Blog Archives

Community Corner….2017 Circle City Classic® Scholarship

Circle City Classic®  Scholarships
Dear IBE Friends and Family,
Graduating Indiana high school seniors, and Hoosier undergraduate students already enrolled at the post-secondary level are invited to apply for a 2017 Circle City Classic® Scholarship presented by Indiana Black Expo, Inc.
Successful applicants must exhibit outstanding leadership, scholarship and community service. Priority consideration will be placed on financial need and first generation student status. Recipients may use the scholarship to attend the college or university of their choice.
Applications will be screened by a review committee. Scholarships are funded by the proceeds from the Circle City Classic® Football Game and are payable upon recipient’s full-time enrollment in a post-secondary institution. More than $4.1 million has been awarded to students since 1984.
This year the application deadline is March 1st. Students may submit their applications on line at: 2017 CCC Scholarship Application.  Additionally, questions may be directed to IBE Youth and Family Manager Dian Foreman at  or 317.923.3112.
Indiana Black Expo’s Youth and Family Programs

Indiana Black Expo Inc., 3145 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208

IBE Press Release


For Immediate Release                                             .
For Immediate Release
Dian Foreman
(317) 413-2819 cell
Joint Statement by Black Organizations on Recent Shootings
Indianapolis, IN (July 8, 2016) We invite the city of Indianapolis to allow their hearts to break with ours over the deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and Dallas police officers murdered and injured in the line of duty at a rally. These incidents occurred as the nation reeled from the senseless murder of members of the LGBT community in Orlando. There have been over 100 police action shootings of Black men across the country this year alone prompting outrage but seemingly no justice. It is through tears and frustration, a reverence for the dead, and respect for the impact on the families of the victims and the officers involved that we seek to affirm our aspirations toward healthy and continuously improving police and community relations. We mourn for the loss of life of citizens who mattered to their communities, families and friends. Their lives mattered. Black lives matter. We recognize that the police have a difficult job to do and that the majority serve the community well. Police officers are our neighbors, customers, friends and family members. It is moments like these that it is most important to remember that the police are the community and that policing should affirm the values of the community-which must include a respect for the dignity of all citizens.  We remain mindful of the mistreatment of a youth in Indianapolis by a police officer. We also remain mindful of the need to break the code of silence when law enforcement seeks justice for victims of crime.  The work of building and maintaining healthy police and community relations continues. The dignity of all members of the community is sacred and when violated we should be able to count on a justice system that works for all. Too often, it seems that this has not been the case-which is why our struggle for justice and equity for all continues. We ask that our friends, neighbors and colleagues of all races mourn with us and engage in a dialog on the way forward. Indy is a world class city and must be proactive in ensuring that all of its citizens are not only safe but treated with the dignity they deserve.
100 Black Men of Indianapolis
Baptist Minister’s Alliance
Circle City (IN) Chapter of the Links, Incorporated
Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis
Exchange at the Indianapolis Urban League
Greater Indianapolis Chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives
Greater Indianapolis NAACP Branch
Indiana Black Expo
Indianapolis Urban League
Marion County Bar Association
Martin Luther King Community Center
National Coalition of 100 Black Women/Indianapolis Chapter


The @PraiseIndy Convoy of Hope Recap! — AM 1310: The Light

The 2016 Convoy of Hope event is officially a wrap and thousands of people have been shown that we as well as churches, businesses, organizations and community leaders in our city care. See our recap video below.

via The @PraiseIndy Convoy of Hope Recap! — AM 1310: The Light

June Charity – Do You Volunteer?


Community Service: Top 10 Reasons to Volunteer

Thinking of becoming a volunteer? See a list of reasons that will help you make up your mind.

#10: It’s good for you.

Volunteering provides physical and mental rewards. It:

  • Reduces stress: Experts report that when you focus on someone other than yourself, it interrupts usual tension-producing patterns.
  • Makes you healthier: Moods and emotions, like optimism, joy, and control over one’s fate, strengthen the immune system.

#9: It saves resources.

