Melissa Harville-Lebron: The First Black Woman to Own a NASCAR Team

Diversity in sports racing is lacking as only a few people of color are part of racing organizations such as the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR). But Melissa Harville-Lebron is a Black American woman that owns a NASCAR team franchise.

NASCAR woman_1459899531309_1153772_ver1.0_640_360

The 47-year old started her career in the entertainment industry when she worked as an intern at Sony Music. She already launched her own music label in 2005 while working for New York City’s Department of Correction Office. But after a severe asthma attack ten years later, she had to retire early.

Yet it seems that it had been a blessing in disguise. In 2014, she took the risk and opened a multifaceted entertainment company, W.M. Stone Enterprises, Inc. She then created E2 Northeast Motorsports and just recently, she signed a deal with NASCAR, making her the first black woman to own a NASCAR team.


It all started unexpectedly when she brought her sons, Eric and Enico, to a NASCAR experience event. She told Black Enterprise, “I got invited to a NASCAR experience and I brought my boys along thinking that it would discourage them from driving.”

However, her sons loved the sport even more and so she learned to also love her sons’ passion. As she got more involved in the sport, she noticed the lack of diversity since it is dominated mostly by white males. So she decided to bridge the gap and create her own team.

Her team, E2 Northeast Motorsports, is the first multicultural team to race competitively in NASCAR. It consists of four black and Latino drivers, two in the Camping World Truck Series and two in the Whelen All-American Series, and two of which are her sons.

On February 16, her team also competed in its first race in the Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) at Daytona where Scott Stenzel finished 15th place at Daytona.

In a statement, she said, “This team truly exemplifies diversity that is sure to attract a younger multicultural fan base. It’s an honor to announce that Stenzel is now a part of this racing family.”

She also emphasized the relevance of her endeavor. She said, “It’s important for our culture to push generational wealth to our children. It’s important to lead by example. All too often our children see negative images of our culture and I think it’s very important for people of our culture actually succeeding in business.”



Spring Forward: Tips For Adjusting To Daylight Saving Time

Time to “spring” forward and lose a precious hour of sleep Sunday.
The transition to daylight saving time can be especially brutal, said Dr. Alon Y. Avidan, director of the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center. “The body has a harder time adjusting to losing sleep,” he said. Here are his tips for surviving the time change on Sunday:
1. Head to bed earlier
In the days leading up to the spring time change, try to go to sleep about 15 to 30 minutes earlier than usual to help make the hour’s loss of sleep less abrupt. (This tip may be too late for you now, but remember it for next year.)
2. Stick to your schedule
You want to resume your normal sleep schedule as quickly as possible.That means waking up at the time you normally would on a Sunday, and maybe even a little earlier, he said. And maybe limit, or skip, any napping. You want to be so tired Sunday night that you easily fall asleep at your normal bedtime, allowing you to get back on schedule as soon as possible.
3. Avoid stimulants
Avoid resorting to coffee to get yourself up early and alcohol to help you get to sleep. (“Alcohol disrupts your sleep cycle and is not worth it,” Avidan said.) Also avoid eating and exercising late on Sunday too. All these stimulants make it harder for you to fall asleep.
4. Seek out the sun
Stepping out into sunlight helps our bodies adjust to the time change. So next week, seek out direct sun exposure as early as possible, he said. You don’t need to go to the beach. You can pull back a curtain and sit for a few minutes next to a sun-facing window, or take a walk outside during your coffee break.
5. But avoid too much light
As in, artificial light. Avidan knows this is extreme, but he recommends that people with chronic sleep problems avoid all artificial light — including from TVs, computers and smartphones for two hours before they go to sleep.
6. Change all the clocks
Our cellphones and other devices automatically reflect the time change, which makes it easy to forget that you need to manually do the same for other clocks. It’s way too easy to forget to change one key clock — such as the one on the microwave that you eyeball to make sure you’re heading out the door in time — and then find yourself completely behind.

