Soul Sistas, The Musical . . .

soul sisters

A LCNAA W-S Chapter Event

The LCNAA W-S Alumni Chapter has reserved a block of 40 seats for the Barn Dinner Theatre performance of Soul Sistas for Friday, June 2, 2017.

If you plan to attend, please complete this reservation form and mail your check (made out to: W-S Alumni Chapter) as instructed below.

We must confirm a final count and have all money collected by May 11, 2017 with the final payment due to the Barn Dinner Theatre on that day.

Seating begins at 6:15 PM.

Soul Sistas
The Musical

Friday, June 2, 2017

A high-energy show that celebrates women and their music from the 60s to today. Covering all genres: R&B, Jazz, Broadway, Disco, & Gospel! A cast of 5 will sing the songs of Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Donna Summer, Etta James, Nina Simone, Nancy Wilson, Billie Holiday, Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, and many more! Also features the poetic verse of female poets. 

Here is a link to the Barn Dinner Theatre with additional information, including the menu.

The group rate (20 or more people) is $41.00 per adult which includes the meal, show, tax and gratuity. It is important to note that fewer than 20 people increases the per seat price to $51 per person.

A group of 8 or more, and less than 20, requires them to add $10 for a gratuity.

Click here to reserve your seats and mail your check to: 

Nigel D. Alston

249 Brooks Landing Drive

W-S, NC 27106

W-S Alumni Chapter Makes Donation . . .

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The W-S Alumni Chapter presented a $1,500 check to Livingstone College President, Jimmy Jenkins and Dr. Vivian Ray, the director of the School of Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts program.

The funds will be used for operational and student support.

Giving Tuesday . . . Support Livingstone College!

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You have heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday! Well, let me introduce you to a new initiative on Tuesday, 12/3: Giving Tuesday. 

Organizations, schools, and colleges are encouraging supporters to make a donation on #givingtuesday.

I am sharing this information and encouraging all Livingstone College alumni to consider making a donation to support Livingstone College on Tuesday, December 2nd.

Please share this with anyone you know who is an alum or supporter of Livingstone College, including on social media (use one of the share buttons below) using the hashtag, #givingtuesday.

You can make a gift here.

W-S Alumni Chapter Fellowship . . .

Chapter members and friends of Livingstone enjoy the fellowship

Chapter members and friends of Livingstone enjoy the fellowship

 

The W-S Alumni Chapter enjoyed an evening of fellowship, fun and good food during the first chapter meet-and-greet. Twenty-seven (27) people came out on a cold, rainy evening and enjoyed time together.

Rev. Alvin Damon led the group in prayer followed by introductions  of guests and alums. Everyone was encouraged to meet and talk with a person they didn’t know or know well and find out the following information: the other person’s name, year of graduation and a memorable moment while at Livingstone.

It was fun, informative and engaging.

Some memorable moments included:

  • experiencing a first Greek line
  • listening to a graduation speaker outside in 90 degree weather (and he spoke for 90 minutes)
  • student led strike because of bad food (the president told them to pack their bags and go home)
  • student led strike because girls wanted to wear pants (the president told them to pack their bags and go home)
  • being initiated in the band and having to line the football field (a group of girls)
  • dancing all night at a christmas dance
  • mr. livingstone two years in a row
  • singing in the choir and visiting Niagara Falls
  • and many more

It really was fun and the food was good.

The youngest participant, Meka Harrell (’03), shared information about her business and a website launch scheduled for next week in scheduled. And, Veronica Black (’69) had us all laughing as she shared a song  that reminded us of our age (those of us who are a little more mature that is). It was funny and, true. More W-S Alumni Chapter Fellowship Pictures

Meka talks about her business and the pink truck

Meka talks about her business and the pink truck

 

W-S Alumni Chapter Meeting, 12/16 . . .

Chapter Members After Meeting

Chapter Members After Meeting

The W-S Alumni Chapter had a great meeting to end the year on Monday, December 16, 2014.

