Rashid Santiago For Lehigh County Judge


Tony Todd to star in August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival Summer 2021


Contact: Tina Slak tina.slak@pashakespeare.org

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival has announced its re-opening for Summer 2021, with exciting plans for a variety of outdoor, indoor, and virtual performances. The season will run June 25 to August 1 at, and adjacent to, the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts at DeSales University in Center Valley, PA. 

Though the full season will be announced soon, the summer season will feature August Wilson’s one-man theatrical memoir How I Learned What I Learned, starring veteran stage, film, and television actor Tony Todd.

With an acting career spanning more than 30 years, Mr. Todd has an extensive list of credits in all genres. His films include Oliver Stone's Academy Award-winning Platoon; Lean On Me with Morgan Freeman; Clint Eastwood’s Bird; and the voice of the Fallen in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen; among many others.

The charismatic six-foot-five actor is perhaps best known for his chilling performances in horror and sci-fi films including the title role in the Candyman franchise, as well as the Hatchet and Final Destination franchise hits, along with Night of the Living Dead, The Crow, and The Rock.

On television, he has had prominent guest starring roles in numerous critically-acclaimed television series including Riverdale for the CW, Room 104 for HBO, Scream for MTV, the villain Zoom on the CW series The Flash, recurring roles on all three incarnations of Star Trek, and many more.

Mr. Todd has received accolades for numerous roles on stage including a coveted Helen Hayes Award for his performance in Athol Fugard’s The Captain’s Tiger at the La Jolla Playhouse, Manhattan Theatre Club, and The Kennedy Center; and originating the title role in the world premiere of August Wilson’s King Hedley II in Pittsburgh, Boston, and Seattle. (Variety lauded, “Todd’s King Hedley dominates the stage.” His performance “was a memorable tour-de-force.”)

How I Learned What I Learned will be performed on the Festival’s indoor Main Stage to a limited capacity, socially distanced audience. The show will preview at 6:30pm on June 29 and 30. Opening night is Thursday, July 1 at 6:30pm, and the production runs through July 11.

Read more about the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival here

Maraleen Shields For Lehigh County Judge


ASD Foundation Virtual Reality Gala: 'High Notes' set for Wednesday March 31st 8:30pm (register by March 25th)

Ticket Purchases, Production Date & Time,  How to Purchase Tickets

High Notes Show Only @ $20 per viewer Wednesday, March 31 @ 8:30 PM 

High Notes Sponsorship includes: Zoom registration Wednesday, March 31 @ 8:30 PM. 

For post show YouTube Show, Contact Susan Williams, Gala Chair suewill@ptd.net 610-216-3334

Vicki Newhard: newhardv@allentownsd.org 484-765-4121 


New coronavirus grants for small Pa. businesses aim for inclusivity, but can’t track success

by Charlotte Keith of Spotlight PA | Feb. 25, 2021

HARRISBURG — Applications open next month (March 15 2021) for $145 million in state grants for small hospitality businesses, with a significant change by lawmakers intended to ensure the money is more accessible to low-income and minority owners shut out from some relief last year.

But assessing whether it’s a success will be difficult, as the legislature failed to give the Wolf administration the authority to collect data on race or ethnicity from applicants.

Since the start of the pandemic a year ago, the state has rushed to deliver aid to a variety of sectors of the economy damaged by the economic ripple effects of the coronavirus. But in that haste, the earliest effort catered mostly to white business owners, a previous Spotlight PA review found.

Officials have acknowledged that shortcoming, and have since taken steps to fix it. A second round of funding last summer set aside half of the money for businesses owned by people of color.

Now, a new COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program is giving counties the option to tap into a state network of small business lenders that focus on communities often neglected by mainstream financial institutions.

The first business relief program relied on a different network of economic development groups. Now, counties can take their pick between the two, or use both.

“Our concern was, you’ll exclude the low-income, minority-owned businesses,” said Chris Hudock, director of Rising Tide Community Loan Fund in the Lehigh Valley.

