Former Skinhead Frank Meeink Inspires Hope

“Your job is to be the old elephant,” said Frank Meeink — a former neo-Nazi skinhead — staring into a crowd of Hofstra University staff and students, wearing an unbuttoned flannel t-shirt with his sleeves rolled up to his elbows and his forearms covered in tattoos, encouraging them to show the younger generation how to treat other’s as equals.

“It’s so great that he’s able to admit his wrong doings and now he’s able to help others,” said Joy Jones, a freshman journalism student who was empowered by Meeink’s words.

Meeink grew up in South Philadelphia, where he struggled with identity issues and lived in a combative home. His mother battled drug abuse and he struggled to cope with an abusive stepfather. “He used to tell me we’re at war over my mom,” he said.

Meeink lost that war and not before long, he was sent to live with his father in West Philadelphia. One summer, Meeink was excited to go visit his uncle in the suburbs of Lancaster, PA. He looked forward to hanging out with his cousin who loved to skateboard and had a half-pipe in his backyard.

That trip changed Meeink’s life. Meeink’s cousin wasn’t the same. He was no longer the rock and roll loving skater kid who used egg whites and Elmer’s glue to keep his Mohawk standing straight. The half pipe was torn down as was the rock band poster’s Meeink remembered his in cousin’s room.

He had become a neo-Nazi skinhead and it didn’t take long to turn Meeink into one too.

Meeink went on to become a well-known leader of the neo-Nazi movement but after realizing error in his ways, he reconsidered his beliefs and abandoned the movement.

“If someone can go from one extreme to accepting everyone,” said Alexander Levine, a Jewish grad student who heard Meeink speak in high school. “Then that means change can happen.”

-Alexander M. Pineda

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Journalist Demetria Lucas visits Hofstra

On Wednesday, Oct. 8, blogger and journalist Demetria Lucas inspired an audience of roughly 25 students with an engaging discussion on resume building, networking and success as a media personality. Organized by Hofstra’s Collegiate Women of Color (CWC), the event featured an interview with Lucas, followed by a question and answer session from the audience. Shannon Alomar, vice president of CWC, coordinated the event and interviewed Lucas about her life, morals and career.

Dubbed as the “Black Carrie Bradshaw” in a Washington Post profile, Lucas began by talking about how she got her start in journalism—through blogging on Myspace about her relationship life. She then attended a networking event for the African American Women Journalists, and met with an editor for Essence magazine. “As a writer, you are always evolving,” said Lucas of her career.

Lucas talked about her first book, “A Belle in Brooklyn,” as a guide to dating culture. While dating in college and afterwards, Lucas advised young women not to be afraid to have standards.

“Keep a wide circle…grass is greener where it is watered,” said Lucas.

In addition to dating advice, Lucas advised the audience on building a brand and being successful in their individual fields.

“Make a list of what you want to be and choose the thing that is easiest and that will make you the most money,” Lucas recommended. She didn’t merge her professional life with her relationship life, and suggested that the audience does the same.

CWC president Mikwaevonn Mills talked of CWC as whole, and what it has gained from Lucas’ discussion. “From our discussion “Don’t Waste Your Pretty” with Demetria L. Lucas, our organization as a whole gained more skills to implement in different settings. For example, the work place, college classroom, etcetera,” said Mills.

Lucas’ advice and life experiences proved to be influential to the crowd, and especially to interviewer Alomar.

“Interviewing a prominent media influence such as Demetria was truly an honor,” said Alomar, who is also studying journalism. “There is something about getting answers out of someone who has been in your shoes before that truly makes me want to keep pursuing my dream. It’s like looking into a mirror and seeing myself in their position in some aspect.”

-Hayley Marks, Hofstra University

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Hofstra University Association of Black Journalists Member Statements

President, Claudia Balthazar

Hofstra University

Hempstead NY, 11549

HofstraUABJ Founded in 2001

Affiliate Student Chapter of NABJ in 2013

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMelaine Morgan, HofstraUABJ Event Coordinator, Senior 

Major/Minor: Radio Production/Music

Duration of membership in HUABJ: About 1 1/2 years

Current and past club activities at Hofstra: HUABJ, WRHU, Hofstra Concerts, Entertainment Unlimited, The Chronicle, MEISA

Current and past internships: Intern at Xifer Enterprises, Promotions/Programming Intern at Connoisseur Media Long Island (Farmingdale, NY), Promotions/Programming Intern at Davis Broadcasting (Columbus, GA)

Fun fact: I spent half of my life in NY and the other half in GA, so the accents cancelled one another out so I don’t have an accent of either place.

