Friday, December 30, 2011

Interview with Gospel Singer Kevin Jarido

TRENTON-- Anwar's Reflections--a Trentonian affiliate-- sat down with Grammy nominated gospel recording artist, Kevin Jarido, Friday morning to discuss a variety of topics, including, but not limited to, his latest album, his passion for music,  his faith, and much more.

Jarido, an eighth grade math teacher by day, has quite a story to tell. Before becoming a singer, he had a bout with severe depression while in college. After being introduced to the school choir by his college friends, he was able to in his own words, "dedicate his life to Christ". (*For more information about his life, please see a copy of our interview below*)

Since then, the gospel vocalist  has been singing with the group Nu Virtu for almost 10 years now. Having started out in detention centers and shelters ministering to the least, the last, and the left out, Jarido and his group have now released two albums to date.

Under the guidance and direction of David Evans, Bishop of Bethany New Baptist Church, Jarido and Nu Virtu were able to launch their debut album, I'm Free, in 2008, which spoke to issues of freedom and rejoicing. Their latest project was released in May 2012 and is called Time To Get Up.

Jarido, a Seton Hall University alumni, has been likened to Donnie McClurkin and Hezekiah Walker, but the gospel singer tends to shy away from such comparisons. He says he and Nu Virtu have a style and approach all their own.

Jarido said that while creating Time To Get Up, there were definitely challenges, but that he went into the process knowing that, "Anything worth having is going to be difficult". This up and coming vocalist also made it a point to stress the importance of planning and praying as a way to overcome challenges when embarking on any journey that an individual may decide to undertake.

For more information on Kevin and his new album, Time to Get Up, visit his website by clicking here. Or you can like him on Facebook, by clicking here.  To schedule Kevin Jarido and NuVirtu for engagements and appearances please contact Kimani H. Davis, CEO, Transform Agency, at 609-284-2946, or you can email the office at

For access to Anwar's Reflections exclusive interview with Kevin Jarido along with a YouTube video of one of Kevin and Nu Virtu's songs, please see below:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Trenton Black Republican Speaks Out

TRENTON-- Local activist Dion Clark speaks out about being a Black Republican in a predominantly Democratic town after viewing Kevin Williams new documentary Fear of a Black Republican at Princeton's Nassau Inn.

Clark, a longtime resident of East Trenton and former Mercer County Freeholder candidate, sat down with Anwar's Reflections-- a Trentonian affiliate-- Saturday morning to discuss his views on the Republican party and the state of his beloved hometown, Trenton.

In the interview, Clark said that Democratic leadership has failed urban communities like Trenton for far too long and that it is time for change.

The East Trenton native said that many people from Trenton ended up not voting for him when he was running for Mercer County Freeholder this past November simply because he was a black Republican. Clark thinks those sorts of judgments are misguided and rooted in ignorance.

Clark says that its important that people come to the Republican party with an open mind. During our interview, he said that it was important to focus on providing more opportunities to individuals living in urban communities like Trenton, not simply throwing money at social programs as Democratic leadership has done.

The East Trenton native insisted that the emphasis should be on giving people a hand-up, not a hand-out. He said that the current system under Democratic leadership has helped create a welfare state where some people have ultimately developed a sense of entitlement after receiving assistance from the government. He went on to say that some people have turned this assistance into a way of life where they rely exclusively on the system generation after generation. He said, "its kind of like a checking account at a bank, if you don't deposit anything, how do you expect to get anything back".

On the other side of the coin, there are those that suggest that the Republican party is indifferent to the plight and predicament of struggling working and middle class individuals. Nine times out of ten, these critics point to budget cuts that adversely affect the everyday lives of poor and working class individuals. Cuts to city aid, education, and so forth are usually what they reference.

Critics like New York Times columnist, Paul Krugman, argue that the Republican party only seeks to undermine social programs like Social Security, medicare, and veteran's health despite the value they bring to society. Critics of the Republican party argue that they only look out for the rich and well-to-do by refusing to raise their taxes despite their large incomes.

Please see videos below:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Trenton Bookstore is Moving On Up

TRENTON-- With the help of the community, Classics Used Bookstore in Trenton has gone from being in 137th place to now being in 64th place in this year's PepsiRefresh Project, moving up 63 slots in just two weeks.

Yet the well-liked bookstore still needs your help.

Eric Maywar, the owner of Classics Bookstore, has entered his Trenton Books at Home Program into a contest to win a $25,000 grant. The grant contest is sponsored by beverage giant Pepsi.

