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Tuesday , May 24th 2016

How to help prevent medical errors

Even with electronic medical records, errors in patient records can still occur. Patients need to be open and honest about their past medical history with their health care providers to ensure proper treatment and avoid possible treatment errors.

Even with electronic medical records, errors in patient records can still occur. Patients need to be open and honest about their past medical history with their health care providers to ensure proper treatment and avoid possible treatment errors.

We have recently seen evidence that medical errors are a major cause of deaths. I was shocked when it was reported that these errors could be the third leading cause of death in the United States. I am sure this data will be verified, but regardless, any deaths from medical errors are unacceptable.

My next thought was, what processes I can implement to make sure this is not happening to my patients? Making sure that I am getting a patient’s entire medical event is important. That may mean sharpening my interviewing skills. Helping people get over that awkwardness of giving the entire information. Having the time to perform this interview in this time of medicine is indeed a problem. So I must be efficient with my interviewing skills.

I need to know all of the medications a patient is taking. Still, many who take herbal medications fail to inform their medical providers they are taking them. This is vital information and must be taken into account when new medications are prescribed. I cannot look for an interaction if I do not know someone is taking a particular supplement. This is particularly important when one is facing a major illness. Your bodily reserves are not the same and an herb that was once tolerated may no longer be a friend.

I need to know if another physician has changed a medication. Even though we have electronic medical records I may not know this. I need my patients to tell me this so I can take it into consideration as I care for them.

I need to make sure I look at all of the medications my patients are taking and make sure they are still needed. Have circumstances changed such as a loss in weight which may warrant modifications in medications? Has the illness now resolved thus warranting a halt in the medication? Have I gathered all the information I need to make sound decisions. Have I ordered the proper tests? Have all their maintenance testing such as mammograms, colonoscopies, gynecological, dental and eye examinations been performed? Sometimes patients come in and want a CAT scan or an X-ray done. Certain tests may only yield certain information. That information may not be what is needed for the problem at hand.

As I consider a problem that a patient has, am I considering alternative means of handling the problem? Is a pill the best way to handle the problem? When medication is added I have to consider how it affects the rest of the medications a patient is taking. Can I get that patient to look at a change in diet as their medication for that problem? Can I get them to consider learning to handle stress better through psychotherapy or learning to meditate as alternatives to medication?

I will certainly continue to hone my practice methods to find ways to be more thorough and efficient. The practice of medicine is indeed a difficult field that I have chosen. I read constantly about physician burnout. So, I also know that we as health care providers must take care of ourselves so that we are rested and healthy and can make the correct decisions that are critical to the care of others.

Veita Bland is a board certified Greensboro physician and hypertension specialist. Email Dr. Bland at

HP Central girls sprint to 4-A finals

Tamara Clark (center), a High Point Central junior sprinter, swept the 100m and 200m dashes in 11.70 seconds and 23.99 seconds respectively. Clark was also a member of the Bison’s winning 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams. Photo by Joe Daniels/Carolina Peacemaker

Tamara Clark (center), a High Point Central junior sprinter, swept the 100m and 200m dashes in 11.70 seconds and 23.99 seconds respectively. Clark was also a member of the Bison’s winning 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams. Photo by Joe Daniels/Carolina Peacemaker

The High Point Central girls’ track & field team posted eight first place finishes in 19 events to win the NCHSAA 4-A Midwest Track & Field Regional Saturday at Tarpley Stadium on the campus of Dudley High School. The Lady Bison will head to the 4-A state finals this Saturday, May 21 on the campus of N.C. A&T State University at 10 a.m.

High Point Central opened the Midwest Regional with a win in the 4x800m relay, the first event of the day. The team was comprised of Monzerad Cleary, Jamarra Haywood, Cajazzlyn Hairston and Ticola Gidderon. They finished with a winning time of 9:23.94.

Jazmine Gooden, a Dudley senior, sweeps the 100m and 300m hurdles respectively with times of 14.29 seconds and 44.40 seconds. Gooden also won the long jump leaping 18-feet-4.75 inches. Photo by Joe Daniels/Carolina Peacemaker

Jazmine Gooden, a Dudley senior, sweeps the 100m and 300m hurdles respectively with times of 14.29 seconds and 44.40 seconds. Gooden also won the long jump leaping 18-feet-4.75 inches. Photo by Joe Daniels/Carolina Peacemaker

Tamara Clark, a junior sprinter, had an outstanding afternoon. Clark won the 100m and 200m dashes in 11.70 and 23.99 seconds respectively. She also anchored the Bison’s winning 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams. Teammate Kayla Nesbitt-McEwen, also a junior, captured the high jump clearing a height of 5-feet-08 inches and she won the triple jump with a leap of 38-feet-04 inches. McEwen was also a member of the Bison’s winning 4x100m relay which posted a time of 47.25 seconds.

Monzerad Creary, a sophomore distance runner, won the 800m run with a time of 2:15.74. Junior Qjanda Rowe finished third in the 300m hurdles with a time of 45.13 seconds.

The Ragsdale Tigers amassed 108 points to finish in second place. The Tigers were lead by Senior Chesney Ward winner of the pole vault (12-feet-06 inches). Ward finished second in the 100m dash with a time of 11.79 seconds and fourth in the 400m run with a time of 56.96 seconds. She was the leadoff leg in the Tigers’ 4x200m relay comprised of Corbin McLean, Kenedi Curtis and Lauren Williams which finished with a time of 1:38.87. Senior distance runner Sara Platek captured the 3,200m run with a time of 10.57 and finished second in the 1,600m run with a time of 4:59.59. Kaltlin McGoogan, a freshman discus thrower finished second with a throw of 109-feet-09 inches. Sophomore hurdler Corbin McLean also qualified for next week’s state meet in the 100m hurdles after finishing with a time of 14.60 seconds.

