Meet Me In The Lobby: Sorority Mourns Death of Sandra Bland, NAACP Starts Vermont Branch,NABHOOD and Bermuda Tourism

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The Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. plans to keep the name of Sandra Bland, who was found dead in a Waller County, Texas jail cell, alive.  Sorors were asked to wear black and to change Facebook profile pictures to images of Bland.  In addition, a national prayer phone line was created as a vehicle for national mourning and solidarity.

According to Bonita M. Herring, the sorority’s 23rd International President, “We stand ready to seek clarity and answers regarding the tragic course of events that occurred.”

Founded at Butler University in Indiana, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. has been dedicated to service for more than 90 years.


It’s one of the whitest states within the United States and now Vermont has its first official branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).  Why now?

According to Mary Brown-Guillory, Champlain Area NAACP President, racial incidents on the local and national levels prompted the start of this New England branch.  At the branch’s recent meeting in Burlington, only a quarter of the 80 attendees were African American indicating its diverse support.  “I believe,” Brown-Guillory noted, “that the citizens of the Champlain area are saying ‘Enough is enough. Let me help.'”

The new Vermont branch plans to address discrimination based on race, age, and gender and hopes to meet with schools, churches and the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce to educate businesses and offer trainings.

The NAACP was founded in 1909.



Invest in Bermuda was the message conveyed to the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers (NABHOOD)at its annual African American Hotel Ownership & Investment Summit as well as its International Multicultural Heritage Tourism Summit.

Held recently in Miami Florida, both conferences featured panel discussions regarding hotel development and tourism investment opportunities within Bermuda.  Andy Burrows, Chief Investment Officer for the Bermuda Tourism Authority, stated, “There was significant progress in Bermuda to speak of at this year’s conference.”

Part of NABHOOD’s mission is to increase the number of African Americans and other minorities who are developing, managing, operating and owning hotels.



In a rare appointment, Samuel Brown was named the new pastor of his childhood church, Mount Pleasant A.M.E. Zion Church in Rockford, Tennessee.  Not only is this rare, but Brown is 27 and the youngest pastor in  his AME Zion Conference.  He attended Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina where he majored in political science with a minor in religious studies.

images-1Rep. Chaka Fattah, Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Board of Directors, was inducted into the Genetic Engineering Biotechnology News Congressional Hall of Fame list.  Rep. Fattah is one of 20 Congressional members to appear on the 2015 list.  This award recognizes member for their support of federal spending for research in biopharma or in all sciences.  For more details about the award, go to



Hazel Yates Gray, mother of the late Rep. William H. Gray III, died of heart failure in Coral Gables, Florida.  She was 99.  The educator and Delta Sigma Theta soror was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she attended Southern University.  She later earned a master’s degree in education from Temple University.  While living in Pennsylvania, Mrs. Gray taught home economics for 35 years at William Penn High School.

Dr. Silas Norman Jr.

Civil rights activist, doctor, and professor Silas Norman Jr. passed away.  The 74 year-old helped desegregate Augusta’s city buses in the 1960’s and his continued activism led to the desegregation of buses across Georgia.  Dr. Norman, a 1962 Paine College graduate, was also recruited by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to help with various civil rights initiatives throughout the South.  In 1976, Dr. Norman graduated from Wayne State University’s School of Medicine in Detroit.  He would be awarded the Wayne State School of Medicine’s Trailblazer Award in 2010.


Global Social Media News Service (GSMNews), is a Washington, DC-based company that provides “real time” social media news coverage of specific activities, conferences and news events, as well as curate, ongoing news and information on a variety of topics, from healthcare and sports to African American and Latino events.

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