Serena Williams wins 1st match in comeback at Indian Wells

Walking on court for the first match of her latest comeback, Serena Williams allowed herself a rare smile. This time, tennis is different for the 23-time major winner.
What didn’t change is Williams winning.
She beat Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan 7-5, 6-3 in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday night after a 14-month layoff for the birth of her first daughter.
“I almost cried before the match,” Williams said. “I texted Alexis, I was like, is it normal that I want to cry? I really missed her, but playing at night really helped because I know she goes to bed and she goes to sleep. I can’t like play with her right now.”
With new husband and Reddit co-found Alexis Ohanian looking on, Williams played from behind until breaking Diyas in the 11th game of the first set. Diyas netted a forehand and Williams yelled, “Come on!” as the crowd cheered.
“Right now, for this particular tournament, I’m really just trying to take it easy and not put so much pressure or stress or expectation on myself,” she said. “I feel like it’s one of the few times I’ve been able to do that.”
Williams has been away since winning the 2017 Australian Open early in her pregnancy. She gave birth to Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. six months ago.
Williams is playing at Indian Wells under a protected ranking of 22nd. She hasn’t been unseeded at a tournament since 2011 in Cincinnati.
“I’m playing with nothing to lose, I only can gain,” she said. “For me, it’s a real joy to be out here.”
The half-full stadium warmly greeted Williams, with many fans giving her a standing ovation as she entered.
Williams served a love game capped by a 100-mph ace in her first service game. She had break points in the first and fifth games but couldn’t convert. She started hitting harder and her familiar grunting returned when she tied the set 5-all.
Diyas and Williams traded service breaks early in the second set. Williams then broke her opponent again en route to winning the final five games in front of the half-full stadium. She smiled as she walked to the net, and her family gave her a standing ovation.
“It definitely wasn’t easy,” Williams said on court. “We always have a couple tight sets. It was good. I’m a little rusty, but it doesn’t matter. I’m just out here on this journey and doing the best I can.”
Also in Williams’ box were her mother Oracene, sisters Lyndrea and Isha, her agent, and her coach Patrick Mouratoglou. Older sister Venus watched from a balcony seat in an upper-level box on a 68-degree night in the Southern California desert.
Ohanian bought four billboards along Interstate 10 outside Palm Springs in tribute to his wife. The fourth billboard shows a photo of Williams and their daughter with the phrase “G.M.O.A.T” — greatest mother of all time — and is signed by Alexis Sr. and Jr.
Now she’s traveling the tour with her baby and sometimes her husband, when he isn’t off working.
“I’ve never done this before,” she said. “I know I’ll make mistakes and I’m OK with that.”
Williams’ only competitive appearances since the birth came in December at an exhibition in Abu Dhabi, a Fed Cup doubles match with sister Venus last month and an exhibition in New York on Monday.
Another new mother, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, won her first-round match over Heather Watson 6-4, 6-2.
The two-time winner of the desert tournament needed a wild card to get in because she has been off the tour since Wimbledon. Azarenka, who gave birth to son Leo in December 2016, has been in a custody fight that limited her travel.
In other first-round matches, CiCi Bellis overpowered qualifier Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-0, 6-3.
The 18-year-old American, who spurned a full scholarship from Stanford to turn pro last August, had her serve broken just once by the Spaniard in the 65-minute match. Bellis earned a second-round matchup with defending champion Elena Vesnina of Russia.
Bellis led five Americans into the second round. She was joined by wild card Danielle Collins and Jennifer Brady, who both got stretched to three sets. Taylor Fritz needed three sets to advance in the men’s draw as did Mitchell Krueger and Jared Donaldson.


Downtown Homeless Women Gifted with Personal Beauty Items for Valentine’s Day

On February 14th more than 500 homeless women received “Essential Love Bags” filled with personal hygiene and beauty items, as well as hugs, encouragement and prayers.

Project Saving Grace” collected donations from around the country, filling more than 500 bags to serve the personal care needs of the Downtown LA homeless population.

Project Saving Grace Team here with Union Rescue Mission’s Volunteer Coordinator, Tyrone D Nance



Bizzy Hands, Kind Hearts was birthed out of an original campaign ‘Project Saving Grace’ hosted by The BIZZ Magazine. The BIZZ Magazine, founded by Octavia Clayton Smith, is a Personal Event Concierge Magazine, dedicated to empowering event professionals with ideas, intelligence and resources to create amazing experiences for clients. Project Saving Grace started out as a large vision in Octavia’s heart, a small to others, but a beginning step to a grander vision from God.

The mission for Project Saving Grace 2018 was to bring joy to hundreds of women by handing out “Essential Love Bags’ to those living in downtown Los Angeles shelters and living in the streets of Downtown Los Angeles.



The vision for this was conceived in Octavia’s home, with a goal of making 500 bags with personal hygiene items inside. When Octavia and friend Phadra Allen were thinking of a name for this campaign, they thought of Saving Grace as saving women. “Then a light came on and I got the chills!”, said Octavia.

“‘Saving Grace’ is about a women’s dignity.  It’s about not being forgotten – It’s a movement!   It’s about doing God’s work to save others when they cannot save themselves,” she stated.



