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Scheduling wouldn’t have me down in Atlanta at my alma mater as our President of the United States became a Morehouse brother.

Still, I sure felt like I was there as so many of my brethren and friends in attendance gifted me with the best play-by-play. There or not, what a proud day in the Life of Riley… and in THE WORLD! Shout out to BFF Elise Durham, Morehouse College’s Media Relations Manager who served as the primary liaison between my alma mater and The White House in preparing for this historic undertaking! CONGRATS, ELISE! And a SPECIAL SHOUT OUT to mother of my Morehouse BFF Michael K. Watts: Dr. Anne Wimbush Watts, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of English at Morehouse who is leaving THE HOUSE (after 43 years) for her own new chapter.  Morehouse College unveiled an oil portrait of Dr. Anne W. Watts at Baccalaureate the day prior to Commencement. CONGRATULATIONS, DR. WATTS! MUCH DESERVED!






 Obviously, I was well-represented there while my own MOREHOUSE mystique was showing up elsewhere in the world - including THE PHILADELPHIA SUN:  http://www.philasun.com/news/4252/38/The-OMG-Show-Scandal-has-kicked-the-political-soap-opera-up-a-notch.html Shout out to writer/reporter Denise Clay for including some of my pop culture analysis in her The Philadelphia Sunday SUN cover story on the Scandal phenomenon. It reminded me that I shared a sweet moment recently in New York City with the hit show’s star Kerry Washington whose fabulosity went out to 9.1 million viewers for its finale the other night. NABJ brethren Roland Martin is also quoted. The ratings for the season finale hit an all-time high of 9.1 million viewers.


And while – through the rain - President Obama was speaking words of service, responsibility, and daring to the Universe’s 500 or so NEW MOREHOUSE MEN, I – through the rain – was hosting the main stage (afternoon shift) at Drums Along The Hudson: a Native American Festival and Multicultural Celebration - the afternoon of which I hosted (My friend, news anchor Sandra Bookman with WABC-TV, hosted the earlier part of the day, which included honors to Deborah Harvey-Koenigsberger.

(Deborah is Founder/President of Hearts of Gold charity to which I introduced Remy Martin, a sponsor for one of her recent fundraisers: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2012/11/19/golden-hearts.html);

Grammy-award-wnining singer/songwriter Joanne Shenandoah (Oneida); and author Doug George (Mohawk). "The rain is for the flowers! It'll only make us GROW," I exclaimed (a la Miss Ross Central Park circa '83) to the many who braved the stormy weather to enjoy live performances on the main stage. I got to introduce some awesome acts - including Kotchenga African Dance Company; Saung Budaya Indonesian Dance Group; and Samuel Le Heananff Quartet. And our girlfriend, artist Cynthia Bergos, and Ant (as his artist name Akhenaten) displayed their art for the attendees. Ant sold one of his Egyptian-inspired pieces: "Radiant Thinker" (2013 Egyptian Pop Series: Acrylic on raw canvas 3 x 2.5) 2013 - SOLD). This transaction turned one art patron's rainy day SUNNY! Congrats Ant! Shout out to my friends Frankie Edozien, Ed Roebuck, Matt Morgan, and many others who came out to support me. But primarily we were ALL there to support the cause and the creator and producer of the 11-year-old brainchild, Carl Nelson.

Good job, Carl!