The winner is in the box

The winner is in the box: Michael White

One of the highlights of the meeting included the drawing for the $100 gas card. Chapter members sold more than 650 tickets at $1 each and tonight pulled a winner out of the bag – thanks to Dorothy Wynecoff for doing the honors.

And the winner is: Michael White from Clinton, Md. He has been contacted and is excited about winning. He purchased a ticket at homecoming on 11/2. He can use the gas card now, he said. He is a ’83 graduate of Livingstone and a member of Omega Psi Phi.

Congratulations, Michael, and thanks to everyone who purchased a ticket.

 

We had excellent committee reports and have some exciting events, activities planned;

On Friday, January 10, 2014 we will host a meet-and-greet for the chapter members, family and friends  at Lone Star Steakhouse starting at 6 pm. Please plan to join us, fellowship, eat a good meal and get to know each other better.

Thanks to the reclamation/engagement committee for taking the lead and planning the event.

On Sunday, February 16, 2014 we will host the Livingstone College Concert Choir for a Black History Month performance at 4 PM at Goler Metropolitan AME Zion Church.

Thanks to the special events committee for their work in planning the event. We are planning to pack the church and spread the word locally and throughout the area.

Here is the group around the table engaged and excited about the possibilities.

W-S Chapter Meeting

W-S Chapter Meeting

 

Livingstone College Grad Follows Her Passion . . .

Note: If you attended the homecoming game this year, you may have seen this Pink Truck parked outside the stadium entrance. This Livingstone College grad has an inspiring story to share.
Fashion Foward (and Reverse)
LAYLA GARMS NOVEMBER 6, 2013
Fashion Foward (and Reverse)
Meka Harrell sits at the entrance of her “store.”Meka Harrell is hoping to become a “driving force” in local women and children’s fashion.

The Baltimore native is the proud owner of Pink Culture Inc., billed as the Triad’s first fashion truck. She opened the doors to her vibrant “Barbie pink” Chevrolet Step Van in August during a Greensboro event, officially embarking upon a dream that began more than a decade ago when she got her first job working in her godfather’s clothing boutique.

Harrell said she was a tomboy prior to starting at the boutique, but she quickly fell in love with clothes and fashion there.

“Honestly, I worked for clothes when I was 16,” confessed the 32-year-old. “I worked and bought clothes … I was kind of like a walking billboard for my godfather’s store.”

Fashion was a positive escape from the harsh realities of Harrell’s youth. She grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. Her father was murdered when she was four, and her mother was addicted to drugs. Many of her friends had dropped out of school by the time they reached eighth grade. Never one to follow the crowd, Harrell, who relocated to Winston-Salem during her senior year of high school, earned her diploma and then became the first person in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree after completing her studies at Livingstone College.

“I’m always asked the question, ‘How do you do that when you don’t have any positive influences around you?’ I’ve always had this motivation to be successful,” related Harrell, who also holds an MBA from Pfeiffer University. “I think it’s weird, but I always believed, I felt like God told me to be successful.”

Harrell spent years in the corporate sector at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and later at BB&T, where her husband, JoColby Harrell, works as a mortgage loan officer, but says she never felt fulfilled. With the birth of their second child, Maveric, six months ago, the couple decided it was time for her to take a leap of faith and start the company.

“After Maveric was born, we prayed about it, and we decided she was finally going to step out on her dream, and I was 100 percent behind her,” JoColby Harrell said. “This is her passion.”
Harrell used her maternity leave to research and plan Pink Culture Inc. The couple purchased the used van after finding it on Craigslist and, with the help of family, their church family at Winston-Salem First and friends, began to outfit the former plumbing van into a destination for fashionistas.

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“It’s something for everybody … anyone who loves fashion,” Harrell said of the fashion offerings creatively displayed in the van.

