Atlanta keeps making a positive difference in people’s lives here, around the country and around the world.      Here’s just a sample of what happened over the weekend:

Kenny Leon scores again

Kenny Leon scores again with the airing of “Steel Magnolias,” a remake of the movie he directed featuring Queen Latifah and an all-star cast including Jill Scott, Phylicia Rashad and Afre Woodard.

      Georgia-Pacific hosted a preview screening last Friday night that was a benefit for the True Colors Theater Company and Granny Nannies, a respite care organization for seniors.

    Kenny led a discussion following the screening with some of the men cast members: Ofemo Omilami, Julius Irving (yes, Dr. J!) and Theatrical Outfit Artistic Director Tom Key.

    Kenny said he pushed to do the Lifetime Channel movie in Atlanta because he knew the town, he knew we had the actors and he just got married in March and he wanted to be home.  In response to a question, Dr. J said he’s been friends and golfing buddies with Kenny and he was able to make the transition to acting because “I’ve always been coachable.”

     The classic line from the movie still rings true: “I’d rather have a few moments of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.”

Jane Goodall’s cause expands

     Jane Goodall, famous for her research on chimps and ages in Africa, continues to work to save the planet by focusing on three areas: people, animals and the environment. One of her latest efforts is called “Roots and Shoots.” It’s an educational program for young people that is located in more than 100 countries around the world. Its goal is to teach youth about taking care of the planet.

     She was in Atlanta this past weekend raising awareness and funds for her organization at a reception hosted by Mary and Tim Mapes and Laura and Rutherford Seydel. After all these years and despite wars and economic woes, Goodall said she remains hopeful about the future.

     There are three things that bring her hope, she said: youth, the human brain power and the resilience of nature and the human spirit. She nodded to Bernice King, who offered a blessing for the occasion, when she talked about “indomitable human spirit” of people like Martin Luther King Jr. Bernice’s father.

Joseph Lowery celebrates 91 years

     The Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery celebrated his 91st birthday with family and friends over the weekend on the campus of Morehouse College. Among those making tributes were Morehouse President Robert Franklin, Spelman College President Beverly Daniel Tatum, U.S. Rep. David Scott and U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson. In addition his wife Evelyn and daughters Yvonne, Karen and Cheryl and their families were by his side.

      True to form, Rev. Lowery thanked everyone for remembering him and announced his plan to launch a tour around the state to rally voters for the 2012 national election. He said he will participate in rallies in Macon, Savannah, Augusta and Albany to turn out the vote. Georgia lost the 2008 election to the GOP by 200,000 votes, he noted. “That’s 52-48 (percent). “This year, we can turn Georgia blue.”

Atlanta Chapter Black MBA Is a Winner

     The Atlanta Chapter of the National Black MBA brought home three top prizes from the recent national convention. The Atlanta group is the largest and won Entrepreneur Channel, Entrepreneur of the Year (Atlanta Chapter member – Dan Jenkins – a Subway owner) and President of the Year for Charmaine Ward, director of community affairs for Georgia-Pacific. Congratulations!

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