Volunteering provides valuable community services so more money can be spent on local improvements.

  • The estimated value of a volunteer’s time is $15.39 per hour.

#8: Volunteers gain professional experience.

You can test out a career.

#7: It brings people together.

As a volunteer you assist in:

  • Uniting people from diverse backgrounds to work toward a common goal
  • Building camaraderie and teamwork

#6: It promotes personal growth and self esteem.

Understanding community needs helps foster empathy and self-efficacy.

#5: Volunteering strengthens your community.

As a volunteer you help:

  • Support families (daycare and eldercare)
  • Improve schools (tutoring, literacy)
  • Support youth (mentoring and after-school programs)
  • Beautify the community (beach and park cleanups)

#4: You learn a lot.

Volunteers learn things like these:

  • Self: Volunteers discover hidden talents that may change your view on your self worth.
  • Government: Through working with local non-profit agencies, volunteers learn about the functions and operation of our government.
  • Community: Volunteers gain knowledge of local resources available to solve community needs.

#3: You get a chance to give back.

People like to support community resources that they use themselves or that benefit people they care about.

#2: Volunteering encourages civic responsibility.

Community service and volunteerism are an investment in our community and the people who live in it.

#1: You make a difference.

Every person counts!

For a list of community service opportunities, click here.

Community Corner…National Urban League

Opening ReMARCs – Encouraging More Students of Color to Pursue STEM Careers

A recent study of technological innovators – award-winners and patent-holders – revealed a dismal lack of diversity, a natural consequence of the underrepresentation of women and people of color in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) professions.

Among the findings:

  • Women represent only 12 percent of U.S. innovators.
  • U.S.-born people of color – 32% of the US-born population – make up just 8 percent of U.S.-born innovators. These groups constitute 32 percent of the total U.S.-born population.
  • African Americans comprise just half a percent of U.S.-born innovators.

National Urban League Trustee Donna Epps, Vice President Public Policy and Strategic Alliances at Verizon, recently highlighted some of Verizon’s efforts to broaden and deepen the nation’s pool of potential innovators.

Take Action
Civil Rights Groups Ask Feds to Keep an Eye on States as New Education Law Moves Forward

Take Action

The country’s most vulnerable children need assurances that their interests are being protected as a new federal education law takes effect, civil rights leaders said Friday.

That includes students who are living with disabilities; from poor families; English-language learners; Native Americans; LGBT; homeless; in foster care; in the juvenile justice system; and boys and girls of color.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 54 organizations issued a letter to acting Education Secretary John B. King urging him to use whatever power he could to make sure states and school districts implement the Every Student Succeeds Act with “robust and meaningful” regulations and oversight.

Take Action

To Be Equal
“Jails and prisons are the complement of schools; so many less as you have of the latter, so many more must you have of the former.”

Horace Mann, “Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” 1881

The Business of Incarceration: Severing the Prison to Profits Pipeline

America is addicted to incarceration.

No nation holds as many people behind bars as the United States of America, and the numbers tell it all. The United States imprisons 716 people for every 100,000 residents. That is more than any other country on this planet. Our nation has the largest prison population in the world—both in terms of the actual number of inmates and as a percentage of the country’s population. While the United States has less than five percent of the world’s population, we lock up almost 25 percent of the world’s total prison population. Well-meaning people will differ on the question of whether or not America’s war on crime has truly benefitted the American taxpayer, but because numbers don’t lie, we cannot question the fact that our criminal justice obsession with retribution—versus rehabilitation—has profited private prison operators in our nation’s sprawling prison industrial complex to the tune of billions of dollars.

The country’s two largest private prison operators, Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group, recently posted their earnings. Combined, the two for-profit prison companies collected $361 million in profits last year. According to In the Public Interest, a research and policy center, CCA made $3,356 in profit for every person they incarcerated and GEO Group made $2,135. Incarcerating Americans at the staggering rate of one in every 110 adults has become a profitable business that promotes the bottom lines of CEOs, but fails to promote effective public safety strategy. Research has shown that investing in social programs and education—resources that can help keep people out of jail in the first place—is far more effective at improving public safety than investing in incarceration. Policies that promote prison over education, incarceration over mental health services and jail over job services comes at the long-term cost of our collective well-being and safety.

