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Gospel’s Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Mary Mary and Others Get Honorary Degrees

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*(Los Angeles, CA) Gospel music legend Vanessa Bell Armstrong can now add “Dr.” in front of her name after receiving an honorary doctorate degree in theology from Next Dimension University, a Southern California based Bible college. The event took place at the West Angeles Cathedral in Los Angeles on Saturday, August 20, 2017.

Chancellor Joel McLeod, the founder of the Black owned university presented Dr. Armstrong her degree after she sang a crowd stirring rendition of her classic, “Good News.”  She was overwhelmed with joy upon receiving the degree. “This is so awesome. Iʼm humbled that someone thought enough of my work to honor me in this way,” says the Detroit native and seven-time Grammy nominee. “In 2014 I lost my mother and my only son within a nine month span and there were times I felt like giving up. The good news is I didnʼt.”

Chancellor McLeod and the staff were thrilled Dr. Armstrong flew to LA from Houston to receive her degree. “She has been a favorite and a consummate ministry professional for a long time. Everybody loves her music. Iʼm just happy we were able to add this special acknowledgment as she goes forward,” said the chancellor.

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Other notables who also received honorary doctorates at the commencement exercises includes Donald Lawrence, Erica and Tina Campbell of Mary Mary fame, their husbands Warryn Campbell and Teddy Campbell, Beau Williams, Angie Stone, Phil and Brenda Nicholas.

Itʼs an honor to be honored in any capacity but to be given a doctorate of theology for just being a vessel is an honor for just saying ʻyesʼ to the Lord,” said Warryn Campbell, who co-founded the California Worship Center in North Hollywood with his wife Erica. “Some of us have been working in the vineyards for 20 to 30 years without any recognition. So itʼs awesome that the university would recognize us like this,” he told Dr. Eric J. Chambers of TheCUTNetwork.com in an interview after the graduation. “I want to thank Chancellor McLeod and the university. Iʼm going to wear it well, and proud. Emotionally itʼs still surreal. I still have to look at it and pinch myself. This is overwhelming that someone thought this much of me. Iʼm full. Iʼm really full right now. Itʼs also an amazing experience to receive this with my wife of 17 years. Itʼs been a long time weʼve been working and co-laboring together, so I say congratulations to her too.”

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Music executive Walter W. Milsapp, III was also an honorary doctoral recipient and offered, “God is so amazing, so good. Itʼs been a long journey. I donʼt take the mission lightly. I have a responsibility to further the gospel and the kingdom daily, so it feels great.” And singer Angie Stone said, “Iʼm grateful because God makes good on his promises.  This is confirmation of my work.”

This event was the universityʼs decennial celebration of 10 years in existence as dozens of graduates received associates, bachelors, master of divinity, doctor of ministry and doctor of philosophy in religious studies degrees. “Iʼm just trying to address the subject of both academic and biblical literacy, but Iʼve discovered a lot of people in church come to the Bible college who canʼt read! These are pastors and deacons having issues with reading,” says Chancellor McLeod, a native of Costa Rica who was raised in Brooklyn, NY. “So we champion the cause to deal with illiteracy, period. But before we get people to read the Bible, weʼve got to get people to know how to read.

And if you donʼt know how to interpret text, youʼre going to mislead a lot of people.”

To learn more about the Next Dimension University, which in 2015 bestowed honorary doctorates on Dr. Yolanda Adams, Dr. Fred Hammond and Dr. Judy Jacobs, visit www.NextDimensionUniversity.com.

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Is Pres. Elect Biden Obama’s 3rd Term? & What 44 Said About Black America’s Progress Under His Watch on ‘Breakfast Club’ (VIDEO)

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Charlamagne Tha God - Barack Obama
Charlamagne Tha God - Barack Obama

Charlamagne Tha God – Barack Obama

*Attorney Antonio Moore discusses the recent Obama Breakfast Club interview during his Book tour.

Moore harshly critiques the interview of Pres. Obama performed by Charlamagne, DJ Envy and Angela Yee.

He also looks closer at President Elect Joe Biden’s cabinet picks and measures them again Barack Obama & Bill Clinton’s prior administrations.

MORE NEWS: Ripped in Their 50s! Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Strip Down for Weigh-in / WATCH

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The Virtual United Negro College Fund Tour Heads to NY, DC & NJ on Fri & Sat-Nov. 20 & 21 (EUR EXCLUSIVE!)

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*African American students interested in going to college can attend the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) Fall 2020 virtual Empower Me Tour. Set for this Friday and Saturday (November 20 & 21, 2020), New York, District of Columbia, and New Jersey will be repped. (This year’s tour kicked off earlier this month in Wisconsin and Illinois). To register, go here.

The Empower Me Tour is an extension of the goals of the UNCF. Founded in 1944, the UNCF, a non-profit, has raised more than $5 billion and helped more than 500,000 students attend 37 private historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

The EUR caught up with Stacey Lee, the tour’s director for four years, who discussed the importance of the event.

“The UNCF is the nation’s largest provider of education support to minority students,” said Lee. “The Empowerment Tour has been executed for the past 12 years and last year along we offered over $12 million dollars in scholarships.”

MORE NEWS/RELATED: BMEE Authors: Urgent Steps Are Necessary to Address Implicit Bias in Early Education  

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Stacey Lee, director of the Empower Me Tour. (Photo credit: UNCF)

Lee continued, “I think the great thing is that during these times, even with COVID-19, is that a number of corporations (Wells Fargo/P&/FedEx/Disney/Goldman Sachs) and donors have really been providing opportunity and financial access to our schools and students.”

The tour is packed with information and resources so that students and parents have the right tools to make informed decisions.

“It’s a free event that provides educational support, scholarships, interviews with colleges, empowerment, and information on how to get to and through college. We also provide this information for parents as well. We have a parent section that focuses on financial aid and the things you need to get your students to college.”

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Source: Empower Me Tour

Lee continued, “Sometimes we have students that don’t realize that they can attend college. They can receive scholarships. Some of them don’t even know what an HBCU is. So, it’s inspirational for me to see these students receive this information and the excitement that’s around this tour.”

In addition to college information, panel sessions on issues affecting the community will also take place. Legendary rapper Bun B will be part of a special My Black Is Beautiful panel. The panel will have discussions with girls and boys and the MC will lead the male portion.

“It’s about empowerment,” Bun B told the EUR. “It’s vital for us to lift each other up and amplify each other’s voices. We just talk about now what that role is in this COVID world. And with everything that we are seeing with young Black men on television, we want to keep them motivated and centered. We want to make sure that they are not discouraged in this moment.”

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Legendary rapper Bun B is a panelist at the Empower Me Tour. (Photo credit: UNCF)

Ever since Kamala Harris threw her hat into the presidential race and elected vice president of the United States, a spotlight has shined on the fact that she’s an HBCU grad (Howard University) and member of the African American sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha. These facts are not lost on the UNCF.

“Kamala has really boosted people’s awareness about HBCUs and (African American sororities) and the type of people that come out of HBCUs. HBCUS have also provided so many people from science, mathematics, and engineering programs (STEM).”

Bun B added, “We have more than enough examples to show you how beneficial an education from an HBCU can be. So, there is no reason to not be a part of an HBCU because the world is just as available to you as it is for anyone else attending any other type of university.”

Register for the virtual Empower Me Tour on November 20 & 21, 2020 here. Spring tour dates will be announced soon. For general information on the United Negro College Fund, go here.

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(Photo credit: UNCF)

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New Music Buzz: Jazzy Rita Shelby’s ‘Goodbye 2020’

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Goodbye 2020 Jazzy Rita Shelby
Goodbye 2020 Jazzy Rita Shelby

After all that’s happened this year, it’s time to say Goodbye 2020. New single available by Jazzy Rita Shelby at most digital platforms.

*SB Music presents “Goodbye 2020” a new single for the times we are in.

“Goodbye 2020” is performed by Jazzy Rita Shelby and written by Miss Shelby (ASCAP) and Eddie Lawrence Miller (BMI).

It’s the perfect anthem to end a year that has impacted the globe.

Jazzy Rita Shelby Goodbye 2020 looking up - Copy

Jazzy Rita Shelby is fed up with this year and elated about her new single “Goodbye 2020.” Avail now from SB Music (Written by L. Shelby & E. Miller)

EURweb’s Jazzy Rita is also a prolific lyricist who has teamed up with Eddie Miller for “Goodbye 2020” because it was timely and convenient for the birth of a song such as this.

Eddie Miller is a coveted keyboardist & vocalist who performs regularly with Brian Culbertson and he’s the Rhodes Festival musical director. Jazzy Rita rose to notoriety as host & performer at The Starlight Jazz Serenade, an annual benefit concert in North Hollywood with an A list of stars.  As a teen Miss Shelby was inspired to write songs by the legendary David Porter.

This year has been a year like no other.  “Goodbye 2020” is an ode to the world for the year that we have seen and the hope that lies ahead.  Radio Programmers click here for adds.

MORE NEWS: THE REAL: The Ladies’ Experience With Stereotypes in Hollywood. Plus, Cheryl Hines Is Here!

“Goodbye 2020” is released on the SB Music label and was recorded at Wishing Wells Studio in Canoga Park, CA.  Willie Daniels and Mildred Black perform background vocals along with Jazzy Rita.  The video is produced & directed by Jazzy Rita (LaRita Shelby), filmed & edited by Reggie Simon of Simon Vision Media, with wardrobe styling by Jazzy Rita and Poet Roni Girl’s Army Couture.  “Goodbye 2020” is available on most digital platforms.  Click here to listen on Spotify.

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