Homeless women typically know where to find a safe place to sleep or a hot meal to eat. But when it comes to taking care of their feminine hygiene needs, they often have nowhere to turn.  Sanitary needs and personal beauty items usually top the list of needs at shelters. But since they are pricey, and supporters don’t often donate them, homeless women usually have to do without.  Knowing this, our group of volunteers began getting word out about items needed for the bags.

I was truly overwhelmed with the love, donations and inspiration from family, friends and strangers from around the globe.  Every day before I got out of my car to go into my home, I cried and thanked God for blessing me with a platform to assist in meeting the real needs of women – those that are homeless, perhaps have lost their job, those that are struggling with addiction, suffering from mental health issues – get a leg up with items that would help them feel clean, pretty and special,” said Octavia.

Donations came in as far as Florida.  They surpassed their goal by 77 bags. On Valentine’s Day Octavia, her husband Vernon and a team of 7 other volunteers were able to hand out 577 bags.  During the distribution, they were fortunate to meet and greet many of the women.



“Their heartfelt thank you, smiles, hugs and tears made us know we had made a difference that day,” she said.

The team set up at the Union Rescue Mission and received a tour of the facility from Volunteer Coordinator Tyrone D. Nance prior to the gift bag distribution.



L.A. County is known for glamour and glitz. But if you look past the bright lights, you’ll see what angels see — men, women, and children of all ages that have lost their homes — and their hope. Los Angeles accounts for 3% of the total United States population, but is home to 7% of all people experiencing homelessness. Located in the heart of Skid Row, Union Rescue Mission is a refuge of help and hope. A safe haven where men, women, and children can get the guidance and support they need to live a life transformed.

The following is Union Rescue Mission’s 10-Step plan to end homelessness as we know it today:

Afterward the URM distribution, the PSG Team headed to Volunteers of America to distribute additional bags.  Thank you to Nancy Holloway for partnering with PSG.



Octavia Clayton Smith and the team wants to thank the following individuals and organitions for their generous donations and assistance in making this campaign a great success:

Santee Educational Complex
1921 Maple Ave, L.A., CA
Students from the fashion dept made the bags. Mrs Banks is the Teacher

Kinfolk’s Country Store
Bellflower, CA
Owner-Stormyweather Banks

Tyrone D Nance
Volunteer Coordinator
Union Rescue Mission

Nancy Holloway
Volunteers Of America, South Los Angeles Women’s Center

Tina Russek, Gift in Kind Manager
Los Angeles Mission

Tonya Hubbard
Life Program Supervisor
Long Beach Rescue Mission

Southern American Indian Center
Los Angeles, CA

Bed Bath and Beyond
8820 S. Sepulveda Blvd
Westchester, CA

99 cent Bargain
21919 N. Avalon Blvd, Carson, CA

While Valentine’s Day is over, the struggle is real for thousands of homeless women, their children and young adults.  As long as this issue exists, we will continue to campaign ‘Project Saving Grace’,” stated Octavia.

Learn more about The BIZZ Magazine and their work, follow them on Facebook HERE.

SPMG Media – Official Media Partner for The BIZZ Magazine/Bizzy Hands, Kind Hearts

Content and Photos by SPMG Media


Trump Touts NRA Plan To Arm Teachers At CPAC

President Donald Trump took the stage at CPAC this morning to promote the National Rifle Association’s proposal to arm teachers in the wake of the latest school semi-automatic rifle mass shooting. “When we declare our schools to be gun-free zones it just puts our students in more danger – well-trained gun-adept teachers and coaches should…

via Trump Touts NRA Plan To Arm Teachers At CPAC — Deadline


Look Out Long Beach…Stacey Dash is running for Congress in California


The district the former Clueless actor and conservative commentator is running for includes Compton and North Long Beach.

Actress Stacey Dash, an outspoken conservative, has filed papers with the Federal Election Commission to run for Congress this year in a deep-blue House district just south of Los Angeles.
Dash, best known for her role in “Clueless” as the fashion-savvy Dee, registered her campaign committee “Dash to DC” on Monday to run in California’s 44th Congressional District.
It’s an uphill dash for the actress to say the least.
In 2016, the November general election featured a Democrat running against a Democrat because of California’s rule that the top two primary candidates – no matter what party – advance to the general election. Freshman Rep. Nanette Barragán only won by 52 percent in that contest against a fellow Democrat.