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Save the Date: Registration for 2016 National Urban League Conference is Now Open!

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Mark your calendars! For four power-packed days, political, business, and community leaders will convene for the 2016 National Urban League Conference, August 3-6, 2016. Join us in Baltimore as we confront the crisis in Education, Jobs, and Justice facing our communities. We look forward to seeing you for an inspiring and empowering conference that will provide you with unmatched professional, civic engagement, business development, and networking opportunities.

REGISTER by April 15, 2016 to take advantage of Early Bird pricing.

Take Action

Take Action

Free Career Webinar – Interviewing: The Game Changer for Career Success

Interviewing has become a career game changer! This session will answer the questions you have but haven’t asked. We will give you answers on how your personality affects your interview, the questions that make you look desperate, why your answers aren’t answering the question OR saying anything about you and how social cues affect your first impression. How well you interview is, of course, the most pivotal part of landing a position – you won’t want to miss this session!

Register Today!

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Her Path to Success Begins Today
Your gift provides the tools for her to overcome economic challenges and realize her dreams.
Washington Bureau
New Legislation Working to Strengthen Social Security

Take ActionSocial Security is one of, if not, the greatest social programs of all time. Social Security has had a profound impact on the quality of life for all American seniors, since its inception in 1935. It is a lifeline for those who need it the most.

Nearly two-thirds of seniors currently depend on Social Security for most of their income. Last year, the program kept 21 million Americans out of poverty.

Social Security is especially important for African Americans. The poverty rate would be 53 percent for African American seniors if there was no Social Security; it is currently 18 percent. Fifty-five percent of unmarried African American seniors and 25 percent of married seniors rely on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their income.

Take Action

Affiliate Newswire
Springfield Urban League Program Gets Kids Off Drugs

Springfield Urban League (Springfield, IL) Youth Empowerment Director Courtney Carson said Thursday too many of Springfield’s youth are turning to drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and mali, instead of going to class and focusing on their future.

Eighteen-year-old Rickey Smallie said before he started turning things around at the Springfield Empowerment Center, he was one of those kids.

“You’ve got a friend, and he wants to go smoke here, and you’ve got to think, do I really want to smoke or hang out here, or do I want to go to school and do my homework and hit the books,” Smallie said.

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Black History Month Series 2/22

Amos Brown DL

My Community….

Governor Pence Names the Late Amos Brown Recipient of Indiana’s Highest Honor: 2015 Sachem Award

Brown Joins John Wooden, Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, and other notable Hoosier Sachem Honorees

Indianapolis – Governor Mike Pence today posthumously named Amos C. Brown III the 2015 recipient of the Sachem Award, Indiana’s highest honor. This announcement comes following Mr. Brown’s untimely death at his family home in Chicago last Friday. Governor Pence is also directing flags at state facilities in Marion County to be flown at half-staff in honor of radio broadcaster Amos Brown on the day of his funeral, Saturday, November 14, 2015. He also asks businesses and residents to lower their flags to half-staff to honor the life and legacy of Amos Brown.

The Sachem, whose name comes from the Algonquin term given to leaders who exhibit wisdom, judgment and grace and whose character underscores the importance of moral example, is given annually by the Governor to Hoosiers whose life and character exemplify these qualities. Previous recipients include college basketball coaching legend John Wooden; the Reverend Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., president emeritus of the University of Notre Dame and world statesman; philanthropist Jane Blaffer Owen; and gospel music singing and songwriting pioneers Bill and Gloria Gaither. This is the 10th year in a row this award has been presented to notable Hoosiers. The Governor plans to present the posthumous award to the family of Amos Brown in the coming months. With this recognition, Amos Brown’s name will be enshrined in the Rotunda of the Indiana Statehouse.

