My Brotherts Keeper

My Brother’s Keeper was established in 2014 by President Obama.  This program is made up of a diverse group of individuals who all specialize in unique areas to accomplish their goals.  My Brother’s Keeper was designed to bring opportunities to boys and young men of color who would otherwise encounter costly barriers.  MBK wants to empower them with support and resources so that they can be successful.  MBK has a vision to keep them from being a victim of their circumstances, to keep them on a path to success and to reach their full potential. 

MBK has challenged communities across the United States to foster the growth of these young men and to help all children, regardless of whom they are or where they came from, so that they may achieve prosperity.  All children deserve to be treated as your own and to be given opportunities to not only better themselves but to better the community in which they live. 
The MBK Long Beach Task Force is an ad hoc committee of Safe Long Beach, the City’s Violence Prevention Plan. Adopted by the City Council in May 2014, Safe Long Beach addresses a broad safety agenda aimed at reducing all forms of violence, including domestic abuse, child abuse, elder abuse, hate crimes, bullying, gang violence, and violent crime. The Plan draws upon the City's many existing assets to target violence at its root and attain its goal of building a safer Long Beach by 2020.


Sense of the World around them

The Boys and Girls Club gives children an opportunity to learn, grow and succeed while being in a safe and nurturing environment. With a yearlong membership costing only $30 The B&G Club provides families with an inexpensive childcare/afterschool program.  This enriching program ensures that academics are at the top of their priorities with a 30 to 60 minutes time slot provided for homework.  They provide a healthy snack and athletic programs to help build teamwork, strength, and confidence.  The program believes that arts and crafts bring culture and give the children a sense of the world around them.  And because this program is an electronic free facility they encourage the children to have social interaction with their peers.   The Boys and Girls Club has a goal to lay a strong foundation not only socially but academically to ensure that the children have the skills to become strong, confident and successful leaders in their communities.


The Boys and Girls Club relies mostly on donations and fundraising.  Recently, at the 5th annual Atascadero Kiwanis Mayors’ Winemakers Dinner at the Pavilion on the Lake (held last month) raised more than $30,000 to Boys and Girls Club of North San Luis Obispo County.  Partnered with other charities like Must! A non-profit organization they were able to double the donation making it $60,000.00!!!  This event featured an exquisite meal and over 30 winemakers.  A silent and live auction featured wine, artwork, jewelry and more bringing in close to another $15,000.00!  Seventy-five percent of all proceeds are promised to go to the Boys and Girls Club to help an after school based program in North County.  



Wine in the Pines Festival

The annual Wine in the Pines Festival features an assortment of fine wines and beers from all over California.  There is also a variety of foods from the surrounding areas that include European finger foods, gourmet pizza and some good ole fashion BBQ.  And of course no festival is complete without music! You will find it loud enough to enjoy some local favorites yet soft enough to set the mood.  So whether you are in the mood to sit and sip or dance and drink this wonderful event will cater to all walks of life, and if that isn’t enough they showcase some beautiful art work for you to browse.  So while you enjoy your time in this glorious setting just know that you will also be helping out a worthy cause because all of the proceeds benefit the Relay for Life of the American Cancer Society.

We all know someone who has been affected by cancer and how devastating it can be.   Families that have faced that difficult road wish there was more that could have been done to help their mom, dad, friends and co-workers.  Fortunately, we have amazing charities like Relay for Life that work non-stop to help raise not only money for cancer treatments but awareness and support for friends and families.  They have raised millions of dollars for ground breaking cancer research programs, Hundreds of thousands to help provide a place for families to stay while supporting their loved ones during treatments and over a million dollars in network support including phone calls and online chats to patients and caregivers seeking information and support.  Relay for life brings awareness to all communities and all stages of cancer.  They are on a mission to save lives, celebrate life and continue to fight for a world without cancer.   


The Twenty Pearls


The Twenty Pearls

Alpha Kappa Alpha (Xi Gamma Omega the Oakland chapter) a long standing sorority since 1908 has been deeply involved in their community.  This unique group of women has work diligently to provide support and awareness.  This year alone they have helped support local schools and parks in making upgrades, cooperated with Habitat for Humanity to build a playhouse, put together over a 100 lunches and toiletry bags for the homeless, and have firsthand shown support for health including a kids health fair (running the registration and kids’ activities), the SF Aids walk ($2,600), The Walk for Alzheimer’s (exceeding their goal of $1908) and bringing awareness for ADHD, heart health and our environment which has proven they are making good on their promise to “serve all mankind”.  In the past 35 years XGO has been honored with multiple awards including a Community Partnership Award and a Platinum level of giving.  This well worthy sorority continues to strive by attending leadership conferences and hosting the Off the Vine tasting fundraiser which includes the largest number of African American vintners. So if that wasn’t enough they have supported students with thousands of dollars in scholarships for continuing education through the 20 Pearls Foundation. 


 The 20 Pearls Foundation was started by a group of African American Women who believed that addressing the need of the community by offering and encouraging continued education through scholarships and partnering with other enrichment programs that share the same goals.  This tax-exempt organization is intended to expand outwards to make good on their promise to “serve all mankind” and to provide sisterhood more abundantly. 

The Off the Vine tasting fundraiser provides exquisite wines from African American vintners including Raymond Smith of Indigene Cellars (who was recognized at this event) for his Philanthropist Blend located in Carmel Valley CA.



Rarer Than Black Quarterbacks

Dark amazing ruby with pink edges.  Decanted heavily.  Huge round nose a tad on the over-ripe side and rife with egg-whites and freshly round flour.  Initial funk turns to intense floral.  Smart briar and root-beer cassis.  Label only says SMV and really curious where the fruit came from.  A little extracted for Garey or Sierra Madre, possibly Nielson or even Bien Nacido?  One would think if it were truly one of these sources it would be indicated on the label.  Heady and nutty and viscous.  A giant chunk of oak, but it plays well into the plumpness of the fruit.  In the mouth, tarry and obscenely briar-rific.  Acidic to a point, with massively extracted plum and bright strawberry forefront, tarry rusted-steel edginess and absolutely CLAWING tannins resplendent and over-powering through the long finish.  This is a most-interesting bottle of Syrah and I rather like it.  It has an amazing bouquet and mouth feel now at five years and this thing would be STUNNING in a decade.  I guarantee it. 

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Therapy Wine Bar’s Top 5 African-American Owned Wines


By Angela Terry, Co-Owner of Therapy Wine Bar

Therapy Wine Bar opened its door in Bedford-Stuyvesant in September 2009. Since then we have been providing our customers with an eclectic variety of wines, events and music. As you look for the finishing touches to your end of the year celebrations—celebrate it with our top Top Five Wines by African American winemakers… Salut! 

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Episode #274 – In Defense of Cheap Wines, Powerful Pinots and the Truth About Vinegar

How come so many people claim their wine has “turned to vinegar” when such an occurrence is nearly impossible without intervention? This week’s show not only sets the record straight on the subject of wine turning to vinegar with husband and wife vinegar experts Cari and Craig Clark, owners of Chaparral Gardens.  In the segment, David downs more than a dozen tastes of vinegar while getting the real skinny on vinegar from these artisan vinegar makers.

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