Stacey Dash teases bid for Congress

In that primary contest, the top Republican candidate came in sixth. Hillary Clinton won the district in the 2016 election with 83 percent.
California’s 44th district, which includes Compton and East Compton, is a majority Hispanic area with 69.4 percent of the population being of Latino descent. Blacks make up 15.12 percent while whites make up 7.9 percent, according the the U.S. Census.
Dash would be considered an unconventional candidate and not just because of her Hollywood background. Dash has posed for Playboy, which she has defended saying her children supported her decision.
And she has made controversial comments about Democrats, saying the party has a “plantation mentality” and transgender individuals should “go in the bushes” if they need a bathroom.

She was born in the Bronx in New York City. She was a Democrat but switched her party affiliation in 2012.
Of making the switch, she told People magazine in July 2014: “I had been thinking about it for the four years after I voted for Obama. I really started paying attention to politics and how it directly relates to my everyday life. I realized that I wasn’t happy with what was going on so in 2012 I wanted it to go in a different direction. I realized that I am a Republican. First of all I am a capitalist, but second of all I am a Republican.”



Dallas Mavericks announce Cynthia Marshall as interim CEO


Marshall joins the Mavericks after a career at AT&T spearheading programs promoting a culture of diversity and inclusion.

Mark Cuban is used to being in charge. He’s built his larger-than-life reputation on being a hands-on personality, taking pride in knowing the minutia of his projects and especially that of the Dallas Mavericks. Monday afternoon, however, when newly-hired interim CEO Cynthia “Cynt” Marshall was introduced at a press conference, it was clear that Cuban wasn’t in charge. Marshall was.

Marshall joins the Mavericks with the mission of cleaning up the organization as faces its biggest internal challenge. Last week, Sports Illustrated released a scathing report detailing a pervasive culture of alleged sexual assault and domestic violence within the Mavericks’ offices. The report names three employees—president and CEO Terdema Ussery, vice president of human resources Buddy Pittman, and beat writer Earl K. Sneed—as primary purveyors of a “toxic culture.” None of them are with the team any more. (You can read all of MMB’s coverage of the scandal here.) Even though Marshall’s tenure with the team just began, she is already hard at work.

”Although we are in the early stages of our response, we’ve identified three immediate areas of focus: the investigation, culture transformation, and operational effectiveness,” Marshall said in a prepared statement Monday with Cuban by her side. “Independent investigators are in the process of conducting interviews with current and former—we’re covering both—current and former employees. The purpose of the interviews is to make sure all issues and allegations are surfaced and addressed. We need everything to come out. Allegations will be thoroughly investigated and any required disciplinary action will be administered swiftly.”

Marshall joins the Mavs after 36 years with AT&T, most recently as senior vice president of human resources and chief diversity officer before her retirement from the company in 2017. Her no-nonsense language in the press conference speaks to her career with AT&T. While there, Marshall led efforts to overcome unconscious biases, develop women leaders, and create a highly lauded culture of diversity and inclusion.

“Cynt is not coming in here to be the savior of the world,” Marshall said, speaking in third person. “What I have learned is that it takes a team, it takes a village, and we will get this done. We’re talking about 140 people. But a culture transcends even beyond just our workplace.”

This speaks to her overall attitude on how workplaces should function and her approach to fixing the Mavericks. That, as well as a conversation with leadership at AT&T, is what drew Cuban to Marshall and led to him calling her. After talking on the phone, the two eventually met in person. After that meeting, it wasn’t long before Marshall agreed to come on board because she was convinced the Mavericks aligned with her beliefs.

“This is my opportunity to be part of the solution with a lot of other people who are trying to help with this issue,” Marshall said. “…And I told [Cuban], ‘I have to think about this. I have a brand. I worked very hard for the brand I have, and I can’t attach my brand to something I can’t trust, and something that is not reliable, and something that’s—I don’t mind flawed, because we’re all flawed to some degree—but if it lacks integrity I can’t attach my brand to it.’ And by the time I left his office and spent the day with some folks, I said ‘I absolutely will attach my brand to this organization.’”

Marshall also met with head coach Rick Carlisle for 15-20 minutes Monday, and he introduced her to the players as well. After the meeting, it was clear that she left a positive impression on the Mavs coach.

“She’s going to be great,” Carlisle said. “She’s dynamic, she’s charismatic, and she’s extremely smart. And she’s intolerant of any bullshit. That’s pretty clear.”

For his part, Cuban sat mostly silent during the 24 minute press conference, a stark contrast to the boisterous persona that he has cultivated since purchasing the Mavericks in 2000. He meekly deferred repeated questions about his knowledge of events to Marshall while offering that everything will come out once the investigation, headed by Evan Krutoy and Anne Milgram of Krutoy Law, is complete.

