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Sam P.K. Collins

Stories by Sam P.K.

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Young DJ Making Strides Forward

Very few young people have an idea of what career they want to pursue by the time they reach the age of 18. But for Bernard Brooks III, a local star who's known as DJ Young Music, mixing tunes and entertaining crowds have been a calling that he answered long before puberty.

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Civil War Exhibit Focuses On Families

More than century after the historic population boom, Washingtonians and people from around the country have a chance to revisit history and commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with the Smithsonian Institution.

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Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee: Love Personified

New Film Explores Couple's Relationship, Activism

For more than 50 years, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee wowed audiences on the silver screen and fervently railed against institutional racism in the academy and other facets of American society while maintaining a healthy marriage and taking care of a growing family.

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Local Black-Owned Salon Survives Gentrification

Veteran beautician and business owner Wanda Henderson defied the odds last summer when she reopened her salon and spa in a newly erected mixed-use development along Seventh Street in the Shaw neighborhood in Northwest.

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Poet Inspires Other Women of Color

Performing spoken word has always served as a cathartic experience for Liz Acevedo.

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Prince George's Councilman Raps Governor's Proposed Cuts

Prince George's County Council Chair Mel Franklin on Monday sharply criticized Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's proposed budget cuts, saying the short-sighted reductions come at the expense of the state's middle class.

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Eight Local Trailblazers Recognized at Award Ceremony

A group of local pioneers received honors for their longtime efforts to meet some of the District's most pressing needs during an award ceremony at a newly renovated community center.

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Johnny Britt Kicks Off National Tour

Singer Pays Tribute to Marvin Gaye

For more than two decades, renowned singer, trumpeter and producer Johnny Britt has serenaded audiences across the United States and around the world with his songs about the complexity of love and the trials that his listeners may experience.

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Charity Dance Competition Hailed a Success

Some of the District's movers and shakers showcased their dance skills and raised thousands of dollars in contributions during a contest at a historic venue that drew hundreds of people.

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Millennials Lead 'Black Out' During MLK Holiday

Members of local philanthropic organization Capital Cause put Martin Luther King's ideas into action during a "Black Out" that took place earlier this week during the annual holiday commemorating the late civil rights leader's birth.

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Ward 4 Council Race Wide Open

With the race to elect the next Ward 4 D.C. Council member well underway, it remains to be seen who among more than dozen prospective candidates will fill D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser's old seat on April 28.

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D.C. Mayor Gray Gives Final Address

A visibly content Vincent Gray recently delivered his final address as city executive before friends, family, colleagues, and loyal supporters at his newly revitalized alma mater.

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Police, Community Members Meet Amid Controversy

For months, Cherri Branson asked county officials to reveal the findings of an investigation into allegations of excessive force on a Germantown, Maryland, teenager. Her efforts, however, have remained futile because of a rule that protects such information.

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Marion Barry, D.C.'s 'Mayor for Life,' Feted by Residents, Community Leaders at Memorial Service

Thousands of people from across the D.C. metropolitan area braved the bitter cold, heavy rain and long lines Friday to pay their final respects to Marion S. Barry Jr., D.C.'s "mayor for life."

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Group Combats Homelessness with 'Blessing Bags'

A local nonprofit continued its efforts to provide members of a vulnerable population with the bare essentials during an event that raised thousands of dollars in donations.

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Millennials Brunch for a Cause

Hundreds of young professionals to donate nearly 300 pounds of winter clothing this week as a part of an effort to help a vulnerable population and raise awareness about an increasingly visible problem.

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Mother's Tea Unites Victims' Families, Community

More than 100 community members, church leaders, and elected officials participated in the Mother’s Tea, an annual program to unite mothers of homicide victims and those who have perpetrated acts of violence.

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Local Nonprofit Accepts Young Fathers

Since 2010, Generation Hope has supported more than 40 teen mothers striving to complete college and enter the career fields of their choice. But this fall, fathers too will enjoy the Northwest-based nonprofit's offerings.

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GWU Students, Faculty Discuss Ferguson

More than 100 students, faculty members, administrators, and parents who gathered in GWU's Funger Hall last week to delve into topics of race, class, and justice during an event touted as "Framing Ferguson: A Panel and Audience Discussion."

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Fans Celebrate Chuck Brown's 'Beautiful Life'

With the release of his newest studio album, fans have another chance to honor and remember the "Godfather of Go-Go" two years after his death.

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Girls Get Royal Treatment

They didn’t wear glass slippers or ride in golden carriages but dozens of youngsters received spa treatments befitting a princess during a gathering at a local salon.

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Festival Celebrates African Music, Culture

Thousands of people immersed themselves in the music, food and art of the Motherland last weekend during the DC Africa Festival, an annual celebration of Washington D.C.'s growing African community.

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Young Ballers Showcase Skills at Annual DCHA Tournament

Fast breaks, fadeaway jumpers, lay-ups, and the shrill sound of whistles made for an action-packed weekend at a local high school in June.

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Festival Reacquaints Residents with Kennedy Street

More than 100 people strolled last weekend along the Kennedy Street corridor in Northwest where they talked with business owners, sampled a variety of foods, purchased ethnic jewelry, and danced in the streets to the sounds of live jazz, R&B, and hip-hop.

