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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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 BIZZ Magazine’s founder Octavia Clayton Smith with husband Vernon and several volunteers preparing for bag giveaway.
PSG Team ready to serve!
PSG Team greets URM’s Pr Coordinator Alexandra Monsibaez.
Gift bags at the ready!
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:
“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
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…
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.”