Plus-size pageant promoter talks of relationships at 'Honor Your Mother'
BY FELEC1A Pionrrm
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fOR THE CHRONICLE
Ben Piggott, the center supervisor at the Carl Russell
Sr. Community Center, welcomed more than 85 mothers,
fathers, children and community leaders to the fifth annu
al "Honor Your Mother" luncheon held at the center on
Saturday, May 2.
Elaine Green Luke, the keynote speaker, had a trou
bled relationship with her mother that she feels led to her
issues of low self-esteem.
"Ladies, 1 want you to stand up if you have always
had over-the-top self esteem all your life," she said. Only
two women stood in the crowd.
"Statistics show that 98 percent of all women suffer
from tow self-esteem at some point in their lives. The two
of you who stood are the 2 percent of women who have
strong self-confidence. But the problem is there are just
too few of you," said Luke. 1
Luke told her personal story of abuse through a poem ^
she recited called "I'm Still Standing." In the verses, she I
blames her mother for "allowing a grown man to violate
me/ to take away my virginity." According to Luke, this
event zapped much of her self-esteem, but she is "still
Luke discussed how difficult it was growing up in the
projects, while her mother criticized her for being so fat
(432 pounds). Her mother also offered her material things
to substitute for the love she failed to give to Luke. She
wrote, "Growing up in the projects was really sad. Many
of my friends left in a body bag."
TTie abuse she experienced in her past repeated itself in
the abusive marital relationship Luke endured for nine
years. She discovered that the front window of her home
was bullet-proof when her husband tried to throw a press
ing iron through the glass to injure her. Through prayer,
self-inventory and a commitment to her dream of deliver
ing women from abuse, Luke was able to walk out of the
"Although I have had some difficult times, 1 have
been blessed, and I am so thankful for my survival," Luke
said. "I found sistahs to help me with my vision. If I need
ed someone to cook or to design an outfit, I found a sistah
who could do it."
Piggott noted that even when some parents are not the
best caretakers of their children, they can still have a pos
itive influence over their children.
In 2002, Luke said, "I had a vision to reach out to plus
size women like myself, who had struggled with selL
esteem and weight issues. I introduce to the world a very
unique pageant - Miss Big, Beautiful & Bold Pageant,
which was launched in Binghamton, N.Y. in 2010."
The pageant is part of an organization Luke founded
called Sista's Uplifting Sista's: Cause Our Self-Esteem
Means Everything! This organization was founded as a
result of the need to promote events for healthy-self
esteem in plus-size women and to seek global advance
ment for women all over the world. All of the women
involved in the pageants receive tiaras, trophies and other
special gifts. Some of the pageant winners suffer from
sexual abuse, drug addiction, low self-esteem or other ills.
The next pageant will be in August in New York. Luke
will hold future pageants in North Carolina now that she
has relocated to this area. She used her own funds to
finance the first pageant, but she will need sponsors to get
contestants to New York. Some of the contestants do not
even have the money to buy a dress, but Luke believes that
the sponsors will come to continue this dream.
Her Facebook page and website are as follows:
www.facebook.com/bigbeautifulbold and sistasuplifting
Luke considers herself blessed that she was able to
realize her dream of having pageants and being able to go
to college at the age of SO.
Speakers and performers on the program included
Brenda Smith Mayes, Betty Johnson, Byron Brown,
Shirley Mosely and Play Play Productions. Piggott praised
God for all mothers.
"I am grateful for all mothers today, including my
own. She passed on March 12 of this year, but we have
valued this event for the last five years because it offers
the community a chance to express their thoughts about
their mothers. All of these thoughts may not be positive.
But even if these thoughts are not positive, we realize that
our parents impact our destiny," Piggott said.
In Betty Johnson's poem "Mother , My Mother," the
speaker regrets that her mother has left her and her sib
lings to grow up in the Horizon Memorial Orphanage. In
the poem, the speaker cries out for arms that will never
hold her, for a voice that fails to say, 'I love you.'
Byron Brown introduced his sister as the speaker for
the day. Brenda Smith Mays performed a solo dance to
Stevie Wonder's "I'll Be Loving You Always," and the
children of Play Play productions danced to "Whip Nae
Nae." Luke enjoyed the gathering.
"I met some very special people here in Winston
Salem. I believe that I am in the right place to continue my
vision," Luke said.
Photo by by Felecia Piggott-Long, PhD
lntoinette Little, left, embraces "Honor Your
Mother" event speaker Elaine Green Luke and her
irother Byron Brown at the event for mothers.
