Sunday, June 10, 2018

Stop the violence STL rally Saturday June 16 at White Castles

Distinguished Entertainment Group making plea to Stop the Violence STL at rally June 16 at White Castles

by Walter Pritchard, Soaring High Media Group

Duane Tolen is on a mission to give, a seed planted by his mother when he was a boy who told him about the “free heart” that beats inside him.

His heart for giving will be on display from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, June 16 at the corner of Natural Bridge and Kingshighway in north St. Louis. On that day, Tolen is spearheading his effort on the White Castle parking lot to add another voice to the ongoing community cry to end the senseless killings of far too many African-Americans by African-Americans.

Tolen’s charitable organization, Distinguished Entertainment Group (DEG), is inviting the public to come out and take a stand at the “Stop the Violence STL” rally. The event will include live music, speakers and prayer. Tolen is asking anyone who has been touched by violence to be at the rally. DEG’s slogan is “Events with Vision.”

“I just want to impact change in our community,” Tolen said. “If you’ve lost a loved one to violence or if you know someone that has lost a loved one to violence or if you know someone who knows someone, meet me at the rally.”

DEG, of which Tolen founded and is chief operating officer, is about giving back to the community. The organization has provided a free dinner and concert for the homeless; a toy drive; a fundraiser for the Regina Sykes, the mother of Monica Sykes, a 25-year-old Berkeley woman who disappeared in October 2016 and whose body was found four months later. A suspect has been charged with her murder. His organization has also done awareness events for Alzheimer’s, breast cancer and several volunteer efforts with community, non-profit organizations.

Although Tolen started DEG, he allowed someone else to be president of the eight-member group. “I’m a behind the scene type of man,” he said. “I’ve always been like that. As a child I sat at my mother’s feet and she would tell me about my free heart.

“I just care about people. I would sacrifice whatever to lift someone else,” he continued. “It is very fulfilling to put a smile on someone’s face.”

Tolen is calling for a “cease fire” and demanding that those with violent tendencies to “put down your guns and pick up your sons for one day.”

The rally will include live music and a host of singers and speakers. Musical director James OJ Turner of TAS Music will lead the musical charge. Scheduled performers are Adrianne Felton-King, Stephanie Songbird Ivy, Ife Jacobs, Tasha B, Trunessia Combs, Cheron Brash Phillips, Keilah Evans, Samuel “God’s been good to me” Huddleson, Dakota Pagan and others.

On the speaker side, Theda Wilson the mother of Christian Ferguson, who has been missing since June 2003, will speak. Christian was nine years old at the time of his disappearance. The minister of record will be Bishop James Holloway Sr., Senior Pastor of Solomon’s Temple Church, who share the Word of God with the rally participants. Regina Sykes will also be among the speakers.

This will be the second violence awareness event Tolen has presented. “I didn’t know any one who had lost a loved one to gun violence when I started,” he said. “Now I know at least 15 different people who have lost relatives to violent crime.”

For more information, call Duane Tolen at 314.496.6866 or Facebook -  Distinguished Entertainment Group page or Tolen’s page at Dee Tee. 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Dynasty 4th of July TAKEOVER

Experience television like never before with the all new Dynasty TV

Kid Start With Dre @ 3:00PM
Kid-Start with Dre Hilton premise is to take the audience inside the life of Dre Hilton, showcasing his personal adventure to change the world through children's music. Kid-Start showcases high energy, kid-friendly footage, for a complete fun-filled and educational experience.

Breakout @3:30PM
Breakout is a Christian based series that centers on the town of Release and its residents. A cozy community filled with societal issues that resident's experience.

