Posts made in March 2022


Lead Line Replacement Program earns Newark $50,000 prize from Environmental Policy Innovation Center, which will be invested in other water projects

    Newark, NJ –- March 30, 2022 — Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced today that the City of Newark and its engineering partner CDM Smith have won the prestigious Water Data Prize for its Lead Line Replacement Program.

    The Environmental Policy Innovation Center (EPIC) awarded the prize based on Newark’s performance in “demonstrating how lead pipes across America can be replaced quickly and equitably to ensure access to safe, clean drinking water.”

    “We are proud to have received this national-level recognition for our efforts to eradicate lead in our city and create a safer, healthier, and stronger Newark for our residents,” said Mayor Baraka. “This victory belongs to every member of Newark’s community who collectively achieved it. It is our hope that other cities across the country will follow our model program to provide their residents with clean, safe, and reliable drinking water.”

    The award is given by EPIC, a non-profit aimed at helping build policies that deliver “spectacular improvements in the speed and scale of conservation and environmental progress.”

    The City recently completed the nation’s most ambitious and efficient lead line replacement program, pulling more than 23,000 lead service in less than three years. The City’s herculean task is lauded by national environmental groups as the “model city” for eliminating dangerous lead lines from its delivery system, and Vice President Kamala Harris echoed that sentiment in a visit to Newark several weeks ago.

    “Any awards or recognition we get for our lead line replacement must be shared with our residents,” said Water and Sewer Utilities Director Kareem Adeem.

    “Their cooperation and support, and their willingness to let us into their homes, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, proves they trusted the City to get this major infrastructure job done and protect the quality of their drinking water,” he added.

    EPIC said more than 50 organizations and individuals from communications and technology firms, academia, community groups, and water utilities submitted entries aimed at effectively replacing lead water pipes.

    The Newark team and CDM Smith were the overall winners and will receive a $50,000 prize, which will be invested in other water projects.

    “Toxic lead pipes carrying our drinking water, installed a century or more ago, have no place in the modern world,” said Maureen Cunningham, Director of Water Strategy at EPIC.

    “EPIC is excited to see the new ideas, tools, and technologies submitted to this year’s Water Data Prize to address lead pipe replacement faster and more equitably,” she added.

    The contest was judged by a panel of 14 water experts and environmentalists from around the nation.

    For more information about EPIC, the award and Newark’s submission go to:


    For more information on the City of Newark, please visit our website at

Final Season of “Saints & Sinners” Premieres on Bounce Sunday, April 3 at 8 p.m. ET

ATLANTA, March 30, 2022 — The final, winner-take-all clash between the saints and the sinners is about to begin.

Bounce, the popular broadcast and multi-platform entertainment network serving African Americans, will air the final eight episodes of the sixth and final season of its hit drama series “Saints & Sinners” Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT, starting April 3. The series finale airs on Sunday, May 22 at 8:00 p.m.

“Viewers should buckle up for the final season of ‘Saints & Sinners,’ it’s an amazing rollercoaster ride from beginning to end,” said David Hudson, head of original programming for Bounce and an executive producer of the series.

“Saints & Sinners” has been a breakthrough success for Bounce, attracting a huge and loyal fan base and setting numerous network records for viewership. All previous episodes of “Saints & Sinners” are available for viewing anytime on Bounce’s subscription-video-on-demand service Brown Sugar. New episodes from the final season will be added Mondays after they premiere on Bounce. Visit for more information.

“Saints & Sinners” is set against the backdrop of a large southern church and centered around the pursuit of power, intertwined with greed, deception, corruption, compromising sexual affairs, and murder. The series is led by Vanessa Bell Calloway and Clifton Powell. Michael Anthony (“American Gangster Presents: Big 50 – The Delrhonda Hood Story,” “The Game”) joins the ensemble as the infamous Uncle Ray Ray, alongside Tray Chaney, Jasmine Burke, Keith Robinson, Donna Biscoe, J.D. Williams, Christian Keyes, Karlie Redd, David Banner, Dawn Halfkenny, Lisa Wu, Ashani Roberts, and Kaye Singleton.