The van has logged many miles with Harrell behind the wheel. She’s parked and opened her doors to attendees at festivals and events in Greensboro, Charlotte and Winston-Salem, where Pink Culture Inc. was a hit attraction at the recent Pride and Fiesta festivals. The van also has made stops at Winston-Salem State University and Salem College. Being able to meet her customers where they are – literally – is one of the many advantages of operating a mobile business, Harrell said.

“The main advantage to this is not having to pay a lease fee because everything you need is right here in the truck,” noted Harrell, who will bring the truck to her customers if they commit to a purchase of $25 or more. “I have the advantage of going to people’s homes, going to different festivals, or just parking on a random street. It attracts attention because it’s bright pink.”

Fittingly, Harrell’s most successful venue to date was her alma mater, Salisbury’s Livingstone, where her fellow Blue Bears were keen to open their wallets during last month’s Homecoming.

Meka Harrell carries a unique variety of clothing and accessories in his Pink Culture van.

Meka Harrell carries a unique variety of clothing and accessories in her Pink Culture van.

“I had a line wrapped around my truck of people waiting to come in,” she happily reported. “I’m still on a high from that.”

Overall, Pink Culture has received high marks from customers.

“They love it,” Harrell said of her customers, who patronize her in person and on Instagram, where she also sells her wares. “They love the concept. I always get great compliments on the items and how innovative it is, the fashion truck.”

The truck is just Harrell’s latest venture. She started Colby’s Closet – an online children’s clothing store named for her four year-old daughter, ElleMari Colby Harrell – and Pink Culture Momtourage, a nonprofit for other mothers with a philanthropic bent.

“Pink represents femininity, and culture is for all cultures,” she explained. “That’s how I came up with the name.”

Although the Harrells are saving on day care costs because Meka cares for Maveric, JaColby Harrell said going from two incomes to one to make the business a reality was a sacrifice for the family. The reward – seeing his wife happy – was well worth it, though.

“I’m just so happy to see her finding her passion,” said the WSSU alumnus. “A lot of people don’t get achance to really follow their passion in life.”

 Meka Harrell with her husband, JoColby.

Meka Harrell with her husband, JoColby.

Meka Harrell said she believes she’s found her purpose in life, and she’s never felt more fulfilled. Already, she has inspired several friends to chase their dreams in their careers. She hopes to one day parlay her story as a first generation college graduate and businessowner to motivational speaking engagements, where she can encourage youngsters from difficult backgrounds to believe in their dreams.

“If you want things to happen, you just need to really pray about it and everything falls into place,” she remarked. “I feel like I’ve been stress free ever since I started the truck. It’s just in my spirit; I always knew what I wanted to do.”

View more photos of Harrell’s mobile business here.

For more information about Pink Culture Inc., follow the company on Twitter or Instagram @PinkCultrTruck, email pinkculturetruck@gmail.com or call 336-517-PINK.

 

 

Remembering Livingstone College . . .

Note: More than three years ago I wrote a column about my experience at Livingstone College. I was later asked to expand on it for a feature in a Livingstone College publication. What follows is that longer article. 

Leather coat and platform shoes

Leather coat and platform shoes

I arrived on Livingstone College’s campus in August 1970 ready to play football – or so I thought. I didn’t really know what to expect. It was hot. And making matters worse we practiced three times a day – early in the morning, midday and early evening. For about a week or so we were the only people on campus.

After the last practice of the day we had meetings to review our assignments and plays. And we were also at the mercy of the upperclassmen. We ran errands for them, oftentimes reluctantly, and tried to get some sleep before the grueling process started all over again the subsequent day. It was hard work, just like a job. And to add insult to injury the upperclassmen shaved our heads. Suffice it to say we were at the bottom of the food chain and treated as such.

I almost quit.

A couple of weeks after I arrived on campus, on a day designated for parents of freshmen to visit, my parents and paternal grandmother, Florence Alston, came to town. When they entered my dorm room they were surprised to see my bags packed, waiting at the door. What they didn’t know was I was ready to go home. I’d had enough of the three-a-day practices, the treatment upperclassmen were dishing out and I just didn’t think this was the place for me at that time. My grandmother, Mama Florence, looked at me and said: “Stay for a year and if you don’t like it, then come home.”