One Mic @4:00PM
Calling All Artists! Don't miss the all new music showcase - One Mic! Debuting on Dynasty Television hosted by Thurro Rootz!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Mary Meachum Festival

Beginnings of a Brave New World
14th Annual Mary Meachum Festival
Saturday May 7, 2016 from 11am-6pm

Don't Miss the 14th Annual Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing Celebration, "Beginnings of a Brave New World", Saturday May 7, 2016, 11 - 6pm at Missouri’s first nationally recognized Underground Railroad site, 4500 E. Prairie Ave.
The public is invited to come to the banks of the mighty Mississippi River to experience a day of celebrating freedom. Discover what life was like 150 years ago through historical reenactments and performances featuring Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglas and more.
Mary Meachum, a free woman of color and the widow of John Berry Meachum, spearheaded efforts in education. She took a stand against slavery and used her home as a depot of the Underground Railroad. In 1855, she was arrested for aiding in the attempted escape of nine slaves across the Mississippi River to freedom in Illinois. Hence the site is now named in her honor.
Did you know the famous Buffalo Soldiers started right here at Jefferson Barracks in 1897? Experience first-hand how they trained and lived. Join in the fun and history. The festival will feature great food, art, music, spirit-filled choirs, dancing, poetry and more. This event is fun and free for the entire family.
Event Details:
Noon · Entertainment (music, choirs, dance, poetry)
2:30 pm ·  Remarks from distinguished guests

3:30 pm · Historical dramatic performance
4:30 pm · Sunset flag ceremony

4:45 pm · Barn dance

Sponsored by Great Rivers Greenway, The Urban League, Lincoln University, youth & Family Center and more. For more information, visit or call 314-865-0708 to get connected today.

Directions to the Mary Meachum Festival: Take Highway 70 to Grand Ave: East toward river; North on Hall to Prairie; Right on Prairie to site & parking. Rangers & shuttles can direct visitors to the event.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Access Granted Network launches on Charter Cable St. Louis

Flagship program, “Kingdom Conversations” showcased on debut
By Walter Pritchard, Soaring High Media Group 

St. Louis, MO - The food delighted the patrons and the atmosphere lit up Nathaniel’s Restaurant for the broadcast premiere launch of the gospel/Christian themed, Access Granted Network (AGN) featuring the flagship program, Kingdom Conversations.

AGN airs EVERY SUNDAY, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., on Charter Cable Channel CCIN 198 in the St. Louis market AND is available online at

A packed house enjoyed the soulful cuisine as they watched a big screen TV showing the video-taped talk-interview program, the same show that was debuting that evening on cable TV.
“I think this is something that we need,” said Theresa Williams, as she paused eating at Nathaniel’s, 3182 Morganford Avenue, just off Arsenal Street in south St. Louis city. “We don’t have enough black stations giving their opinions and sharing information. And the station is about the Lord, too! I’m always ready for that.”
Added Denesia Williams: “AGN is a wonderful network and it is a blessing that they’re able to spread the Word of God through this television services. I hope it expands.”

The St. Louis- and Atlanta-based broadcast media group, Access Granted Network, is about inspirational gospel/urban music and programming. The vision is to develop and grow the entertainment media corporation, whose sole purpose is to focus on skillfully assisting the best in music and engaging people in social conversation through original programming, new music, videos, interviews, exclusive performances and more.
In addition to Charter, AGN programming is available across all digital platforms, social media and online at
Kingdom Conversations, for example, an original program that started as a radio show and is one of 18 programs coming to AGN, is a “positive platform to expose a new generation” of pastors, musicians, artists, producers, entrepreneurs, writers and others, said Bishop Robby Owens, co-host and one of the show’s executive producers.

“This show is a platform for some of the most influential people in the region,” he said.
Owens described Kingdom Conversations as a “clean and funny Christian program offering the best in Christian entertainment and a nationwide gospel centric lifestyle.” The launch program featured lively interviews and creatively produced, pre-recorded segments involving St. Louis area pastors, business owners, social activists, dancers and artists.
Show co-host, Pastor Renita Lamkin of St. John AME in St. Charles, who is civic minded, said Kingdom Conversations is entertaining because it allows the program’s four co-hosts of offer “different perspectives on the same issue."
“The personalities collide which makes the show a lot of fun,” Lamkin said. Comedian co-host Michelle Aaye, said AGN and Kingdom Conversations “is the start of something big.”
AGN is offering church preaching time slots, corporate and small business commercials, on-demand content downloads, business consulting and other marketing/media services, according to Eretha Johnson, director of business development for churches and spot commercials.
AGN video tapped “The Ferguson Report Card: Facing the Future” – a community forum on August 15 that assessed progress in Ferguson one year after violent protest ripped through the north St. Louis county municipality following fatal shooting death of Michael Brown Jr. by a Ferguson police officer.
To view the complete video and for more information about programming, marketing, sponsorship and promotion opportunities on AGN, visit the website at, e-mail or call 314-361-2520.