“The Sachem is Indiana’s highest honor and is reserved to honor one Hoosier every year whose life and example enriched our state with wisdom, judgment and grace,” said Governor Pence. “Amos Brown was such a man and he will be dearly missed. For more than 40 years, Amos Brown used his extraordinary talents as a broadcaster and thought leader to serve as a passionate advocate for Hoosiers. The life and legacy of Amos Brown will leave an indelible impact on Indianapolis and our state. Amos used his voice as a platform to address some of the most challenging issues facing underprivileged and underserved Hoosiers. From education inequality, racial and socioeconomic issues, Amos Brown strived each and every day to improve lives. For all these reasons, I can think of no one more deserving to receive the state’s highest honor than Amos C. Brown III.”

Amos Brown was born in Chicago and earned his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University. He also received an honorary doctorate from Martin University in Indianapolis in 2006. Mr. Brown has been awarded several recognitions for his work on the radio and in his community, including induction to the Indiana Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2007, a Sagamore of the Wabash, four CASPER Awards from the United Way/Community Service Council, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Crystal Award for Community Service, and a four-time nominee and two-time winner of the Indiana Broadcasters Association Spectrum Award. He was also a two-time finalist of the NAB Marconi Award and has received the Heritage Place Lifetime Achievement Award, Indiana Civil Rights Commission Drum Major Award, Indiana Black Expo’s President’s Award, Indianapolis NAACP Humanitarian Award, the Mass Media Award and Director’s Award from the Center for Leadership Development, two Communications Awards from the Indianapolis Education Association and the Outstanding Leadership and Service Award from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Amos Brown began his radio career in 1976 as an advertising sales representative, and quickly rose through the ranks to station manager in 1981. He was the longest-serving African-American media manager in the Indianapolis market after serving 40 years in Indianapolis broadcasting. He also was the on-air host for Morning with the Mayor for 15 years, from 1977 to 1993. He launched his first daily radio talk show called “The Noon Show” in 1992 and in 1994, he transitioned to Hoosier Radio and TV, hosting “Six Thirty PM” and later “The Amos Brown Show.” In 2004, Mr. Brown became the host of the well-known “Afternoons with Amos” show on WTLC, in addition to his role as Director of Strategic Research.

Over the last 40 years, Mr. Brown has been an advocate for the Indianapolis community. He has worked with organizations such as the United Negro College Fund, Riley Hospital for Children, Mozel Sanders Foundation’s Thanksgiving Dinner, Indiana Black Expo, Indiana Education Roundtable, and Circle City Classic.


Black History Series 2/15

Modern-Day Influencers Recreate Legendary Images of Black History Icons

Female leaders in media, fashion and social media pay homage to greats


Image: Style Influencers Group

In honor of Black History Month, the Style Influencers Group L.L.C., a fearless group of multicultural digital influencers came together to recreate legendary photos of black history icons. The project entitled, the #WeAreBlackHistory editorial campaign, aims to celebrate positive and uplifting voices in the digital community while paying respect to Black History.

“The #WeAreBlackHistory movement was created to honor our history and foster a sense of unity among powerful black women voices in the digital space,” says co-founder Lexi Felder via Style Influencers’ Website. “Each influencer has a personal connection to the legend they’re paying tribute to. They were selected because they’re making a tangible impact and shaping our history with their words, actions, and images,” says co-founder Christina Brown. “In no way are we claiming to be the next iteration of these icons. We’re simply paying homage to them for the way they’ve inspired us in our careers and beyond,” says co-founder Jessica C. Andrews.

For More On This Story:

Black History Month Series 2/11

PBS Black Culture Connection
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Black History Month Series 2/8

28 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month

Learn more about the exceptional contributions made by African Americans with these ideas for each day of Black History Month.



1. Share with students “I, Too, Sing America” by poet Langston Hughes and have a discussion about the poem’s vocabulary, rhythm, and meaning.

2. Bake sweet potato biscuits, a traditional soul food treat, with this delicious recipe.

3. Listen to the blues and then invite students to compose their own 12-bar blues music

4. Conduct a read-aloud of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, then invite students to write their own speeches about what they are inspired to change in the world.

