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The 2nd Annual San Antonio Black International Film Festival (SABIFF) Presents Diverse and Engaging Virtual Events

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SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS The San Antonio Black International Film Festival presents SABIFF 2020, its second annual festival beginning October 1st through the 4th on sabiff.tv, their virtual platform, built by SuperLiveStreams.com. Last year SABIFF presented a 4-day inaugural film festival to San Antonians at prime venues on the Eastside, Downtown, and on the Riverwalk’s La Villita Arneson Theater. This year, due to COVID- 19 restrictions on venues and audience limits, the film festival has elected to go virtual keeping previous venues intact online. Daily schedules and offerings which include: films in competition, screenings, panel discussions, and workshops, that range from donation to fifteen dollars. Schedules can be found at both sabiff.com and sabiff.tv websites, and will be simulcast on multiple social media outlets during the festival run.

“Presenting SABIFF online allows SABIFF the opportunity to attract and present their events to a larger audience base, and we have lots in store,” commented Ada M. Babino, the festival’s Founder and Director. SABIFF 2020’s virtual opening night gala will be co-hosted by the Carver Community Cultural Center, a performing arts jewel on San Antonio’s Eastside. SABIFF proudly commemorates the 30-year anniversary of the classic film To Sleep With Anger starring Danny Glover. Veteran Director, Charles Burnett will be presented with SABIFF’s first annual Ankh (life) Achievement Award. Following the film’s watch party, will be a TSWA reunion with cast members discussion and reflections from this 1990 movie classic. Invited renowned cast members include: Dany Glover, Sheryl Lee Ralph (Moesha and The Mighty Quinn), Mary Alice (Sparkle A Different World), Carl Lumbly (Dr. Sleep, The Chi), and Richard Brooks (Law and Order, Being Mary Jane).

SABIFF 2020 will also include 2-days of independent film showcases submitted by 35 filmmakers international in scope, that explore taboo topics such as: mental health and America’s pathology through carefully curated film blocks entitled Blacklash Blues and American Illusions. On October 2 – 3, the festival also presents topics that we need more of, in these days and times. Themes such as LOVE and SOCIAL JUSTICE are showcased through the blocks Love: Under Construction, and BlackLining (presented in partnership with SA’s Black Lives, and Allies in Community (BLAC). Festival highlights the evening of October 2nd include the screening of A Genius Leaves the Hood, a documentary on businessman/music mogul JZ sponsored by Moguldom Studios, followed by a discussion with producer Jamarlin Martin, CEO and Founder of Nubia Ventures, LLC, and Moguldom.com. Martin will also conduct a workshop aimed to empower filmmakers to take their products to the next level — GAME ON: Indie Films to e-Commerce Remix – The Digital Master P. Model. Saturday morning (10am) delves into the topic of racism with the documentary, and a panel discussion of The American LOWS (Legacy of White Supremacy). Sunday’s conclusion of SABIFF 2020 begins with a discussion with Merawi Gerima, director of Residue, now airing on Netflix. A Film Competition Awards Ceremony follows, in combination with a virtual Sunday brunch streaming live from the SAPL’s Carver Library, another partner and cultural hub on the Eastside. Physical awards will be mailed to winning filmmakers, along with an option for filmmakers to air their films on Black Reflections Roku Channel. See sabiff.com for schedules.

SABIFF partnered with a team of committed volunteers, students, and a number of local community institutions and businesses. 2020 Grant awards were received from the San Antonio Area African American Community Fund (SAAAACF), and the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Antonio’s Community Responsibility Endowment Fund (FUUC).

ABOUT SABIFF
The San Antonio Black International Film Festival (SABIFF) serves as a vehicle to support and advocate for quality Black films and filmmakers international in scope, and expose SA Audiences to diverse industry professionals, impactful events, and films created by, for and about people of African Descent throughout the Diaspora. SABIFF was founded by native indie filmmaker Ada M. Babino, and a group of community filmmakers and community movie enthusiasts who began meeting at the Carver Library in the late fall of 2018, with the purpose to create a Black independent film festival in the Alamo City. Birthed from mutual interests, the San Antonio Black International Film Festival was officially and successfully launched at the Carver Library on February 23, 2019, with the start of what will be an annual
endeavor. Fractured Atlas is the fiscal sponsor for SABIFF 2020.

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WestCare Texas Hosts COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Drive

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“WestCare Texas Hosts COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma (CCP) Drive to Fill Critically Low Supply”

WestCare Texas has partnered with the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center to bring blood and plasma donation busses out to the community in a life-saving plea for community members, who have recovered from COVID-19, to donate convalescent plasma. 

The blood supply in South Texas has reached critically low levels, declining to around half of what is needed to adequately serve patients throughout the region.  The shortfall comes at a time when collections normally are rising, the start of the new school year. But because of the coronavirus pandemic, universities are not hosting blood drives. 

