Author Archives: Miranda Carloss

We’re Going to Need More Wine

I SAID BBRR!!! IT’S COLD IN HERE! I said there must be a New York Times Bestseller in here. “We’re Going to Need More Wine,” a collection of stories is written by actress and women activist Gabrielle Union. Her book will leave you inspired, enlightened and empowered. In this book, she to re-created the warm feelings of a smile and the vibe of an insightful conversation with a friend.

Gabrielle Monique Union-Wade is a powerful Black actress known for her outstanding role in the critically acclaimed drama Being Mary Jane that debuted in early 2014, amassing more than 4 million viewers. Gabrielle was awarded an NAACP Award for “Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special.” She depicted and reflected the personal life of successful TV news anchor Mary Jane Paul who challenges obstacles through life, relationships, her career, and morals. You may also remember her in her breakthrough role in the 2000 film Bring It On.

Within 300 pages, Gabrielle Union courageously details the compelling memoirs that include 20 short stories capturing her compassion for survivors of sexual violence, and the motivation to bring light to the struggling topics of colorism, feminism, and fame. Gabrielle’s writing has exceeded expectations of an actress/writer of her time. Readers can hope to see more work from this self-motivated Black Hollywood actress.

In “We’re Going to Need More Wine” Union talks to the reader about her childhood, including being one of the few Black girls in her high school located in suburban California. She also saw the rapid change in her once sterile streets as the growing drug trade migrated to her hometown of North Omaha, Nebraska. The epidemic of flaunting wealth and gang violence plagued her once fun summer visits.

As you flip through the pages of her book, she pulls you into a conversation, and you realize what she brings to the table; bullying, beauty standards, competition between women in Hollywood and divorce. Get a glass and a bottle because it gets real. Gabrielle previously admitted to E News that she was terrified about sharing her rape story but feels it is important to “keep talking out” about it to support other victims.

The testimony of the encounter allows the reader to hear her voice and in this honest traumatic truth she vents to help others survive their attacks and ensure they are not alone.

Noted in the fourth story of the book Union sadly describes her young 9th-grade self as a “eunuch,” a word used socially relating to a pariah. Union illustrates her young stories of being unwanted by whites growing up and the struggles of dating. Young Gabrielle realizes even other black girls avoided friendship with each other just to avoid amplifying blackness.

“I was caught in a dual consciousness: whom I had to be when I was around my own people, and whom I had to be in high school…the constant code-switching changing my language, demeanor, and identity expression to fit in- left me exhausted.” -Gabrielle Union, pg.29

Her intellectual comparison to skin complexions and its importance to social class gives light to issues of the misconception of the lighter skin tone being implicated as worthier in society. This matter is sadly a hindering effect on dark skin children who are trying ways just to fit in.

Some would call it colorism or even prejudice, and as Union explains in a story to a colleague he mentions, “…when you make that choice of putting yourself in a position to fall in love with a very specific person who looks nothing like yourself, that does actually say something about your choices,” as he clarifies the comment, “love sees everything”. It’s a stretch, but it should get you thinking from another perspective, which I believe is another purpose of this wonderful piece of literature.

As titled in the book, her “Crash-and-Burn Marriage” to a former Jaguar football player left her feeling broken, lost and confused. Admitting to going to couples therapy and having an unhealthy marriage nudged her to see the factors to her trust issues and competitiveness.

During  a pre-Oscar luncheon in 2012, Oprah responded to Gabrielle Union’s Essence magazine “Fierce and Fearless” award acceptance speech with, “I had never heard anyone be that honest in public or private about the competition and her fierce drive to be seen and succeed in Hollywood.”

This book succeeds in sending a message of women’s empowerment in the Union States. Making “We’re Going to Need More Wine” a positive force for reversing competition to networking.

This unique book will capture readers from cover to cover in Gabrielle Union’s empowering and cathartic memoirs.

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Passion Projects on Display at City Hall

A city thrives when their voices are heard. Some efforts have shown that The City of Hayward wants to “do a better job of understanding who their citizens are and what their citizens want” however, “a lot of citizens feel left out,” Sean McFarland, Advisor of The Student Initiative Center at Chabot College mentioned during an interview. How do we voice the words from the people in our community?

For this proposal, about 100 Chabot students collaborated to create, “Needles in the HayStack,”  a community-inspired art exhibit taking place in Haywards City Hall.

Tennyson Thrives is a collaborative effort between community members, Hayward City staff, and the Chabot College Student Initiative Center to create and implement a dynamic Vision Plan for the neighborhoods along the Tennyson Corridor.