5. Play the African counting game Mancala. To make the game board, use a large egg carton (cut off the lid) and tape an extra cup (cut from another carton) to each end.

6. View an interactive timeline chronicling “The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow” and other historical events, such as the ratification of the 14th Amendment.

7. See James Karales’s photographs of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches.

8. Examine these oral histories from elderly African Americans in Elbert County, Georgia, and Abbeville County., South Carolina on the National Park Service website.

9. For older students, share excerpts from Push, a novel by Sapphire, and clips from the film Precious. Host a discussion about the culture Precious grows up in, and how she overcomes adversity with education.

10. Share excerpts of contemporary novelist Zadie Smith’s On Beauty with students and, using the reading guide, have a discussion about her portrayal of white and black middle-class kids in America.

11. Teach about the importance of journalism as well as its limitations by exploring a variety of clippings from the freedom rides of 1961 to the reporting on Malcolm X’s assassination.

12. Watch student-made digital stories on important African Americans. Divide students into groups to make their own digital stories about a person of their choice.

13. Teach students the songs of the civil rights movement, such as “This Little Light of Mine” and “Oh, Freedom.” Discuss how the lyrics reflect the defiant and hopeful spirit of the time.

14. Trace the history of the blues from its beginnings in the fields of the South to its global impact on today’s music. Visit the Kennedy Center to learn about B. B. King and other musicians.

15. Teach students about director, producer, writer, and actor Spike Lee, a successful and prolific African American filmmaker.

16. Take students through artists’ interpretations of freedom and equality with works by Norman Rockwell, Martin Puryear, and many others, in this gallery from the National Endowment for the Humanities. (Enter the gallery, chose “Themes” on the upper right, and then choose “Freedom and Equality.”)

17. View artist Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series, which depicts the migration of slaves from the South to the North in search of a better life.

18. Read “A Pledge to Rescue Our Youth” by poet Maya Angelou. Then, watch a video about her inspiration for this profound piece on youth and education.

19. Learn about the history of hip-hop music, a genre that emerged in the Bronx, New York City, in 1970. Ask students to bring in examples of their favorite songs or dances to discuss.

20. Teach students about Nelson Mandela, his imprisonment, and the battle to end apartheid in South Africa.

21. Show students Paul Robeson’s home, the Lincoln Memorial, and other historic places of the civil rights movement with this interactive road trip.

22. In Africa, sesame seeds bring good luck. Make a delicious batch of sesame cookies with this recipe.

23. Explore CNN’s Black in America 2, which continues CNN’s investigation of the most challenging issues facing African-Americans. Soledad O’Brien reports on people who are using ground-breaking solutions to transform the black experience.

24. Watch Christopher Paul Curtis, a winner of the Newbery Medal, give advice to young authors.

25. Learn about the scientific work of African Americans with these Black History Month resources from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

26. Read excerpts from President Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope (or his Audacity of Hope speech) and discuss the importance of the election of our country’s first black president.

27. Who was the first African American tennis player to win the U.S. Open? Who was the first African American woman elected to U.S. Congress? Find out about many famous firsts in black history on Biography.

28. Tour an online exhibit that marked the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision that changed education and helped end segregation in schools.

My Sista’s Business….

When Her Husband Stunned Her by Filing For Divorce, This Woman Did Something Amazing

Tracy Saelinger
February 4, 2016

From Woman’s Day

After 20 years of marriage, at the age of 43, Yvonne Anderson-Thomas found herself in free fall: Her husband filed for divorce and she hadn’t completed her nursing degree. To make ends meet, she started selling baked goods at food festivals near her in Boise, Idaho, drawing on her experience running a bakery. However, at the festivals, she realized customers would pass her by, with vague promises of saving room for dessert.

“I realized, shoot, the savory food people were making all the money!” she says. So Yvonne decided to sell smoked turkey legs, an old family favorite. After seeing her initial success, a generous friend loaned her several thousand dollars to buy a truck. Soon enough, Brown Shuga was up and running, and Yvonne was working three events in a day with the help of her son Daniel, a college student, some seasonal workers and friends who’d volunteer for free food.

