‘Friends’ Desert Bill Cosby when he Needs them Most

billcosby"Hey, hey, hey (in my best Fat Albert's voice), please listen to what I have to say. My friend Bill Cosby is in trouble today."

Even Fat Albert knows Bill Cosby is getting a raw deal. As a public relations/crisis management professional. I have worked with some of the biggest names in sports, entertainment, and business. So, let's deconstruct this media frenzy engulfing the man who was once America's favorite TV dad.

Many of these allegations have been around for more than 30 years. Cosby has never been charged with a crime and deserves the presumption of innocence. Simply because several people – okay, eight and counting – provide a similar salacious account doesn't make it true.

Until now, Cosby and his lovely wife, Camille, have not had to defend their hard-earned good name. They have given north of $50 million to educational institutions, especially HBCUs. Cosby has opened doors to many of the top actors and comedians in the industry.



Learning to Love What You Have

marian wright edelmanIn a season focused on gratitude, 17-year-old Monica Chica has an attitude about choosing to be grateful that's wise far beyond her years: "The most important lesson I learned is that being happy is not about having with you what you loved in the past, but learning to love what you have in the present."

Monica learned this lesson the hard way. She grew up in El Salvador where her father was a lawyer and teacher and her mother was a doctor. Monica's mother suffered from Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a nervous system disorder which caused her a lot of weakness and pain. The disease often left her bedridden and kept her from playing an active role in the family's daily routines. Monica was grateful to have her at home and had lots of other support. The school just across the street from her house where she was a star student, the beloved church where she started teaching Sunday school at age 9, and her best friend's house a block away were the center of Monica's childhood. As pervasive gang violence began striking closer and closer to home, when Monica was 15 her family decided to leave everything behind to try to start a better life in the United States.

Almost immediately, the American Dream wasn't what they'd expected. Monica, her parents, and her older brother and sister moved in with an aunt and other family members in Montgomery County, Maryland. Monica—who only knew a few words in English—was enrolled in a large high school where even other Hispanic students teased her about her accent. For the first six months she avoided speaking in school at all. Her aunt had worked for years to secure legal residency for Monica's family. But her father discovered that being a lawyer and a teacher in El Salvador did not translate into a good job here. It took more than a year for him to find a job as a janitor. Her mother's health took another turn for the worse and there wasn't enough money for the health care or medicine she needed. Before long her parents decided to separate and her mother and brother returned to El Salvador leaving Monica hopeless: "Everything that I had left was my family and now it was destroyed. In less than one year my life had turned meaningless and worthless for me."



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