“Saints & Sinners” is produced in partnership with Swirl Film’s Eric Tomosunas & Ron Robinson (“Behind the Movement: The Rosa Parks Story. ”) Nigel Campbell serves as the showrunner/executive producer.

About Bounce

Bounce (@bouncetv) features a programming mix of original series and movies, theatrical motion pictures, off-network series, specials, and events designed for African American audiences. Bounce is available to 98% of U.S. television homes free and over the air with a digital antenna, on cable, on DISH channel 359, over the top on Roku, and Apple TV; on mobile devices via the Bounce app; and on the web via Bounce XL, Scripps Networks’ newest free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channel, is available on Samsung TV Plus, Pluto TV Sling, and Xumo. Bounce is part of The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP).

About Brown Sugar

Brown Sugar (@BrownSugarApp) is the popular subscription streaming service from Bounce featuring hit movies, documentaries, specials, and television shows, Bounce original series, and the largest collection of classic black cinema, un-cut, and commercial-free. Brown Sugar is available on Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Comcast Xfinity X1, Amazon Channels, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Kindle, Android TV, Windows/Xbox, Android, and Apple smartphones and tablets and web browsers via There is a free seven-day initial trial period for subscribers with a retail price of $3.99/month thereafter. for more information. Brown Sugar and Bounce are part of The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP).

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‘Don’t Hang Up’ dials up nearly one million viewers in its premiere, becomes Bounce’s most-watched original movie

ATLANTA (March 29, 2022) — The premiere telecasts of the Bounce original “Don’t Hang Up” on Sunday, March 20, were seen by nearly one million viewers 2+, making it the network’s most-watched original movie in its 10-year history.

Starring Wendell Pierce (“The Wire,” “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan”), “Don’t Hang Up” also improved its timeslot by +38% in Persons 2+ viewers and by +30% in Households, P25-54, and P18-49 vs. prior four-week averages.

“Don’t Hang Up” has several more airings and is also available for viewing on Bounce’s streaming service Brown Sugar. 

The thriller revolves around Chris Daniels (Pierce), a husband and father whose life is upended when he gets a phone call that hurls him into a harrowing journey to save his family. Told his daughter has been taken hostage, Daniels is ordered by the kidnappers to complete a series of missions to get her back, all while maintaining one deceptively simple rule: Don’t hang up. 

“Don’t Hang Up” was directed by J.B. Sugar (“Faith Heist”, “Bitten”) from a screenplay by Byl Caruthers and produced by Sugar and Ella Myers for No Equal Entertainment.

About Bounce

Bounce (@bouncetv) programming is seen over the air, on cable, on DISH channel 359, over the top on Roku®, on mobile devices via the Bounce and Brown Sugar apps, and on the web Bounce features a programming mix of original series, docuseries and movies, off-network series, theatrical motion pictures, specials, live sports and events, and more. Bounce is part of The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP).

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Source: Nielsen Live+SD.  P2+ average delivery across 3 plays on Bounce (8p, 10p Midnight).  Data compared to L+SD data for all Bounce original premieres back to 2013.  Reach based on a 1-minute qualifier.

“Don’t Hang Up” Premieres This Sunday, March 20 at 8pm ET on Bounce, True-Crime Original Thriller Stars Wendell Pierce, Lauren Holly & Eden Cupid

ATLANTA (March 16, 2022) — Bounce (@bouncetv) will premiere its newest original movie “Don’t Hang Up” this Sunday, March 20th at 8 pm ET. The action-thriller based upon real-life events stars Wendell Pierce (“The Wire,” “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan”), Lauren Holly (“NCIS,” “Picket Fences”), and Eden Cupid (“Umbrella Academy”).

