All posts by LaRita Shelby

LaRita "Jazzy Rita" Shelby is a broadcast media & marketing professional. She serves as V.P. of Marketing and Special Programming at Additionally she is an actress, singer/songwriter who has appeared on TV and in film.
Fannie Lou Hamer

Inaugural Fannie Lou Hamer Awards Take Place April 26, 2014

The North Jersey Chapter National Action Network honors deserving community innovators during the first Fannie Lou Hamer Awards April 26, 2014

Fannie Lou Hamer

*National Action Network (NAN) founder and president,  Rev. Al Sharpton is scheduled to kick-off the evening with welcome and greetings

Tamika Mallory nationally recognized civil rights activist and the former National Executive Director of National Action Network (NAN) will serve as host for the occasion.  NAN’s National Conference is scheduled for April 9 – 12, 2014 in New York City where President Baraka Obama will be the headline speaker.

Dr. Carolyn Oliver-Fair, “New Jersey’s First Lady of NAN” North Jersey Chapter National Action Network, is excited to have an opportunity to return love, appreciation and tribute to outstanding women who have made a cultural difference within our communities and nearly every genre of society.

“Instant gratification is always gone in an instant” (C.Oliver-Fair). Our assignment is to teach others that anything worth waiting for possesses longevity. For almost a decade, The North Jersey Chapter has championed and won many battles but, we must always remember we’re still at war. The war against injustice sometimes seems quelled but  it never is. We forge ahead as an organized force, ever ready for the challenge. “No Justice, No Peace.”

Tamika Mallory

Tamika Mallory
Executive Director of National Action Network

The National Action Network North Jersey Chapter invites you to celebrate with us we respectfully pay homage to the 2014 Fannie Lou Hamer Honorees: Maxine Lewis - National Action Network National Crisis Manager (North Jersey Chapter) and former Inner City Theater Group Segment Producer for Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, New York, NY. Reverend Cynthia D. Jackson, Esq. - first Black female President of the Hudson County Bar Association and appointed Municipal Court Chief Judge of the Jersey City Municipal Court. Rev. Jackson was selected to the pastorate of Allen AME Church in Newark, NJ. Toya L. Beasley - Founder and CEO of SistaFriendzTM, TLB Consulting. Additionally, she is the Creator and Executive Producer of the SistaFriendz Stellar Women of GospelTM Awards. Pastor Robin L. Hampton - Senior Pastor of Convenant & Peace Worship Center in Jersey City. Arrelle Anderson Chief Operating Officer, Clayton County Government (GA). and Anna Oliver (Retiree) New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services Supervisor, President Emeritus of The Afro-American Industrial Club (New Jersey Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs).

“Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.” Fannie Lou Hamer

For ticket and sponsorship information contact:

National Action Network North Jersey Chapter/ 201.433.6932

Double XXposure Media Relations

tallest tree in the forest

‘The Tallest Tree in the Forest’ Opens this Weekend at the Mark Taper Forum in LA

Daniel Beaty in Tallest Tree 2014

*Obie Award winner Daniel Beaty opens this weekend at The Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, as a special presentation of the Center Theatre Group in The Tallest Tree In The Forest, a play with music written and performed by Daniel Beaty.

The Tallest Tree In The Forest is a biographical journey into the life and times of Paul Robeson, the son of a former slave who emerged to be an all American football star at Rutgers and Columbia Law School in the early 1900′s.  Robeson’s athleticism was matched by academic excellence, as he was valedictorian while at Rutgers.  He was also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, and he was an  outspoken political and civil rights activist.  His views cost him great agony, especially in the era of McCarthyism the United States.

Still as a performer Paul Robeson was renown on the world stage as an actor and a vocalist whose pivotal roles and portrayals included Eugene O’Neill’s All God’s Chillun’s Got Wings, The Emperor Jones, Showboat, and Othello; in which he became the first African American on Broadway to star in a production with an all white supporting cast.

Daniel Beaty resurrects  Robeson’s intriguing life with song, finesse, depth and humor. Much like the late Paul Robeson, Beaty’s success is intertwined with pain beneath the surface.  Beaty is an Honor graduate from Yale with a B. A. in Music and English.  He also earned a Masters of Fine Arts in Acting from the American Conservatory Theatre.  He did  this while overcoming obstacles from being the child of drug addicted parents, one of whom was incarcerated.  The buzz around Beaty as an actor, writer and performer stems from the sincere electricity that he emits on stage, engaging the audience and drawing them in to the ultimate theatrical experience.

The Tallest Tree In The Forest is directed by Moses Kaufman and plays from April 12, 2014 to May 25, 2014 at the Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, CA 90012.  For information on tickets and discounts to The Tallest Tree In The Forest go to

Arne Duncan Secretary of Education

U.S. Secretary of Education to Give Remarks at the NAN Annual Convention in New York City

Arne Duncan Secretary of Education

*U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (pictured) will give remarks at the National Action Network’s 15th annual convention on Wednesday, April 9, in New York City.

He will deliver remarks during the convention’s Keepers of the Dream Awards Dinner.

The convention honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and convenes influential national leaders in civil rights, government, labor, business, media, and the religious community.

Duncan will discuss the administration’s efforts to reduce racial disparities in the classroom and President Obama’s new initiative My Brother’s Keeper aimed at creating pathways to success for men and boys of color. The initiative will focus on using results and evidence to evaluate what works—and stop what doesn’t—to improve opportunities for at-risk youths, all within existing federal resources. Duncan also will highlight the Department’s recently released comprehensive Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), which addresses the disparities in educational opportunities among African Americans and other students of color.

Al Sharpton

The National Action Network is a not-for-profit civil rights organization founded by civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton. It addresses the social and economic injustice experienced by African Americans in the United States. Rev. Sharpton has called education reform the civil rights issue of the 21st century.