Running a food truck isn’t cheap. Aside from licensing, fees and the truck itself, there was a lot to buy: a fridge, freezer, smoker, food warmers, prep tables, straws, lids, cups, napkins, serving boats, parchment-not to mention all the ingredients. Luckily, a local women’s shelter allowed Yvonne to park her vehicle in its lot, and she repaid the kindness by donating her tips and extra food.

To keep up with Brown Shuga’s growing demand, Yvonne soon added a second truck, and today both trucks are known for on her popular soul-food recipes. “It’s Southern cuisine in the African-American tradition, the kind of food we’d have at Grandma’s for Sunday dinner,” she says. “I want to bring people that kind of memory.”

On her proudest moment:

After initially opening up shop, “It felt like, ‘When will my customers come?” Yvonne remembers. Now, five years later, she has collected a host of awards, including one for best food truck. “Finally, when I say, ‘Brown Shuga Soul Food,’ people know the name, and it makes me feel so good,” she says.

On overcoming setbacks:

The truck’s pipes burst two winters in a row, so Yvonne now operates May through October and works as a culinary instructor to fill in the gaps. “I had some struggles, but I keep at it everyday,” she says. “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way no matter what obstacles come at you.”

On the unexpected joy of starting over:

A decade ago, Yvonne never imagined that she’d be running a food truck. Looking back, the move makes sense: As a military spouse, she had always loved cooking and baking for functions on base. She credits much of her success to the resourcefulness she gained in those years of frequent moves and long deployments, and still draws on that strength today: “I feel like I have succeeded in letting people know who I am.”

On the pursuit of perfection:

To get her cornbread just right, Yvonne tried 20 recipes. And she spent years tweaking her ribs until she hit on her magic combo of ingredients. “When I tried them,” she says, “I instantly fell in love.” It’s no wonder customers keep coming back for more.

Get the recipe for Yvonne’s famous barbecue chicken below. (Tip: Just a touch of liquid smoke makes the sauce irresistible. Look for brands with only two ingredients: water and smoke.)

Yvonnes Brown Shuga Soul Food Food Truck

Yvonnes Brown Shuga Soul Food Food Truck

Brown Shuga’s Smoked Chicken Legs


1 tbsp. garlic powder1 tbsp. paprikaKosher saltPepper6 chicken legs¼ c. apple cider vinegar¼ c. water¼ c. brown sugar2 tbsp. ketchup1 tsp. molasses1 tsp. liquid smoke1 clove garlic3 c. wood chips


  1. In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, paprika, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Rub all over the chicken and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.
  2. Place the wood chips in the smoker according to manufacturer’s instructions and heat to 225 degrees F, then place the chicken on the racks bone-side down and cook, turning halfway through, until the internal temperature is 165 degrees F, 2 to 3 hours.
  3. If you do not have a smoker: Remove the grill grates from one side of a gas grill and heat over medium-high heat. Tear 4 pieces of heavy-duty foil. Divide the chips between two pieces of foil, then sandwich with the other pieces. Fold over all of the edges to seal. Use a fork to poke holes in the top piece of foil. Place one foil package directly on the burner and let cook until the package begins to smoke, about 5 minutes. Let smoke for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to medium-low (the package should still be smoking).
  4. Place the chicken on the other side of the grill opposite the foil package, bone-side down (the chicken is on the grill grates over the burners not in use). Cover the grill and cook, turning the chicken halfway through, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, 2 to 3 hours (if your grill has a temperature gauge, try to maintain 225 degrees F to 235 degrees F with the burners not directly under the chicken). If the foil packet stops smoking, replace with the second one, increasing the heat to get it smoking and reducing heat after it has started.
  5. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, ketchup, molasses, liquid smoke, and garlic. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Brush over the cooked chicken. Or, if desired, before serving, increase grill to medium-high and grill the chicken, turning and basting with the sauce, until the skin is beginning to char, about 5 minutes.