The mystery revolves around Chris Daniels (Pierce), a husband and father whose life is upended when he gets a phone call that hurls him into a harrowing journey to save his family. Told his daughter has been taken hostage, Chris is ordered by the kidnappers to complete a series of missions to get her back, all while maintaining one deceptively simple rule: Don’t hang up.  

Meanwhile, the growing number of unanswered texts and calls from his wife Tracy (Holly) leads to escalating fear and even police interference – which unwittingly puts the safe return of their daughter (Cupid) in even greater jeopardy.  

“We are elated to have Wendell Pierce and Lauren Holly in the starring roles of ‘Don’t Hang Up,’” said David Hudson, Head of Original Programming, Scripps Networks. “We are elevating our original programming with superlative artists in unique, high-quality, high-octane stories. This stellar cast will take writer William “Byl” Caruthers’ fantastic page-turner screenplay to incredible heights and ‘Don’t Hang Up’ will be an edge-of-your-seat thriller.”

“As an actor, I always look for opportunities to do good work with good material. ‘Don’t Hang Up’ is a film that meets this standard,” said Wendell Pierce. “I’ve always wanted to do a thriller, where an ordinary man is thrown into an extraordinary situation. Based on a true story, it’s evidence that sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.”

“Don’t Hang Up” is being directed by J.B. Sugar (“Faith Heist,” “Bitten”) from a screenplay by Byl Caruthers and produced by Sugar and Ella Myers for No Equal Entertainment.

About Bounce

Bounce (@bouncetv) features a programming mix of original series and movies, theatrical motion pictures, off-network series, specials, and events designed for African American audiences. Bounce is available to 98% of U.S. television homes free and over the air with a digital antenna, on cable, on DISH channel 359, over the top on Roku, and Apple TV; on mobile devices via the Bounce app; and on the web via Bounce XL, Scripps Networks’ newest free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channel, is available on Samsung TV Plus, Pluto TV Sling, and Xumo. Bounce is part of The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP).


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Hip Hop Public Health Launches ‘Community Immunity’ Vaccine Literacy Effort

New, Five-Part ‘Rap Anthology About Vaccines’ Aims to Fill Knowledge Gap Regarding Vaccination to Better Fight the COVID-19 Pandemic in Communities of Color

Series of Animated Music Videos feature Critical Health Messages Performed by Grammy®-Winning Rapper Darryl DMC McDaniels

THE NATIONAL NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION DEDICATED SINCE 2004 TO FOSTERING POSITIVE HEALTH BEHAVIOR CHANGE THROUGH THE POWER OF SCIENCE AND HIP HOP MUSIC, TODAY LAUNCHED COMMUNITY IMMUNITY: A RAP ANTHOLOGY ABOUT VACCINES. A suite of free resources aimed at increasing COVID-19 vaccine coverage in communities of color by fighting fear with facts, this animated rap anthology deconstructs vaccine literacy in a series of five animated videos, beginning with



Each 60-second video in the Community Immunity anthology features a common underlying hip hop track with a unique rap verse that incorporates vaccine literacy content and a universal hook about the benefits of community immunity, which is repeated and sung in each video. The goal of the series is not only to inform, but also to turn receiving the vaccine into a social norm. Each video in the series will be launched over the next several weeks through March 2021, beginning with What Are Vaccines and Why Do They Work? (launching 2/11), followed by Are Vaccines Safe and How Do I Know This?(launching 2/18); What are the Common Vaccine Myths, Misperceptions? (launching 2/25); What Can I Expect if I Take the Vaccine? (launching 3/4); and, Getting a Vaccine is Better than Getting Infected with COVID-19 (launching 3/11).