Organization Donates Books to Cook Elementary
SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE
The Winston Salem Branch of the
National Association of University
Women recently fulfilled one of its
major focuses of the association by
donating books to Cook Elementary
School in Winston-Salem.
Members of the association col
lected and assorted books for the Cook
Media Center. The association present
ed the books to the Assistant Principal
Cindy Rash, Media Specialist
Brashana Pellam and Guidance
Counselor Diletta Mouzon. Several
other staff members were also present.
The Winston-Salem Branch of the
National Association of University
Women was organized in the mid
1950s. The president was the late
The National Association of
University Women is comprised of
women holding a baccalaureate degree
or higher degree from an institution
that is certified and accredited in the
United States. If the degree is earned
from another country, it must be equiv
alent to a baccalaureate degree in the
The mission of the National
Association of University Women is to
serve women, youth and the disadvan
taged in our communities and in devel
oping countries by addressing educa
tional issues, advancing the status of
women's issues, and to strategically
partner with allied organizations.
The book donation project has
been the organization's target for sev
eral years. Hundreds of books are
given each year to local schools for the
students to read and enjoy.
The W\nston-Salem Branch
NAUW 2015 officers are President
Evelyn Howie, 1st Vice President
Doris Herrell, 2nd Vice President
Sandra Armstrong, Recording
Secretary Geraldine Davis,
Corresponding Secretary Mildred
Griffin, Financial Secretary Barbara
Harriet, Treasurer Barbara Puryear,
Chaplain Lillian Satterfield and
Historian Susie Nance. Other mem
bers are Catherine Kennedy, Helen
Durr, Minnie Ervin, Wilhelmina Long,
Mary Jenkins and Betty Gray.
Cook Elementary School officials gather with
Winston-Salem NAUW Branch President Evelyn
Howie (center) in the media center. Cook employ
ees (L-R) are Kendra Scott, curriculum coordina
tor at Cook Elementary; Diletta Mouzon; Assistant
Principal Cindy Rash; and Angela Claudia, read
from page B4
convert would tease and
curse Jesus because He
dtSesn't "act like their
gods ( mute and unmov
ing). Because they have
the Holy Spirit, they can
witness to Jesus' identity
and power. The apostle
goes on to say that all
spiritual gifts even
though they manifest
come from the same
source. Paul points out
another aspect of the"
gifts is all believers don't
have the same gifts and if
they do their service can
be rendered in various
ways. Basically, the gifts
are to be uSed in service
to God, not for personal
edification. Who gets
what is decided by God
alone. Each individual
has a gift or maybe more,
but God decided this not
their status, birth order or
gender. The gifts are
designed for good for the
entire Body of Christ!
The gifts are mentioned
in the latter verses of the
lesson. You can also find
them in Romans 12:6-8
and Ephesians 4:11.
Believers are one body
in Christ. One's location,
profession, heritage or
culture doesn't make us
higher or lower as
believers in Christ. We
must always remember
that the God of creation
is in each of us. To pro
mote unity, we must
always remember that
every gift comes from
God and He alone
decides who gets what.
In reality we don't
Everyone is important!!
Each time we use our
gift(s) we edify God not
ourselves or the branch
of Zion we are in. If we
don't practice unity,
what is our witness to the
world? How can we
show others the way?
Sure, there will be dis
agreements in the body,
but we don't have to be
WW is Charactef ?
ethics and morals that you believe in.
Consistency between what you say you will
do and what you actudHy do.
Putting the ethic into action.
Defines, builds, or breaks your reputation.
Moral strength. It takes moral couroge to do
what is right when it may cost more than you
are willing to pay.
Who you are and what you do when no one is
"Whal is wrong is wrong, even if everyone is
doing it. Right is still right, even if no one
else h doing it." - William Pean
'it hi a is #
Ethics; i .
Define moral rights and wrongs.
Transcend culture, ethnicity, and ore relevant
to all socioeconomic conditions.
Are the should and ought of life.
Are ethical principles
Founded on fundamental principles of right
conduct rather than legalities.
Morals are always the same. Immorality
varies from generation to generation.
Reler to all important beliefs.
Not all ore ethical, some are neutral or non
Stated; what we say, ami Operational; what we
"Choracter is not reflected hy what we soy,
or even My what we intend, it is a reflection
ol what we do.'-Anonymous
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community in order la offer affordable quality early
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