Dudley High School finished fifth in the overall standings with 54 points. The Panthers were led by senior Jazmine Gooden. Gooden captured the 100m in 14.29 seconds and 300m hurdles in 44.40 seconds. She also finished first in the long jump leaping 18-feet-4.75 inches and she was part of Dudley’s 4x200m relay team which finished second.

Grimsley High School placed eighth overall with 36 points paced by senior Sara Ramsey’s 1,600m run of 4:55.93. Ramsey had a second place photo-finish in the 800m run with a time of 2:15.83. Other local teams scoring were SE Guilford 35, SW Guilford 31, while Page and NW Guilford tied with three-points.

In the boys’ 4-A Regional, Durham Hillside finished with 89 points followed by West Forsyth and Mount Tabor with 56 and 55 points respectively. Area local teams: #5 HP Central 40, #6 NW Guilford 38, #7 Dudley and Ragsdale tied with 37.5 points; #9 SW Guilford 37, #13 Grimsley 20, #16 Page 17, #23 Smith 5 and #24 S.E Guilford 3 points. Local winners included HP Central junior Raymond Dow in the 300m hurdles with a time of 38.43 seconds. Dow also finished second in the 110m high hurdles. Northwest Guilford sprinter Daniel Estrada won the 100m dash in 10.72 seconds and claimed second in the 200m dash with a time of 21.79 seconds. Ragsdale’s Joseph Popek captured the pole vault with a height of 14-feet-06 inches while Southwest Guilford’s Nolan Patrick out-distanced the pack in the 800m with a time of 1:53.

The N.C. Track & Field Championships for all four classes will be held at Aggie Stadium on Friday, May 20 (1A & 3A), Saturday, May 21 (2A & 4A).

Quakers and Muslims discuss Islamophobia

Ghaisha Yahaya-Mohamed, Deonna Kelli Sayed, and Max Carter were some of the participants in Sunday’s community discussion on Muslims in America.  Photo by Charles Edgerton/Carolina Peacemaker

Ghaisha Yahaya-Mohamed, Deonna Kelli Sayed, and Max Carter were some of the participants in Sunday’s community discussion on Muslims in America. Photo by Charles Edgerton/Carolina Peacemaker

The Greensboro community engaged in a group discussion on Muslim experiences in North Carolina on Sunday, May 15 at The New Garden Friends Meeting House.

Quakers from Friends Meeting, New Garden Friends Meeting, and First Friends joined families from Greensboro Mosques in identifying avenues toward making North Carolina a more peaceful state, as well as ways to counter a public narrative that promotes fear, hate and discrimination.

The group discussed the history of Muslims in North Carolina, recognizing their diversity, and their past experiences and current issues. The Islamic Center of Greensboro estimates there are more than 500 practicing Muslims in Guilford County.

“For all those who aren’t familiar with Greensboro’s Muslim community, I hope some of those harmful stereotypes and myths are dispelled. I hope this meeting reenergizes people to carry on the work of compassion, justice and peace throughout our community,” said Max Carter with New Garden Friends Meeting.

With scrutiny of Muslims and immigrants at an all-time high in the United States, these groups also discussed media politics and the impact on Muslims in North Carolina.

According to a 2015 Gallup Political Poll, a national polling Web site, Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump had an 11 percent increase in voter ratings after he made a public comment about banning Muslims from entering the United States.

“Islamophobia is a billion-dollar industry,” said Wasif Qureshi, former president of the Greensboro Islamic Center and organizer of the 2015 International Day of Peace Festival; adding that corporations and politicians thrive on the fear of Muslims. “There are more orphans in Afghanistan than from World War I and World War II combined,” said Qureshi.

Participants shared the experiences of their families and children in neighborhoods and schools.

Ghaisha Yahaya-Mohamed, an immigrant and refugee community advocate, relocated to North Carolina 14 years ago from the West African country, Niger. She considers Greensboro her home.

“I am so proud of who I am,” said Mohamed. “There will be people who fear you and may try to hurt you with words, but I will continue to not be ashamed of who I am and teach my children to be proud to be Muslim.”

Deonna Kelli Sayed, a Yes! Weekly news writer and practicing Muslim, noted that younger generations of Muslims are more open to speaking about their culture.

“They’ve stopped apologizing for who they are. I believe it is galvanizing people to have conversations about identity in their own homes,” said Sayed. “This political movement is forcing us to clarify our voice.”

Moving forward, the groups hope to expand their meetings to include other faiths and organizations, find ways to collaborate on the International Day of Peace and create initiatives to engage youth across faiths.

“I hope the work done here today doesn’t just end with this discussion. We have to continue to work together,” said Qureshi. “I think it’s in our best interest to form an organization that goes past discovery, and develops into projects and initiatives that can unite us as a people.”

Rice to HPU Graduates: Education is transformative

High Point University’s first doctoral graduates in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.). Photo courtesy High Point University

High Point University’s first doctoral graduates in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.). Photo courtesy High Point University

HIGH POINT – “Education is transformative. It literally changes lives,” said Dr. Condoleezza Rice, the 66th Secretary of State of the United States, at the May 7 Commencement Ceremony for the class of 2016 at High Point University (HPU). “That is why people, for centuries, have worked so hard to become educated. Education, more than any other force, can help to erase arbitrary divisions of race and class. Arbitrary divisions of culture, and to unlock everyone’s God given potential.”

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Rice was the first African American woman to hold the position of National Security Adviser to President George W. Bush and went on to become the Secretary of State from 2005 until 2009.

