By Craig Kirkland, EVP/Director of Retail Banking, Nevada State Bank
Your FICO credit score is an essential part of your financial profile. A favorable score can lower your borrowing costs, help you purchase a car or a home, get financing to launch a new business, and help you build savings and long-term wealth.
FICO is an acronym derived from Fair Isaac Company, which developed the software that calculates your creditworthiness. Their actual algorithm is not known; however, we know that it includes your payment history, the debt you owe, the length of your credit history, new credit, and the kinds (mix) of credit you have.
Your score can range from 350 to 850. Scores below 580 are considered poor, 670-739 is considered good, and an 800+ score is exceptional. Approval for a bank loan generally requires a score of 670 or better. The average FICO score is just over 700.
The FICO formula reviews your credit reports from the three main credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and Transunion — and then spits out a number. That number is used by the vast majority of U.S. lenders to determine whether you will be approved for credit, as well as the rate, terms and fees of your loan.
Your FICO score can also be used by creditors, landlords, mortgage companies, government entities, insurance companies, utilities, and others. Some employers conduct credit checks as part of the hiring process, and a prospective landlord may pull your credit report and your score before renting to you.
One thing to note: FICO score measures borrowing activity for traditional forms of credit like bank loans and credit cards. It doesn’t account for rent payments or nontraditional financing that may not be reported to a credit bureau.
Underserved communities often face a disadvantage because the system doesn’t measure the ways they use credit.
If you’re serious about maintaining a good credit score, request a free copy of your credit report to see if there are any errors or discrepancies. Then, contact the agency where they appear and clear them up. Once a year, you can order a free copy of your report from annualcreditreport.com.
Group B strep (GBS) is a type of bacteria that is naturally found in the digestive and lower reproductive tracts of both men and women. About 1 in 4 pregnant women “carry” or are “colonized” with GBS. Carrying GBS does not mean that you have an infection or are unclean — anyone can carry it.
GBS most commonly causes infection in the blood (sepsis), the fluid and lining of the brain (meningitis), and lungs (pneumonia). Some GBS survivors experience handicaps such as blindness, deafness, mental challenges, and/or cerebral palsy.
Although most women do not have symptoms, GBS can cause vaginal burning, vaginal irritation, and unusual discharge — which may be mistaken for a yeast infection and treated incorrectly. If you have vaginitis symptoms, see your care provider promptly for an exam and possible GBS testing.
GBS can also cause bladder infections, with or without symptoms. Your provider should do a urine culture for GBS and other types of bacteria (this is not the standard urine dipstick check) at the first prenatal visit.
These are some ways your unborn baby can be affected by GBS:
GBS can infect your baby even before your water breaks.
GBS can cause preterm labor, causing your baby to be born too early.
GBS infection can also cause your water to break prematurely without labor starting, causing your baby to lose a significant layer of protection.
It is thought that babies are most often infected with GBS as they pass through the birth canal. GBS infections within the first six days of life are called, “early-onset.”
Babies can become infected with GBS by sources other than the mother. GBS infections occurring between 7 days to 3 months of age are called, “late-onset.” Although less common, “very-late-onset” may occur after 3 months of age.
You can help protect your unborn baby by asking for a urine culture for GBS and other types of bacteria at your first prenatal visit. If you have urinary symptoms or a significant level of GBS in your urine, your health provider should prescribe oral antibiotics at the time of diagnosis.
While GBS does not usually cause an infection when found in the vagina, it can cause an infection to your baby as the baby passes through the vaginal canal during birth. GBS is routinely checked for in mothers during the last 5 weeks of pregnancy and if found should be treated during labor in order to protect your baby.
For more information, call Las Vegas All Women’s Care at (702) 522-9640. Or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane #165 in Las Vegas.
The pursuit of it surrounds the African-American experience. And as America marks the Fourth of July, we also reflect on the new national holiday of Juneteeenth, which commemorates Black people’s liberation from slavery.