“COVID-19 is the most urgent global challenge we face today, and if we can encourage 80% of the population to get vaccinated, we can achieve the community-wide immunity we need for social activities to return to normal” says Dr. Olajide Williams, Founder of Hip Hop Public Health, tenured Professor of Neurology at Columbia University, and Chief of Staff of the Department of Neurology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center. “As the coronavirus continues to ravage communities of color, the long-standing distrust that many feel towards medical science has proven to be an even greater challenge. Our goal with the Community Immunity anthology is therefore to increase vaccine literacy by demonstrating three critical points of fact: one, the vaccine is safe; two, no scientific shortcuts were taken in the development of the vaccine; and three, being vaccinated is an act of community service.”

“While we must work to fill knowledge gaps, we also recognize that knowledge alone does not motivate behavior change. To meet the challenge of COVID-19, we need to truly connect, culturally and emotionally,” adds Dr. Williams. “This is why HHPH developed the Multisensory Multilevel Health Education Model, which leverages the power of culture and art to motivate people to live healthier lives.”

“Hip Hop Public Health is committed to providing accessible, culturally relevant resources, free of charge to empower underserved communities about critical health issues ,” says Lori Rose Benson, Executive Director and CEO of Hip Hop Public Health. “With recent studies showing that more than half of African American adults are hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine, it is essential that we create and widely disperse messages to dispel myths and reduce anxiety around the vaccine with the goal of creating Community Immunity as the ultimate act of love – love of self, love of family and love of the community – to inspire and drive action.”

A recent national study (Szilgayi et al, JAMA December 2020) revealed that the self-reported likelihood of getting a COVID-19 vaccine declined from 75% in April 2020 to 56% in December 2020, despite extensive media coverage beginning in November showing high efficacy for both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.  The lowest likelihood of vaccination was found among Black individuals and those with lower educational backgrounds, two groups that bear the highest burden of illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. The APM Research Lab has found that Covid-19 has killed 1 out of every 645 Black Americans, and according to the journal PLOS Medicine, Black people, ages 35 to 44, have been dying at nine times the rate of white people the same age.

“These findings make HHPH’s novel approach to vaccine hesitancy a critical item on the menu of initiatives designed to increase vaccine coverage,” Dr. Williams concludes.

Plans to roll-out Community Immunity include a series of community mobilization events in partnership with the State of New York’s Vaccine Equity TaskforceHeartSmilesMDThe New York City Department of Education’s Office of School Wellness Programs, and others. The videos will also be widely distributed across multiple social media channels in collaboration with local faith-based organizations, community media outlets and national and local radio platforms. In addition, Community Immunity will be part of a larger program used in company settings as a tool to educate essential workforces and answer pointed questions about the vaccine.  In partnership with 40 West Advisors, HHPH’s innovative and customized tools will allow direct access to the answers employees need to make informed decisions about the vaccine. Finally, the public is invited to engage directly with Dr. Williams and Dr. Monique Hedmann-Maxey, HHPH Advisory Board member who also appears in the videos, through #AskTheHipHopDocs. This interactive social media initiative is designed to answer questions and help dispel misperceptions when tagged in real-time. Answers will appear on

“Communities of color carry  the heaviest burden from the pandemic, and  in order to stop the virus in its tracks, we need to increase vaccine literacy, change behavior and get vaccinated,” says Darryl DMC McDaniels. “By harnessing the power of hip hop, we hope to connect with communities of color in a way they can relate to and encourage folks to get vaccinated. I am honored  to lend my voice to this vital campaign – get the shot y’all!”

The five videos in the Community Immunity series are focused on the following topics:

WHAT ARE VACCINES AND HOW DO THEY WORKHighlights the power of vaccines, which have all but eliminated diseases that once sickened, crippled or killed millions of people every year, including smallpox and polio. The two current COVID-19 vaccines are more than 90% effective at protecting the recipient (9 of 10 people won’t get sick if they get both doses of the vaccine).

ARE VACCINES SAFE AND HOW DO WE KNOW THISDespite the speed of vaccine development (which has prompted many to question whether a vaccine for COVID-19 is safe and effective), very strict science, regulations, and transparency was enforced during vaccine development and data safety monitoring. Even after a COVID-19 vaccine is approved, the FDA, CDC, healthcare systems and vaccine developers will continue to monitor the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine for years.