Friday, August 7, 2015

'Facing the Future"

Ferguson Report Card event assesses impact of Michael Brown/Ferguson uprising 1 year later

By Walter Pritchard, Soaring High Media
Greater St. Mark Family Church and AGN Television presents the “Ferguson Report Card: Facing the Future,” a charity event that takes a closer examination and assessment of Ferguson at the August 9, 2014 one year anniversary historic death of Michael Brown Jr.

 The two-day event, this Saturday and Sunday, will feature a gospel concert, a community forum where a host of grass roots voices will speak on the year long journey that dramatically captured the attention of America, and national civil rights leader, the Rev. Al Sharpton. The focus is to address the impact of the shooting and the new paths toward social and economic justice are being forged.

The Ferguson Report Card will be on the campus of Greater St. Mark Family Church, 9950 Glen Owen Dr. (at Chambers Rd.), St. Louis, MO 63136, and is free and open to the public.

Host pastor, the Rev. Tommie Pierson, said Greater St. Mark Family Church is proud to present the world premiere of The Ferguson Report Card: Facing the Future. Pierson said the weekend represents of local agencies coming together and presenting action plans addressing joblessness, community policing, senseless murder, the power of the vote, stronger families and the better education of our youth.

“August 9th 2014 - the shooting death of unarmed Michael Brown - forever changed the St. Louis community and the world,” Pierson said. “Since the shooting we have witnessed marches, protest and the eruption of violence spurred by a generation of those who felt discarded by this nation.

“One year later on the eve of the death of Michael Brown, we take time to remember from whence we came and decide where we are going as American citizens who deserve equality and the right to thrive together,” he said.

The weekend remembrance will also include the launch of St. Louis- and Atlanta-based broadcast media group, Access Granted Network (AGN). The live video taping of events will be available for viewing on digital and online portals later in the month.

Saturday’s line-up includes the “Raise the Praise Concert” kicking off at 2 p.m., featuring Greg O’Quinn, Jesse Prather, Terry Bradford and Tracey Smith. Master of Ceremony will be national known comedian, “The Clean Comedy Guy” David Graham. The music will also feature the sounds of hip hop artist, Thurro Rootz.

A panel of representatives from the community will join in on the Ferguson Report Card forum at 3 p.m. Saturday. Scheduled speakers are: Dr. Christi Griffin, The Ethics Project; Adolphus Pruitt, NAACP St. Louis City; Deb Krause, Eden Theological Seminary; Bishop Henry Phillips, Power of Change Church; Tiffany Anderson, Jennings School District; Rev. Frederick McCullough, Restoration House; Pastor Renita Lamkin, St. John AME-St. Charles; Veta T. Jeffery, Missouri Office of Administration; and E. Lance McCarthy, Ferguson 1000 Jobs.
On Sunday, Sharpton, a MSNBC-TV commentator and founder of the National Action Network, will deliver a message beginning at 3 p.m., followed by a Unity March and candle-light vigil at Canfield Green Apartments, the sight of the deadly killing.

For more information about the Ferguson Report Card: Facing the Future, contact Pastor Tommie Pierson at Greater St. Mark Church, 314-868-7967. Attached is an e-flyer.

For more information about AGN Television, visit

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Empowerment Network honored for health care advocacy

The Empowerment Network received the Health Care Advocacy Organization of the Year award at the St. Louis American Foundation’s 15th Annual Salute to Excellence in Health Care Awards Luncheon April 30, 2015 at the Hilton St.

Louis Frontenac.

The Empowerment Network Inc. is a Prostate Cancer Advocacy, Education and Awareness Organization, 501 (C) (3) Nonprofit, 6000 West Florissant Ave., St. Louis, MO 63136

The St. Louis American created this video to help tell the story of an awesome organization.

For more information about The Empowerment Network, call 314.385.0998 or visit