Dr. Condoleeza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State during the presidency  of George W. Bush, delivered this year's commencement address at High Point University. Photo courtesy High Point University

Dr. Condoleeza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State during the presidency of George W. Bush, delivered this year’s commencement address at High Point University. Photo courtesy High Point University

“I think my father thought I might be President of the United States. I think he would’ve been satisfied with Secretary of State,” said Rice. “I’m a foreign policy person and to have a chance to serve my country as the nation’s chief diplomat at a time of peril and consequence, that was enough.”
Rice, named one of the most prominent graduation speakers of 2016 by USA Today, has made strides in education, earning a Bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Denver, her Masters from the University of Notre Dame and her Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Rice went on to become a political science professor at Stanford University. In 1993, she became the first African American provost of the university.

The commencement speech heard from Rice on HPU’s Robert Hall Lawn by 10,000 guests and nearly 1,000 graduates, will join a long list of those given by other renowned speakers such as General Colin Powell, the first African American to serve as U.S. Secretary of State and the only African American to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan; Buzz Aldrin, one of two astronauts to land on the moon and the second person to walk on it; and Muhtar Kent, CEO of the Coca-Cola Company. This year’s commencement also marks the historic beginning of a new legacy for High Point University, presenting the first cohort to graduate with doctoral degrees in Educational Leadership.

HPU began this program in 2012. At the time of its inception, 81 students enrolled into the program and during commencement last Saturday the first group of 14 students, two from Alabama and 12 from various places in North Carolina, were conferred doctoral degrees.

According to HPU’s curriculum guide, the program is a “… practitioner-based, professional experience that focuses on the practices transformational leaders need to create educational systems that are grounded in research, are culturally responsive, strategic and which ultimately improve student learning.”

“I think this is monumental to be a part of the first doctoral program at High Point University,” said LaJuanna Norfleet. “The experience has been rigorous and at the same time fulfilling. The professors were very astute in their instruction and knowledge-base. Specifically, Dr. Barbara Mallory (Associate Professor, Educational Leadership) and Dr. Donald Martin (Professor of Education) with their expertise and leadership, and having a global framework in how they were preparing us to be scholarly leaders was amazing. I couldn’t ask for a better experience.”

In addition to the Educational Leadership program, HPU also has doctoral programs in Physical Therapy and Pharmacy.

Note-worthy commencement speakers and doctoral programs are just small pieces of HPU President Nido Qubein’s grand design for the university. Since beginning his tenure as HPU’s president 11 years ago, the university has added 59 study abroad programs to the original five which began in 2005, increased its operating and capital budget by 663 percent, and tripled its number of full-time faculty members.

While statistics such as these have helped to repeatedly rank HPU as No.1 on the America’s Best Colleges list, the No.1 Best Regional College in the South three years running and the No.1 Most Innovative Regional College in the South for 2016 by U.S. News & World Report, it is President Qubein’s personal account of coming to the United States without his parents, barely understanding English, and with only $50 dollars in his pocket, that has inspired many students to strive for success.

“From the point I came on campus, I looked at the president as a source of inspiration. He started from nothing and was able to get to where he is,” said Reza Moghtaderi Esfahani, a 2016 graduate in computer science.

Esfahani came to the United States from Iran at the age of 17. His parents still remain there. He said he is not allowed to return to his homeland and he was unable to obtain visas for his parents to attend his graduation. Five years have passed since they have seen each other, however, similar to Qubein, Esfahani has not let his backstory deter him from becoming another success story.

One week after graduation, Esfahani and his team will be flying to New Orleans to work on a project that involves programming super computers and applying them to the study of the brain’s neural system. Their company, Cirtual, has several projects in the works but a key opportunity arose when Britton Sanderford, chief technology officer of Sensus (a technology company), spoke on entrepreneurship during a campus seminar. Sanderford is providing Esfahani’s team one of its first consulting opportunities and work space in New Orleans.

Several students crossing the stage donned multiple chords of distinction with their graduation regalia. Rolanda Kelly, a native of Clinton, Maryland was conferred Bachelor of Science degrees in both Exercise Science and Biology. She wore seeveral honor society chords representing organizations such as the Who’s Who Honor Society, the Hoster Club, Health Occupation Students of America Club, Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society, Biology Club and the Black Culture Awareness Club. Kelly described her college graduation experience as “surreal and bittersweet.”
At the conclusion of the commencement ceremony, an American Bald Eagle was released and flew over the graduates as a symbolic reminder that HPU has given the class of 2016 wings to soar and be successful without restriction.

To learn more about doctoral programs at HPU, contact Graduate Admissions located in Norcross Hall at One University Parkway, High Point, N.C. 27268 or call (336) 841-9198.

Naari Honor is a junior majoring in Psychology and English with a minor in African American Studies at Guilford College. Her hometown is Lewiston, N.Y.

Aggies kick it up at MEAC Championships A&T Sports

The Lady Aggies’ 4x100m relay team just missed breaking the old MEAC mark of 44.93 seconds with a time of 44.96 seconds. Pictured (L-R): India Brown (Soph), Morgan Knight (Soph), Yakiva Lover (Fr) and Kayle White (Fr). Photo courtesy Kevin Dorsey

The Lady Aggies’ 4x100m relay team just missed breaking the old MEAC mark of 44.93 seconds with a time of 44.96 seconds. Pictured (L-R): India Brown (Soph), Morgan Knight (Soph), Yakiva Lover (Fr) and Kayle White (Fr). Photo courtesy Kevin Dorsey

On the final day of the 2016 MEAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships, the North Carolina A&T State University men’s and women’s teams broke two MEAC records with a home track advantage, lowered two A&T records and set several personal records on the Irwin Belk Track.

