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Museum of Science and Industry gets a new CEO, its first Black and first woman leader



Chevy Humphrey, the newly appointed president and CEO of Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, told two very on-point stories about her career path.

When Humphrey was interviewing for her first job at the Arizona Science Center, the leading science museum in Phoenix, Sheila Grinell, the then-CEO, asked Humphrey where she saw herself in five years.

“I said, ‘Respectfully, your job,’” Humphrey recalled replying. And with Grinell’s mentorship, she would make it there, almost on schedule.

But years before that, in her first work trip for ASC, she and Grinell visited the MSI.

Chevy Hemphrey, new president and CEO of the Museum of Science and Industry. (Arizona Science Center/Arizona Science Center)

Chevy Humphrey, the newly appointed president and CEO of Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, told two very on-point stories about her career path.

When Humphrey was interviewing for her first job at the Arizona Science Center, the leading science museum in Phoenix, Sheila Grinell, the then-CEO, asked Humphrey where she saw herself in five years.

“I said, ‘Respectfully, your job,’” Humphrey recalled replying. And with Grinell’s mentorship, she would make it there, almost on schedule.

But years before that, in her first work trip for ASC, she and Grinell visited the MSI.

Getting to the massive temple to popular science on the South Side took a little bit longer than ascending to the top post at Arizona Science Center, but with an MSI board vote Wednesday morning, it is assured.

Humphrey, a 56-year-old Houston native, will take the reins at MSI Jan. 11, becoming the museum’s first Black and first woman chief executive. The posting follows more than 20 years at ASC, the last 15 of them as president and CEO, where she oversaw attendance and budget increases while leading major fundraising drives and remaking key parts of the museum to incorporate a necessary “’wow’ factor,” she told local reporters.

“I’m very excited,” Humphrey said over the phone. “What’s really exciting is to continue the work, on a larger platform, of impacting communities and kids and families, and getting out there in the communities, providing those needed programs for science education. I love to see when kids have that ‘aha moment’ and they’re like, ‘Oh, what’s next?’ And they can see their possibilities for their next goal or a career path.”

She said she has no immediate agenda beyond going on a “listening tour.”

“I think my only plan for the moment is to learn everything there is to learn about Chicago, to listen to the community, to our visitors, to our team at MSI, to our board,” Humphrey said.

In hiring a museum professional, the museum follows a different path than the last time it picked a CEO.

Humphrey will replace David Mosena, the one-time Swiss Army knife executive in Mayor Richard M. Daley’s administration who’ll leave at year’s end after more than 23 years and who announced his planned retirement early this year.

When he took over in the fall of 1997, Mosena was “one of the most well regarded trouble-shooters on Mayor Richard Daley’s team,” the Tribune wrote at the time.

To take the MSI job, Mosena left a role as president of the Chicago Transit Authority. He had previously served as city aviation commissioner, the mayor’s chief of staff and planning commissioner, but he called leading the MSI “the honor of a lifetime.”

In a statement, Mosena called Humphrey, “Far and away the best leader I have ever met in the science museum field. We’ve been trading ideas for years and we both share a strong belief that museums are, above all, educational institutions with infinite power to engage young minds and expose them to the miracles of science. Chicago is very lucky to have her.”

The trustees’ search committee looking for Mosena’s successor conducted a truly international quest, said Michelle Collins, who led the board’s search.

Her group was impressed not only by what Humphrey accomplished at Arizona, but also by the fact that she had worked in many departments there before becoming president, Collins said. Her leadership in museum associations also stood out, as did her commitment to education.

Before the Arizona Science Center, which she joined in 1998, Humphrey worked in fundraising for the Phoenix Symphony, and the University of Houston and the University of Texas at Austin. Her degrees and a prospective degree are all in business: undergraduate from the University of Phoenix, an MBA from Northeastern University and a doctorate in business that she expects to complete this year at Grand Canyon University.

“We grew to, you know, really adore her through the process, and that’s been very fun,” Collins said. “She is just an incredibly energetic, enthusiastic person. She loves the science field. She really loves growing and running an organization. The MSI is obviously a large organization, and she’ll have a lot to do here.”

The museum has many updated permanent exhibits ready to greet Humphrey, but in its 14 acres of floor space, the sprawling institution at 57th Street and the lakefront in Hyde Park also has quite a few that could use modernizing or replacement.

It also has a new name coming. In the fall of 2019, the museum in a blockbuster deal landed its largest-ever gift, $125 million from Chicago billionaire Kenneth C. Griffin in exchange for adding Griffin to the MSI’s official name.

“There is no specific time frame for this yet,” an MSI spokeswoman said Monday, and the letterhead on the news release announcing Humphrey’s hire still read just plain “Museum of Science and Industry.”

The museum was Chicago’s second most popular in 2018, with 1.56 million visitors, just behind the Art Institute of Chicago. But in 2019, it dipped almost 11% to 1.388 million guests, behind both the Art Institute and the Field Museum of Natural History.

And 2020, of course, is a year when the COVID-19 pandemic means virtually all statistics are set aside, and the one that will really count is just how much money has been lost. At the end of May, after being closed for more than two months, the museum laid off 84 of 358 permanent staff, said others would face pay cuts and furloughs, and predicted a $20 million shortfall for the year.