To help support Classics and their endeavor as they strive to win Pepsi's Refresh Project, you can vote for their Trenton Books at Home Program by clicking here. You have until December 31st to vote.

You can also vote by texting 110506 to Pepsi (73774). Standard text messaging rates apply.

The Trenton Books at Home program provides free books to Trenton kids. To read more about the Trenton Books at Home program, click here.

To learn more about Classics Used Bookstore in Trenton, feel free to contact Eric Maywar or Laurice Reynolds at (609) 394-8400.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Trenton Bookstore Has Hopes To Put 60,000 Books In Kids Homes

TRENTON-- City bookstore aims to put 60,000 books in the hands and homes of Trenton kids.

Eric Maywar, the owner of Classics Bookstore, has entered his Trenton Books at Home Program into a contest to win a $25,000 grant. The grant contest is sponsored by the beverage behemoth Pepsi.

The Trenton Books at Home program provides free books to Trenton kids. For three years, this program has handed out over 2,000 books a year with the help of schools, churches, after school programs and community groups.

To win the Pepsi Refresh contest, the Trenton Books at Home Program needs your vote because the 15 ideas that get the most votes by December 31, 2011, win $25,000 for their cause.

According to a press release, studies show that when kids have books in their homes, whether the kid is struggling or already successful, they do better in school and stay in school longer.

Winning the grant would mean Trenton kids could get over 60,000 books for their homes.

Click here to vote and help raise 60,000+ books for Trenton kids.

Please note: you can vote once a day until December 31st.

Please see video below:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Local Non-Profit HomeFront Decides to Make It Write

HAMILTON-- Local writers and authors alike have teamed up with area non-profit to not only put on a show, but also help feed the hungry.

Make it Write! for Social Change & Personal Empowerment Writers' and Readers Theater with Holiday Gift Bazaar and Food Drive for Home Front, NJ will be held from noon to 4pm Saturday December 10th at the Hamilton Manor located off Route 130 in Hamilton Township.

Home Front, a non-profit organization that fights homelessness, conducts this food drive every year. Last year, they were able to collect 8,110 food bags that were then distributed to feed hungry families in the community.

This year, Home Front, has partnered up with the Love of Neighbor Caravan to collect perishable food items. According to a press release, The Love of Neighbor Caravan is a non-profit organization that seeks to foster better human communications and encourage greater civic engagement.

Authors and writers alike will be on hand during this weekend's event to give presentations of their work. William Mackson, Marie Calvin Williams-Gant, Robert Gartner, and a host of other published writers are scheduled to be in attendance this Saturday.

Free face painting will be provided to all children that attend.

Tickets to go to the event are $5 for adults and only $1 for adults that decide to bring with them a perishable food item. For more information, contact event organizer Tim Razzac at (609) 379-2885 or RSVP the event online by clicking here.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Occupy the Hood NJ Holds Forum at Trenton Library

TRENTON-- Members of the Occupy the Hood New Jersey protest movement met at the Trenton Public Library Saturday morning to discuss issues affecting the community.

During the forum, meeting participants discussed an array of issues. They spoke about the prison industrial complex, education, crime, voting, and civic engagement.

Occupy the Hood was born out of dissatisfaction with the larger Occupy Wall Street movement. Occupy Wall Street originated in New York's financial district just three months ago, but has branched out into various cities across the United States (including Trenton) and abroad. 

Occupiers protest a variety of issues, including, but not limited, to debit card fees, the growing gap between the rich and poor, Wall Street bailouts and corporate influence in politics.

Members of the Occupy the Hood Movement argue that issues affecting the lives of 'minorities' and poor people were not being adequately addressed by the larger Occupy Wall Street protest movement.

Out of this dissatisfaction, the Occupy the Hood Movement was born. Hood occupiers speak to a whole host of issues that affect the day to day lives of people living in urban communities like Trenton, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Issues like crime, education, the prison industrial complex, and budget cuts, to name a few.

Saturday morning, members of the community engaged in a robust discussion.

During the forum, Rodney Jenkins, a city man said, that we need to hold our leaders accountable and not just vote during election years, but rather we need to get more involved in between elections.

Michael Johnson, a Ewing man said, he would like to see more young people get involved in the Occupy the Hood movement. He said, "I want to see more people become a part of the solution and not the problem".

Daryl Brooks, a city activist said, he wants the movement to not only raise awareness but also challenge the banks and challenge the prison industrial complex. He thinks this movement has the potential to become the next Civil Rights Movement.

To get involved, contact Occupy the Hood New Jersey by email: or visit their Facebook page by clicking here.

Please see videos below: