Be the Change: Step Up! | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Be the Change: Step Up!

FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT: This Jan. 15, you can fight AIDS. That is, you can be a part of Building Bridges' 1st Annual Winter White Charity Ball, sure to be a night full of entertainment, food and fun. The organization hopes to raise proceeds for its 2nd annual Mississippi Body and Soul Retreat, a program designed for those infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS. Tickets for the ball, themed "The Fight Continues Beyond Tonight," will go for $15 per person in advance, $25 per couple in advance, and $20 per person the night of the event. Those interested can purchase tickets to the event or simply make a tax-deductible donation to the organization itself. For further information, or to purchase tickets, call 922-0100.

STEP UP: The Coalition for Children and Public Education is conducting a statewide petition relay, "Step Up For Children," to call for full funding of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, including the increase in teacher salaries—part of a five-year plan to move Mississippi teachers to the regional average. The walk began on Jan. 4 and will continue until the petitions reach the Capitol on Jan. 11. For more information, contact Beverly Brahan at 354-4463, or e-mail [e-mail missing] ...

DRIVE TO DIGITAL: WJSU, the Jackson State radio station, has raised $40,000 during the fall semester through their Drive to Digital Campaign. The campaign has been the first on-air fund raiser for the station in the last two years. "We began our planning for the drive during July," said WJSU membership director Gina Carter in a statement. "Our approach was to make the campaign fun and exciting. We used challenges from WJSU major donors, paired the right people as on-air pitch teams and offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to one of our members as a gift of appreciation for their support." James "Lap" Baker, a regular donor to the station, was presented the opportunity to direct the JSU marching band. The station will have another fund raiser beginning April 2. Donations are still welcome. Send them to P.O. Box 18450 Jackson, Miss., 39127 or pledge by phone at 979-8672. …

SHOOTIN' HOOPS: The City of Jackson Department of Parks is sponsoring a "Cartoon" Youth Basketball League. Boys, ages 9-12 and 15-17, and girls, ages 9-12 and 13-14, may register by team. Teams must have a cartoon or other mascot nickname. All games are played on Saturdays and the season culminates with a city championship and league tournament. Register at the Jackson Medical Mall, Parks and Recreation Department (350 Woodrow Wilson Drive, Suite 311-C). The deadline for team registration is Friday, Feb. 18, and there are limited team slots available. For more information, please call Sam Miller at 960-0422. …

BABY, CAN YOU LIGHT MY FIRE? A yogini since the age of 16, Rebecca Laney, owner and director of The Center for Yoga and Health in Clinton, is proud to be featured in an internationally acclaimed documentary, "The Fire of Yoga." The film recounts the spiritual journeys of an ex-inmate from the Bronx, N.Y., a recovering alcoholic from Los Angeles, and a Southern Baptist cancer patient and student of Laney's, Susan Mason. It has received especially rave reviews from the International Association of Yoga Therapists and Yoga Journal, who calls it a "beautiful and inspiring testament to yoga's reformative, regenerative, and transfiguring power." In the film, Susan Mason addresses one of the many uncertainties that those not familiar with yoga may have questions about—religion. "That is why I do yoga. Not because it is a religion but because it helps me get back to MY religion." Visit the film's Web site at http://www.fireofyoga.com To get information on the Yoga Center in Clinton, call 924-7298. …

JUST SAY NO: As a way to help strengthen the efforts to fight teen drug abuse in Jackson and surrounding areas, the Metro Jackson Community Prevention Coalition was awarded a 2004 drug-free communities support program grant. The grant, worth $100,000, is awarded each year by the Substance Abuse and Mental health Services Administration and the office of national Drug Control Policy. "This new venture will assist MJCPC to continue to provide alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention training in Jackson's metro area. The project will also strengthen the coalition and community collaboration among community partners," said program manager Melinda Todd, in a press release. MJCPC plans to use the money to implement a drug prevention curriculum called Project Alert in different middle schools in the metro area. Project Alert has recently reported that its program made major changes among students ages 10-13. The two-year lesson program addresses substances that are popular among adolescents. …

THINKING GLOBAL: Make plans to join the Jackson Free Press and The Collective for a benefit night for the Asian tsunami victims. Living Better Electrically will headline the evening of local music, spoken word and comedy at the Red Room/Hal & Mal's the evening of Wednesday, Jan. 12. The minimum cover is $5; all proceeds go to disaster relief. If you'd like to help in some way (donate door prizes, food, your performance or your time), please call 362-6121 ext. 1. This event is 18 and up. Watch jacksonfreepress.com and next week's issue, out Wednesday, for a full line-up.

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