Thursday, November 29, 2007

Cookie Johnson Partners With Husband Magic Johnson to Combat HIV

Cookie Johnson, the wife of L.A. Lakers basketball legend Magic Johnson, is no longer remaining silent about the impact of HIV/AIDS on her family and the black community. In an exclusive interview with USA Today, she says:

"I don't like getting out in front of people, period, but when I heard that HIV rates among African-American women were 20 times those of Caucasian women, I felt I really needed to get out and speak. Maybe they could use me as an example of someone who lives with someone who has the disease. Maybe they'll listen to what I say, and maybe that will save some lives."

She is taking an active role in her husband's I Stand With Magic campaign, which aims to end black HIV/AIDS. They hope to cut the AIDS rate by 50% in the black community.

On learning about her husband's diagnosis:

"Of course, I was devastated and scared, all of the above. It was like a death sentence back then. I have a deep faith in God, and reached down to those roots, and that's what carried me on...

My mission is to go out and speak to over 1,000 women across the country and empower them to get tested. Early detection saves lives."

Read on..

Photo: USAT

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Chaka Khan Foundation Teaches Kids Healthy Life-Style Living

On November 25, in partnership with Crustacean restaurant in Beverly Hills, the Chaka Khan Foundation hosted an event to teach kids about a healthy life-style in diet, the concept of fine dining, food pairings, food presentation and basic culinary techniques.


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
 
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
 
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
 
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
 
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
 
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
 
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
 
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
 
Basilica An, CEO, Elizabeth An and managing partner Catherine An of Crustacean restaurant with Chaka Khan

Monday, November 26, 2007

African American Women: Where They Stand


Beginning tonight, a five-part series titled 'African American Women: Where They Stand' will air on NBC News with Brian Williams.

The series will take a look at the issues facing African-American women across our nation, covering a wide-range of issues from their role in the '08 presidential race, to the increased health-risks that they need to be concerned about:

Monday: Discussion of African-American women's progress in the education field. At black colleges, the ratio of women to men is 7 to 1. And that is leading to a disparity in the number of African-American women who go on to own their own businesses. Rehema Ellis will talk to educators, students and businesswomen about why this disparity exists.

Tuesday: Ellis will look at relationships within the African-American female community. Many agree the gender disparity in education and business among African-Americans is having an effect on relationships that African American women have. She sits down with the members of a Chicago book club to talk about this difference and how it impacts them.

Wednesday: Dr. Nancy Snyderman will discuss the increased risks for breast cancer among African-American women.

Thursday: Ron Allen will take viewers to South Carolina -- the first southern primary state -- and asks the question: Will race trump gender or gender trump race? He talks with the state directors for the Clinton and Obama campaigns, who happen to be African-American women.

Friday: Dr. Snyderman will raise the frightening statistic that African-American women are 85% more likely to get diabetes, a major complication for heart disease.

In addition, Mara Schiavocampo, Digital Correspondent for "Nightly News," will address two hot topics in the African - American community: interracial dating and the impact of hip hop music on black women. Schiavocampo will talk to experts about the trend and discuss how this defines the "Black family" of the future.

Source: MSNBC News

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Photos of the Day

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
November 13: Hennessy & Louis Vuitton host Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks (center)St. Jude Children's Hospital charity event at the Louis Vuitton store in Lenox Square, Atlanta
 
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

November 15: Philadelphia Dream Dinner to support the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation
Photo: Black PRWire

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
November 15: Actress and Board Member of Artists For A New South Africa, Jurnee Smollett, at the Shaking The Blues gala in LA

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
November 15: Upliftment Jamaica fundraiser hosted by Russell Simmons in NY (L to R: Russell, Bevy Smith, Gary Foster)
 
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
November 19: Elmo creator and puppeteer Kevin Clash at the 35th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
October 20: Charity begins at home - Kimora Lee Simmons and her daughters Ming Lee and Aoki visit St. Vincent's Pediatric Unit in NY
 


BlackGivesBack will resume on Monday - Have A Nice Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund Celebrates 20 Years of Service and Raises 3.8 Million for America's HBCUs

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund announced yesterday the results of its 7th Annual Leadership Institute Recruitment Conference weekend, which brought more than 500 students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU's) to New York City for an annual four-day student leadership training and recruitment conference.

