Kentucky native Ericka Nicole Malone announces a scholarship for those living in the Bluegrass state

Scholarship Announcement

April 23, 2024



(Los Angeles, California) Louisville, native who won the 54th Annual NAACP Image Award for Breakthrough Creative in a Motion Picture, Ericka Nicole Malone of Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment, LLC, announces the creation of the Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment Scholarship, which includes four scholarships ranging from $250 to $5000. The scholarships are for high school seniors and current college level students attending a Kentucky accredited school.

Ericka Nicole Malone says “I am excited to announce this opportunity. It is important that I give back to my hometown and the first people to believe in my writing ability which has given me so many chances to create produce and direct films you can see today.  Kentucky has a lot of hidden gems and I honestly believe that there are so many young people in the community that just need a chance.  With these scholarships, someone wanting to follow their dreams will now have a chance to fulfill them and I’m honored to assist them along their educational journey.” 

The Ericka Nicole Malone Scholarship can be used for tuition, school fees, books, housing, and food. To be eligible for the scholarship individuals must reside in Kentucky, have at least a 2.5 grade point average, (GPA), on a 4.0 grading scale.

As part of the consideration process. You need to submit an essay, (up to one thousand words) on what you want to pursue as a career and why this scholarship is important in fulfilling that goal. We also need proof of enrollment and current grade point average. Submit your essay to Your deadline is July12, 2024. Recipients will be announced on July 29, 2024.

Malone attended the Youth Performing Arts School, (YPAS), graduate of Manual High, a JCPS school is a successful writer, director, and executive producer. Her latest award-winning project is “Remember ME: The Mahalia Jackson Story” starring Ledisi, Columbus Short, Janet Hubert, Keith David, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and Keith Robinson.

ERICKA NICOLE MALONE ENTERTAINMENT is a production company focused on the development, production/co-production and distribution of film, television, and animated projects nationwide. 

Media inquiries: To setup an interview via phone and/or zoom, contact Sherlene Shanklin at VIPP Communications at or by calling 502.341-7306.  To read learn more on the Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment go to      

Unveiling of the William J. Simmons Portrait at the Heritage Center

Unveiling of the William J. Simmons Portrait at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage

The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage (Heritage Center), in partnership with Simmons College of Kentucky, invites the press and public to the unveiling of the William J. Simmons portrait on Monday, June 26, 2023, at 10 a.m. at 1701 West Muhammad Ali Blvd., Louisville, Kentucky. Simmons’ portrait will be a permanent installation joining other life-sized portraits in the Heritage Center’s Brown-Forman Great Hall Gallery, depicting African American leaders in the arts, civil rights, education, innovation, media, military, and sports. 

Dr. Rev. William J. Simmons (June 29, 1849 – October 30, 1890) went from enslavement to becoming Simmons College of Kentucky’s second president from 1880–1890, for whom the school was eventually named. Simmons College was the first school for higher education established for African Americans in Kentucky. The college was the vision of 12 formerly enslaved Africans who were members of the General Association of Baptists within the state. Their tenacity was fueled by their understanding of the importance of education for the sons and daughters who were formerly enslaved. 

Simmons developed multiple programs, including the teacher education program and one of the few Black medical schools at a Black college. Additionally, Simmons produced Kentucky’s first black medical doctor, Artishia Gilbert. In addition, he was a writer, journalist, and educator. In 1886 he became President of the American National Baptist Convention, one of the organizations that would merge to form the National Baptist Convention, USA. He was elected President of the Colored Press Association for his work as editor of the American Baptist, a newspaper in Louisville, Kentucky.

Simmons is best known for his 1887 work, Men of Mark: Eminent, Progressive, and Rising. The book compiled brief biographies of one hundred seventy-seven prominent African American men across the United States. Men of Mark was a best seller and the most extensive collection of African American biographies.

Aukram Burton, Executive Director at the Heritage Center, says:

“The time is overdue for Dr. Rev. William J. Simmons’ portrait to be a permanent installation at the Heritage Center to ensure that visitors will learn about Simmons’ accomplishments as a transformational leader who built a rigorous and inclusive learning environment that promoted academic excellence during an era that denied African Americans the liberties they should have enjoyed as U.S. citizens.

For media inquiries contact VIPP Communications at info at vippcommunications dot com or by calling KCAAH at 502-583-4100. 