Economic freedom is central to the struggle — and this edition of Las Vegas Black Image celebrates Black realtors in Southern Nevada who are working to create generational wealth through Black home and business ownership. The right to vote must be exercised to keep us free, so we are grateful to all who participated in this month’s Community Speaks feature, which covers voter suppression and the best ways to address it.
When we talk about unity, it often begins with our amazing team of editors, an incredible graphic artist, and the amazing arsenal of contributing writers who use their skills to represent, educate, and stimulate our readers — and to breathe values of love and unification into our communities. And it shows most powerfully in the dedication of the advertisers who stand with Las Vegas Black Image Magazine to keep our positive images alive. Their commitment will truly lead to a better world for us all to prosper.
Charles Tureaud and Kimberly Bailey Tureaud
BY LOUIE OVERSTREET
Race in America is not a theory — it is a historical fact. However, race is always complicated by at least four facts:
1. Non-progressive whites fear losing “their” country and harbor the mistaken belief that Blacks are secretly seeking retribution.
2. We (Blacks) foolishly believe that because of the sacrifices made and the tough times experienced by our ancestors, we are entitled to some sort of a reverse-privilege for Black folks.
3. The treatment of racial minorities — and for that matter, females — is in direct conflict with the founding documents of our nation.
4. Any discussion of race in America — as an academic undertaking or based on raw emotion — is uncomfortable, even for the most fair-minded citizen.
How many Americans choose to deal with race can be characterized by the most famous line from the movie “A Few Good Men.” Jack Nicholson’s character, Col. Nathan Jessup, stated, “You can’t handle the truth!” In this case, “you” are the citizens of the USA.
Regarding Critical Race Theory, the most succinct (but not necessarily the best) definition I have reviewed was in the Encyclopedia Britannica: “Intellectual movement and loosely organized framework of legal analysis based on the premise that race is not a natural, biologically grounded feature of physically distinct subgroups of human beings but a socially constructed category that is used to oppress and exploit people of color. Critical race theorists hold that the law and legal institutions in the United States are inherently racist insofar as they function to create, maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites, especially African-Americans.”
Admittedly, I do not know much — just a little more than my detractors give me credit for. But our reality ain’t a theory, it is a historical fact as documented in the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, the Civil War, the lynching of over 4,000 Blacks, and Jim Crow laws.
(Chuck Bremer, now that you have egged me into writing this column, is it okay to send along the “what say you?” criticism I am going to receive?)
We are living in a day where there is so much division causing ongoing hostility, violence, and death. Those of us who are God fearing must ask the question: “What part am I playing in the consistent divide and the division within my own community?”
We all can be honest with ourselves and speak the truth. Even if it is within the quiet noise reflecting from our hearts. Everyone knows when you hear nonsense, but because of the need to feel accepted within a particular group—you join in. Just know to follow nonsense or cancelling people, things, or concepts knocks at the door of your insecurities and perpetuates a movement of destruction that will soon affect your children’s dreams of progression.
The unification of a community is the greatest gift we give ourselves. To only support static and a non-level up mindset is to take a hammer and crush the hopes and dreams of our ancestors. The wonderful thing is that there is space. There is space for you to expand your wings of creativity and to be you! No one can really take anything from you. No one can be you. The evolution of a true leader and creator can’t ever be stopped by any duplicity. Others will always desire the authentic quench of the real thing!
We must embody a repellent against those who wish to divide with negative words to pull others away. Away from what threatens them.
Choose to be an activist for unification — no matter the cost. Be the warrior to lead instead of being led to say negative words, act dismissively, or stop a celebration when someone wins —especially within our community.
Peace is found when you open the space for people to be themselves, and in return you will find space for yourself.
Unite with love. Remember God made you also in the image of Himself and don’t let anyone or anything cancel that part! Frankie Beverly said it best: “WE ARE ONE!”