Hobby or special skill: I love listening to classic R&B.

Dream job:  The radio industry is my dream industry.

“My favorite thing about HUABJ is that we have the ability to polish our skills and be as creative as possible. Personally I had the opportunity to practice my writing skills about a live radio broadcast from one of my favorite stations and showcase that piece of writing on the club HUABJ’s official newsletter, “Black Ink”. Now, I can Google my name and see my work.

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Black Ink TV Nov. 17

This week’s Black Ink TV features Sports Report with Alex Pineda, Special Events with Claudia Balthazar (Little Rock Nine), Poltical T with T by Tatiana Brown and Entertainment Report with Djenane Beaulieu and Elisha McNeil.

Black Ink TV is a bi-weekly web cast for Hofstra University’s Association of Black Journalists. It serves as a platform for HofstraUABJ’s members that are aspiring broadcast journalists and on-air talent.

Stay tuned.

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Black Ink TV: Oct 25

This week’s show features Political T with T, Immigration, Entertainment Report and The Pock.A.Book.

Black Ink TV provides a platform for Hofstra University’s Association of Black Journalists’ aspiring broadcast journalists and on-air talent. Videos are put recorded by participating members.

-Claudia Balthazar, President 

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HUABJ: Book Signing with Cheryl Wills, Open with Bryan Ogilvie

Photo taken by Jagoda Obuchowska

Photo taken by Jagoda Obuchowska

Hofstra University’s Association of Black Journalists high lighting event of the fall 2013 semester, Book Signing with Cheryl Wills, was a success.

“This is the greatest career to me in the world, you’re writing the first draft of history,” said NY1 Weekend Evening News Anchor Cheryl Wills, speaking to a group of prospective journalists at Hofstra University on Oct. 14, 2013.

Wills addressed stereotypes about how competitive the broadcast industry is and presented a general career plan, telling students “my objective (tonight) is to show you how to get there, and most importantly, straight off the bat, you can get there.” Her message sparked several smiles in the crowd.

Wills was invited to Hofstra for a book signing to commemorate the anniversaries of the Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington. The event was hosted by Hofstra University’s Association of Black Journalist in collaboration with the Hofstra Cultural Center, the Black Student Union, Collegiate Women of Color and Ed2010.

The television personality declared that the first step to success in the workforce is proactivity in the job hunt and getting ahead of the competition. Wills encouraged students to apply for jobs well before the end of senior year to possibly have a job lined up as soon as they graduate.

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Student debt: An unfortunate reality for many African American students

Jerard Paige, a junior economics major at Howard University, isn’t your typical college student. That’s because he not only is concerned about how much money he’ll owe when he graduates, he’s taking steps to eliminate his school debt and secure his financial future.

“I have been saving for the past six months, hoping to eliminate my student loan debt by graduation,” Paige said. “Once I pay off my debt I will look into investing in appreciating assets. But right now, my focus is on depleting my liabilities so I can spend money to make money.”

Many students, especially African Americans, aren’t in a position to pay off their school loans before they graduate. A new study by Prudential Financial, Inc. shows that college-educated African Americans are twice as likely to attain student loan debt compared to all college-educated Americans.

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African American Financial Experience Survey

PRUDENTIAL

Our 2013 African American Financial Experience study shows continued financial progress, confidence and growing affluence in the African American community. At the same time it highlights ongoing hurdles of debt, multiple financial priorities and lagging investment product ownership that for many continue to make it more difficult to achieve long term financial security.

Link to study: African American Financial Experience 

While these are challenges for all Americans, the study brings to light unique characteristics of the African American community. The findings show the African American financial experience is defined by clear family-oriented financial priorities, solid participation in employer retirement savings plans, a focus on protection-oriented financial products, the significant role of faith-based institutions in financial education and optimism for the future.

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Black Ink TV: Oct. 9 show

 

Black Ink TV is our new web series for aspiring broadcast journalists, on-air talent and producers. We post bi-weekly and members get to share their talent for the world to see. We’re working on making Black Ink TV better with every take.

This week features:

HUABJ’s trip to Washington D.C., Hofstra’s School of Communication name change, a story on college debt and an entertainment piece on Rihanna and more.

-Claudia Balthazar, President 

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