It was an incredible weekend for both Aggie teams even though team titles went elsewhere. Bethune-Cookman had to score a whopping 151 points to outlast the Aggie men who posted 134 points. Meanwhile, the women went into the conference championships with only 13 athletes and yet scored 104 points to finish fourth behind champion Florida A&M (164 points), Hampton (139) and Bethune-Cookman (106).

“I think the day went excellent. We finished second but by no means is this team a second-place team,” said director of track and field programs Duane Ross after the Aggies finished second for a third straight year. “We had so many great performances. We set so many MEAC records and school records on this track today. I can’t say enough about how proud I am of these guys.”
The common denominator in all the record-breaking triumphs was A&T’s Christopher Belcher, a recent transfer student from Sayville, N.Y. Belcher put to rest a 35-year-old MEAC record with his 10.07 second sprint in the men’s 100 meters to claim the title. The previous record, set in 1981 by FAMU’s William Haynes, was 10.23 seconds. The 10.07 also set a new A&T record, which was held at 10.11 by junior Maurice Eaddy. An Aggie male has won the 100m in six of the last 10 years including the last three (Desmond Lawrence-2014, Caleb Gabriel-2015 and Belcher-2016).
In the 200m, Belcher erased a six-year-old school record held by Calesio Newman. The transfer marked a 20.39 to overthrow title-holder Newman’s 20.59 time.

Belcher was adamant that his teammates pushed him to his limits at practice and were very deserving of thanks. “We have the best starter in the East in Maurice,” Belcher said. “Then Rodney [Rowe], he has that catcher speed, so he’s always right there (pointing to his side). So I had to go forward and hold my own.”

Together Belcher, Eaddy, and Rowe worked with freshman Michael Dickson to also set the MEAC 4x100m record. The quartet broke the 39.81 record from 2004 with their 39.58 run that earned them all first-team honors. “We were all loose, we were all feeling good. We went in there like we’re running this 39; we’re breaking it today,” Belcher said. “We’re blessed that we did that and we’re really happy.”

Several other Aggies also showed that they were top-performers in the MEAC. The women’s 4x100m team came very close to breaking the MEAC record, which sits at 44.93 seconds, with their 44.96 run. Freshmen Yakira Love, Kayla White and sophomores Morgan Knight and India Brown all earned first-team all-conference in the event and scored 10 points for the ladies.

This same group of ladies also scored numerous points individually. Brown continued her brilliant sophomore campaign. After winning the 60m and the 200m during the conference indoor championships, she took individual gold in the 100m and the 200m with marks of 11.50 and 23.75 seconds respectively to bring in 20 individual points.

Knight championed the women’s pole vault as she propelled 11-feet, 5 ¼-inches for 10 points, and she earned second-team all-conference in the 100m hurdles with a 13.69 second sprint which earned eight points. White won the 100m hurdles for her third MEAC track individual title of the season as she finished in 13.52 seconds. She also garnered eight points and second-team honors in the 200m with a time of 24.2.

Pushing themselves to the max, there were even more Aggies who set personal records on the day. In the men’s 400m, sophomore Dajuan Harding gained third-team honors with a 46.14 second run that beat out his previous 46.99 personal record (PR) and freshman Justin Hamilton placed fourth in the event with his new PR of 46.66, down from 47.08.

Rowe set two PRs on the day, lowering his 100m to 10.39 and taking third-team honors, while also reducing his 200m PR to 20.93 for second-team honors. Sophomore Steven Stowe had a PR of 4:03.83 in the 1500m, which landed him sixth and Love had a PR 11.84 in the women’s 100m that took fourth. As the only middle distance runner, sophomore Imani Coleman ran a PR of 2:13.91 in the women’s 800m and gained five points. She finished in fourth place. Freshman Anisa Toppin found a triple jump PR of 39-feet, 10 ½-inches that obliterated her previous best of 38-feet, 1 ½-inches.

“At the end of the day, Bethune-Cookman did a good job of placing their guys in the right events. We ran out of bodies and ran out of events. We were a little bit injury plagued,” said Ross. “Not taking anything away from Bethune, they ran a great competition, they placed guys in the right order, but my guys stole the show.”


All-MEAC First Team
Frank Quarles, long jump; Maurice Eaddy, 4×100; Christopher Belcher, 100, 200, 4×100;
Michael Dickson, 4×100; Rodney Rowe, 4×100; Justin Hamilton, 4×400; Dorian Claggett, 4×400; Corey Aiken, 4×400;
Dajuan Harding, 4×400

All-MEAC Second Team
Perry Cabean, 10,000; Nehemiah Lipford, high jump;
Maurice Eaddy, 100;
Rodney Rowe, 200

All-MEAC Third Team
Dajuan Harding, 400; Rodney Rowe, 100


All-MEAC First Team
Morgan Knight, 4×100, pole vault;
Yakira Love, 4×100;
Kayla White, 100m hurdles, 4×100;
India Brown, 100m, 200m, 4×100

All-MEAC Second Team
Morgan Knight, 100m hurdles;
Kayla White, 200m

All-MEAC Third Team
Demetria Dickens,
hammer throw

Sampson helps Eagles soar with $200,000 gift to NCCU

Greensboro resident and NCCU alumna Dr. Myrtle Sampson cuts ribbon with the university’s Chancellor Deborah Sanders-White during the dedication of the Dr. Myrtle Boykin Sampson Teaching Hall on the N.C. Central University campus. Photo courtesy NCCU

Greensboro resident and NCCU alumna Dr. Myrtle Sampson cuts ribbon with the university’s Chancellor Deborah Sanders-White during the dedication of the Dr. Myrtle Boykin Sampson Teaching Hall on the N.C. Central University campus. Photo courtesy NCCU

One of the driving desires of Dr. Myrtle Boykin Sampson’s life has been to provide for students the financial support she would have loved to have had when she finished high school at the top of her class.

Last week, more than 100 of her relatives, friends, colleagues, former students and other loved ones gathered to celebrate the culmination of her lifelong commitment to that goal: a $200,000 gift to endow scholarships at her beloved alma mater, North Carolina Central University in Durham N.C.

The best news was that the lady herself was able to attend the April 26 dedication of a teaching hall named for her in the campus’ Mary Townes Building, despite fears that she would be too ill to do so.

“I was dehydrated the day before and I was afraid I couldn’t make it,” she said in a telephone interview from her home, still sounding jubilant three days later. “They were going to put it on YouTube for me.”

She rallied, however, and the planned Skype link turned out not to be needed.

Dr. Myrtle Boykin Sampson, NCCU Class of 1951. Photo courtesy NCCU

Dr. Myrtle Boykin Sampson, NCCU Class of 1951. Photo courtesy NCCU

“She arrived looking all spiffy – really, really looking good – and she spoke so well,” said Robert Chiles, a fellow NCCU alum who has shared her commitment since his own graduation in 1956. “I am so pleased that this could happen for her and she could be there to see and hear.”

A founding member of both the Greensboro chapter of the alumni association and the Shepard Society of leadership givers, Dr. Sampson overcame numerous odds to achieve the success that made this gift – along with countless others including a previous one of $22,000 – possible.

Her book, “Crazy Lady: Achievement Against The Odds,” recounts her triumph over challenges ranging from early financial hardship to later mental illness to earn two doctorate degrees, become a Teacher of the Year at North Carolina A&T State University, and create a pioneering psychotherapy practice.

Through it all, Dr. Sampson never forgot where she came from or what it took to succeed. She often tells of how she and her twin sister Bertha Boykin Todd were not able to go to college until two years after they graduated at the top of their high school class near Parkersburg, N.C.: “We had to work.”

Dr. Sampson intends for her gift to make the difference in the financial condition of future students.

“I hope and pray it will,” she said.

Among those attending last week’s dedication were Dr. Sampson’s husband, retired Greensboro pharmacist Dr. Robert Sampson, and longtime friends including Dr. Carolyn Schroeder, Dr. Nellouise Watkins and Dr. Harriet Davis, NCCU’s vice chancellor for advancement.

Also in attendance was her twin, along with daughter Rita Todd. Unable to attend was Dr. Sampson’s handsome nephew, Brian Todd, a Delta Airlines pilot who can be seen at the end of the safety video currently airing on Delta flights. He visited her at Camden Place last month and created quite a stir among the staff.

“After he left for the day they all came into my room asking a whole lot of questions,” she said. “I was so tickled I didn’t know what to do.”
Despite the condition of her physical health, she is feeling very good emotionally.

“This is one of the happiest times I’ve had during my life,” she said. “Realistically, I’ve achieved everything in my life that I wanted to achieve, and I feel at peace.”
It showed last week.

“She was of course sitting there calm and looking all pretty,” Chiles recounted. “She always has been a little soft-spoken giant, I call her.”

She felt so strong she stayed through the entire event and through a reception held afterward at the home of NCCU Chancellor Debra Saunders-White. Chiles was surprised to see her there: “I said, I thought you had gone home. She said ‘No, man — I’m trying to keep up with you!”

Chiles first met Sampson in Charlotte when he joined the NCCU Alumni Association there in the late 50s.

“I met her and became so enthralled and enthusiastic about her philosophy in terms of giving back that it has become a part of my life,” he says.

The two found themselves together again in Greensboro after he moved to town to run the Greensboro National Bank founded by former N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Henry Frye and several other A&T Aggies.

In addition to numerous other efforts, the NCCU Alumni Chapter of Greenboro has promoted an annual jazz concert for some 20 years, supporting the university’s internationally renowned jazz program. Sampson has embodied NCCU’s motto, Truth and Service.

“She has given generously to our chapter and supported and promoted all of the projects that we have been a part of, mostly for making scholarships to our students,” Chiles said. “She is really, really a credit to our university.”

“I gave her a tribute at the end (of the dedication), indicating what an inspiration she has been to me and many many others. … She certainly was a good steward of all of the gifts that came to her, and she willingly shared with everyone who came across her path.”

Joya Wesley is a former editor of the Carolina Peacemaker. She now travels the globe as the manager for world renowned trombonist/myscial group Fred Wesley & the New JBs.

The evolution of Gov. McCrory into right-wing culture warrior

One of the many repercussions of HB2, the sweeping anti-LGBT bill signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory in March, is that it has forced McCrory to finally take a side in the debate about North Carolina’s future.

Would he try to cling to his carefully crafted and misleading image as the moderate former mayor of the state’s largest city? Or would he fully embrace the far-right agenda of the legislative leaders of his own party, who are remaking the state not only by slashing funding for schools and human services to pay for tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, but also fighting the religious culture wars against women’s access to reproductive health care and gay rights?

McCrory hasn’t done much in the last four years to stand up to the draconian agenda passed by the General Assembly, signing legislation restricting access to abortion after promising during his campaign that he wouldn’t and signing budgets that have cut taxes by billions of dollars after initially demanding that any tax reform be revenue neutral so schools and state services could be adequately funded.

McCrory signed a sweeping voter suppression bill too, though in interviews shortly after didn’t seem to fully grasp what he had done. But through it all, despite compelling evidence to the contrary, he kept claiming to be a centrist of sorts, often reminding the media that he was “stepping on the toes of the right and the left.”