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DCTV Celebrates 25 Years

During the latter part of June, more than 700 DCTV members, aspiring television producers and District residents converged on the grounds of the Brooks Mansion, DCTV's headquarters in Northeast, to celebrate its efforts to give community members a platform to express their opinions.

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D.C. Housing Expo Attracts First-Time Homebuyers

For a day, the District's convention center morphed into a one-stop shop for residents eager to purchase a new home, get interior design tips or talk to mortgage brokers.

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Garden Expands Healthy Food Options in Northeast Community

The debate about obesity has long focused on individual eating habits. In recent years, national programs and initiatives, such as first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign, have encouraged Americans to adopt healthier lifestyles.

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Howard U. Students Connect with Community

A group of students left the safety and comfort of their college campus and sparked discussions with local residents last weekend in an effort to strengthen ties with the community.

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Parents Protest PTSA President's Ouster

A group of disgruntled parents converged on the front steps of a Northeast high school last week to protest proposed boundary changes, school closures and attempts by administrators to abolish parent associations.

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Seniors Discuss Community Concerns

Walks Throughout District Focus on Likes, Dislikes

Yolanda Fell checks on friends, picks up trash, and jots down neighbors' concerns during walks around her neighborhood. Although she considers her weekly routine a part of her civic duty, Fell said that her efforts have gone unnoticed by District agencies in recent months.

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Seniors Complete Program, Win Scholarships

Justice Sonia Sotomayor Attends College Bound Ceremony

A local nonprofit handed out thousands of dollars in scholarships to a group of students during a ceremony at a prestigious theatrical venue last week.

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Film, Discussion Examines College Access

Today, a college education has become a necessity in an ever increasing information-based society. However, students from working-class families often find it difficult to navigate the complex application process and secure scholarships that make college a possibility.

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Volunteers Spruce Up Shepherd Parkway

A group of more than a dozen volunteers collected nearly a ton of trash and moved closer to restoring a local park to its former glory during a service project last weekend.

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Discussion Highlights Issues in the Black Community

Incendiary comments by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling about African Americans have shaken up the sports world in recent weeks and sparked conversations about race around water coolers and in living rooms around the country.

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Thousands Sample Passport DC 2014

Thousands Sample Passport DC 2014

For the past two weekends, perhaps as many as 30,000 people have trooped to more than 50 embassies along the celebrated “Embassy Row” in Northwest to immerse themselves in the art, history, culture and cuisine of places many may never actually visit.

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Conga Player Reflects on Storied Career

His name has become synonymous with go-go.

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Local Conference Connects Women Entrepreneurs

Reneta Bennett glanced around the table and listened as women shared stories about starting their own businesses. Their interesting anecdotes gave her the courage to talk about her passion for helping teenagers and young people.

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Hundreds Walk for Healthy Babies

Hundreds of people zipped up their windbreakers, put on their running shoes and braved a breezy spring morning to bring attention to a public health issue during an annual walk last weekend.

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Broccoli City Festival Promotes Healthy Lifestyle

Thousands Gather for Annual Event

Thousands of people celebrated Earth Day during an event that featured more than two dozen hip-hop and R&B artists last weekend.

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Family Day at National Zoo in D.C. Marred by Violence

Thousands entered the Smithsonian National Zoo in Northwest on Easter Monday for the African-American Family Day Celebration before gunshots rang out across the street from the front gates of the zoo, causing authorities to evacuate the facility.

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Duo Helps Liberian Children Fight Corruption

An audience of more than 20 people listened as author Robtel Neajai Pailey and soccer player Seren Fryatt recounted their experiences and provided insight about the current state of affairs in Liberia at the National Press Club in Northwest on April 10.

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Oakland Raiders' Usama Young Gives Away Hundreds of Books

A professional football player expressed his love for reading and donated hundreds of children’s books during a visit to a District school last week.

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Nas, Dyson Talk About the State of Hip-Hop

An iconic hip-hop artist did not mince words when he discussed the current state of the genre during an event at a local university the latter part of March.

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Youth Rally Against Tobacco Industry

A group of local teenagers and young adults rallied against tobacco companies during a gathering last month at the Latin American Youth Center in Northwest.

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Local Spelling Bee Champ Heads to Nationals

A middle school student has her sights set on a national competition after snatching victory away from the District's best and brightest spellers last month.

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Local Nonprofit Awards Book Grants

Dozens of local schools and nonprofits recently secured funds that will go toward the purchase of books and ensure the continuation of enrichment programs for District children.

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Young Voters Fight for Political Leverage, Agency in Changing Economic Climate

D.C. voters between the ages of 18 and 29 engaged both council and mayoral hopefuls through college, community civic organization forums throughout election season.

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Fundraiser Highlights Youth Homelessness

Hundreds of millennials recently slept under the stars and raised thousands of dollars in an effort to bring attention to youth homelessness in the District.

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Family, Friends Celebrate D.C.'s First Mother

Friends, family, colleagues and community members honored the life and legacy of Virginia E. Hayes Williams, known as D.C.'s First Mother, during a celebration of her life at a local high school.

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Greater Washington Urban League Receives Huge Contribution

Donation Part of Settlement Agreement

A local social services organization received a sizeable financial contribution as part of an agreement between a District agency and an alternative energy company.

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