Events of the weekend included the 2nd annual Front Row Fashion Show and the prestigious Anniversary Award Dinner Gala, which drew more than 1800 corporate leaders, university presidents, celebrities, students and more. The events were held on November 2-5 in New York City, that raised$3.8 million toward the organization's scholarships and programs.


The Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Inc., named for the late U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice, was established in 1987 and represents 47 public HBCU's located in 22 states with a population of well over 232,000 students. Over the last 20 years, the fund has awarded more than $68 million in scholarships. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund also provides internship programs and joins corporate and foundation partners in providing leadership training and support to students preparing for undergraduate and professional schools.

"TMCF's success and contributions to leadership development and educating young men and women has surpassed my vision for its future when I founded it some 20 years ago," said Dr. N. Joyce Payne, founder of the fund.

Below are pictures from the Award Dinner Gala, hosted by actor Terrence Howard:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Terrence with author Terry McMillan

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Actors Delroy Lindo and Lynn Whitfield

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
BET founder Bob Johnson

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Lieutenant General Russel L. Honore of the United States Army, recipient of the Alumni Leadership Award

Visit the Thurgood Marshall College Fund at http://www.thurgoodmarshallfund.org.

Source: PRNewswire
Photos: Wireimage

Lincoln Partners with The Common Ground Foundation


Lincoln, the resurgent American luxury brand, announced this month a multifaceted marketing partnership with arising star and Grammy Award-winning performer Common, to promote the 2008 Lincoln Navigator and other brand initiatives.

Lincoln plans to align itself with Common's non-profit organization, the Common Ground Foundation, and will sponsor the first annual Start the Show n' Bowl fundraising event to be held February 2008 during Grammy weekend. The Common Ground Foundation is an organization dedicated to utilizing the cultural relevance of hip-hop to serve as an advocate for justice, education, to fight poverty and to increase health awareness among youth in under served communities throughout the United States.

"I am very enthused and honored to connect with Lincoln,"said Common. "I believe that this union will be creative, fresh, and classic. Most importantly, it's a way for Lincoln and me to give back to the community and people in need."

Source: PRNewswire

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Transition: NFL Player Finds New Passion

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Making the transition from NFL player to community advocate was easy for former Atlanta Falcons player Keion Carpenter.

He now knows that his purpose in life is to use the platform that football provided to reach out and help others, stating: "God put me in the NFL for a reason. He knew where my heart was and what my desires were to help people - and he surrounded me with some strong brothers that stand with me in this transition."

That transition led the Baltimore native to establish The Carpenter House (TCH), a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing the current lack of affordable housing for low-income and single parent families in Baltimore. Having been raised in a single-parent household, Keion saw the struggles his mother went through. It was this experience that sparked his passion and desire to give back. The organization is designed to empower under privileged families by helping them to reach the American dream, home ownership.

On Thursday, I made the hour long drive from D.C. to Baltimore to attend Part I of the Transition, a private VIP reception held at Pier 5, an art-deco hotel overlooking the inner harbor. Original paintings by artist Kevin Charles decorated the lobby and the upstairs event room, which filled quickly.

To celebrate his transition, many of his friends and supporters were in attendance, including his 9th grade social studies teacher, Jesse Bennett, Jr., who has kept in contact with Keion throughout the years. In speaking with him, it was evident that he is very proud of his accomplishments.

During the course of the evening, a video presentation was shown that highlighted two single parent families and their struggles with parenting, education, obtaining day care and caring for children with disabilities. When asked how TCH could help her, one parent shared that having adequate housing would allow her children to grow up in a stable environment, a place to call home.


The organization has plans to collaborate with local government agencies, and community and civic organizations to identify and provide support to the families. The organization currently partners with the Baltimore based For My Kids, an organization providing social services for youth preparing for college.


Keion states that he is 1000% committed to this project. So much so that he has donated $50,000 of his own funds. Within two weeks, $50,000 more was raised.

With these funds, TCH plans to purchase properties as well as accept donated sites within Baltimore, rehabilitate them, and make them available to low-income and single parent families. In addition to providing housing, the organization will offer services such as educational workshops, financial mentoring and other programs to combat homelessness, poverty, hunger, joblessness, substance abuse and domestic violence.


Part II of the Transition included a star studded 30th birthday fundraiser for Keion at the Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore on Friday, November 16th.

Sponsors for the Transition included Afro-American newspapers, The Baltimore Times, WERQ 92.3FM, WSMJ 104.3, Downtown Locker Room and Visionary Marketing Group, Inc.

To learn more about The Carpenter House, Inc., visit http://www.thecarpenterhouseinc.org/

{Special thanks to Monica Wood of MWPR, Inc.}

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

America's Best Leaders 2007

On November 12th, U.S. News and World Report in collaboration with the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, honored 'America's Best Leaders' in New York. The 2007 honorees were selected by a committee of government, community, and private-sector leaders convened by the center.

Among those receiving the honor this year are Brown University President Ruth Simmons and American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
From U.S. News.com:

Ruth Simmons, President of Brown University, personally recruits students to the university:
"It's probably the most important thing I can do on a national basis," she says. "[The best thing] any parent can do for a child is to give your child a sense of love and support and to be open to the idea that they need to learn."

Chenault insists that the success [of his company] was not all about him. "Anyone at any level can be a leader," he says, which is why he is committed to giving everyone at the company a chance to become one.

Mr. Chenault states, "I want people to say that Ken Chenault is a person who, while he's focused on winning, [does so] with the highest level of integrity."

Source: USNews.com
Photo: Wireimage

Sunday, November 11, 2007

In Dedication to Dr. Donda West, Chair of the Kanye West Foundation

Dr. Donda West, mother of hip hop superstar and Grammy award winner Kanye West, has suddenly passed away on Saturday at the age of 58. The cause of death was not released immediately.

Dr. West served as the chair of her son's foundation, the Kanye West Foundation, an educational nonprofit that works to decrease school dropout rates and improve literacy. She served as an English professor for 31 years and as Chair of the English Department at Chicago State University.

Earlier this year, Dr. West released the book Raising Kanye: Life Lessons From The Mother of A Hip Hop Superstar. In the foreword of the book, Kanye shares about the making of the song Hey Mama, dedicated to his mother:

When I wrote that song, "Hey Mama!" about my mom, I worked on it for months. I wanted to make it as great as she is. I wanted to tell the whole world about our friendship and how it came to be. I also wanted to talk about her in the most artistic way I could. I wanted her to know how much I appreciate her for the way she raised me.


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. West earlier this summer in Chicago. My thoughts and prayers are with Kanye, his family, the foundation family and friends during this difficult time.

Related post: Raising Kanye- Happy Mother's Day

Friday, November 9, 2007

::Event: Jesse Jackson's 66th Birthday::

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The unofficial spokesperson for Black America, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., celebrated his 66th birthday on November 8th in Los Angeles. The soiree was sponsored by Bombay Sapphire.
L to R: Congressman Danny Davis, Michael Jackson, Jesse Jackson and Motown Records founder Berry Gordy

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Jesse with baseball pitcher Don Newcombe; Jesse with his daughter Santita Jackson and Newcombe

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

TV personality Niecy Nash, Holly Robinson Peete, Santita Jackson, actress Anna Marie Horsford


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Jackson with attorney Londell McMillan

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Jesse with Los Angeles City Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (right) and Gina Belafonte (center) with the 2007 Living Legend Award for her father Harry Belafonte

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Berry Gordy tasting the birthday cake.

Photos: Wireimage

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Photos of the Day

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Bill Cosby is inducted into Pi Eta Kappa Honor Society at Medgar Evers College on November 5th in NYC. (L-R) Rev. Conrad B. Tillard, Professor Stephen Epps, Bill Cosby and Edison O. Jackson, President, Medgar Evers College

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Athletes Tiki Barber and Ronde Barber at the reading and signing for the release of "Kickoff!", a children's book written by the NFL twin supertars at FAO Schwartz on November 6th in NYC. They read pages from their book that focuses on teamwork, perseverance, family and friendship to children from the Police Athletic League.


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Regina Belle performs at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund's 20th Anniversary Gala on November 5th in New York .