So, what’s the plan? Advisor Sean McFarland admits that the goal is for, “The Mayor and The City Council, to see this in their workspace,  take a second to stop and interact with the art pieces.” The art exhibit will showcase a wide variety of art pieces made from an array of material in efforts to voice the opinions of the community. Some projects displayed are photo albums that open up into singing telegrams and other projects have stretched the artistic imagination by making movies, blankets, and CDs related to Hayward.

Collectively there will be about 70 pieces submitted. This has been the strategy of the community to elevate the truth and the heart of the citizen’s concerns. “We’ve had students go down and talk to citizens of South Hayward. It’s been exciting.” Advisor McFarland feels that through this art show artist will, “tell the stories of the people, rather than an essay, and it’s an epic amount.” One of the pieces also includes a roughly 6 foot long display board vividly illustrating the culture of a citizen from Hayward portrayed by a talented Chabot artist.

Lynn’de Holder, Tania Romero, and Monica Hernandez came together to work on an ambitious piece emulating one of Hayward’s well-known landmarks, the welcome fountain that invites you to South Hayward’s border.

Monica believes that what inspired her to create the project was that, “it’s always been a part of Hayward…but it hasn’t received much attention since the city stopped doing maintenance on it.” Monica Hernandez was the inspirational mind behind the replica of the infamous Hayward fountain that welcomes citizens.

Tania believes that “the idea for the art was to take something that is supposed to represent Hayward in a way, and interpret the lives of the people that make the city what it is.” In a desire to reach out to the Council, Tania Romero, “hopes that this project will give them insight into South Hayward life and help them think of these lives.”

In pursuit of finding the hidden beauties and lost artistry of Tennyson Corridor, the C.B.O’s also known as Community Based Organizations, “are getting a good pulse of the community,” and Sean McFarland also details that “ this work explains what matters to the citizens.”

The students felt honored and pleased to be apart of an ambitious project in hopes to shed light on South Hayward’s concerns. Happily, with the art exhibit, the collaboration of Chabot students will bring light to the “personal views and lives of the South Hayward residents” as mentioned by artist Tania Romero.

The art exhibit in Hayward City Hall will be open from May 21 to May 25. There, you will be able to explore the beauty of “Needles in the HayStack” exhibit which will have its grand opening on Tuesday, May 22, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Chabot Gladiators reaches 1,000 Degrees

Chabot primarily serves innovative residents of Alameda County in the East Bay Area. Including the district communities of Castro Valley, San Leandro, San Lorenzo and Union City. Making it one of the leading diverse and cultivating institutions in the Bay Area.

Among the students that attend, nearly 1,000 degrees were awarded in the graduation year of 2016-2017. Exactly 998 degrees were awarded. Go Gladiators!

Dedicated to the Mission Statement as cited, “Chabot College is a public comprehensive community college that prepares students to succeed in their education, progress in the workplace, and engage in the civic and cultural life and the community.” And in the progression have shown the leading role in the local community college education.

Chabot College is known for being an institution for the commuting and busy student. Making it a well-appreciated school with thriving enrollment.

The last time this level of success was achieved was in the class year of 1993-1994. Where 1,000 degrees were earned.

As mentioned by Carolyn L. Arnold, Coordinator of Institutional Research, “transfer degrees (AA-T or AS-T) accounted for 45% of the increase, while a resurgence of AA and AS degrees contributed the rest. Either way, more and more students are earning degrees at Chabot.” AA-T being an Associates in Arts for Transfer and AS-T an Associates in Science for Transfer. As well as for AA and AS students who meet the general, major and unit requirements toward their field.

Graduates of the performing year, such as Florito Maniego believe that “a lot more students are more motivated to get better careers or further their education. A lot of students also attend Chabot to transfer, and they increase their chances of admission if they pursue a degree.”

Chabot College is classified as Degree-granting, associate’s and certificates school by Carnegie Classification.

Is This the Death of Community Education?

Front page of 2012 Comm Ed Catalog

Front page of 2012 Comm Ed Catalog

Enrichment courses on campus and online were once provided by Community Education also known as “Community Services” at Chabot College. In previous years this was a program that invited community members to register for classes that offered non-college credit courses at an affordable cost.

Business courses trained individuals in Accounting Fundamentals, Administrative Assistant Fundamentals, Managing in Customer Service and even Principles of Sales Management.

These classes were taught by community members, experts in their field, or Chabot College faculty members. Registering for classes was easy. To register online, all you had to do was go to chabotcollege.edu/comed and then go to “courses.”

Dr. Matt Kritscher, Vice President of Student Services stated, “We tried to respond to the recession, with more workforce training programs to try to make training that was relevant to dislocated workers.”