Written by Steve Johnson of the Chicago Tribune

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When Does It Stop by Suless Burton



Hyde Park, Chicago, IL- Located at the Harper Theatre, nestled in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, premieres an independent film, created and directed by a brilliant Black woman named Suless Burton.  

Graced by an almost all Black cast, When Does It Stop gives the viewer sharp insight of the daily lives of Black Chicagoans.  While speaking with the stars of the movie, Durrell Parchman, playing the role of Drew in the film,  discussed the relevance of this story line and how it relates to the Black Chicago community’s tragic experiences with gun violence. Mentioning his late brother, slain earlier this summer by gun violence, Durrell emphasized the importance of this film and the impact it will make for the future. Actors KeAnte Smith (Terrence) and Xavier Lofton (Eric) also mentioned the importance of impact they have contributed via this film and have positive hopes that gun violence in Black Communities abroad will cease. 

When Does It Stop


After losing his mother to the streets and father  institutionalized for life, Terrance is sent to live with his sister Camille on the south side of Chicago. Terrance’s friends Ronnie, Eric, and Drew, are all living the life of crime and violence. With the help of his sister and supportive girlfriend Nina, Terrance finally plans to leave Chicago after a series of neighborhood gang incidents and increasingly tragic events. After receiving life-changing news, Terrance realizes that moving away may not be such a bad idea after all. But, is it too late?

About the Author

For years Suless Burton had this dream to do this movie but something always detoured her from doing it. The time became serious when her oldest son Andre Francis Jr. started his company called Beast Productions then her and him said they were gonna take over the world but tragedy came. Her son died from in asthma attack in 2018. A year later after suffering from severe depression she decided it was time to jump out on faith but then COVID 19 hit.  Five months later with the help of social distancing and face mask Suless finally filmed When Does it Stop and dedicated it to her son Andre James Francis Jr and a couple more cast family members who were killed in chicago in the making this film. 

Cast Members

KeAnte Smith plays Terrance

Durrell Parchman plays Drew

Johnell Pommier plays Ronnie

Xavier Lofton plays Eric

Suless Burton plays Camille 

What’s Next

When Does It Stop will be available soon on Netflix. You can follow this film on Facebook @WhenDoesItStop and on Instagram @WhenDoesItStop2021 for the latest updates.

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5 Lessons Jay-Z and Beyoncé Have Taught Entrepreneurs on Negotiating a Deal



Jay-Z and Beyoncé are masters at making power moves when negotiating business deals. According to Forbes, the power couple’s combined net worth is estimated at $1.4 billion. In the age of technology, streaming, and digital downloads, Beyoncé and Jay-Z have not only been able to adapt to the way the world buys music, but they’ve also skillfully used their influence to create lucrative business deals. Their business savvy speaks volumes and their net worth is proof. Here are some points behind some of the duo’s business deals:

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – DECEMBER 02: Beyonce and Jay-Z perform during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100)

Don’t Overlook Second Best

Jay-Z has a thing for partnering with companies that are extremely well-known, but don’t quite hold the number one position in their respective fields. For example, in 2003, Jay-Z made history with a Reebok deal. His signature shoe, the “S. Cater,” collection ended up being the fastest-selling shoe in Reebok history. He also promoted his autobiography, “Decode,” via Bing in 2010. Then in 2013, Jay-Z released his 12th studio album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, through a $5 million deal with Samsung mobile.

Equity is King

Beyoncé’s Uber deal was a chess move as she was thinking long-term and it paid off. In 2015, Uber offered Beyoncé $6 million to perform at a Las Vegas event, according to Refinery29. She reportedly turned down the cash in exchange to be paid in equity/stocks. Fours years later the rejected $6 million is now worth about $9 million in stocks.

Project Your Rights

Clearly Beyoncé is not interested in playing checkers. Her forward-thinking paid off big in her deal negotiation with Coachella. Refinery29 reports that settling for $4 million for her performance, plus rights to her show allowed Queen Bey to land a $60 million deal with Netflix, which streamed “Homecoming” on their platform.

Use Your Influence

Jay-Z’s success came with his influence that he uses as leverage to negotiate business deals he would otherwise not be privy to. In 2008, he launched Roc Nation, an entertainment company that works with artists, producers, athletes, and songwriters. Later in 2013, Roc Nation Sports was founded as a way to support and advocate for athletes similar to the way they do for artists in the music industry. Their roster includes, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Dez Bryant, Victor Cruz, Kyrie Irving, and more that could be found listed on the company’s site.

Invest Early

Jay-Z has a knack for investing in startups that show potential. By investing early in a promising company, the payout can be life-changing in just a few short years. For example, take his investment in Uber. In 2011, the billionaire was involved in Uber’s Seed B funding round when the company had a value of $300 million, according to TechCrunch. The company has since boomed and is now valued at over $60 billion.

Editorial Note: As sources from this piece have since updated their numbers, we have also updated and revised this piece to match our editorial standards.

This article was originally posted on Afro Tech’s website

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Voice of the Chi Interview with Ava’s Pet Palace



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