Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Show Me the Way Foundation Announces 2008 Runway Red Celebrity Kids Fashion Show

The Show Me the Way Foundation is pleased to announce Runway Red, the 2nd annual charity fashion gala featuring pint-size socialites, mini-me movers and shakers and their well-known celebrity parental escorts. The non-profit foundation provides mentoring and positive group activities for youth infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS and other terminal health issues. Runway Red takes place on Saturday, July 26, 2008 at the America's Mart in downtown Atlanta.
With former celebrity support including the children/ family of Outkast, Nelly, Jermaine Dupri, Mayor Shirley Franklin and more - this year's show aims to unite some of the most recognized faces and influential members of society to rally support in fighting an epidemic that effects millions of people every day. Statistics show that Georgia is the ninth state in pediatric AIDS cases in the U.S. Out of over 500 AIDS organizations in Georgia, there are only 13 that focus on children with HIV/AIDS.
Jermaine Dupri and daughter
Big Boi (Outkast) and family
Runway RED will be entertaining and informing as guests will enjoy learning about the sole purpose of Campaign RED while viewing exclusive fall and winter Back to School collections from Macy's and high-end fashion designers from all over the world including: Jack & Jill, Sean John for Kids, Rock and Republic, Lil Miss Muffet, Burberry for Kids, Paige Denim, Tommy Hilfiger, and Bo Peep Kids.

Tashawnya Menefee, President and Founder of the foundation stated, "Foundations such as Show Me the Way are unique and special because a cumulative total of 14 million children in the world have lost their mothers or both parents to AIDS and we focus many of our efforts on serving this specific demographic."

Join the Show Me the Way Foundation for Runway Red, Saturday, July 26th and help make a difference. Special thanks to this year's top tier sponsors - Macy's, V-103, and Jezebel Magazine. Tickets are on sale at - click on Runway Red.
For more information, and for media and celebrity VIP contact The Garner Circle PR, 770.256.1800.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Retired NFL Player Teaches for America

Retired Carolina Panthers player Mike Minter is a prominent African American entrepreneur, philanthropist and community leader in the Carolinas. He recently joined the ranks of politicians, educators, authors, CEOs and others in local high-need schools as a guest teacher for Teach for America, inspiring students and raising awareness of educational inequity in our nation.

Teach For America Week, which was held April 14-17, 2008, is an annual nationwide event in which leaders from all professions spend an hour of their time teaching children from some of our lowest income communities.

On April 15, 2008, Mike taught math at West Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. He shared about the experience, “I was honored to spend some time in the classroom to inspire students to pursue academic excellence. I think I enjoyed it as much as the students! Standing in front of that classroom and seeing the expressions on their faces once they understood what I was teaching was a whole new level for me. The children are our future and if we don’t take time to encourage them, embrace them and to invest into them financially and in their education, then we’re all in trouble.”

This is just one of the many philanthropic activities that Mike is committed to. On a mission trip to Africa with the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, they analyzed the ability to bring food, water, and resources to the more rural and poverty stricken areas. He is also the spokesman for several non profit organizations including his local Salvation Army and Boys and Girls Club. On his website, he shares about where his giving spirit comes from: "It comes straight from my mom. The gift of giving is a gift. I haven't always had something to give, but I always said 'When I make it, I'm going to make sure I give back.' So when I got the opportunity to give, I was on it."



Visit Mike's website here.

On the web: Teach for America,

{Thanks Laura}
Photo: CharlotteVibe

Monday, April 21, 2008

Verna Dauterive's $25 Million Dollar Gift

Via USC News:

Verna B. Dauterive M.Ed., Ed.D. has pledged $25 million to her alma mater, the University of Southern California. Her gift, whose specific designation has yet to be determined, is made in memory of her late husband, Peter W. Dauterive, a 1949 graduate of the USC Marshall School of Business.

“This is a history-making gift,” said USC President Steven B. Sample. “It is the largest ever made by an African American to a U.S. institution of higher learning. We are tremendously grateful to Dr. Verna Dauterive – an alumna who personifies excellence in her professional and civic life – for honoring her alma mater in this way.

Born and raised in Louisiana, the Dauterives met as students in USC’s Doheny Memorial Library and maintained lifelong ties to the university.