WHAT ARE THE COMMON VACCINE MYTHS, MISPERCEPTIONSAddresses misinformation and how this has affected people’s trust, and addresses fears with facts. “This is not just a moment of truth; it is a moment for truth.”

GETTING A VACCINE IS A BETTER DEFENSE THAN GETTING INFECTED WITH COVID-19 Which puts you at risk of severe infection, protracted illness, and death. This video also emphasizes that one of the most important tools to save Black lives right now is vaccination.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT IF I TAKE THE VACCINEDescribes transient reactions to vaccination and emphasizes the importance of returning for the second shot (for the two currently approved Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in the United States) for community immunity. Defines herd immunity as community immunity. Getting both shots is not just about me, it is also about us.

“We have been locked in a life or death battle against COVID for nearly a year, and with the vaccine now in hand, we finally have the weapon that will win this war, but it will only be as effective as our willingness to use it,” said New York Secretary of State and Co-Chair of New York’s Vaccine Equity Task Force Rossana Rosado. “The sad truth about COVID is it hasn’t only attacked our health, it’s brought to light the structural racism, injustices and inequities that have contributed towards the distrust and skepticism people feel towards the health care system and the vaccine itself, especially in communities of color.  The fact is it is safe, it is reliable and if we are truly to get back to normal, we need everyone to have confidence in it – that’s why the work Hip Hop Public Health is doing is so important. By finding new and creative ways to instill confidence in the vaccine, they are getting information about the vaccine’s efficacy to those who need it in an easily digestible and understandable format. Hip Hop Public Health has been a tremendous partner to New York’sVaccine Equity Task Force from the very beginning and on behalf of Governor Cuomo and all New Yorkers, I thank them for this critically important public service.”

The Community Immunity: A Rap Anthology about Vaccines series was produced by Artie Green. The video animation was created by Mylo The Cat and Cartuna. Medical oversight was provided by HHPH Founder, Dr. Olajide WilliamsDr. Melissa Stockwell and HHPH Advisory Board member Dr. Monique Hedmann-Maxey. Philanthropic support for the initiative has been provided by The Skoll Foundation, Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Dalio Center for Health Justice at NewYork-Presbyterian, and Columbia Community Service. To learn more, please visit and follow HHPH on social at @hhphorg #CommunityImmunity

About Hip Hop Public Health

Based in New York City, Hip Hop Public Health was founded in Harlem in 2004 with the mission to empower youth around the country – and the globe— with the knowledge and skills to make healthier choices, reducing preventable health conditions and the rising tide of childhood obesity.

Through a research-driven developmental process created by Columbia University Neurologist Dr. Olajide Williams (a.k.a. the “Hip Hop Doc”), Hip Hop Public Health works with socially conscious artists and musicians to create scalable, highly engaging, culturally relevant music and multimedia “edutainment” tools designed to improve youth health literacy and promote health equity. HHPH used validated models of behavior change and evidenced-based research to develop original content and are committed to an iterative cycle of program evaluation, academic research and resource refinement. We aim to make the healthy choice the cool choice.

The Hip Hop Public Health team, led by physical education veteran and public health leader Lori Rose Benson, is a collective comprised of not only health and education professionals (including nutritionists, public health researchers, teachers, physicians, behavioral scientists, and a student advisory board), but also proven-successful multi-media professionals and A-list iconic rap stars and pop artists including Doug E. Fresh, Chuck D, DMC of Run DMC, Ashanti, Jordin Sparks, as well children’s television writers/producers (formerly of Sesame Street).

HHPH is proud to partner locally, regionally and internationally to empower health focused organizations and stakeholders to adopt and adapt Hip Hop Public Health resources and infuse them into youth health and wellness programming and initiatives. All HHPH music, videos, comic books, video games and guidance documents are available for free and can be accessed on its online resource repository.