Also during this time individuals running the workforce training program had access to Dislocated Workers and the funds for that training came with them. Being a dislocated worker means that you are someone who is eligible for or receiving unemployment benefits (or who has exhausted eligibility for unemployment) because he/she lost their job.  

As Dean of Counseling at the time, Dr. Kritscher was asked to take on Community Education. However, the recession had resulted in lower enrollment. According to Dr. Kritscher, “This last year, was one of those years where it went to about $50,000 over budget because there were not enough enrollments. Basically, we had to decide to hold off on producing a schedule and putting it out to the community. Once we do that it’s about $15,000 in printing and mailing, and we had to know if that cost would be covered by people signing up for the classes.”

Kritscher said, “We weren’t getting more than 5-6 people to sign up a class, when we really needed like 10, 15 or 20 for it to pay for itself.” Dr. Kritscher explained that the program itself heavily relied on registration fees to pay for all cost associated with these classes.

Kim Bononcini who had worked as Administrative Assistant II for the program from 2005 to 2015 cherished moments she said, “planning and working in the Kids on Campus program each summer I’ve never worked so hard, before or since, but it was very rewarding, and I miss it a lot.”

Currently, the entire program consists of two courses split between The Arts and Business. One Line Dancing class offered this Fall by instructor Roslie Woergoetter; twice a week for twelve sessions and a few career preparation courses in Business.

Dr. Kritscher is hoping to put out a catalog next Fall where every single thing in there is free and they lead toward college preparation or toward a career development certificate.

Saturday Cafeteria Grand Opening a Non-starter

The Saturday Café will not be open as announced from 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. due to a lack of attendance during the pilot program which opened on Oct 21, 2017. The grand opening did not result in enough revenue for a successful outcome.

There are various reasons for the low attendance. A cafeteria worker commented that on that Saturday, “there were few in attendance… and no advertisement.” The local Flea Market was also active at this time, located in the Student Parking Lot G. This may have drawn people away who otherwise would have used the cafeteria.

Students on Saturday usually are attending classes on the opposite end of the campus. This may have been another reason for the limited attendance.

The main entrance doors to the cafeteria were not opened and the automatic sliding doors from the rear were the only entrance that Saturday.

More advertisement and better attendance will be needed for this program to continue.

Hayward Mural Program an Expression of Art

According to the Hayward Police Department, 35% of reported crimes have been from vandalism cases. Within these cases, many in the city of Hayward have been simply from “tagging” around local businesses and architecture. Graffiti is writing or drawings that have been scratched, painted or sprayed illicitly on a wall, or other surfaces in a public place, but it is also an art form.

The ongoing community effects include declining property values and neighborhoods suffering increased rates of other types of crime as well gang violence.

The Hayward Mural Program has been behind the call-to-action prevention of vandalism related to gang violence around town. In changing the appearance of the city of Hayward, and decreasing the escalating “tagging” in Hayward, the City Council’s top priority has been a pro-active and appealing approach.

The Mural Art Program extends to graffiti-prone commercial buildings, schools, utility boxes, fire hydrants, benches, underpasses, and book drops.

PG&E and Union Pacific Railroad, along with the Hayward Unified School District and homeowners associations, have gotten involved with the Hayward Mural Program.

Program administrators estimate that at least a thousand volunteers throughout the Bay Area have been associated with this program. The program’s efforts have cultivated an increase in job creation, civic pride, cultural enrichment and sense of community identity through inspirational artwork.

One of the artists in the program, Jean Bidwell, has been painting murals since high school and in 2009 began working with the Hayward Mural Program. Skilled with surface prep and restoration, painting, wood carving, calligraphy and many more art forms, Jean’s masterpieces include notable murals around schools, utility boxes and community wall structures.

Jean Bidwell described the program as, “something, unlike anything I have ever experienced. It’s a strong, albeit silent, impact and that’s the beauty of it… to draw people together… whether it’s curiosity or a passion for all things creative.”

As an artist captivated with the history of the place, and someone who paints in the realist style, she was presented with the distinction of an Alameda County Arts Leadership Award in 2013. Her designs have been those of a “historical nature,” and creations of “educational memorials” shared around the community.

By pausing a moment in time and creating a piece of art, the muralist Jean Bidwell has been able to “tell the story without words, hence her portrayal as a “visual scribe: a keeper of place.”

Jean Bidwell’s recent projects have been in the surrounding community including Downtown Hayward’s Utility Boxes on A Street, Jackson Street’s Southern Retaining Wall Mural west of Watkins Avenue toward the BART tracks and Hayward Main Library Book Drop Boxes on C Street and Watkins Street.