Fortunately I took her sage advice and didn’t quit.

Pledging in the spring of 1972

Pledging in the spring of 1972

Turns out I truly enjoyed my college experience after making some initial adjustments, adapting to the routine, meeting new people and developing some friendships that have become lifelong. I pledged Omega Psi Phi fraternity and believe it or not was the only one on my “line.” My guidance counselor, Marie Burney at R.J. Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem, had connections that helped land me a full scholarship at Livingstone. Also helping me get adjusted to college were two high school teammates, Walter (Sam) Dillard, who became my roommate, and Charlie B. Dulin, who sadly is now deceased.

Getting adjusted to college life is one thing. Buckling down and applying yourself is another. I credit Mrs. Lancaster, one of my professors, with providing the spark that motivated me to take full advantage of the fact that I was in college with a chance to better myself. One day while I was walking across campus she appeared out of nowhere, tapped me on my shoulder and said: “Mr. Alston, football season is over. You can do better.” That was it. She kept walking, leaving me to think about what she’d said. That was truly a defining moment for me. Without being specific, I knew she was getting on me about my grades. More profound to me, however, was the fact that she obviously saw something in me. I wasn’t sure what she saw, but her words inspired me to change my ways and live up to her expectations.

Football, as you may imagine, was a big part of my campus experience. Coach Fletcher Jones, our defensive coordinator at the time, was a big man who commanded attention with or without his paddle. He used it occasionally to reinforce a point – on your behind. Of course coaches can’t do that today, but back then Coach Jones could and did. The best way to ensure you spared yourself the embarrassment – not to mention the pain – was not to mess up.

As I recall, one player just wasn’t getting the job done in practice. Basically, he was indecisive, which was a “no-no.” His inaction irritated Coach Jones to no end, prompting him to bark a few choice words I can’t repeat in this column. I can tell you that with a sense of urgency he yelled, “Do something, even if it’s wrong! Then at least I can correct you.” If memory serves me correctly, Coach Jones used his paddle that day. I know it sounds harsh, but all he really wanted was the players to act so he could provide feedback on their actions and help them make the necessary adjustments. Being decisive is a message that has stuck with me to this day.

I vividly remember my first road trip as a Livingstone College football player. It included running through the “belt line,” a ritual for your first trip that was just another step in the initiation process.

The Livingstone College Blue Bears football team was easily recognizable when we traveled because we wore light-blue blazers with the Blue Bear emblem on the breast pocket. For the most part we were teen-agers, barely into manhood. Yet, we knew we represented something much larger than ourselves, much bigger than our individual talents. Though only young men at the time, we understood we represented a black college – the term HBCU hadn’t exactly caught on back then – and that meant we had to show up, to do and be our best at all times.

Nigel and Sarah (Freshmen Ball)

Nigel and Sarah (Freshmen Ball)

I received a good education at Livingstone College, and that’s also where I met my wife of nearly 33 years, Sarah Debra Littlejohn. We met three months into our freshmen year and began dating on November 14, 1970. We celebrate that day as well as our December 17th wedding anniversary each year.

I am so thankful for Mrs. Burney’s connections, for the infinite wisdom of Mama Florence, Mrs. Lancaster’s much-needed verbal kick in the butt and the influence of my coaches. Because of all of them, I graduated ready to compete and have fared well in the decades since.

And while it’s probably pretty obvious by now and doesn’t really need to be said, I’d be remiss if I didn’t state that I’m eternally proud to be a Livingstone College Blue Bear.

Nigel D. Alston is President of Nigel D. Alston & Associates, Inc. He is a motivational speaker, Dale Carnegie trainer and meeting facilitator. He also writes a bi-weekly column for the Winston-Salem Journal and was honored for his column “Today, I cried” by the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) in 2002. He and his wife reside in Winston-Salem.