Then came HB2, this is a bill that’s about a lot more than bathrooms and draws a clear and unmistakable line. It voids a Charlotte ordinance passed by the duly elected city council that protects LGBT people from discrimination in employment and public accommodations and it bans any other city from protecting them either.

It removes the rights of workers illegally fired because of their race or religion or natural origin from suing in state court. Mississippi is the only other state that does this. And it forbids cities from passing living wage ordinances.

HB2 also establishes a new statewide nondiscrimination standard that does not include sexual orientation or gender identity and unlike most other states, includes the phrase “biological sex” instead of “sex” to make sure it is clear that the law does not protect LGBT people from discrimination.

Gov. McCrory signed the sweeping bill hours after the General Assembly passed it in a rushed one-day special session and at first seemed surprised by the outrage that erupted, corporations canceling planned expansions in the state and performers like Bruce Springsteen canceling North Carolina shows to protest the new law.
McCrory began to awkwardly duck the media and his staff and his supporters began attacking the same corporate leaders who weeks before they were praising for being the kind of companies he wanted in the state.

As the economic damage to North Carolina continued to mount and internal polls showed their support of HB2 were hurting Republican prospects in the November elections, talk of compromise began behind the scenes at the General Assembly, with legislative leaders trying to cut their losses and come up with a face-saving way to repeal the law.
McCrory reportedly wasn’t involved much in the discussions and it showed, as his increasingly strident rhetoric made talks to change it more difficult, most notably an unsteady performance before the N.C Chamber.

Then came the letter from the U.S. Department of Justice, giving the state five days to respond to charges that HB2, violated the Civil Rights Act and put billions of dollars in federal funding at risk.

The letter in many ways crystallized McCrory’s choices, work with the federal government to seek a delay in any sanctions and join the talks to change or repeal HB2 to rebuild North Carolina’s image, or join the battle fully as a culture warrior, standing in the way of what U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch aptly described as state-sponsored discrimination.
McCrory chose the latter, filing a ridiculous lawsuit and appearing on several national talk shows to defend it, including several on Fox News where he repeatedly made false statements about the law and the people who oppose it.

It’s not just the radical left or the Hollywood elites as McCrory alleges. It is prominent business leaders in Charlotte that McCrory knows well, even some people that helped him in his campaign who understand that discrimination is bad for business.

McCrory even went on the Mark Levin radio program. Levin is a fiery homophobic extremist who has compared marriage equality to polygamy and incest and said President Obama is the gravest threat to Jews since the 1930s.

That is the sort of company McCrory is keeping. He is all in, the face of the forces fighting mightily to keep discrimination in place in the state he leads.

So much for the façade of the moderate mayor. He’s a far-right culture warrior now.

Chris Fitzsimon is founder and executive director of N.C. Policy Watch. He can be reached at

New Community Health Center opens in Cottage Grove Neighborhood

Dr. George Allison and Associate Minister Marvin Richmond Jr. Photo by Charles Edgerton/Carolina Peacemaker

Dr. George Allison and Associate Minister Marvin Richmond Jr. Photo by Charles Edgerton/Carolina Peacemaker

On Saturday, April 30, residents of the East Greensboro community, Cottage Grove, welcomed the addition of The Mustard Community Health Clinic to the neighborhood with a grand opening celebration. The community clinic operates on the premise that community input is an integral part of its success.

Dr. Elizabeth Mulberry, an internist who has been in practice for more than 20 years, is the primary physician at the health clinic. Dr. Mulberry graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University and the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. She completed a combined residency program of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Ill.

“One of the most important things is that this (MSCHC) is community driven,” said Dr. Mulberry, medical director and primary physician at Mustard Seed. “We want to build trust. They [the community] have had so many promises made to them. We are not dropping in and saying that we have it all figured out.”

The Mustard Seed Community Health Clinic is located at 238 S. English Street. Currently the clinic is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Wednesday, the hours are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. As the volunteer staff grows, so will the clinic’s hours.

MSCHC will offer a variety of services including immunizations, screenings and referrals for mental health services, physicals, continuity care for chronic diseases, basic urgent medical care, and the clinic plans to add dental services in the next three years.

The Mustard Seed Community Clinic operates out of the former home of Rev. George Allison, pastor of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. New Hope, with the help of several organizations and community members, will play a significant role in the success of the clinic.

The health center operates on the premise that health is all encompassing and includes patient education components focused on physical and mental health, nutrition and healthy living. The center also fosters healthy environmental health conditions and positive neighborly interactions among community residents.

At New Hope Baptist, which sits side-by-side to the Mustard Seed, community members are able to take GED or ESOL classes at the church with certified instructors from Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) without having to worry about transportation issues. Those who are interested in the program can register through New Hope in the multi-purpose center or at any GTCC campus. Classes are held at 304 English Street on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The clinic grounds serve as a home to four bountiful gardens. Produce cultivated at the garden will be incorporated in Dr. Mulberry’s treatment regimen.

“The doctor ascertains the nutritional deficiency of the clients who come here and supplements their nutritional needs with food from the garden,” said Marvin Richmond, New Hope’s associate pastor. “We also work with North Carolina A&T’s [State University] nutrition and agriculture departments. The students come over at no cost and help with the gardens.”

In addition, there are also 16 garden beds located on Gillespie Street. Richmond explained that there are plans to continue adding more gardens as land becomes available. The gardens are cared for by community gardeners such as neighborhood resident Reggie Lee. During the grand opening of the Mustard Seed Community Health Clinic, Lee distributed tomato plants to several community residents and provided instruction on how to plant them at the community garden or at home.

Another key component of the health clinic is the Cottage Grove Neighborhood Association led by its president, Verna Torain, who serves as a community advocate on behalf her fellow residents.

