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Volume39,Number23 WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. THURSDAY, January 31, 2013
Islamic academy
may open this fall
The Community Mosque of
Winston-Salem is hoping to soon
close on a piece of property directly
behind its Waughtown Street build
ing, ending a long search for a proper
location for its
Islamic school.
The mosque
has hosted
weekend educa
tional programs
for Muslim chil
dren for more
than 30 years
under the aus
pices of
Community Mosque Academy. If all
goes as planned, the property on
Bretton Street will become a full
time learning institution known as
Community Mosque Academy Inc.
Mosque members and supporters are
providing the financial backing for
the project, organizers say. The
school could accept its first students
in August.
"A Muslim school fills a very
Safiya Griggs stands outside the Community Mosque.
important gap," concluded Imam
Khalid Griggs, the longtime leader of
Community Mosque. "...We think
this will give them a foundation in
their faith that they will draw from
for the rest of their lives."
Safiya Griggs, the Imam's wife,
will serve as the Academy's first
principal. It will require more school
ing for Mrs. Griggs, who retired from
the City of Winston-Salem in 2009,
but she says it will be well worth the
effort to see the children of her com
munity in a learning environment that
supports and affirms their culture and
"Parents want their children, in
addition to public school, to learn '
their faith," she said. "Islam is not
just a religion. It's a way of life."
See School on A3
Photo* by Lay la Ciarms
Cooper (left)
poses with
Jackson in the
garden at
Below: Mary
Jac Brennan
oversees the
gardening pro
Virions of the Garden Variety
Mentoring program aims to spread county s green revolution
by layla garms
The - Forsyth
Cooperative Extension is
looking for local residents
with green thumbs to help
ensure the success of the
area's thriving community
garden population.
With the help of a grant
from the Winston-Salem
Foundation, the
Cooperative Extension is
offering free training
courses for community
members who wish to take
their leadership skills and
their gardening expertise, to
the next level, through the
Community Garden
Mentoring Program.
Mentors are required to
attend monthly programs
at the Extension offices
and meet at least biweekly
with garden leaders. The
training program, which
includes 18 hours of men
tor training and classroom
instruction, is designed to
broaden the Extension's
reach in Forsyth County,
which is home to an esti
mated 100 community gar
dens, said Mary Jac
Brennan. Extension Agent
for Community Gardens.
"These are people who
know about gardening and
then they get trained in
community organizing.
They are matched up with
gardens that need some
help with the organization
part of it," Brennan
explained. "...It's a really
good way for us to stay in
touch with gardens and for
gardens to have a direct
pipeline to us."
The mentoring pro
gram was launched in 2011
to serve the ever-growing
demand of a burgeoning
community garden popula
See Gardens on A7
? Hispanic league Photos
The crowd enjoys last year's Fiesta!
turns 20
Maria Aristizdbal speaks at a
recent Spanish Nite.
The Hispanic League is celebrating a milestone
Twenty years ago, the organization began when a
group of local people came together to hold a small street
festival called Fiesta!
Like Fiesta! - which now draws thousands of atten
dees each summer - the Hispanic League has grown in
size and scope since 1992.
About 1,300 active members and volunteers help the
organization carry out its mission - improving the lives of
Hispanics and Latinos while promoting multicultural
understanding. Along the way, the League has also been
able to educate the broader community and break down
cultural barriers.
"There were two
misconceptions: one
was that everyone
moved here from
Mexico, and the other
one was if we wait
long enough they'll
go away," Executive
Director Mari Jo
Turner said, recalling
some of the commu
nity's reactions to the
burgeoning local
Hispanic population.
Turner said
Fiesta! - which show
cases the dozens of
nations in the
world - was envi
sioned to help break
down some of those
Cristina Roche and her husband, Herve, attended the
first planning meeting for Fiesta! She was charged with
finding entertainers to perform at the event - a responsibil
ity she held for many years.
"Somebody had the idea of let's do a festival and share
our culture and share our music and share our food with
the local community," said the Buenos Aires. Argentina
One small stage was all that was needed for the first
Fiesta!, which was held on Trade Street. Today, Fiesta!
acts perform on several sound stages scattered on and
around Fourth Street in the heart of downtown Winston
?The League began its annual Spanish Nite tundraising
gala soon after the first Fiesta! Proceeds from the event
allowed the organization to provide scholarships to bright,
college-bound Hispanic high school students.
"I had really been the one to shape the ESL program at
Reynolds (High School)... 1 had all the ESL students and
1 found a lot of them had the grades to go to college but
not the money." said Dr. Joy McLaughlin, who helped to
start the scholarship program.
McLaughlin said that one major problem was that non
See League on A2
Author enters uncharted territory
Southern black gay men's stories brought to life
Hickory native Dr. E. Patrick Johnson will be exploring the complexi
ties of race and sexuality onstage at Wake Forest University's Scales Fine
Arts Center next week.
The UNC Chapel Hill alumnus will share the life experiences of black
gay Southern men during a Feb. 5 performance of "Pouring Tea," a stage
production based on his 2006 book, "Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the
Set Johnson on A8
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of Winston-Salem, LLC
Photo courtesy of Dr.
E. Patrick
performs on
stage in
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