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center is the only facility in our community that directly helps critically ill COVID-19 patients in local hospitals, by collecting plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients, per U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements, to be used as a treatment.   Currently, plasma is being flown in from New Jersey and New York, because it is in short supply locally. “Sometimes the patient doesn’t have any treatment available to them for days” as the hospital awaits delivery of convalescent plasma, according to a UT Health San Antonio physician.

Identifying CCP donors often reaches beyond the existing donor base.  we need to get a particular population, which is people who have recovered from the virus. According to data from the CDC, we do know that certain populations—African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, and the elderly, to name a few—are bearing the brunt of COVID-19 infections and deaths. WestCare understands that COVID-19 has not impacted all communities equally and wants to ensure equity in access to affordable, safe, and effective treatments for COVID-19. “We really want to help the people who have been hurt the most by this disease,” said Beverly Watts Davis, Vice President West Care Texas.  “It isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also the most effective way to protect those whose lives are most at risk and to treat those who develop disease.”

The South Texas blood and Tissue Center has seen a OBI needs its donors to help save patient lives in the here and now.

A single plasma donation with OBI can provide plasma to up to four COVID-19 patients, in a process that takes about an hour and a half. it should be stocked.   On the average, one donor can provide 3 – 4 doses, which can help treat 3 – 4 people. up in preparing for the second wave if it will come unless a specific drug or a vaccine will be available. 

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Three Town Halls

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TV ONE’S VIRTUAL TOWN HALLS FOCUSED ON SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL ISSUES IMPACTING BLACK WOMEN VOTERS PREMIERES THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22 AT 12 P.M. ET/11C

(SILVER SPRING, MD) – OCTOBER 19, 2020 – TV ONE will present the first episode of REPRESENT THE VOTE: OUR VOICE, OUR FUTURE, a three-part series of virtual town halls designed to tackle various social, economic and political issues impacting black women voters across the U.S. CNN commentator and political analyst Karen Finney will moderate the series which will debut on TV One and CLEO TV’s Facebook and YouTube channels starting Thursday, October 22 at 12 P.M. ET/11C with an encore presentation on Saturday, October 24 at 12 P.M. ET/11C on TV One and CLEO TV. 

The first episode, “The Issues: What’s At Stake for Black Women and Our Families During This Election?” looks at the power of the Black vote, how Black women are maximizing their collective voices and what’s at stake in the 2020 election. Finney and guest panelists will break down the issues impacting Black America to help ensure voters make informed choices at the ballot box this November. Featured speakers include Dr. Avis Jones DeWeever, Diversity Consultant and Women’s Empowerment Expert; Rev. Shavon Arline-Bradley, President & Founding Principal of R.E.A.C.H. Beyond Solutions LLC; Lia Epperson, Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law; and Shermichael Singleton, writer, commentator, political consultant, and host of Global Perspective on ABC/WJLA in DC.

“The current social and political climate demands we support efforts to mobilize the Black vote, especially the power of the black female electorate. It is vital that we utilize our television networks and digital platforms to inform our audience about key ballot issues impacting our community, the core positions and views held by our nation’s leaders and by those seeking to hold elected offices up and down the ballot, and the ability for voters to hold elected official accountable for promises made during this critical election,” noted Michelle Rice, General Manager of TV One and CLEO TV. “The accomplished leaders and social activists participating in the three town hall panels will undoubtedly help viewers be a part of the conversation, be more informed citizens on the key issues in this election cycle and most importantly, to inspire everyone to take the most important action – VOTE!”
An overview of future episodes of REPRESENT THE VOTE: OUR VOICE, OUR FUTURE are below:

Panelist Bios(Episode 1)
Esteemed panelists for the first episode include Dr. Avis Jones DeWeever, Diversity Consultant and Women’s Empowerment Expert. She is the Founder of the Exceptional Leadership Institute for Women, a global personal and professional development firm that helps established and aspiring entrepreneurs and executives experience accelerated success while building a holistic life they love.  She’s also the President of Incite Unlimited, a Washington, DC-based boutique consulting firm specializing in diversity consulting, communications strategy and the development and implementation of impactful research.


Rev. Shavon Arline-Bradley, President & Founding Principal of R.E.A.C.H. Beyond Solutions LLC a faith, advocacy, executive leadership and public health firm. Shavon is also a Co-Founder of The Health Equity Cypher Group, a collaborative of nationally recognized health experts designed to promote health, equity and inclusion in all sectors.


Lia Epperson, Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law. A nationally recognized expert in the areas of civil rights, constitutional law, and education policy, her scholarship centers on the constitutional dialogue between federal courts and the political branches, and its implications for educational equity. Shermichael Singleton, a writer, commentator, political consultant, former Contributing Host of Vox Media’s Consider It, a current affairs digital show that aired weekly on Facebook Watch and a former CNN Political Commentator.  He was also just named host of Global Perspective, his new show airing on ABC/WJLA in DC.  He is also a 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree for Law and Policy for his contributions to politics and media.