Source: White House Office of Communications

U.S. Department of Education
Office of Communications & Outreach, Press Office   
400 Maryland Ave., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202

hope flood

Hope Flood Presents 3rd Annual ‘Females in Comedy Convention’

Hope Flood Founder of Females In Comedy Association presents 3rd Annual Convention in L. A. April 22-27th 2014

Hope Flood
Founder of Females In Comedy Association presents 3rd Annual Convention in L. A. April 22-27th 2014

*Los Angeles, California.  Hope Flood; Comedian and founder of the Females in Comedy Association (FICA) is pleased to present the 3rd Annual Females in Comedy Convention(FICC)  in Los Angeles, California.

One major change to the convention is the invitation of male comedians. Although the convention was originally branded as the Females in Comedy Convention, it is the vision of founder Hope Flood to include all comedians regardless of gender.

The convention will be filled with many opportunities for networking and career changing resources for both men and women in the comedy field.

In 2011 Hope Flood founded the Females in Comedy Association (FICA) to provide educational tools, networking and resources for women in a male dominated comedy industry. This led to the launch of the Females in Comedy Convention (FICC), making it the first ever of its kind; it was well received with an impressive number of attendees from all over the country, and produced a number of sold out showcases at the famed J Spot Comedy Club.

The convention returns to Los Angeles from April 22-27, 2014 with COMEDY SLAM CELEBRITY HOOP JAM taking place on the 26th from 11AM to 4 PM.  Comedians attending the convention will be able to participate in panel discussions and workshops such as; standup comedy as a business, public relations and marketing, the art of negotiation, money management, health & fitness and even a self-defense class for the ladies taught by  Divas in Defense™.  This year’s convention will feature lectures from club bookers, talent agents, standup comedians, and authors. Veteran comedians scheduled to teach workshops/seminars at the convention are; Greg Dean, Buddy Lewis, Barb North, Rodney Perry, Comedian Speedy, Shang Forbes and many more. There will also be a promoter’s workshop & networking mixer taught by one of the biggest promoters in the country Errol Jackson.

In addition to the inclusion of male comedians, there will be nightly showcases at the top comedy clubs and hosted by celebrity comedians such as; Kim Whitley, Luenell, Kim Coles, Cocoa Brown, and Rodney Perry to name a few.

One other special event slated to take place during the convention is the “Comedy Slam Celebrity Hoop Jam“, a celebrity basketball game.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit A Nickel of Hope Inc., a charitable organization. The convention wraps up with a “Comics Farewell Brunch” to be held on Sunday, April 27th 2014.

For more information or any comedians who want to register please visit; or to schedule an interview with Hope Flood please contact Kandace Saunders at or (410)-459-5196

MEDIA who would like to participate in the COMEDY SLAM CELEBRITY HOOP JAM please contact Michelle Holden at or (562) 774-1890


Michelle Holden

Andrea Wiley

‘Soul Mate’ is Worth Revisiting Because Faith and Love Still Matter (Watch)

Soulmate film producer Andrea Wiley explains why faith & love still matter.

Soulmate film producer Andrea Wiley explains why faith & love still matter.

*In 2007, Andrea Wiley and a team of dedicated artisans set out to document single women of faith in the award winning film “Soul Mate.”  Their stories were inspiring, heart wrenching and real as women by the dozens graciously shared their truth and their desire to be coupled with their soul mate in the presence of overwhelming statistics.

Fast forward to 2014, when single women and their woes are preeminent in media, especially among women of color.  Writer, producer Andrea Wiley’s message is that: “Faith and love still matter.” This is a timeless reminder, especially since the happily coupled rarely get as much press as the drama couples of reality TV.  Wiley is a former writer/producer for such shows as The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, The Jamie Foxx Show, The Steve Harvey Show, Malcolm & Eddie and The Parkers among many others.

When on the festival circuit the Soul Mate film won:

Best Feature Film – African American Women In Cinema
Audience Choice – African American Women In Cinema
Best Documentary – Hollywood Black Film Festival
Best Documentary – San Francisco Christian Film Festival WYSIWYG
Best Documentary - Sweet Auburn International Film Festival
Best Documentary – International Black Film Festival of Nashville
Best Documentary – Urban Vestige Film Festival

Andrea Wiley believes that the Soul Mate film is worth revisiting and even introduced to those who are new to the singles scene, because the ultimate relationship that anyone can have is with The Creator.  Though Andrea is a happily married mother of two sons, she was drawn to the story of single women because of her ties to so many women in her inner circle who all seemed to share the same scenario. Soul Mate is affirming for women, and a sobering eye opener for men. Andrea’s mission is clear:

“I hope the testimonies of women in this film will inspire people to examine their spiritual lives, move beyond the traps that singleness sometimes creates for those who wish to be married, and find wholeness in an intimate relationship with God.”

Soul Mate features Bishop Kenneth Ulmer, Sherri Shepherd, Michelle McKinney Howard,   Dr. Cynthia Hale, Devika Parikh, Dr. Jerome Clayton, Sara Finney Johnson and many more.  To order Soul Mate click here. 

naturi naughton - power

Starz Network Series ‘Power’ is on the Way

Coming soon from Starz Network- Power Produced by 50 Cent

Coming soon from Starz Network- Power
Produced by 50 Cent

*Starz Network announces new series POWER, starring Omari Hardwick, Naturi Naughton and Executive Produced by 50 Cent and created by Courtney Kemp Agboh.

In advance of the show’s Summer premiere, Starz is excited to share a Women’s History Month e-card with you!  Please feel free to post this online and on your social media pages this week.

For more information, visit “Power” online, on Facebook and join the conversation @Power_Starz using #PowerTV.