Family Who Won $429 Million Lottery Aims To Use Money To Fight Poverty

By Zahara Hill, HuffPost Black Voices

Pearlie Mae Smith (far right) and her children won the Powerball jackpot.

We’ve all fantasized about what we’d do if a few million dollars just found its way into our lives. For the Smith family of Trenton, New Jersey, philanthropy was at the top of their list after they won a $429 million Powerball jackpot last year.

At a post-win press conference last May, the family, which consists of Pearlie Mae Smith and her seven children, said they planned to spend their earnings on their community ― and they meant it.

The eight-person Smith family chose to collect their winnings in a lump sum as opposed to yearly installments, with each receiving about $25 million after taxes. After paying off bills, student loans and taking care of other financial obligations, they invested their money in Trenton through the Smith Family Foundation.

“We want to fund programs that directly affect systems of poverty so we can help change the systems or change the dynamics that are causing people to be in poverty,” family member and foundation program manager Harold Smith told

Read the full article here.

Read more about the importance of community reparation here.

May 2017

Monday, May 1st – 7:00-9:00pm

PRINCE AMONG SLAVES: Film Screening and Audience Talkback

2017 Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival

Audience Talkback re: The Connection Between Slavery and Islam by Reggie Jackson, ABHM Head Griot

UWM Cinema, Union 2nd Floor

2200 E. Kenwood Boulevard

Milwaukee WI 53211

Free and open to the public


Monday, May 15th – 6:30-8:15pm

The Hidden Impact of Segregation in Milwaukee County

Lecture/Q & A as part of a Panel, by Reggie Jackson, ABHM Head Griot



Sponsored by the Black Student Union

Wauwatosa West High School

11400 W Center St, Milwaukee, WI 53222

Free and open to the public

About Reggie Jackson

Reggie Jackson speaking at ABHM’s Founder’s Day Gathering for Racial Repair and Reconciliation in February 2017. Photo: Pat A. Robinson

Reggie Jackson first volunteered with America’s Black Holocaust Museum in 2002. A year later, he was appointed Head Griot (pronounced GREE-oh) and began training the new griots. By the time the bricks-and-mortar museum closed in June 2008, he had led hundreds of tours.

Reggie became a close friend and protegé of ABHM founder, Dr. James Cameron. Since Cameron’s death in 2006, Reggie has served as an expert on the life of this unsung civil rights hero and lynching survivor. He authored the Afterword of Dr. Cameron’s memoir, A Time of Terror: A Survivors Story, 3rd edition.

After the building closed, Reggie joined a task force of community activists determined to keep Dr. Cameron’s museum and legacy alive. They formed the Dr. James Cameron Legacy Foundation and in 2012 began to operate America’s Black Holocaust Museum as a “museum without walls.”

Reggie served as the Cameron Legacy Foundation’s first board president until January 2017 and helped establish not only the online museum but also the popular Griots To Go Speakers Bureau.

In his role as ABHM’s Head Griot, Reggie has been a much sought-after speaker on Black Holocaust topics regionally and nationally for over a decade. He presents the untold and seldom-told stories in African-American history at schools, libraries, churches, and businesses – and conducts diversity and race relations training.

Mr. Jackson has also taught Contemporary Social Problems and Introduction to Sociology as an adjunct professor at Concordia University and worked as a special education teacher in Milwaukee middle schools.

He is the 2015 winner of the Eliminating Racism Award from southeast Wisconsin’s YWCA and the 2016 Courageous Love Award from the First Unitarian Society.


The rescue of Joshua Glover as depicted in a mural by Ammar Nsoroma in Milwaukee WI.

Wednesday, May 17th – 6:00-7:30pm

The Struggles of Joshua Glover

Lecture/Q & A by Reggie Jackson, ABHM Head Griot

Racine Public Library

75 Seventh Street

Racine, WI 53403


Free and open to the public



Thursday, May 25th – 6:30-8:00pm

The Impact of Segregation on the Health and Healthcare of African Americans in Milwaukee

Lecture/Q & A by Reggie Jackson, ABHM Head Griot

Milwaukee Area Health Education Center (MAHEC)

Not open to the public


Events in June 2017 here.


Sherman Park youth earn stipend for cleaning up neighborhood

By Andrea Waxman- Milwaukee neighborhood News Service

Vaun Mayes (left) talks to several teens riding bikes in the neighborhood about joining the Sherman Park Youth Stipend Program. Volunteer mentor Derrick Madlock (second from left) looks on. (Photo by Andrea Waxman)

Vaun Mayes (left) talks to several teens riding bikes in the neighborhood about joining the Sherman Park Youth Stipend Program. Volunteer mentor Derrick Madlock (second from left) looks on. (Photo by Andrea Waxman)

On a recent Saturday morning, about 30 teens assembled at the edge of the playground at the Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club in Sherman Park. Under a sparkling blue sky and vibrantly colored trees, the hoodie-clad youth picked up gloves, rakes and garbage bags and headed east to 41st Street.

The young men and women from Program the Parks, a grassroots Sherman Park youth initiative started early last summer, together with adult and teen volunteers from Running Rebels, raked leaves from the lawns of the tidy bungalows lined up across from the park and piled them in the street.

Niekale Steward, 16, comes to Program the Parks activities more than once a week to help out. He said his friends come and he has made new friends through the program.

Steward said that Vaun Mayes, founder of Program the Parks, is like a big brother to him. “He’s a strong leader. (He always wants) me to do something with my life, not just be like everybody else; not be out here stealing cars and stuff like the other teens,” Steward said.

Mayes started working with young people congregating in Sherman Park when he heard about fights taking place there early last summer. Since then he has attracted a group of volunteers and donors and has developed a schedule of activities for youth that includes free meals, games, social gatherings and skill-building sessions. People who want to donate can do so through their PayPal account.

Read the full article here

Read more Breaking News here