The three-part series is hosted by Karen Finney, a leading democratic strategist and Political Commentator for CNN. She is an indenendent consultant working with political and corporate clients on crisis communications, branding, public affairs, polling and strategy. Karen was a Senior Advisor to Stacey Abrams’ Gubernatorial campaign, the Democratic National Committee and AL Media in the 2018 election cycle. Finney served as Senior Advisor and Senior Spokesperson for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. 

Rev. Shavon Arline-Bradley, President & Founding Principal of R.E.A.C.H. Beyond Solutions LLC a faith, advocacy, executive leadership and public health firm. Shavon is also a Co-Founder of The Health Equity Cypher Group, a collaborative of nationally recognized health experts designed to promote health, equity and inclusion in all sectors.

Lia Epperson, Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law. A nationally recognized expert in the areas of civil rights, constitutional law, and education policy, her scholarship centers on the constitutional dialogue between federal courts and the political branches, and its implications for educational equity.

Shermichael Singleton, a writer, commentator, political consultant, former Contributing Host of Vox Media’s Consider It, a current affairs digital show that aired weekly on Facebook Watch and a former CNN Political Commentator.  He was also just named host of Global Perspective, his new show airing on ABC/WJLA in DC.  He is also a 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree for Law and Policy for his contributions to politics and media.

The three-part series is hosted by Karen Finney, a leading democratic strategist and Political Commentator for CNN. She is an indenendent consultant working with political and corporate clients on crisis communications, branding, public affairs, polling and strategy. Karen was a Senior Advisor to Stacey Abrams’ Gubernatorial campaign, the Democratic National Committee and AL Media in the 2018 election cycle. Finney served as Senior Advisor and Senior Spokesperson for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. 

Ep. 2 – The Intersection of Race and Gender in Politics and the Power of the Black Female Vote

Thursday, October 29 at 12 P.M./9C (Streaming on TV One and CLEO TV’s Facebook and YouTube channels)

Saturday, October 31 at 12 P.M./11C 
(Broadcast simulcast on TV One and CLEO TV)

Episode Description: TV One’s REPRESENT THE VOTE OUR VOICE, OUR FUTURE stands at the intersection of Black women and politics. Host Karen Finney brings together some of the country’s top thought leaders as they look beyond the distractions to the real issues that impact Black women, the candidates and the voters.  

Featured panelists include Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Social Justice Activist, Educator and Writer; Arisa Hatch, Vice-President & Chief of Campaigns, Color of Change; LaTosha Brown, Activist and Co-Founder of Black Voters Matter; Tiffany Dena Loftin, NAACP National Director for the Youth & College Division; and Beverly E. Smith, National President & CEO of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.

Ep. 3 – Post-Election: Where Do We Go From Here?

Friday, November 13 at 12 P.M./9C (Streaming on TV One and CLEO TV’s Facebook and YouTube channels)

Saturday, November 14 at 12 P.M./11C
(Broadcast simulcast on TV One and CLEO TV)

Episode Description: TV One’s REPRESENT THE VOTE: OUR VOICE, OUR FUTURE takes on the results of a monumental 2020 election and asks the question, “Where do we go from here?”Host Karen Finney and an esteemed panel of experts discuss the path forward for the next four years and beyond. 

REPRESENT THE VOTE: OUR VOICE, OUR FUTURE is produced for TV One by Black Robin Media with Lynne Robinson serving as Executive Producer and Jocelyn Sigue as Producer. For TV One, Susan Henry is the Executive Producer in Charge of Production, Donyell McCullough is Senior Director of Talent & Casting, Robyn Greene Arrington is Vice President of Original Programming and Production.

For more information about TV One’s upcoming programming, visit the network’s companion website at www.tvone.tv. TV One viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on TwitterInstagram and Facebook (@tvonetv) using the hashtag #RepresentTheVote and catch clips and promos on TV One’s YouTube Channel.


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Greenies Urban Farm Phase I Opens

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Photo by LaNell Taylor

Bexar County Commissioner, Tommy Calvert, broke ground on the new urban farm located at 1604 Sherman in an area of town that was once referred to by some as “the goonies” because of its dark and desolate reputation (often overran with weeds and litter). Instead of being called “the goonies,” new life has been given to the area which will now be known as “the greenies.” The new urban farm will assist the Food Bank in helping families who are experiencing food shortages in San Antonio. “It’s the right time to make sure we have food security for Bexar County moving forward into the Winter” Commissioner Calvert said.

“It was definitely an uphill battle, but we are fighting the good fight on behalf of the folks in San Antonio who need our help” the Commissioner stated.

Commissioner Calvert has been championing the cause of food security with the Food Bank since the pandemic began. The event commemorated the planting of broccoli, cabbage, kale, spinach, and many more essentials, as the urban farm nears the completion of its first phase; the first round of crops are planted. To celebrate the planting of the initial crop of vegetables, this crop will be harvested and donated to the San Antonio Food Bank to assist with the COVID-19 food shortage in Bexar County. The Greenies Urban Farms will also be a part of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension program.

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