The latest episode of WIN-TV explored interesting topics, as host Denise Rolark Barnes was first joined by guests Rev. Marc Lavarin from Alfred Street Baptist Church, and Reginald McKnight, head of Google Cloud’s External Affairs and Community Engagement, to give the scoop on their free virtual HBCU College Fair hosted Saturday, Feb. 20.

The fair provided students all-access resources which they would usually receive in person, including personal meetings with college admission officers, on-site admission opportunities into colleges and universities.

“The pandemic was not going to stop us. In fact, the pandemic emboldened us to say we cannot let our kids down. These are our communities, these are our students,” said McKnight. “You have customers all over the world who turn to Google Cloud for their technology solutions. So what better opportunity then, to unleash that same technology for this amazing college festival that has touched I think 50,000 students over the past 19 years?”

Next, Dr. Valda Crowder discussed the latest national death expectancy rates, the coronavirus pandemic in Black and Brown communities and response to COVID-19 vaccine skepticism. Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie later joined to examine public safety and issues tackled by the Council Office of Racial Equity.

McDuffie shared details on the Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results (NEAR) Act passed in 2016 and its relation to D.C. gun violence today. The legislation deals with public safety and violence interruption across the city.

“It treats gun violence as a public health crisis, and significantly reforms our approach to gun violence in the District of Columbia,” said McDuffie.

Rolark Barnes wrapped up the Friday program with Alfred D. Swailes from the Black Business Task Force, and lastly, Theo Edwards Butler, Samford University graduate and founder of the Modern Green Book, a national guide for travelers looking to experience services provided by Black-owned businesses.

The Modern Green Book, revived from the original green book historically used by Black Americans provides customers with knowledge and access to Black businesses nationwide, promoting cultural entrepreneurship to participating entities. Listed markets are inclusive of nightclubs, restaurants, beauty salons, and much more.

“The Modern Greenbook is not just for the Black community to use. While it is to support the Black community, it is for everybody. I want to make sure everyone knows that supporting Black businesses is not just for one group, it’s for anybody who is looking to intentionally support Black,” said Butler.

The Media Prince sounded off with another Bridge news segment, concluded by “Sounds of the DMV,” this week showcasing Silver Spring artist Big H.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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