While support for the community and the clinic comes from many different avenues, one thing is understood by all, this is a community venture. Beth McKee-Huger, a volunteer and former executive director of the Greensboro Housing Coalition, said, “It’s really exciting to me when a neighborhood takes ownership for determining its own future.”

It is apparent that many Greensboro residents are rooting for the success of the health clinic.

“Since the city lost HealthServe, this is the beginning instead of a replacement for that and it’s perfect for it to be located in a neighborhood that it is going to serve,” said Greensboro City Council member Nancy Hoffman (District 4). “I think that is what is ideal about it.”

The clinic accepts major insurances, Medicaid and Medicare. It also accepts Guilford County Care Network (GCCN) Orange Cards. For patients who qualify but do not have an Orange Card, the clinic may base one’s fees on an Orange Card sliding fee scale.
“Mustard Seed is compassionate preventative faith-based healthcare,” said Cyndy Holloway, a member of the clinic’s board. She added that this pilot program is bound to succeed and could one day be replicated in other neighborhoods.
The clinic is now fully staffed but always looking for enthusiastic volunteers. For area residents interested in having a positive impact at the Mustard Seed Health Clinic, answer their call to action.

The Mustard Seed Health Community Health Clinic is located at S. English St., Greensboro, N.C. 27401. For more information about volunteer opportunities or to make an appointment, please call (336) 763-0814.

Naari Honor is a junior majoring in Psychology and English with a minor in African American Studies at Guilford College. Her hometown is Lewiston, N.Y.

Washington D.C.’s version of “Saturday Night Live”

Last Saturday, President Obama attended his eighth and final White House Correspondents’ Dinner as president. Below are my favorite Obama zingers from the night:

I do apologize – I know I was a little late tonight. I was running on C.P.T. – (laughter) – which stands for “jokes that White people should not make.” (Laughter and applause.)
My eighth and final appearance at this unique event. (Laughter.) And I am excited. If this material works well, I’m going to use it at Goldman Sachs next year. (Laughter and applause.) Earn me some serious Tubmans.

Next year at this time, someone else will be standing here in this very spot, and it’s anyone’s guess who she will be.

But the prospect of leaving the White House is a mixed bag. You might have heard that someone jumped the White House fence last week, but I have to give Secret Service credit – they found Michelle, brought her back, she’s safe back at home now.

I love Joe Biden, I really do. And I want to thank him for his friendship, for his counsel, for always giving it to me straight, for not shooting anybody in the face. (Laughter.)

We’ve got the bright new face of the Democratic Party here tonight – Mr. Bernie Sanders! (Applause.) There he is – Bernie! (Applause.) Bernie, you look like a million bucks. (Laughter.) Or to put it in terms you’ll understand, you look like 37,000 donations of 27 dollars each.

And then there’s Ted Cruz. Ted had a tough week. He went to Indiana – Hoosier country – stood on a basketball court, and called the hoop a “basketball ring.” (Laughter and applause.) What else is in his lexicon? Baseball sticks? Football hats? (Laughter.) But sure, I’m the foreign one. (Laughter and applause.)

The Republican establishment is incredulous that he is their most likely nominee – incredulous, shocking. They say Donald lacks the foreign policy experience to be president. But, in fairness, he has spent years meeting with leaders from around the world: Miss Sweden, Miss Argentina, Miss Azerbaijan. (Laughter and applause.)

Comedian Larry Wilmore gave a mixed performance at the White House Correspondent Dinner and was justifiably criticized for closing his stand-up routine with, “So, Mr. President, if I’m going to keep it 100: Yo, Barry, you did it, my n—ger. You did it.”

The n-word is one of the most obnoxious words in the English language and should never be used – period. And it definitely should not be used when addressing the nation’s first Black president in public or in private.

Many of Wilmore’s jokes simply were not funny. But he did manage to land quite a few on target:

Well, welcome to “Negro Night” here at the Washington Hilton, or as Fox News will report, “Two thugs disrupt elegant dinner in D.C.”
And not to throw any shade, but Fox News is the highest-rated cable news channel among viewers who have no idea what “shade” means.
I think Fox News secretly likes Beyoncé, though. They just renamed “The Kelly File,” “Becky with the good hair.”

MSNBC – MSNBC here tonight? No? Which actually now stands for “Missing a Significant Number of Black Correspondents.” Am I wrong? They like fired Melissa Harris-Perry, they canceled Joy Reid, they booted Touré. I heard they put Chris Hayes on probation because they thought he was related to Isaac Hayes. That’s wrong.
You know, I should say some of America’s finest Black journalists are here tonight. Don Lemon’s here, too.

But to say a little bit about me, so, I am a Black man who replaced a White man who pretended to be a TV newscaster. So, yeah, in that way Lester Holt and I have a lot in common.
President’s hair is so white it keeps saying “all lives matter.”

All I’m saying is that in less than eight years, Mr. President, you’ve busted two time-honored stereotypes. Black does crack, and apparently once you go Black, it looks like we are going back. Thanks, Ben Carson.

Lots of big news this year, the Treasury promised to put Harriet Tubman’s face on the $10 bill, but now we have to wait until 2030 for the $20 bill. Yeah. Man, women haven’t been this deceived by a bill since Cosby [groans].

Donald Trump said that if Hillary Clinton were a man, he didn’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote. Okay, all right, all right. First of all, if Hillary Clinton were suddenly a man, her biggest problem would be finding a bathroom she’d be allowed to use in North Carolina.

And I can’t understand why everyone treats Donald Trump with kid gloves. And then I realized they’re the only gloves that’ll fit his stupid, little baby hands.