I have several friends who are in and/or associated with the Broadway Inspirational Voices – including Miss Kimberly Jajuan who introduced me to the dynamic group! I’m so excited they’ve given me permission to share with you word on their upcoming  concert: Sunday June 2nd at First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem. THAT’S RIGHT! YOU HEARD IT HEAR (from the group’s fab press release): The Grammy-Nominated Broadway Inspirational Voices “Expect the Great” June 2nd: Creator Michael McElroy (TONY nomination, BIG RIVER) will lead The Broadway Inspirational Voices in their 3rd Annual Spring concert to create an evening of hope, joy, and inspiration.  With members representing such shows as Motown: The Musical, The Lion King, Wicked, Spiderman, The Book of Mormon, Annie, Kinky Boots, and many more, “Expect the Great” will include a wide array of inspirational repertoire, including a few original pieces by McElroy. The one-night-only concert will be held on June 2nd at 7pm st at 8pm at the First Corinthian Baptist Church, located at 1912 7th Ave at 116th St.  Tickets are priced from $10-$100 and can be purchased by visiting: www.smarttix.com. A portion of the proceeds from this concert will go to BIV’s Educational Outreach Program.  BIV members participate in these outreach programs to provide music to children in need.  Through their music and community driven work, BIV is committed to providing children access to high quality and engaging music arts programs and resources. Broadway Inspirational Voices was originally founded by McElroy in 1994 as the Broadway Gospel Choir and in 1999 was reincarnated to its current form. In addition to numerous concerts, the group has performed on “The Rosie O’Donnell Christmas Special,” Broadway Sings Elton John, The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation Benefit, and The 2000 Tony Awards. The Broadway Inspirational Voices second album Great Joy: A Gospel Christmas was released on Sh-K-Boom Records in 2003 and received a Grammy Award nomination.”


International DJ and Black Girls Rock Founder and Executive Director, Beverly Bond  will present the Brooklyn community services human spirit award to Michaela angela Davis on Tuesday, June 4, 2013. You should come out and bear witness to two dynamic women and then some. The Brooklyn Community Services will host its annual BCS Human Spirit Awards at the Grand Hyatt-Manhattan Ballroom this year. I’ve been asked to join its host committee and to invite as many of you to get in on this wonderful cause as possible. In addition to Michaela, BCS will honor another cultural leader who too calls Brooklyn his home: award-winning artist, Danny Simmons, will join other honorees in a ceremony that celebrates individuals who through their vision, leadership, service and generosity have built a lasting impression on both culture and community. The Human Spirit Awards is the annual fundraising dinner for BCS that highlights individuals, groups and programs that have made lifting up the lives of Brooklynites their call to action.  Last year's gala raised $500,000 and provided vital resources to support BCS's mission to strengthen families, help children and youth reach their full potential, and support adults in leading productive, fulfilling lives.  Proceeds from this year's online and silent auction will support efforts to provide continued relief to victims of Hurricane Sandy in Coney Island: http://bit.ly/ZVFgLS. #humanspirit2013


CONGRATS to dear friend, fine artist Taha Clayton on his latest project: "Round Zero", an Exhibition of Paintings by Tim Okamura, Jerome Lagarrigue, Taha Clayton, & Joseph Adolphe in NY! We got to check out "Round Zero," a fine art exhibition, featuring Taha and crew at the Art Director’s Club in Manhattan.

Tim Okamura, Jerome Lagarrigue, Taha Clayton and Joseph Adolphe exhibited their latest work in a boxing-themed collection curated by Dexter Wimberly. The exhibition also served as the culmination of more than two years of documentation of these artists' creative journey by film-maker Jeff Martini, for an upcoming feature entitled "HEAVYWEIGHTPAINT," a segment of which was shot at the events. A portion of proceeds went to the Brotherhood / Sister Sol, a Harlem-based youth organization.  Artworks created by students from "Bro/Sis" were also on display at the event. (http://heavyweightpaint.com/)  and (http://www.brotherhood-sistersol.org)

Afterwards, we all gathered to toast my Nichole who is getting ready to embark on a fun journey of reinvention and relocation. Stay tuned! WE LOVE YOU, NICHOLE…

and of course, you and I are together forever – no matter where we are geographically.

Happy birthday to BFF Tommie Porter – husband of Mara Schiavocampo.

We all gathered in Harlem to toast Tommie;

enjoy cake and champagne; and – as always – to have a good time!

Shout out to my NABJ buddy Alicia Quarles – E! Entertainment News’ own!

She was standing next to me the opening night of "Motown: The Musical" - covering for E! News (as chronicled by my lens when I wasn't otherwise occupied).

She did the same when she wasn't busy and forwarded me some of the good ones while we awaited Tommie's arrival.

In addition to the highlight video of my work which you can check out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK1yncqPlOQ, Alicia got some shots that were coming in from a whole other angle of which I wasn't aware.

Great shots, Alicia! 

EVEN MISS ROSS walking away...


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