CEO of Family & Children’s Place to Retire in 2024

Louisville, Ky. – Last week, Family & Children’s Place, one of the oldest nonprofits in the city of Louisville, announced their CEO and President Pam Darnall will retire in November 2024. The Board of Directors for the agency was told by Darnall back in November of 2022 of her retirement plan to allow the board plenty of time to find her successor.

“It has been my honor to serve in various roles with FCP since 1994. I am eternally grateful to my predecessors, who were patient and supportive role models as I learned what leadership is truly about,” Darnall said in an email to her staff after their team meeting, where Darnall announced her upcoming retirement.

Darnall began working at what was then called Family Place in 1994 as a program director and in 2001, she became the agency’s executive director. At a meeting with the CEO of Family & Children First Dan Fox, the two discussed the possibility of their organizations merging. In 2008, the two leaders created what is now known as Family & Children’s Place.

In 2016, Darnall was named an Enterprising Woman Making a Difference honoree. In 2021, she was listed as one of Business First’s Most Admired CEOs.

Celebrating their 140th anniversary in the community, Family & Children’s Place protects and heals family and children from child abuse and neglect. Their five programs (HANDS, Greater Louisville Head Start, Counseling, Child Advocacy Center, and School-Based Services) help establish healthy and safe environments for children and their families. Since 1994, Darnall has played a huge role in making the organization the staple it is in the community.

“For nearly 30 years, Pam has been a steadfast force at Family & Children’s Place, and she leaves big shoes to fill. We are grateful for her longtime dedication to the families and children who turn to Family & Children’s Place for the support and care they desperately need,” Family & Children’s Place Board of Directors Chair Richard Garner said in the same email sent to the staff following their team meeting.

The Board of Directors has formed a search committee and are working with Ashley|Rountree and Associates, a local firm specializing in nonprofit growth and sustainability, to determine the skills and abilities they are looking for in their next leader and identify high quality candidates.

If you wish to schedule an interview with Pam Darnall, please contact Allison Wiseman at or 502-645-5526.


For more than 140 years, Family & Children’s Place has been a critical presence in Louisville, helping our most vulnerable citizens — children, that have experience physical and sexual abuse and neglect. We believe that every child deserves a happy, healthy childhood free from abuse and that every family should have the tools and resources to maintain self-sufficiency.

Our mission: We protect and heal children and families.

Breaking Barriers Spotlight Awards Ceremony Returns Post Pandemic

The in-person ceremony will celebrate those who assist to make the equable for people with disabilities

(Louisville, KY) The Metro Disability Coalition cordially invites you to attend their 21st Annual Breaking Barriers Spotlight Awards on Friday, March 31st from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at the Rudd Heart & Lung Center located at 201 Abraham Flexner Way.

There will be a reception prior to the ceremony for special guests, honorees and those participating in the program. We will also honor our 2020 recipients. Due to the pandemic, we were unable to celebrate them previously. 

This year’s guest speaker is April Bridgeman Morrow.  Currently, she is a substitute teacher for Jefferson County Public Schools as she completes her doctorate degree in K-12 leadership.  The former ‘Outstanding Teacher of the Year’ by the East Chicago, Indiana Public School District. Morrow is a graduate of Valparaiso University. Her career spans over 30 years in education. She even founded a private Christian school with grades K though 6th in Merrillville, Indiana that quickly grew to 12th grade.  As a music teacher, Morrow’s students have performed all over the U.S. from contests in the Midwest to Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida.  

The awards ceremony is for the community’s unsung heroes and community leaders in their various fields from service workers, educators to youth who go above and beyond the call of duty to assist those in need. We are excited to announce this year’s honorees several of which are from Jefferson County Public Schools, (JCPS).    

Here is a list of this year’s Breaking Barriers Spotlight Award honorees:

 Leslie Jones

Lifetime Achievement Award

Theo Hamilton

Merit Award

Mary Payton

George McEwing

Teri Kiper

Cathy Spalding

Joann Orr

Certificate of Merit

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity

Community Honoree

Breaking Barriers Spotlight Student & Teacher Awards recipients: 


Jayden Hernandez Mendoza

Hazelwood Elementary

De’Von Jones

Kammerer Middle School

Michael Washington-Cox

Waggener High School


Deedra Njuguna

Special Education Teacher

Binet School (Elementary)

Julie Fox

MSD Teacher

Lassiter Middle School

Tara Conner

MSD Teacher

Doss High School

Please post announce and/or post our event on your media platforms. If you would like to setup an interview, please contact VIPP Communications at