubator for the next generation of female leaders. Local Girl Scouts are reaching their goals and honing their entrepreneurial skills by participating in booth sales (starting Feb.y 8), door-to-door sales, and digital sales through the Digital Cookie® platform, an innovative and educational web-based addition to the cookie program that helps girls run their Girl Scout Cookie business online. Purchases of Girl Scout Cookies don’t only mean a delicious treat for customers. Earnings from the Girl Scout Cookie Program fuel the adventures, leadership opportunities, and passion projects of local Girl Scouts. All of the net revenue through the Girl Scout Cookie Program stays with the local council and troops, meaning that when consumers purchase the cookies that come from a registered Girl Scout only, they’re giving back to their wider community. Across Alabama, girls put their earnings toward impactful community projects right in their own backyards, from supporting animal shelters and food banks to working with local and state legislators to change laws. The skills girls learn in the cookie program also influence later success: data shows more than half (57 percent) of Girl Scout alumnae in business say the cookie program was beneficial to skills they possess today, such as money management, goal-setting, and public speaking. Through the Girl Scout Cookie Program®, girls not only discover their inner leadership potential but also use their earnings to power amazing experiences for themselves and their troop, including travel, outdoor adventure, and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programming. And Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama is celebrating a tasty way to support young female entrepreneurs with the return the Toffee-tastic® cookie to the 2019 lineup. Toffee-tastic, which joins classics like the Thin Mints®, Samoas®, and Trefoils® varieties, is a gluten-free option introduced in 2015 that features a rich, buttery cookie with sweet, crunchy, golden toffee bits. To find Girl Scouts selling cookies near you, call 800-734-4541, visitwww.girlscoutcookies.org,or use the official Girl Scout Cookie Finder app, free on iOS andAndroid devices.

UA Dance Professor Lands Neh Grant
With support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a UA dance professor will lead an effort to improve online access to dance resources for education and scholarship. Rebecca Salzer received a Digital Humanities Advancement grant. “I believe that our project can improve access to the digital dance resources we have and also pave the way for dance to more dynamically inhabit digital space,” Salzer said. For more information, contact Adam Jones at 205-348-4328 or adam.jones@ua.edu.

University of West Alabama to host 2019 Career Exploration Summer Camp
The University of West Alabama’s (UWA) Division of Economic Development and Outreach is currently accepting applications for the 2019 Career Exploration Summer Camp (CESC). All applications must be received or postmarked by Monday, Feb. 25.
There will be two sessions, June 16-21 (Camp One) and June 23-28 (Camp Two), for rising high school sophomore and junior students.
The residential program, held on the UWA campus, offers students the ability to explore career options and prepare for college through interactive and engaging hands-on activities, field trips and presentations. The CESC Program, sponsored by the Daniel Foundation, is open to students attending public and private secondary schools located in Choctaw, Greene, Hale, Marengo, Perry, Pickens and Sumter Counties.
“Camp selection is competitive and space is limited,” said Program Coordinator Sanquenetta Thompson. “Exposure to career opportunities is important in making long-term educational decisions. The CESC is an intense and structured learning opportunity for youth in Alabama’s Black Belt region.”
The curriculum offers students a thorough look into current and emerging career fields, highlights of the knowledge and skills needed for each career, essential information on projected employment— where the jobs are and will continue to grow, and steps that students can take now, while in high school, to prepare for the future. In addition, students will participate in standardized applicant test preparation courses, business etiquette, computer training, academic enhancement activities, field trips and hands-on projects.
Approximately 20 students from grades 10-11 will be accepted to participate in the 5-day summer program. Scholarships will include the following: All program costs/room fees; Workshops/Handouts; Room and Board; Facility Usage; Equipment/Supplies; Travel (Field Trips); Lab Fees; Speakers
The CESC is a competitive selection process program limited to 10 male and 10 female students per camp from eligible counties. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Parents are encouraged to participate in the application process. Guidance counselors may identify applicants to the CESC Program and assist them with completing the forms. To download an application package, www.centerforblackbelt.org.
Applications may also be obtained by contacting Sanquenetta Thompson at (205) 652-3408, sthompson@uwa.edu or call UWA’s Division of Economic Development and Outreach at (205) 652-3828. Completed applications can be returned via email or mail at UWA Station 45, Livingston, AL 35470.

UWA Scarlette Band
Below are the links to register for our Spring auditions! More information is available on our website. Band Scholarship Audition Registration:
https://form.jotform.com/90065276815157
Guard Audition Registration:
https://form.jotform.com/90076944573162
Majorette Audition Registration:
https://form.jotform.com/90076997603164

Registration Open For The Alabama Summit On Rural Technology 2.0!
Join us at the University of West Alabama in Livingston for the 2nd Annual Alabama Summit on Rural Technology, presented by AT&T and UWA. The event features an exceptional group of experts who will help us understand in a practical, applicable way to build an enhanced technology infrastructure in rural Alabama. Keynote presenters will include: Dr. Roberto Gallardo of Purdue University’s Center for Regional Development; Mr. Kenneth Boswell, Director of ADECA; Mr. Scott Woods & Dr. Don Williams, both from the National Telecommunications & Information Agency & Broadband USA of the U. S. Department of Commerce. You will walk away with information and tactics you can actually apply. Event registration is $25 and includes lunch and refreshments. For questions, contact the Division of Economic and Workforce Development at (205) 652-3828. To register visit https://alruraltech2019.eventbrite.com.

A recent proclamation from Gov. Ivey officially recognizes Jan. 20-26 as Alabama School Choice Week. In issuing the proclamation, Gov. Ivey joins other governors and hundreds of city and county leaders nationwide who have issued similar proclamations.
Parents, schools, and other organizers have arranged nearly 750 events and activities across the state of Alabama, such as rallies, roundtable discussions, coffeehouse meet-ups, festivals, and school fairs. These events aim to encourage conversations about the educational opportunities parents have, or want to have, for their children.
More than 40,000 events have been independently planned for the week nationwide, raising awareness about opportunity in education.
“We’re excited that Alabama families are so passionate about school choice, and we’re encouraged by Gov. Ivey’s support for that,” said Andrew Campanella, president of National School Choice Week. “We wish Alabama families all the best in their celebrations and hope that the planned events and activities will help parents find the educational opportunities that best meet their children’s needs.”
As a nonpartisan, nonpolitical public awareness effort, National School Choice Week shines a positive spotlight on effective education options for students, families, and communities around the country. From January 20 through 26, 2019, more than 40,000 independently-planned events will be held in celebration of the Week. For more information, visit www.schoolchoiceweek.com.