Until that time, he will won’t be saying much, taking a backseat to Marshall who will be doing all the talking. And after Monday, she appears to be saying all the right things.

“I am determined, and Mark is determined, that the Dallas Mavericks will be the standard,” Marshall said. “We’re laying out a vision that says by 2019 the Dallas Mavericks will be the standard. We will be leading the way in inclusion and diversity.”



Why Women Should Care About the Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court Case

On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Janus v. AFSCME, which will determine whether public service workers like nurses, teachers, and firefighters who enjoy the benefits of union representation should pitch in their fair share to cover the cost of securing them. The powerful interests supporting the petitioner in this case seek to strike at the heart of public-sector unions, weakening their ability to obtain protections for working people—and especially hurting working women of color. The petitioner in this case, seeks to avoid paying his fair share of the cost of union representation – even though his union is legally obligated to fairly represent him.

Oral arguments began today.  Read transcripts HERE

It’s critical not to lose sight of why anti-union groups have been so intent on pushing this case and who will be hurt if the Court rules against unions. The powerful interests supporting the petitioner pose a particular threat to working women, and women of color who make up the majority of these workers.

Unions have provided a vital path to the middle class for generations of working people, including the nurses, first responders, teachers, librarians, and other public servants who perform some of our nation’s most valued work. And unions don’t just benefit the people they represent—they use their collective voice to advocate for policies that benefit the entire workforce—like equal pay for equal work, paid parental leave, and anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ workers, which are often unavailable under state or federal laws. That’s why right-wing organizations have spent decades trying to use cases just like Janus to dismantle these hard-won gains.

Women, and disproportionately women of color, have the most to lose. Women make up a majority—56 percent—of union-represented public-sector workers, employed in jobs crucial to the health, safety and prosperity of our communities, according to the National Women’s Law Center’s analysis of census data. Women make up 56 percent of Black public-service workers represented by unions; Asians, 62 percent; Native Americans, 65 percent, and Hispanics, 50 percent.

Women public-service workers who are represented by unions make 15 percent more — $6,500 more, on average, annually — than those who are not represented by unions. That’s a larger increase than men working in the public sector receive annually from union representation. And these women receive not just higher pay, but more equitable pay: the gender wage gap for union-represented women public-service workers is 20 percent smaller than the gap experienced by their non-union-represented counterparts and by workers overall.

It’s clear what will happen if the Court prohibits these unions from collecting fair-share fees from those on whose behalf they bargain. In states that have chosen to disallow fair-share fees, so-called “right to work” states, wages are on average 3.1 percent lower—for everyone, not just unionized workers—than wages in non-“right-to-work” states. And women, who gain so much from pay transparency and fair representation provided by unions, are hit the hardest. Wages in these “right-to-work” states were 4.4 percent lower for women than in non-“right-to-work” states, a steeper drop than the 1.7 percent lower wages for men.

Martin Luther King Jr. recognized the close relationship between economic rights and civil rights, stating in 1961: “In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone…” As Dr. King knew, the “right-to-work” movement has historical roots in opposition to integration and fear of whites and Blacks joining together on equal footing through union representation.  When unions are weakened, working people lose, and those who are most vulnerable to exploitation and discrimination lose the most.

The Court should reject this political attack on public service workers and their unions–champions of security, equality, and dignity for working people.



Ensa Cosby, daughter of Bill Cosby, dies at 44

Bill Cosby’s daughter Ensa has died from renal disease, Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt.

She was 44.

“The Cosby Family thanks many people for their prayers for their beloved and beautiful Ensa,” read a statement from the family obtained by CNN.

Renal disease is a condition that impairs kidney function.
Ensa Cosby voiced strong support for her father after he was accused of sexual assault, saying she believed he was innocent.
Last May, Ensa and her sister Erinn released audio statements in support of their famous father.

“I believe that racism has played a big role in all aspects of this scandal,” Ensa Cosby wrote.

“My father has been publicly lynched in the media,” she said. “My family, my young daughter, my young niece and nephew have had to stand helplessly by and watch the double standards of pretending to protect the rights of some, but ignoring the rights of others and exposing innocent children to such appalling accusations about someone they love dearly and who has been so loving and kind to them is beyond cruel.”

The elder Cosby has denied the allegations.

Despite her father’s fame, Ensa Cosby led a life away from the spotlight.
She is one of five children born to the superstar actor and his wife, Camille.



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