Tag Archives: Funeral Divas

Funeral Divas Founder Arrested at Chicago Conference

Funeral Diva’s Logo

Last updated Nov. 12, 2012: Two updates are to be found at the end of this post.

I just became aware of this incident this morning while checking new stories via ConnectingDirectors.  Before I continue, for those of you that are unaware of what Funeral Divas Inc. is, Funeral Divas’ purpose, according to the Funeral Divas website, “is to encourage and uplift every woman in the funeral service industry and provide comfort to grieving families[.]” Funeral Divas, Inc. describes itself as “not your traditional woman’s group.” Funeral Divas, Inc. was founded by Muneerah Warner, who has been reported to be a licensed funeral director. Although, I am now hearing accusations to the contrary.  I also wrote an entry previously introducing Muneerah Warner and a reality show that she was pitching back in January of 2012.

Funeral Divas and Fraud

As of November this past weekend, Muneerah Warner is now the subject of fraud charges that arose during a continuing education conference in Chicago that took place from Nov. 7 through Nov 10.

Muneerah Warner being escorted from hotel in Chicago; Image credit: ConnectingDirectors

According to a ConnectingDirectors’ article as of November 11th,  the founder of Funeral Divas, Muneerah Warner, was arrested during a continuing education conference on charges of credit card fraud.  It was also reported that the Funeral Divas Facebook page and twitter account were unreachable.

As of today, Connecting Directors has published some screen grabs, which are currently no longer available, concerning the developing scandal that were previously released by the Funeral Diva’s Facebook page and Twitter accounts before the were deactivated.  Additionally, ConnectingDirectors received and published recently resigned Funeral Divas board member Monica Vernette Gray’s response concerning the entire incident. This personal recap from ex-board member can be found here on ConnectingDirectors.

As far as I can tell given what little information is currently available, Muneerah is said to have fabricated a story claiming she was the victim of theft and was thereby unable to cover charges for conference rooms, speaker fees, etc. (According to Gray’s response,  Warner’s bank claimed there was no evidence supporting her claim to be victim of theft.)  Muneerah is said to then have asked at least one of her fellow board members to give their credit card to the hotel and, unbeknownst to this board member, authorized the hotel to charge the fees to the card.  This eventually lead to the hotel filing charges against Warner and advising those involved to call their banks and have charges reversed, etc.

The questions still lingering are what actually happened here?  Was this just a misunderstanding? What happened to the money that had been raised by Funeral Divas, Inc. to sponsor this event?  How will the cancellation of this weekend be handled given that it affected at least 40 some individuals who were seeking to complete their continuing education requirements?  And perhaps more importantly, just how extensive is this situation of fraud with respect to Funeral Divas, Inc.?

As more information surfaces, I will be either updating this post or writing a new entry.

UPDATE 1:

ConnectingDirectors received an official e-mail on behalf of Funeral Divas, which they just published.  Among other things, it included the following snippet to clear-up rumors that have been going around since that weekend: “First of all, the conference was not a scam. All courses were approved by the funeral boards of Illinois and Indiana. The founder was detained and released on her own recognizance. She was not charged with a crime. Funeral Divas, Inc. has not lost any money and there was no check fraud or any kind of fraud.”

UPDATE 2:

Even though there are still many questions left unanswered, it appears that just a few moments ago ConnectingDirectors published Mrs. Warner’s response to their question concerning the whereabouts of the money paid by attendees and sponsors.  Mrs. Warner said, “The money was not due until the day after the conference. The detainment happened on Wednesday the money was due on Friday. The question should be why wasn’t I given a chance to pay.”

In addition to this information, ConnectingDirectors also reported that two Funeral Divas, Inc. board members have resigned: Samantha Vang and Monica Gray. 

SOURCE: ConnectingDirectors.

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Love or Death: A New Reality Show

Love Or Death, pitched by Muneerah Warner, is new reality show that will be focused on Funeral Divas (female funeral directors) and their search for love while staying dedicated to death. According to Warner’s pitch on KickStarter.com:

“Follow their romantic, professional and spiritual journey as they struggle to gain the same respect as men in the funeral industry while looking for love in a world where men find their jobs disgusting.

Follow them to work and see what they do. Watch them as they balance work and their romantic lives and stay embalming fluid free all at the same time.

This all female cast includes mortuary students, funeral interns, embalmers, funeral directors and funeral home owners. They are fun, sexy, beautiful and they put the fun back in funeral. The dating process can be nerve racking but dating a Funeral Diva can be full of surprises when death comes knocking at her door.”

For more information about Love Or Death, please see: Love or Death: Funeral Diva Pitching New Reality Show or Reality Show to Focus on the Lives of Funeral Divas.

Who is Muneerah Warner?

Muneerah Warner is an African American licensed funeral director, magazine publisher, and youth leader from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  According to Mathew Gillies of MySendOff.com, “she is known as the ‘Beyonce of the Funeral Industry’, for others, they know her as the CEO of Eternal Enterprises, Inc., however, Muneerah Warner has another claim to fame as the ‘Funeral Queen’ – she’s colloquially known as the founder of ‘a social and support group for funeral industry women’ elegantly named Funeral Divas, Inc..”  She attended Temple University from 1999 to 2001 and received her degree in mortuary science from Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science in 2002.  After receiving her degree, she opened her own funeral home, Warner Funeral Home, and worked as a funeral director for 10 years.  Additionally, she wrote for the Philadelphia Funeral Business Examiner.  Currently, Muneerah is C.E.O. of  Funeral Divas Social Group, a civic and social organization, and Editor-In-Chief for Funerals Today Magazine.

For more information about Muneerah, please see her article in Afro Puffs & Ponytails, Inc..

My Thoughts…

This is a fascinating undertaking!  If this project receives enough funding and is picked up by a network, this reality series has the potential to normalize the funeral industry in pop culture and generate a considerable interest (please academia please!), not to mention potentially good press.  My only concern is that the longer it runs the worse press it will generate (by worse I mean a preponderance of negative attention), as many reality TV series devolve into a Jerry Spring-esque circus show in order to maintain and increase viewership.  Anyway, while I would love to see this series take off and continue for more than one season, I do hope that Love Or Death will be able to avoid the common fate of many a reality TV series and go off air with some semblance of dignity.

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