And this is your last year in office, right, so now your legacy begins. So I wanna talk about what you’re leaving behind, and I don’t mean the Black Jesus in the Lincoln bedroom…No, I’m just saying, make sure you take all of your culturally specific items with you so you can get your security deposit back, Mr. President.

George E. Curry is President and CEO of George Curry Media, LLC. He can be reached through his Web site,

Scales brothers settle, while camera footage debate rages

The Scales Brothers: Rufus and Devin Scales. Photo by Charles Edgerton/Carolina Peacemaker

The Scales Brothers: Rufus and Devin Scales. Photo by Charles Edgerton/Carolina Peacemaker

On Tuesday, May 3, community members marched with the family of 47-year-old Chieu-di Thi Vo, who was fatally shot by a Greensboro Police officer in March 2014. After two years, the family was finally granted permission to see the police footage of the shooting, alongside members of the Greensboro City Council.

For many in Greensboro, the issue boils down to allowing the public access to video footage captured by police body-worn cameras. Tin Nguyen, attorney for the Vo family, said that viewing the video left the family with more questions and they believe the video should be released to the public.

“The video should be released to keep police accountable,” said Nguyen.

Mayor Nancy Vaughan disagreed, saying that the Vo video should not be released until a policy is in place for how to handle a footage release because the citizens’ privacy should be taken into consideration. Council is currently vetting a footage policy drafted by Mayor Vaughan and District 3 Council member Justin Outling.

“There has to be some consideration for the privacy of civilians in the tapes if they do not wish to have them released,” Vaughan said.

Council will meet on May 24 in a closed work session to discuss the proposed body camera video policy. Council members also plan to vote on the issue at their next meeting, Tuesday, May 17.
The video viewing came just a few days after the city reached a $50,000 settlement agreement with Devin and Rufus Scales, two brothers who were arrested and accosted by Greensboro police during an incident that occurred in 2014.

“This is a very important moment in our city where the people are becoming a model for exercising their power together to demand equal protection and justice for all,” said local activist and retired civil rights attorney Lewis Pitts, referring to the two-year long fight for justice for Devin and Rufus Scales.

“The Scales brothers’ signatures were notarized and that is what is required under law to resolve a legal dispute. Compromise has occurred. I characterize compromise as a victory, not everybody does,” said City of Greensboro Attorney, Tom Carruthers.

The Scales brothers’ attorney, Graham Holt, called the settlement, “An appropriate compromise in light of the city’s refusal to make a reasonable settlement.”

Devin and Rufus Scales were stopped by Greensboro Police Officer T.B. Cole on August 4, 2014, where he accused the two of being intoxicated and impeding traffic. A previous incident between the brothers and police occurred in May 2013, where two officers pulled them over for minor vehicle infractions. That encounter ended with Rufus being stunned with a Taser and dragged across the asphalt. Since that incident, Devin carries a camera at all times to record potential interactions with the police.

During their 2014 police encounter, a second officer appeared on the scene wearing a body camera however, police department officials have refused to release the footage citing it as part of an officer’s personnel file, which is exempt from state public records law.

Rufus was charged with impeding traffic, being intoxicated and disruptive, and resisting a public officer while Devin was cited for impeding traffic. Almost a year later and after a review by the Guilford County District Attorney’s office, those charges were dropped on March 31, 2015.

“Young Black men get arrested constantly for no real reason,” said Holt.

The brothers also filed a complaint against the officer, which was reviewed by GPD’s Professional Standards Division. That complaint was dismissed by the police department so the brothers filed an appeal, which required review by the City of Greensboro’s Complaint Review Committee (CRC) and Interim Police Chief Anita Holder. While the police department continued to say there was no wrongdoing by Officer Cole, the CRC disagreed, which sent the appeal to the city manager’s office for final review.

According to the Complaint Review Committee’s report, Officer Cole was found to have been “too aggressive” during the stop and “he never should have arrested anyone in this case.” The Scales brothers were later issued an apology from Greensboro City Manager Jim Westmoreland on behalf of the city and the police department and Officer Cole was found to have violated policy and “did not use good judgment.” Officer Cole was suspended for two days with pay.

Cole is a nine-year veteran of the GPD and is currently a patrol officer in the Southern division. Members of the community and Greensboro clergy assert that no real consequences ever came to the officer as a result of his false testimony in court.

“The issue of transparency and perjury is not resolved,” said Rev. Nelson Johnson, leader of the Beloved Community Center. “There have been no meaningful consequences to the officer or the leaders who covered up that perjury.”

The Scales brothers case is just one of the many complaints that have helped mobilize the community in pushing for more transparency and accountability in the Greensboro Police Department. Part of that effort has been a push for an interim citizens’ police complaint review board with subpoena powers. Such efforts have already led to police and community forums, and the outfitting of body-worn cameras on all patrol officers.

Supporters of the Scales brothers say the community’s support of the two young men is what gave them some justice. The Scales brothers made national headlines this year when their case was profiled in a New York Times article that reported African Americans in Greensboro were disproportionately stopped by police more often than Whites.

“I think one reason this case got the attention it did was because the community got engaged and organized, and demanded some justice for this,” said Pitts who added, “but the community shouldn’t have to engage every complaint. We should have a system of accountability and expectations in place that stand alone and when pointed out can provide consequences to these injustices. Otherwise it will never stop.”

Similar injustices happen all too frequently, says Pitts, pointing out an incident with police in May 2013 where four Bennett College students were arrested at a graduation party, all of whom filed complaints against the responding officers alleging the use of excessive force.

“The lack of accountability, lack of transparency, and the lack of any meaningful consequences when wrong doing occurs, is still at large. Hence, there is no trust between our citizens and our police department, and that is a dangerous situation,” said Pitts.


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