BY DR. ELLEN BROWN
As a political movement, Black Lives Matter has permeated the 2021 political stage and its impact is a definite source of action. Increasingly — in the U.S and around the world — people are taking a closer look at the politics surrounding the growing number of deaths among Black people
Black Lives Matter became a movement in 2013 following the “not guilty” verdict against George Zimmerman, who shot and killed teenager Trayvon Martin. Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullers and Opal Tometi are the founders of the movement, which has transformed American politics and gone on to create a global movement that forces people around the world to pay attention to the ways that Black men, women and children receive inequitable treatment in the justice systems.
“I think our movements are showing that a whole other way is possible,” said Tometi. She has seen increases in the number of other movements that have come about in response to the awareness raised by Black Lives Matter. It has gone global, and is all the result of the people harnessing the courage to exercise their power and demand change. When we focus our minds and begin to pay attention to the politics surrounding death after death after death after death in a specific population, there is no denying that something inequitable is going on and someone needs to be held accountable.
Earlier this year, the British Broadcasting Corporation presented data that raises and leaves unanswered questions surrounding the increasing number of Black lives that are taken without just cause or explanation. It can be found at bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52904593. Further, this article published a chart showing great disparities in the percentage of fatal police shootings within populations of color. Their data shows that in 2019, African-Americans represented less than 13% of the population, but accounted for more than 23% of the 1,000+ fatal shootings by the police.
Does this data — which represents Black lives vs white lives — disturb or even puzzle you? If so, what action can you take to change the disparities of the incidents that happen to people of color? By exposing these disparities, the Black Lives Matter Movement builds power leading to decrease in the taking of Black lives. Empower your Power.
Dr. Ellen Brown is an affiliate faculty member at Regis University, Denver. Contact Dr. Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org
My fingers began to itch so bad that I didn’t care what damage would happen: I had to scratch until it was relieved. Now bleeding and slightly burning, I felt satisfied but defeated because I wasn’t supposed to scratch. I run the cold water and allow it to cure the pain for just a moment. A week later I began to notice my skin dried out and now was peeling.
This vicious cycle continued for months. I couldn’t understand why I was suddenly dealing with a skin condition when I have never had issues. Most importantly, how do I heal my body from this? A lot of times we look for quick fixes or ways to treat the symptoms. That is always temporary. It is never going to treat the source, which is where a long-term cure can be found. I had to look outside of my own understanding in order to make this journey. It was hard for me because of my emotional state. I felt defeated and I was physically tired of my symptoms.
Once I looked in the mirror and told myself, “This is it, girl. Either you get better or you wallow in pity.” From that day on I made a choice first in my mind and the rest followed. Every day I searched for articles online. I went to different doctors to gain their opinions, I read books, I made sure to encourage myself by meditating and getting good sleep. I really focused my thoughts on being positive and getting better.
One book I read really changed my life. It is called “Medical Medium: A Cleanse to Heal.” It outlines meal plans and gives information on what foods to eat in order to heal your body. There are autoimmune diseases that attack our bodies without an apparent cause — and this book teaches how to use food to heal your body. I tried the mono cleanse: eating only steamed potatoes, lettuce, and lemon for a week straight. This type of cleanse where you only eat one food allows your body to heal. The potato is a binder and everything that needs to flush out of your system will attach to the potato and leave as waste. I would also drink 36 oz of celery juice on an empty stomach. This is very helpful to revitalize your gut. Your gut is like a control center of the body. I found during this process doubling up on probiotics twice a day helped to flush my body with good bacteria. My condition seemed to get a little worse before it got better. Then it went away and has not come back.
It was a learning experience for me — because I really thought that I was going to have to live with this condition. I think that there are a lot of people who end up with a health condition and feel hopeless or like this is their new life to live.
I learned that when I focused on achieving supreme health by using foods to treat my body, healing was obtainable. It took focus, determination, and an inner fight to keep pushing until I achieved my goal. I will say researching and joining online support groups were so helpful, because the more information you have the more power you have. It was empowering to learn as much as I could and apply that to my life. Knowledge is power and food is here to heal our bodies.