After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, Peter Dauterive enrolled at USC under the GI Bill. He graduated near the top of his class, and USC secured a placement for him at the Broadway Federal Savings & Loan Association, where he rose to the position of executive vice president and managing officer. He later earned a master’s degree in executive management from the University of Indiana and in 1973 became founding president and CEO of the Founders Savings & Loan Association.

Verna Dauterive received her bachelor of science degree from Texas’ Wiley College (home of “the great debaters”) in 1943 and moved to California shortly after graduation. Within months, she landed a teaching job and embarked upon a 62-year career with the Los Angeles Unified School District.

In 1985, she and her husband endowed the Dr. Verna B. Dauterive and Peter W. Dauterive Scholarship – the university’s first scholarship for minority doctoral students in education.

In a L.A. Times article, Verna shared about the contribution, "It's going to allow more students to attend 'SC, perhaps provide more diversity at 'SC, and I'm hoping it will encourage African American alumni who have profited from their degrees at 'SC and are doing well in life but have not contributed what they can afford to contribute."

Sources: USC News & LA Times

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

NBA's Amare Stoudemire to Youth: Wake Up and Go To School!

The Ad Council and the U.S. Army joined today to launch a Wake-Up Call program as part of their "Boost"national public service advertising campaign designed to encourage students to graduate from high school. Featuring the voice of Amare Stoudemire, NBA All-Star and Captain of the Phoenix Suns, the program features a series of wake-up calls and alarm ringtones that teens can share with their friends to provide the motivation to get up and go to school.

According to the press release, approximately 7,000 high school students drop out every school day, which translates to one in three students in our country, according to a report released earlier this month by the America's Promise Alliance (Cities in Crisis: A Special Analytic Report on High School Graduation).

Research shows that the decision to drop out doesn't happen overnight. Another recent study by Civic Enterprises, The Silent Epidemic, Perspectives of High School Dropouts, found that two-thirds of students who drop out frequently missed class during the year after developing a pattern of sleeping late in the mornings and taking long lunches.

The wake-up call program, featuring Stoudemire's voice, encourages teens to share fun pre-recorded wake-up calls and alarm ringtones with those who need extra motivation in the morning. Additional celebrities and athletes are expected to lend their voices in the coming months.

Stoudemire volunteered to get involved with the campaign as part of his commitment to providing educational opportunities for children and teens throughout the country. Stoudemire is actively involved with giving back to youth in need through his Each 1, Teach 1 Foundation, which revolves around the concept that each person should be given the opportunity to education and aid, while also being responsible to come to the help of peers in need.

"This Boost Up campaign was so innovative that I knew I had to get involved," said Amare Stoudemire. "Because I've dedicated myself to helping youth in need and love using cutting-edge technology, recording ringtones and wake-up calls for kids in danger of dropping out was right up my alley. I had a great time with it, and I look forward to seeing how these messages can help keep the kids in school."

Visit to download one of Amare's custom Boost Up alarm ringtones or to schedule a wake up call for you or a friend for school.
On the web:

Source and photo: PRN/AD Council

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Clothing Designer To The Stars Turns Focus to Kids

Designer to the stars Cary Mitchell, who has designed clothes for some of the biggest names in professional sports, including Tiger Woods, Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Emmitt Smith and Ken Griffey, Jr., is turning his time and talent to the community through his Fashion in the Schools program (FITS).

Mitchell’s vision to develop this program was fueled by a childhood diagnosis of dyslexia. He struggled with education, failing the fourth and sixth grades, which decreased his self-esteem. After enrolling in a prestigious private school in his hometown of Richmond, VA, his reading skills improved and so did his self-esteem. His passion for improving the quality of public education for disadvantaged youth and his personal testimony fueled Mitchell to create FITS in 2006.

FITS is administered as an afterschool program for selected students. The four-week program includes a design-based curriculum that introduces students to careers in the design industry (not necessarily fashion design) and allows them to help design unique school uniforms for their school. Program goals include eliminating the competition to have desirable clothing that often distracts students from learning, decreasing the amount of time spent on classroom discipline, and preventing gang members from wearing gang colors and insignia at school.

The program was first implemented in 2006 at Martin Luther King middle school in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was such a success, that it caught the attention of one of the largest financial institutions in the country – Wachovia Bank, NA. Wachovia made a commitment to helping Mitchell implement the program in other Charlotte schools through a grant from its foundation. With a $25,000 grant in hand from the Wachovia Foundation, support from other companies and individuals (including several clients) came in. Mitchell will implement the program in three other Charlotte middle schools by the end of the 2007-2008 school year.

Mitchell shared, "The grant from the Wachovia Foundation and support of several local businesses, individuals and a few of my clients has made FITS a success in Charlotte. My goal is to take this program to school districts across the country."

For more information, visit

Source and photo: studio b public relations

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Links of Greater New York


The Links, Inc. is a national organization comprised of women who are linked in friendship, committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. Founded in 1946, it is one of the oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of women. Membership consists of 12,000 professional women of color in 273 chapters located in 42 states, the District of Columbia and three foreign countries. The Links Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the organization, which provides grants to support their program areas.

Last month, 900 guests joined The Links of Greater New York to honor Susan L. Taylor, Editor Emerita of Essence Magazine and founder of the National Cares Mentoring Movement, and Joyce M. Roche, President of Girls, Inc., at their 59th annual Easter luncheon and fashion show at Chelsea Piers Pier Sixty.

Minta Spain, co-chair Evette Beckett-Tuggle, honoree Susan L. Taylor, and co-chair Sydney Avent

Taylor has partnered with The Links in an outreach effort to recruit mentors for African American children through the National Cares Mentoring Movement.

For more pictures from the event, visit NYSD here.
Also check out Black Glitterati for society happenings in NY and NJ.
On the web:
Related Post: Susan L. Taylor: Mentoring's Newest Advocate
Photos: NYSD

R&B Superstar Ne-Yo To Honor Foster Mothers on Mother's Day

Grammy award winning Def Jam recording artist and writer Ne-Yo and his Compound Foundation announced plans last week to host a Mother's Day Brunch Serenade to honor 50 metro Atlanta foster and single mothers. The event is being held to encourage, celebrate and reward these mothers for the all that they do each and everyday. The special brunch will be held on Sunday, May 11th, 2008 at the Loft at Castleberry Hill from 2pm to 5pm.

Ne-Yo shared, "We hope to bring attention to the state of the foster care system in America and to honor mothers that deserve recognition."

Launched in early 2007, The Compound Foundation, with Ne-Yo at the helm, is a 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization established to create a productive and stable environment for at-risk and displaced youth in the group home context. The foundation's mission is to increase awareness about the status of children in the child welfare system in America and to support and partner with residential care facilities through programs aimed at teaching entrepreneurship and life skills that will empower them to become productive, successful, independent adults. Ne-Yo's Compound Foundation is part of the Compound Entertainment music label formed in partnership between Ne-Yo and business partner Reynell Hay, who stated about the event, "We want them to know we care and that we recognize their efforts."

This is an invitation only event for foster mothers who have been identified by DHR to have a positive record of service to children in Georgia, single mothers who are V-103 radio contest winners, and guests of the Compound Foundation.

Each guest will be pinned with a floral corsage and seated for the brunch and a very special surprise performance. Simultaneously, in three separate rooms, licensed and experienced child care workers will provide high quality children's activities for children ranging in age from 1 – 10 years old.

For more information about the event, sponsorship opportunities or to schedule media interviews, please contact Barry Florence, BDC World PR at 202.365.5401 or

Source: Compound Entertainment

Monday, April 7, 2008

50 Million Pound Challenge Celebrates One Year

Not only is Dr. Ian Smith helping celebrities lose weight and get fit on VH1's Celebrity Fit Club, he's helping black America shed pounds.

Dr. Ian's 50 Million Pound Challenge was launched one year ago today, April 7, 2007 in Washington, D.C. In November, the Challenge announced that over 250,000 people joined the cause, losing one million pounds. One year later, the challenge has inspired almost a half a million people to team up to take control of their health, take off close to two million pounds and fight the epidemic of excess weight taking so many lives, especially among African Americans.

This past year, celebrities such as Patti LaBelle, Michael Strahan and Steve Harvey joined Smith for a 14-city kickoff tour and has resonated across America with its rallying cry ‘Give up the pounds, not the fight.’

Today, Dr. Ian will be at NYC’s Apollo Theater to begin a month-long anniversary celebration. The Challenge is celebrating its first-year milestone by taking its message to grassroots America, and marking April as “50 Million Pound Challenge Month.” The initiative is partnering with churches, colleges and civic organizations across the nation to mobilize more members and sustain its drive to reach its ambitious 50 million pound goal.

"We’ve had a great first year, and The Challenge has just begun. It’s imperative we inspire more people to join and reach their personal health goals, and collectively help us achieve our 50 million pound goal," Dr. Ian said. "Too many people are dying from preventable weight-related illnesses. We’re facing an epidemic that affects all Americans, especially the African-American community, where lives are being cut five years shorter than the US average."

Anyone can join the growing Challenge online community at, where participants can find free tips, tools, a personal weight tracker and start or join Challenge teams to support their quest to lead healthier, longer lives.

Source: Press release, BPRW
Photo: Wireimage

Sunday, April 6, 2008

::Photos of the Day::

 Actor and activist Kerry Washington and Grammy winner/songwriter John Legend joined arts supporters from across the US for Arts Advocacy Day in Congress on April 1, 2008. This was Kerry's second time addressing the subcommittee urging lawmakers to increase federal arts funding.

During her testimony, Kerry stated something that is critical - that arts programs can help youth succeed in school academically. She stated, "without getting too specific about what the root causes are, art has gone absent from the classroom for far too many students. The skills acquired in arts training may lead to productive careers in art, but are really a piece of the academic development jigsaw puzzle."

Russell Simmons along with his brother Danny Simmons know the importance of youth arts programs. They hosted Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation's Arts for Life Miami on April 5, 2008 to celebrate and support youth arts organizations.

Real estate developer R. Donahue Peebles, Tangie Murray and Danny Simmons participate in an art auction at the event, which honored Peebles, John Legend and financial expert Suze Orman.

Director Brett Ratner, Wyclef Jean and Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons with Miami Heat player and philanthropist Alonzo Mourning

Danny Simmons, co-founder of Rush Philanthropic shared, "I particularly like when Rush partners with organizations outside the New York City area. Kids are kids wherever you go and the need to have the creative arts as part of their lives is essential. Events like the one in Miami only confirm my commitment to expand Rush into a national organization."

Old School Hip Hop: Rap group De La Soul visits MTV's Yo! Sucker Free on April 2, 2008 in NYC.

Legendary photojournalist Bob Adelman, author of Mine Eyes Have Seen: Bearing Witness to the Civil Rights Struggle, stands in front of a photograph he took of Martin Luther King at Westwood Gallery, April 4, 2008 in NYC.

Whitney Houston honors boxing great Muhammad Ali at his Celebrity Fight Night, April 5, 2008 in Scottsdale, Arizona. This annual event has raised over $45 million for various charities, with the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute as the primary beneficiary.

Photos: Wireimage

Friday, April 4, 2008

40 Years Later....Still Chasing the Dream


Forty years ago today, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, where he traveled to support the sanitation workers strike. As news of his death spread, riots broke out in Washington, Baltimore, Chicago and in over 100 other cities across the country. Some who lived through this frightening time say this country has not been the same since. Ruth Stewart, who at the time of the riots was a young mother, shared in a Baltimore Sun article, "When they killed MLK, that did it," she says. "The peace just went. He was for nonviolence, but they brought out the violence in us."

Today, the news is unsettling: Reports show that half of America’s black and Hispanic students don’t finish high school, students in Chicago fear going to school at the risk of being killed, and 3rd graders plot to attack their teacher. Even my alma mater, once regarded as the premier high school in Washington, D.C. is on lockdown.

In the words of the Marvin Gaye classic, what’s going on? As I stated in a previous post, Martin Luther King would not be pleased with the state of the black community today. And it seems like every year on his holiday and the anniversary of his death, people want to revisit what he stood for and died for. Well I’m here to tell you that amidst the parades and recognitions, America needs to fight for his dream everyday, not just two times a year. Here’s what you can do:

1. Is there a drop out crisis in your community? Find out here. If there is, take steps with your community to address this problem. Start by joining the 15 by 5 Campaign Network of America’s Promise Alliance, founded by Colin and Alma Powell, to become part of a national network with others working to combat this crisis.

Other related website: ED in '08

2. Mentor a youth. If you have your own family and don’t have the time, how about inviting a youth on a family outing with you who doesn’t have a father figure? Summer is approaching – sponsor a child at a camp, to take music lessons or any fun and enriching activity.

Essence Cares
National Mentoring Partnership

I can’t stress enough how important mentoring is. Our youth are having it tough in the nation’s urban public school systems and they need caring, committed adults (parents can’t do it all!) outside of school to help them succeed in life.

3. Are you a business owner? Hire a youth for an internship or after school employment. Not only will they learn valuable work skills, but you’ll be keeping them off the streets - especially during the times when juvenile crime is highest, from 3-6 pm.

Just three to get you started. Have additional ideas on how people can get involved? Leave a comment!

There are many events being held across the country to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s homegoing. Last month, Kevin Liles and friends celebrated the legacy of the great civil rights leader in New York:


Stephen Hill, Kevin Liles, Andre Harrell, Al Sharpton and Debra Lee celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King at a private residence on March 19, 2008.

In London, Martin Luther King, III attended a launch honoring his father at The Royal Festival Hall on April 1, 2008:


On the Web:
Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King National Memorial Foundation
Build the Dream Blog

On Television:

'The Night James Brown Saved Boston' Premiering On VH1 And VH1 Classic On Saturday, April 5 at 9:00 PM EST. As other cities were going up in flames after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Boston feared it would be next. This documentary highlights how a James Brown concert saved Boston and brought together a city.

Photos: Public domain, wireimage

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Celebrates 50 Years

In March 1958, Alvin Ailey and a group of young African-American modern dancers began the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Today, the dance theater has performed for more than 21 million people on six continents, earning a reputation as the most acclaimed international ambassador of American culture.

Fifty years later, the Company continues the legacy of founder Alvin Ailey under the remarkable vision of Artistic Director Judith Jamison. In celebration of their 50th anniversary, the dance theater has announced an 18-month commemoration that includes events, promotions, collaborations and special performances.

In addition, Executive Director Sharon Gersten Luckman announced significant contributions that have helped the company surpass its initial goal of raising the endowment to $50 million for its 50th anniversary. Among those who donated significant gifts were Kathryn and Kenneth Chenault, The Ford Foundation, Simin and Herb Allison and a $6 million dollar pledge from Los Angeles-based dance enthusiast Glorya Kaufman that pushed the endowment to $55 million, over its initial goal.

Special Commemoration Events:

Ailey Archive Exhibit Opens May 8, 2008 - March 2009: The Library of Congress (LC), which houses "The Ailey Archives," will produce an Ailey archive exhibit. The exhibit will be on display at the LC in Washington, DC for the first five months and then at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles starting October 4, 2008 for an additional six months.

Free Dance Classes and Performances throughout NYC August 5 - 12, 2008: Ailey will host a series of free performances and dance classes in all five boroughs of NYC, sponsored by Bloomberg.

Target 1958 Night December 2008: In honor of Ailey's first performance, Target will sponsor a one-night-only performance during the New York City Center season, featuring specially priced tickets to help encourage access and participation.

Commemorative Merchandise:

Hallmark greeting cards on Sale March 2008: A series of six cards featuring photographs of Ailey dancers by Andrew Eccles

Alvin Ailey Barbie(R) Doll on Sale November 2008: Designed by Judith Jamison, the doll represents a dancer from Alvin Ailey's Revelations

For more information on Ailey, the Company's 50th anniversary and commemorative activities and merchandise, please visit

Source: PRN/Photo: Public domain

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Jalen Rose Foundation: Providing College Scholarships for Detroit Students

The Jalen Rose Foundation is currently accepting applications for $10,000 college scholarships from high school seniors residing in the city of Detroit, Michigan, who will begin college in the summer or fall of 2008.

The Jalen Rose Foundation was established by NBA star Jalen Rose to create life-changing opportunities for under served youth through the development of unique programs and the distribution of grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. Since its inception, the foundation has distributed nearly one million to charities, which includes a $100,000 donation to the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which was founded by another NBA player, Dikembe Mutombo.

In 2006, the foundation was named one of the top 26 sports foundations by Overtime magazine, and in 2005, Black Enterprise magazine named Jalen as a leader in philanthropy.

College Scholarship Eligibility: Applicants must reside in Detroit and be a high school senior in good standing during the 2007-2008 school year with a cumulative GPA of 3.0/4.0 or higher. Students must be able to prove acceptance by an accredited college or university before the scholarships are distributed and demonstrate financial need.

Deadline: All entries must be postmarked no later than April 30, 2008.

For more information and/or to apply, visit here.
On the web: The Jalen Rose Foundation

Photo: Jalen Rose Foundation website/Giving Back Fund