Youngest and first Black chair of Harrisburg Regional Chamber ‘energized’ to shape city’s future

Pennsylvania Real-Time News Updated Feb 24, 2021; Posted Feb 24, 2021

Meron Yemane said he has the energy to shape a more inclusive Harrisburg.Born and raised in Susquehanna Township, the 35-year-old is the youngest and first Black man to serve as chairman of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber. He was nominated last year by the executive committee and approved by the board of directors for 2021.

“I see the future as being very bright,” Yemane said. “When you look at the next generation and the possibilities, the region is a very exciting place. I am energized by working with the people — business owners — and seeing their desire for a more equitable workplace.”  Read more

New evidence in Malcolm X assassination points to possible conspiracy

By Naveen Dhaliwal

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan (WABC) -- Fifty-six years after the death of Malcolm X, lawyers revealed what they called new evidence of a conspiracy, perpetrated by the NYPD and the FBI to assassinate the Civil Rights activist in Harlem.

Ray Wood was an undercover police officer at the time - his family and their attorney now claim Wood wrote a letter on his deathbed confessing the NYPD and the FBI conspired to kill the Civil Rights activist.

10 years ago this week: January 17, 2011 Martin Luther & Coretta S. King Memorial Unveiled in Allentown

January 17, 2011 
Richard Roberts, of Allentown (left rear) and Kevin Easterling, wave to the crowd, after unveiling the Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King statue at the triangle at Fourth and Union streets in Allentown on Monday. Easterling is director of the Martin Luther & Coretta S. King Memorial Project. Roberts is brother of Harry A. Roberts - who was on the forefront of the monument project, but unfortunately died in 2008 before seeing his dream come to fruition.
January 17, 2011

Easton leaders launch new African American Coalition to address racial inequality

By Hayden Mitman  January 11, 2021
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley has been helping neighbors thanks to an emergency fund. After delivering more than $400,000 to support nonprofits throughout the community, organizers realized they might be missing something important. 

Using the pooled contributions from dozens of area organizations throughout the past year, the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley has been able to help nonprofit groups feed those in need, support the homeless and help locals who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. But, Jill Periera, a vice president at the United Way says that, after seeing the impact that the murder of George Floyd had on society, the group realized they could be working in a more equitable way.

“We were taking a look at our own makeup of our strategic response team, and recognizing we were still pretty much a bunch of white folks that were making decisions, well-intended, on behalf of communities of color that were being disproportionately affected by covid,” Periera says.

So they reached out to Pastor Phillip Davis from Easton’s Greater Shiloh Church for help.

“As they did their own research, they realized they were doing things for the African American Community backwards,” Davis says

And he says the United Way realized that there was a problem if there weren’t any Black voices at the table.

“We felt it was supporting issues of white supremacy and they acknowledged that themselves,” he says.

The United Way took a step back and allocated about $90,000 to be shared among community leaders and groups in Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton.

“Our team identified who are leaders that we know that are not at the table in these three communities,” Periera says.

In Easton, the funding led to the creation of the African American Coalition of Easton. Davis and Judie Dickerson, director of Easton’s Cops ‘N’ Kids community program, are two founding members.

“I, along with several others, had been contacted to help advise how that money could be used to specifically address racial inequalities,” Dickerson says.

The group’s first move after receiving a $30,000 grant was to create the website BlackConnectionsOfEaston.com. Davis says the site’s intended as a way to connect the community and provide grants to be used towards initiatives aimed at addressing racial inequality.

“We discovered that when African Americans moved into our community, there’s no connectivity so there’s no central clearing house for, you know, where do you go to get your haircut, where’s the churches, where are the non-profit organizations for the African American community. And so, out of our meetings comes the African American Coalition of Easton,” Davis says.

The group’s first grant was delivered to the Boys and Girls Club of Easton where they regularly film videos of basketball instruction that they then share online.

Dean Young, CEO, says they used the, nearly $3,000 grant to provide gifts of hats, blankets and masks to a hundred kids.

“Due to COVID-19, our families have faced more hardships than ever before, so, we reached out to the coalition and, it was unanimous in their vote to bestow a grant on the Boys and Girls Club of Easton to be able to provide gifts to all of our young people,” Young says.

Grant applications are available on the African American Coalition of Easton’s website. The group is now working to secure non-profit status in order to help it grow. Read more here: