Monday, November 30, 2009

Akon and Ludacris Unite Their Charities to Give Back on Thanksgiving

Konfidence Foundation’s Harvest of Heart and The Ludacris Foundation’s LudaCares Thanksgiving Joined Forces To Distribute 2,000 Holiday Turkeys To Metro Atlanta Families In Need

Via Press Release: Atlanta recordings stars Akon and Ludacris united their charitable organizations’ annual Thanksgiving community programs and called upon friends and colleagues to extend a helping hand to those that are less fortunate this holiday season.

The Konfidence Foundation’s 2nd Annual Turkey Giveaway program and The Ludacris Foundation’s LudaCares Thanksgiving program teamed up to give back by donating 2,000 holiday turkeys to help metro Atlanta flood survivors and low-income families in need. Each family received a fresh holiday turkey, along with two side items - sweet potatoes and collard greens.

This private charity event was held at South Cobb High School and the recipient families were pre-selected by partnering 20 community-based organizations including: Cobb Schools Foundation, United Way, Cobb Disaster Recovery, and Christian Aid Mission Partnership (C.A.M.P.), among others.

Ludacris, Ms. Kine Thiam (Akon's mother and President of the Konfidence Foundation), Akon, Big Boi and Bu Thiam (Akon's brother and VP of Def Jam Records)
Contributions and support on behalf of the Konfidence Foundation came from Akon's longtime friend and business partner Darrick "DeVyne" Stephens on behalf of his youth focused charity DeVyne Intervention; Akon's brother Bu Thiam, Def Jam VP and founder of new record label BuVision; Martin Bandier, Chairman & CEO of SONY/ATV Music Publishing; Antwan "Big Boi" Patton on behalf of his charity Big Kidz Foundation, Publix, and Sam's Club. The Ludacris Foundation received help from sponsors including Straits Restaurant, and celebrity Chef Ashley Clay of The Elegant Experience who prepared 40 cooked meals for Cobb County homeless and senior citizens. In addition, the Konfidence Foundation donated 100 turkeys and sides to Hosea Feed The Hungry & Homeless for their 40th Annual Thanksgiving dinner at Turner Field.

Source: Susan Blond, Inc.
Photo credit: Walter Poole/Konfidence.org

A Night of Fun and Philanthropy: Young Leaders Council of the United Way NY Honors Beverly Bond, Founder of Black Girls Rock!

DJ Beverly Bond at the 4th annual Black Girls Rock! awards event, October 17, 2009 in NYC.

The United Way of New York Young Leaders Council is pleased to announce their second Annual Red Carpet Soiree, A Night of Fun and Philanthropy to be held on December 12, 2009 from 7-11 pm at Two Times Square in New York City. The event will honor DJ Beverly Bond, the founder of Black Girls Rock!

An activist and philanthropist, Beverly founded BLACK GIRLS ROCK!, a nonprofit youth mentoring organization established to empower young women of color through the arts. She established the annual BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Awards to celebrate the accomplishments of exceptional women of color who have made outstanding contributions in their careers and stand as inspirational and positive role models in the community.

Among her numerous accolades are the 2009 Agent of Change Award, given at the “Obama: THAT ONE!” Pre-Inaugural Gala in Washington, D.C., and the 2009 Gold Rush Award, given by Russell Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. She was also named a Future Urban Icon by VIBE magazine.
Proceeds from the event will support education programs to keep high school students in school, equipping them to become future leaders.
The Young Leaders Council is a group of young professionals ages 21–40 who are focused on transforming New York City communities through their support of and involvement with the work of United Way of New York City. The Council promotes philanthropy, education, volunteerism and leadership among young professionals and philanthropists in New York City.

For more information on the event and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.unitedwaynyc.org/redcarpet_09/.

The 16th Annual Caribbean American Heritage Awards Highlights the Count Us Caribbean Census Campaign

Dr. Claire Nelson, Founder and President of Institute of Caribbean Studies and Arnold Jackson, Associate Director, Decennial Census at the 16th Anniversary of the Caribbean American Heritage Awards, November 13, 2009 in Washington, DC.

The Caribbean American Heritage (CARAH) Awards held its 16th anniversary on Friday, November 13, 2010 at the Renaissance Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C. celebrating and highlighting people from the Caribbean and the gains they have made in the United States. The annual gala, which is a flagship event of the Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS), celebrates the contributions, legacies and future of those of Caribbean heritage. I'd like to thank Global Hue, one of the gala sponsors for inviting me as a guest at their table!

ICS Honorees span the range of sectors from health, to education to housing development and include Earl Graves, CEO and Publisher of Black Enterprise who is of Barbadian heritage, and actress Cicely Tyson, who is of Nevisian heritage. The Gala has also honored Friends of the Caribbean such as former Congressman Kweisi Mfume, and Congresswoman Barbara Lee. Special guests of the evening included Michael Blake, Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement & Deputy Associate Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, and Maureen Bunyan, anchor for ABC-7 in Washington, DC.

This year, ICS used the GALA as an opportunity to kick into high gear its Count Us Caribbean Campaign, which ICS Founder and President Dr. Claire Nelson leads as Chair of the National Caribbean American Complete Count Committee. Arnold Jackson, Associate Director for Decennial Census of the Census 2010, attended and brought Special Remarks on the 2010 Census.

“The 2010 Census is a Constitutional responsibility and is vital to growing and building communities. We do not share your answers with anyone, including other federal agencies and law enforcement entities – all information are kept confidential,” said Arnold Jackson. “An accurate census affects how more than $400 billion dollars of federal funding are spent each year in local communities, which translates into more jobs, increased human services and a healthier local economy.”

In an effort to maximize the number of participants, the Census is concentrating on hard-to-count audiences and has reached out to several key people in diverse communities to help spread the word about the importance of the Census. Dr. Claire Nelson, a Jamaican, was selected as a National Profile Partner of the Census and is developing outreach strategies to target the Caribbean communities.

“The Caribbean population in America must be represented in full for continued economic and political progress in our community,” said Nelson. “We must communicate to all Caribbean Americans that participation in the U.S. Census will not adversely affect our communities, but instead will allow them to flourish and be strengthened. Whether you are immigrant or native born; whether documented or not; whether Barbadian, Haitian, Jamaican, whether African descent of Asian origin, it is important to us and our children that we stand up and be counted.”

More on the 2010 Census http://2010.census.gov/news/
More on the Institute of Caribbean Studies http://www.icsdc.org/

The 2009 Honorees are: Willard Wigan, M.B.E, Micro Sculptor; George Willie, C.P.A., Managing Partner,Bert Smith & Co.; Hon. Shirley Nathan Pulliam, Member, Maryland House Of Delegates; Lynton Scotland, Vice President Operational Excellence, Nrg Energy Inc.; Alison Hinds, Soca Diva & Performing Artiste; Dr. Anthony Kalloo, Natural Orifice Surgery Pioneer & Chief Of Gastroenterology & Hepatology at Johns Hopkins; and Hon. Usain Bolt, Elite Athlete.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hip hop artists Ludacris, Akon and Big Boi distribute turkeys to families in need at South Cobb High School in Austell, Georgia this week.

Wishing everyone a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!
Don't forget, Monday is the last day to vote for your favorite celebrity philanthropist of 2009! Cast your vote HERE.
Photo: Wireimage

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Acclaimed Director, Writer and Actor Tyler Perry Donates One Million Dollars to NAACP



Gift is the Largest Received from an Individual Entertainer in the NAACP’s History

“This is a paradigm shifting moment in black philanthropy. Here is a civil rights organization that is receiving a donation that is usually targeted only at education or cultural institutions. Tyler Perry is setting a high standard for others to follow.”
---Maxim Thorne, Senior Vice President of the NAACP

Washington, DC (November 23, 2009) - The NAACP, the country’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, announced today that acclaimed film director Tyler Perry has donated one million dollars, marking the largest gift ever given by an individual entertainer. In addition, Perry purchased several NAACP commissioned Jacob Lawrence lithographs and additional lithographs by celebrated artists Jonathan Green, Elizabeth Catlett and Sam Gilliam. The gift, which will be distributed over the next four years, was made to commemorate the organization’s Centennial anniversary.

“We are honored that Tyler Perry chose to support the NAACP,” said Julian Bond, Chairman of the NAACP. “Tyler is a courageous pioneer in bringing positive images of African American culture and struggles to the screen. His remarkable journey from poverty and childhood abuse to become one of the world’s most successful filmmakers and entrepreneurs is an inspiration to us all,” Bond said.

“Tyler Perry exemplifies an unyielding commitment to uplifting and bringing hope to the disenfranchised and those less fortunate,” stated Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP. “Both in his films and in his life, he reflects an impressive ethos of caring and conscientiousness. We are deeply grateful for his support.”

“I feel so honored and blessed to be in a position where I can give to the NAACP.” Perry said. “Had it not been for the perseverance and vision of the thousands who came before me in the 100 years of this legendary organization, I would not be in the position I am in today. I continue to be thankful for the tireless work of the NAACP, and I am proud to be able to help in their mission to fight for the equality of all people, and to work towards the elimination of discrimination against race.”

“The generous gift by Tyler Perry will be used to support our Second Century Society advocacy programs on economic equality, education, health care and criminal justice” stated Benjamin Todd Jealous.

Source: NAACP Press Release


Blues Babe Foundation Announces 'The Giveaway Boutique'

The Blues Babe Foundation, founded by R&B singer Jill Scott, has announced 'The Giveaway Boutique,' a unique charity event to benefit Philadelphia families impacted by the economy. Syreeta Scott, owner of Duafe Holistic Hair Care and Board Member for the Blues Babe Foundation, wanted to give back and allow those in need to begin their year with a shopping experience to remember.

Here's how the boutique will work: From October through December, nonperishable food, new and gently worn clothing, and toys will be collected for the “Giveaway Boutique.” Volunteers from the Blues Babe Foundation and other area nonprofit organizations will sort and organize the donated items. During the week of Christmas, shopping invitations will be distributed to families and individuals with extreme financial need. Before the new year, a space will be transformed into the “Giveaway Boutique” where invited shoppers will be allowed to select up to five items of their choice. The pop-up boutique will feature specialty departments for food, toys, women, men, and children. All shoppers will receive gift bags with their selected items along with information about programs and services available to assist them.

The Giveaway Boutique begins on Friday, January 1, 2010 with a special night dedicated to women who often think of others first and don’t always spend enough time on their own health, beauty, and happiness. The “Ladies Night” kick-off will feature refreshments, music, shopping, intimate apparel, and product demonstrations.

The foundation is currently seeking donations of new and slightly used clothing, shoes and toys for the boutique. Donations can be dropped off at Duafe Holistic Hair Care, 3502 Scotts Lane, Philadelphia, PA - Wednesdays thru Saturdays from 11:00am – 5:00pm. Donations will be accepted until December 27, 2009.

Also needed are volunteers, drop off locations, in kind donations (merchandise materials, shopping bags, beauty products for Ladies Night) and sponsors. For more information, contact Syreeta Scott, Owner, Duafe Holistic Hair Care at 267-784-3595 or via email, syreetascott[at]verizon[dot]net.

Source: From our friends at theybf.com

Friday, November 20, 2009

Frank Ski Kids Foundation Announces Upcoming Events

Photo from Frank Ski Kids Foundation's Annual Wine Tasting & Live Auction

360 Media is excited to announce two upcoming events for the Frank Ski Kids Foundation! On December 5th and 12th, the Foundation will host Youth Bowl VI-- the ultimate youth football competition, and on December 13, the Foundation's 6th Annual Celebrity Wine Tasting and Live Auction will take place at Frank Ski's Atlanta estate. Both events will surely be a good time, and they are both for a good cause! See below for more information on each event:

Youth Bowl VI

Join Frank Ski of Atlanta’s V103-FM, the Frank Ski Kids Foundation and four of Atlanta’s best crosstown youth football teams, as they compete to win $20,000 in cash and prizes! Each year thousands of kids play their hardest for the chance to play in Youth Bowl – THE ultimate youth football competition. Only four teams will qualify to compete in the playoff games, Saturday, December 5th, to battle for a spot in the championship game on Saturday, December 12th at Lakewood Stadium in Decatur. Youth Bowl VI is the only competition of its kind in the southeast—so don’t miss out this year! Come cheer on your favorite local teams, and watch football for a great cause!

WHEN: Playoff Games: Saturday, December 5th at 10AM and Noon
Championship Games: Saturday, December 12th at Noon with “Futures” game at 10AM
WHERE: Lakewood Stadium, 70 Claire Drive, Atlanta, GA 30315
Tickets are $5.00 at stadium; Kids 5 and under are free; Parking is $2.00

6th Annual Celebrity Wine Tasting and Live Auction

Experience the highlight of the holiday season on Sunday, December 13th with the Frank Ski Celebrity Wine Tasting & Live Auction, the Frank Ski Kids Foundation’s most successful annual fundraiser. For a 6th “grape” year, this impressive soiree pairs philanthropy and fine wine. Clink glasses with celebrity co-hosts Ambassador Andrew Young, legendary producer Kevin Liles, music mogul Sean P. Diddy Combs, Atlanta’s Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and real estate guru Scott Selig as well as other notable local and national celebrities and fashionable Atlanta guests. Enjoy a palatable pairing of food and wine and bid on rare bottles of wine and other items, including autographed sports and music memorabilia.

Frank Ski (right) with Kevin Liles at a previous Wine Tasting & Auction

WHEN: Sunday, December 13th, 2009
TIME: 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm
WHERE: Frank Ski’s Atlanta Estate
TICKETS: $250 per person

Sponsored by State Farm Insurance, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bacardi, Red Bull and AAA Parking.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.frankskikids.org/ or call 404-870-0230.

Source: 360 Media
Photo Credit: Ben Rose Photography

Rosa’s Doll House: Where Dolls Come to Life

Ebonirose Wade, Founder, Rosa’s Doll House (3rd from left) and Dolls at the WPGC 95.5 "Family First" and Howard University "Community Day" event in Washington, DC earlier this month.

Next month, the movie ‘The Princess & the Frog’ will open in theaters nationwide featuring Princess Tiana, the first Disney princess that is African American. But ten years ago, a then 15-year old Nashville teenager who was volunteering at her local day care center saw the need for African American children’s entertainment characters - and decided to do something about it. Ebonirose Wade founded Rosa’s Doll House in 1997, a children’s entertainment company that provides African American entertainment characters for children’s parties, functions and more. The company now successfully operates in Tennessee, South Louisiana, Chicago, New York, Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Ebonirose is an avid reader of BlackGivesBack and shared her story with me!

In 2002, as an extension to Rosa’s Doll House, an enrichment initiative was established for young ladies throughout Louisiana and Nashville, Tennessee, utilizing female university students and community leaders. The purpose of the initiative is to build positive self-esteem, morals, and character among African-American females ages five to fourteen. Through mentoring, community outreach, and self-awareness activities, the interventions will enhance, strengthen, and support their academic skills in order to help young women appreciate who they are by providing young, professional, collegiate minority women as role models. The overall goal of Rosa’s Doll House is to assist our African American young women in their development in becoming strong viable members of society.

Today, Ebonierose is a 25 year old doctoral student at Howard University in Washington, D.C. and upon finishing her degree; she has plans to open a finishing school for young African American girls in Nashville, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Washington, DC and New York. Ebonirose received her undergraduate degree from Southern University Agricultural and Mechanical College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and a minor in Business Administration. She received her Masters Degree from Howard University, where she served as a Graduate Assistant in the School of Education, and also served as a Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science intern, and Go-Girl Howard University Chapter Mentor.

Ebonierose was taught by both of her parents at a young age, “A real leader changes the world by first changing themselves then reviving their community.”

Visit the Rosa’s Doll House website at http://www.rosadollhouse.com/ to learn more about scheduling Ebonirose as a motivational speaker and to make your child’s party a memorable one!

Photos of the Day


Karla Redding (Daughter of Otis Redding), honoree Chris "Ludacris" Bridges and Zelma Redding (Wife of Otis Redding) at 'An Evening of Respect' presented by The Big 'O' (Otis Redding) Foundation at The Woodruff Arts Center & Symphony Hall on November 5, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Big 'O' Youth Educational Dream Foundation was founded by Zelma Redding in honor of the musical legend, Otis Redding. The foundation's mission is to empower and enlighten youth to remain confident and motivated through programs related to music and the arts, and the foundation was a significant dream Otis had to encourage young people to stay in school. Also honored were Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin, and Kyle and Pattie Petty for their humanitarian efforts through the Victory Junction Gang Camp and the Chick-fil-A Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America.


The famed Ron Clark Academy choir performed at the event. Other guests attending were musician and Real Housewives of Atlanta's Kandi Burruss, singers Kenny Lattimore and Chante Moore, and R&B singer Anthony Hamilton.


Angela Simmons, Justine Simmons, and Reverend Run attend the Russell Simmons Diamond Empowerment Fund - Dallas Rocks Benefit Dinner on November 14, 2009 in Dallas, Texas.


R&B singer Estelle performs at the 2009 Women of the Year awards hosted by Glamour Magazine at Carnegie Hall, November 9, 2009 in New York City. Accompanying Estelle is the youth choir Songs of Solomon, previously featured on my blog. Planning a charity fundraiser or an event? Songs of Solomon is available to perform! See previous post HERE.

Gillette Fusion and Rolling Out Present The Men Of Style Awards: The Gillette Men of Style award recipients attend the Men of Style Awards at the 40 / 40 Club on November 2, 2009 in New York City.

In conjunction with the Men of Style Awards, Gillette is hosting the Gillette Fusion MVP Prime Time tour to get the message out regarding shaving and razor bumps among African American men. The tour highlights the Gillette Fusion razor by tapping into the lifestyle of key African American male consumers at local barbershops in various markets. Upcoming cities include Washington, DC (Nov 30- Dec 2) and Atlanta (Dec 7-9). Each stop will include a recognition event honoring local barbers and style icons who embrace Gillette’s motto “The Best a Man Can Get” and an in-barbershop emersion event including complimentary shaves, massages, and gifts. Visit http://www.gillette.rollingout.com/ for more information. Source: BDC World PR


Via Press Release: Community Service at its Best: In a time when financial institutions are failing –120 nation wide to date– and becoming less and less involved or concerned with the communities they’re in or around, there is a shining star that continues to prove that one is only as good as the community they serve.

On the heels of being named Michigan’s 2009 “Outstanding Credit Union of the Year,” Communicating Arts Credit Union (CACU) has been awarded with the statewide Louise A. Herring Award for Philosophy in Action for its financial and community outreach efforts in the Detroit and Highland Park area and the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award for its support of Detroit’s Academy of Finance (AOF). Both awards are sponsored by the Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). As the state award winner of the statewide Louise A. Herring Award for Philosophy in Action and the Dora Maxwell Award, CACU will now compete for the national titles which will be announced later this year.

Photos: Wireimage, LRL Events

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tom Joyner Foundation Announces 2010 Black College Scholarship Program

One graduating high school senior can win a full scholarship, including tuition, books and room and board to an HBCU

Dallas, TX, November 15, 2009 --(PR.com)-- The Tom Joyner Foundation® announced the ‘full ride’ scholarship program that will cover all the expenses of one student planning to attend a Historically Black College & University (HBCU) in the fall of 2010.

“We’ve had two winners so far and they are doing great,” said Tom Joyner, chairman of his Foundation and host of the top-ranked nationally syndicated radio show. “I know times are tough economically for lots of people, and this is just one small way to help someone get a college education. So Moms, Dads, students, high school college advisers, spread the word. I’m looking forward to meeting some of the nation’s best students!”

Blaine Robertson, last year's winner, is a freshman at Howard University in Washington, DC. Robertson was selected for his poise, determination and ability to overcome his shyness to become a leader in his high school band. Two years ago, Britney Wilson, now in her sophomore year at Howard University, impressed the Foundation’s scholarship committee with her solid academic record and her knowledge of local, national and international politics.

Students will receive full tuition and stipends for up to 10 semesters to cover room and board (on-campus only) and books. Students must meet the required academic standards each semester to renew the funds each year. Graduating high school seniors can apply for the scholarship by going to BlackAmericaWeb.com. To be eligible, students must meet the following criteria:

1) A United States Citizen; 2) Current high school seniors attending school in the United States (applicant must be anticipating completion of high school degree in the spring of 2010); 3) Minimum high school grade point average of 3.50 (on a 4.00 grade scale, excluding home school studies) and Minimum SAT score of 1300 – combined math and verbal score/ or ACT score of 28; 4) Applicants must have applied and accepted to an HBCU by July 1, 2010; 5) Applicants must have demonstrated leadership abilities through participation in community service, extracurricular, or other activities. The applications must be postmarked no later than January 15th, 2010. The winner will be announced on April 2, 2010.

Founded in 1998, the Tom Joyner Foundation has raised more than $55 million to help keep students enrolled in black colleges. It has assisted more than 14,000 students and worked with more than 100 HBCUs. Source: Press Release

The Meaning of Social Impact

Some of you may be surprised to know that I have a full time job. And no, my full time job is not blogging (though I wish it were). During the day, I work in the field of grantmaking for after school programs just outside of Washington, D.C. Part of my job entails selecting non profit organizations to fund, and, monitoring them to ensure that they are fulfilling their goals and objectives.

One aspect I particularly like about grantmaking is meeting passionate people, who have started organizations to serve their community. Often, these programs are small and volunteer driven, arisen out of a desire to fill a pressing need. In my opinion and from my experience, these “grassroots” organizations have a greater impact in a community than larger, well established organizations. But, what they lack in terms of evaluating their social impact is often their downfall, especially when they try to obtain funding.

Each month, the Nonprofit Millennial Bloggers Alliance highlights a topic for discussion - and the feature for the month is, “How do you define and measure social impact?”

My definition of social impact refers to the ability of an organization to successfully fulfill its goals and objectives that benefits the community. Seems simple right? Not so much. What I’ve been finding is that many grassroots organizations don’t have the knowledge, manpower or funding to adequately measure their social impact. And, some don’t grasp the value of measuring it. Yes, it’s great that you took 50 kids to a basketball game to meet a local athlete, and yes, it’s wonderful that you held a discussion and workshop on self esteem, but then what? What are you doing to measure your impact afterwards?

So consider this example: You receive two glossy brochures in the mail. One has cheery photos of program activities. The other brochure has the same photos, but also states, “Over ninety percent of youth participating in our program have advanced to the next grade level.” Which program would you give your money to?

In today’s economic climate, it’s important that non profits measure their social impact to obtain and maintain funding. But this can cost money, which many organizations may not have. I know I have many readers who work in the non profit field serving youth, so here's one suggestion: Check out the Colorado Trust for their Afterschool Toolkit for Evaluating Positive Youth Development. You can use this publication to create your own pre and post surveys. Best of all, it's researched based and FREE! And to my funder friends, consider providing funds to help smaller non profit organizations build their capacity by paying expenses for an evaluation consultant, professional development training, attendance at conferences, and board development.

Learn more by visiting here for a list of the non profit bloggers participating in the Alliance for their take on this important topic.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cory Booker, Wade Henderson and Michael Eric Dyson to Join Tom Brokaw at National Town Hall in Washington, D.C.

USA NETWORK AND TOM BROKAW TO CO-HOST FIRST-EVER CHARACTERS UNITE NATIONAL TOWN HALL ON HEALING AMERICA’S DIVISIONS

Brokaw to Moderate Panel of Prominent National Leaders from Government, Academia, Business, Media, the Arts and Non-Governmental Organizations

Five High School Students have the chance to win a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend Town Hall

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – November 10, 2009 – USA Network and Tom Brokaw announced today the first-ever Characters Unite National Town Hall, a ground-breaking high-level discussion on how America’s increasingly diverse and divided population can find common ground on today’s complex social issues. Inspired by USA Network’s community affairs campaign – Characters Unite -- this event will bring together a diverse panel of distinguished leaders to generate fresh ideas for actions by individuals, communities and government to overcome social injustices and bridge cultural divides. Tom Brokaw, NBC News Special Correspondent, will moderate the panel at the Newseum in Washington, DC, on December 2.

Confirmed Town Hall participants include: Mike Allen, Chief White House Correspondent, Politico; The Honorable Xavier Becerra, Representative, California; The Honorable Cory Booker, Mayor, Newark, NJ; The Honorable Max Cleland, Secretary, American Battle Monuments Commission; Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Professor of Sociology, Georgetown University; Wade Henderson, President and CEO, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; Jon Bon Jovi, Singer, Songwriter, Philanthropist; David Mixner, Writer and Civil Rights Activist; Kathleen Parker, Syndicated Columnist; Chancellor Michelle Rhee, DC Public Schools; and Dr. Christine Sierra, Professor of Political Science, University of New Mexico. Actor Dulé Hill, co-star of USA Network’s “Psych” will also be a special guest in attendance.

"People across the country are making tough decisions every day and working to maintain their own unique American character. Too often, instead of coming together to address conflicts, groups demonize each other because of their different beliefs and opinions," said Tom Brokaw, NBC News Special Correspondent.

In conjunction with the Town Hall, USA Network will announce the results of a new Characters Unite national opinion poll, the United or Divided Survey, which will provide an in-depth profile of American attitudes on prejudice, discrimination and intolerance. The nationally representative poll is being conducted by two of America's leading public opinion research firms representing both sides of the political aisle -- Hart Research Associates (D) and Public Opinion Strategies (R). The survey will examine how Americans view the social trends that are transforming the nation, and will look across generations, race, ethnicity and gender at how change is affecting our country’s social fabric.

Following the Town Hall, the first Characters Unite Award will be presented to an individual who has made a significant and lasting difference in efforts to fight discrimination, champion civil rights and promote respect. The honoree will be profiled on charactersunite.com and receive a $10,000 grant to support his/her project or nonprofit organization.

Also, in partnership with Charter and Comcast, high schools across the country will have the opportunity to submit questions for the panel and five students will win a trip to Washington, DC, to attend the Town Hall event.

Cisco Webex Solutions will serve as the technology partner for the Characters Unite National Town Hall. The event will be webcast live for free, and viewers may register in advance at http://www.passtheball.com/.

Source: Podesta Group

Friday, November 13, 2009

Walmart Foundation and Thurgood Marshall College Fund Team Up to Provide College Scholarships

Walmart grants $1 million to support scholarships for students attending public HBCUs

NEW YORK, November 12, 2009 – In response to the growing financial need of students and aligning with the goal to support first-generation student success, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is proud to partner with the Walmart Foundation to establish the “Walmart Foundation/TMCF First Generation Scholars Program.” The program is aimed at ensuring that current college students have the financial resources they need to continue through to graduation. The Walmart Foundation’s recent grant of $1 million to TMCF will help students attending public HBCUs across the country do just that. In the photo, Rollin Ford, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Walmart presents a $1 million check to Dwayne Ashley, President and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

“We are excited that the Walmart Foundation is committed to first generation students attending public HBCUs,” said Dwayne Ashley, President & CEO, Thurgood Marshall College Fund. “The Foundation has supported the Fund in the past and it has had a tremendous impact on retaining 148 talented students, 60 recipients being first-generation black males. This activity is bolstered by the fact that black male enrollment at TMCF colleges and universities are on the rise. With this new gift, it will allow us to support first-generation college students in fulfilling their dreams of attaining a college degree.”

TMCF is committed to providing access to higher education, college readiness and career preparation for the 230,000 students attending its member institutions - 80% of the entire HBCU population. The Walmart Foundation grant will be used to continue to provide need-based merit scholarships to first-generation students attending any of the 47 public HBCUs in the TMCF pipeline. This offering will provide funding for 200 scholars to continue college.

Rollin Ford, Executive Vice President and Chief information Officer, Walmart and Walmart staff presents $1 million check to Jennifer Wider, Vice President of Development, Thurgood Marshall College Fund

“Education plays a valuable role in preparing the next generation of young scholars as they seek to meet the challenges ahead while making a positive impact in our communities and nation,” said Rollin Ford, Walmart’s executive vice president and chief information officer who serves on the TMCF board of directors. “Walmart is proud to do its part to ensure that many of the most talented students attending HBCUs receive the resources they need to achieve their educational dreams.”

Recipients of the Walmart Foundation/TMCF First Generation Scholars Program will benefit from TMCF’s range of programs including Leadership Institute, an annual four-day conference attended by as many as 600 pre-selected students from TMCF member universities and colleges. Through a series of workshops, plenary sessions and meetings, this conference provides targeted professional career development and training.

Additionally, TMCF will provide students resources to transition from high school to college and from college to the workforce. Students will receive face-to-face and online support through campus workshops, internships, online courses and mentoring. The Walmart Foundation/TMCF First Generation Scholars Program provides scholarships at a maximum of $4,400 per year.

For more information on the Walmart Foundation/TMCF First Generation Scholarship Program, please visit: http://www.thurgoodmarshallfund.org/.


Source and photos: Thurgood Marshall College Fund

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Saks Fifth Avenue and the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity Present Cocktails & Conversations




Saks Fifth Avenue and the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at Wake Forest University Medical School, Present Cocktails & Conversations with Dr. Maya Angelou

Via Press Release: On Wednesday, November 4, 2009, the elegant café at tony Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City was not filled with weary shoppers but an elegant crowd of the Black elite to hear the legendary Dr. Maya Angelou speak and a most distinguished panel of leading educators, doctors and activists for change on a subject dear to her heart, the growing disparity in health care for minorities.


Dr. Angelou is one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. Hailed as a global renaissance woman, Dr. Angelou is a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist. So the opportunity to sit in conversation with this woman of extraordinary talents made this one very hot ticket.


Following cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, journalist, writer and actress Rolonda Watts, the evening’s emcee, welcomed guests to the conversation with her “Auntie Maya.” Rolonda joked that, "I almost didn’t get here as I had to walk through Saks’ shoe department which is eeee-normous!” She’s not kidding either, the Shoe Department at Saks is so large it has its own zip code!


The topic for the evening’s discussion was “What does health care equity mean to you and how do you plan to change, agent or promote health equity?" In addition to Dr. Angelou, other panelists included Dr. Thomas DuBose, Chair for Internal Medicine, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center; Michele Ebanks, President, Essence Magazine; Dr. Angela Diaz, Vice Chair of Pediatrics & Director, Adolescent Health Center Mount Sinai; and Marc Morial, President/CEO, National Urban League. In a brief musical interlude, internationally famed Irish singer Red Hurley raised the roof with a powerful rendition of “Peace in the Valley.”


The Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at Wake Forest University School of Medicine is addressing one of the most compelling demographic trends in modern American history—the increasing diversity of the U.S. population. By 2050, the country will be split almost evenly between non-Hispanic Whites and all other minority groups.

Dr. Velma Watts and Rolond Watts with daughter Rolonda Watts

Carla Harris of Morgan Stanley, and Michelle Ebanks, President of Essence Magazine

Initially focused on African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and American Indians, the expertise developed at the Angelou Center will position it as a key national resource to reduce the gap in health disparities for an increasingly diverse society. A number of shocking facts were brought up in the discussion including: the gap between blacks and whites in the (age-adjusted) death rate from all causes has decreased only slightly from 1950 to 2000. Minority adults and children are less likely than whites to have a usual source of health care; some minority adults have a higher mortality rate than whites due to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer; the incidence of some communicable diseases, especially HIV/AIDS, is higher among some minority groups; and minorities tend to receive lower-quality health care than whites even when insurance status, income, age, and severity of conditions are comparable.

Among the stellar crowd were Dr. Velma Watts and her husband Rolond Watts, former Chair of Fine Arts at Wake Forest; Morgan Stanley powerhouse Carla Harris, Carol Becker, Turquoise Irving, Cliff Love, Tyrone Smith and scores more helping to raise funds for the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity.

Turquoise Irving and Carol Becker

Edward Callaghan of Alchimia Public Relations & Marketing, and emcee Rolonda Watts

National Urban League president/CEO Marc Morial and son




Monday, November 9, 2009

The 3rd Annual Top Black Celebrity Philanthropists of 2009--VOTE NOW!

Grammy award winning artist Mary J. Blige, your #1 pick for the top black celebrity philanthropist of 2008, cuts the ribbon to the Mary J. Blige Center for Women in Yonkers, NY on October 22, 2009

Who's your favorite celebrity philanthropist of 2009? Visit HERE to vote now! This year, we witnessed the historic inauguration of our nation's first African American president - a president who is a champion for community service. And celebrities stepped up to the challenge this year! Read about the 2009 finalists below:

In September, Mary J. Blige partnered with Gucci to create a charity watch to benefit her foundation, FFAWN, and last month, Mary tweeted that she opened the first Mary J. Blige Center for Women in her hometown of Yonkers, New York. Other celebrities whose charitable work benefited women and girls include actress Gabrielle Union, and her work in the fight against breast cancer in the African American community by serving as an ambassador for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure's Circle of Promise, and Rihanna, who recently broke her silence on the assault she suffered at the hands of Chris Brown. She is honored this month by Glamour magazine as a Woman of the Year for her philanthropy, which includes her work in supporting bone marrow drives and bringing awareness to domestic violence. She shares, “Domestic violence is a big secret. I want to give as much insight as I can to young women…to help speak for them.”

Moving on to hip hop, some of your favorite artists not only dominated the charts, but held elaborate concerts and galas, all for charity. Jay-Z performed a sold out charity concert, 'Answer the Call' on September 11 at Madison Square Garden, benefiting the New York Police and Fire Widows and Children's Benefit Fund. He shared,"This is my chance to help out and do something." Kanye West supported education by hosting his foundation's 2nd annual stay in school concert and fundraiser in his hometown of Chicago, performing for hundreds of students with good attendance. Big Boi of the hip hop duo Outkast traveled to his hometown this year to encourage youth to do well, and Ludacris held his foundation's 6th annual benefit dinner, and gave away automobiles to needy Atlanta families.

R&B artists Usher, John Legend, Ruben Studdard, Alicia Keys, Ne-yo and Wyclef Jean all championed causes important to them. Usher traveled to Capitol Hill to bring awareness to volunteerism and donated $1M of his own funds to launch an international youth service movement. John Legend was honored by Africare this month with a humanitarian award for his work with combating the spread of malaria in Africa, Ruben Studdard used his gift of song to record a song for a sickle cell campaign, Alicia Keys continues her efforts to raise funds for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in Africa, Ne-yo and his Compound Foundation continued their work with children in foster care, and Wyclef Jean recently partnered with the company Timberland to help raise environmental awareness in Haiti.

Making the finalist list for the first time are radio personalities Steve Harvey and Tom Joyner, both of whom have their own foundations. Steve Harvey held a mentoring weekend for young boys during Father's Day weekend and hosted his annual Disney Dreamers Academy for promising young leaders of color (information on the 2010 Disney Dreamers Academy weekend is HERE). Tom Joyner continued his fundraising for HBCUs by unveiling a new partnership with Ford Motor company to raise funds and launching an initiative to support HIV/AIDS education for HBCUs.

Also making the finalist list for the first time are actors/producers Tyler Perry and Terri J. Vaughn. Perry donated 100k this year to support homeless youth in Atlanta, and announced plans to create a foundation to benefit youth. Vaughn supports young girls in her hometown of San Francisco through her Take Wings foundation, and has lent her time to other charitable initiatives as well, such as Wonderland Gardens in Georgia.

Lastly, NBA star Dwyane Wade and his foundation Wade's World Foundation, partnered with Alonzo Mourning on his annual Zo's Summer Groove to raise funds for Miami area youth.

So there you have it! The finalists for the top black celebrity philanthropists of 2009. It's now up to you - who is your favorite celebrity philanthropist? Visit HERE to vote! Voting will end on November 30th.
Beginning in December I'll announce your top picks as well as the winner of the top celebrity philanthropist website award. The Ludacris Foundation took last year's honors and I have a team of awesome judges who will decide the winner. Make your vote today!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Celebrities Join Effort with Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program


Celebrities Join Effort with Dr. Bill Releford's Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program in Barbershops throughout LA County
Norm Nixon, the Whispers and Kim Coles among many to Join November 7 Los Angeles Event
Los Angeles - Some 100 barbershops throughout Los Angeles and the Inland Empire will be bustling with extra activity this Saturday, November 7, 2009, from 10:00 am to 4:00 p.m. when Dr. Bill J. Releford, D.P.M., founder of The Diabetic Amputation Prevention (DAP) Foundation, launches the Los Angeles Initiative of the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program. In photo is Dr. Releford with actress and 'The View' co-host, Sherry Shepherd.

The Black Barbershop Health Outreach program, sponsored by a grant from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, will offer free diabetes and high blood pressure screenings to African American men who normally visit their local barbers just anticipating the usual haircut. In addition, participants will be provided education about healthy lifestyle alternatives along with PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease) screenings and PEP Talk: the Prostate Education Project, that will address the issue of prostate cancer by distributing culturally appropriate educational materials.

In an effort to drive the need for health care and education home to a demographic in need of it the most, celebrity support has been enlisted. Sherri Shepherd, co-host of "The View," took time out of her very busy schedule to record a public service announcement on KJLH Radio, a station owned by Stevie Wonder, while celebrity participants The Whispers, comedians Kim Coles and Tommy Davidson, actor T.C. Carson, and performers Yo Yo and Montell Jordan are just a sampling of the confirmed talent to visit some of the local shops on Saturday. Former Los Angeles Laker Norm Nixon, national spokesperson for The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program, is also slated to be on hand.

Ultimately, the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program's goal is to screen more than 500,000 African American men by 2012. This unique and innovative grassroots program works with black-owned barbershops, which represent a cultural institution of familiarity and trust in many communities as an effective avenue to disseminate health education information. The program has already tested close to 10,000 African American men in 23 cities including New Orleans, Chicago, Atlanta and Harlem.

Compared to the general public, African American males have a higher risk of diabetes and other cardiovascular conditions, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 3.7 million (14.7 percent) African Americans, ages 20 years or older, have diabetes, while statistics show that forty percent (40 percent) of African American men die prematurely from cardiovascular disease as compared to twenty-one percent (21 percent) of white men.

The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program in partnership with Charles Drew University, U.C.L.A., Vasamed and Entrahealthsystems, will offer free screenings throughout Los Angeles at the following locations:

- The New Millennium BS, 4310 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
- In The Cut, 220 East Regent St., Inglewood, CA
- Next Cuts Beauty & Barber, 5712 West Pico, LA
- Legends Barbershop, 5366 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
- Inglewood's Finest, 122 S. Market St., Inglewood, CA

The program in partnership with Kaiser Permanente African American Professional Organization and the Healthy Heritage Movement, Inc., will offer screenings throughout the Inland Empire at:

- Da Mood Barbership, 205 E. Mission Blvd., Pomona, CA
-Good Time Barbershop 924 E. Holt Ave, Pomona, CA
-N u Flava, Pomona, CA
-Hat's Off, 21065 Bear Valley Road, Apple Valley, CA
-Second To None, 12384 Palmdale Road, #103, Victorville, CA
-Signature Barbershop, 12555 Mariposa Road, Ste. F, Victorville, CA
-T's Barbershop, 15028 7th St. Ste. 2, Victorville, CA
-Who's Next, 21280 Brar Valley Rd., #115, Hesperia, CA

Founded by Dr. Bill J. Releford, D.P.M., the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program seeks to empower African American men to better understand cardiovascular diseases through education, testing and prevention. The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program has effectively addressed the health concerns of African American men in nearly 200 black owned barbershops since December 2007. For additional information and to view a list of all the participating barbershop locations, go to http://www.blackbarbershop.org/.

Photo Credit: Tony Lowe/PR Photos
Source: Jazzmyne PR

Kerry Rhodes Foundation Hosts 3rd Annual Celebrity Charity Event

NY Jets players Braylon Edwards, Darrelle Revis and Kerry Rhodes attend the Kerry Rhodes Foundation black tie dinner at STK on November 2, 2009 in New York City.
Via Press Release: On November 2, 2009, Kerry Rhodes welcomed the NFL's elite, recording artists, actors, actresses, TV and radio personalities and other VIP guests to the 3rd annual Kerry Rhodes Foundation celebrity charity event to raise funds for his foundation that provides educational and financial support for youth.

The festivities included the Kerry Rhodes Foundation Black Tie VIP Dinner & Silent Auction at STK followed by the Celebrity Bowling Bash, "Bowling with the Stars" at Luxe Suite at Lucky Strike in New York. The event was hosted by award winning television sports anchor Dr. Marvell Scott, with music provided by DJ Funky Drummer. NY Jets players Bart Scott, Braylon Edwards, Calvin Pace, Darrelle Revis, Dustin Keller, Jay Feely, Mark Sanchez, and Vernon Gholston served as celebrity table hosts.

Attendees placed bids on amazing, one of a kind auction items such as sports memorabilia, luxurious vacation getaways, concert tickets and more, valued at tens of thousands of dollars.

Julissa Bermudez, Vivica A. Fox, and Kerry Rhodes at the Celebrity Bowling Bash
ABOUT THE KERRY RHODES FOUNDATION

The Kerry RHODES Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 2006 by NFL New York Jets star Kerry Rhodes. Kerry recognized the importance of inspiring young minds to visualize goals, and the need to provide resources that enable these same young minds to pursue and attain these goals. Understanding that these goals are best achieved through well equipped educational facilities, a primary mission of the Foundation is to provide high schools located in financially depressed areas with resources, programs and activities, equipment, and scholarships that will assist with the academic, athletic, and social development of their students.

Braylon Edwards, Kerry Rhodes, Tyson Beckford, Kevin Hart, and Fonzworth Bentley attend the Kerry Rhodes Foundation Celebrity Bowling Bash at Lucky Strike on November 2, 2009 in New York City.
For more information visit http://www.kerryrhodes.com/.

Source: Kerry Rhodes Foundation
Photos: Wireimage

Clark Atlanta University Alumni Gives Back

Clark Atlanta University class of 2004 Alumni Tekquiree Spencer, Kisha Celistan, Kaneisha Northern (Grad Girls Founder), and Nichole Celistan volunteering at the Howl Away Hunger event at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank on October 31, 2009.

Kaneisha Northern is a proud 2004 HBCU graduate of Clark Atlanta University and a fan of BlackGivesBack! She is the founder of Grad Girls Network, a Los Angeles based nonprofit organization that shapes underprivileged teen girls into confident and productive high school graduates. The organization accomplishes this through their afterschool enrichment programs that expose students to activities and professional women who assist them with shaping their futures.

This past Halloween, Kaneisha along with some of her former classmates and Grad Girls students volunteered at the LA Regional Food Bank on behalf of the organization and Clark Atlanta University. She shared, “We believe that it is important to pay it forward and live within our Alma Mater’s motto which is, “Culture for Service.”

Thank you Kaneisha and ladies for giving back and sharing your photos! (Love your t-shirts!)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Non Profit News


A Victory for Social Entrepreneurship As Echoing Green President Cheryl Dorsey Is Named One Of America's Best Leaders of 2009

 
As America faces unique challenges, U.S. News Media Group and Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership Highlight 22 Extraordinary Leaders

New York City and Washington, DC – October 22, 2009 – Social entrepreneurship earned a prestigious honor today as Echoing Green President Cheryl Dorsey (in photo above) was named one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009 by U.S. News Media Group in association with the Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at Harvard Kennedy's School of Government.

Echoing Green is a global nonprofit that supports emerging entrepreneurs who enact innovative solutions that address root causes to social problems. It is one of the only organizations solely dedicated to investing in early-stage social entrepreneurs. Since 1987, Echoing Green has awarded more than $28 million in start-up capital to nearly 500 social entrepreneurs worldwide. The 22 leaders recognized this year are featured online at www.usnews.com/leaders and in the November 2009 issue of U.S.News & World Report magazine, on newsstands Tuesday, October 27.

“This is a humbling honor for me and for Echoing Green, and an exciting victory for the field of social entrepreneurship to which we are dedicated,” said Ms. Dorsey. “People worldwide have the power to solve social problems, and with the inspiration and support of Echoing Green and others they will. By recognizing social entrepreneurship, U.S. News and the Center for Public Leadership are playing an important part in encouraging people to be bold and take the entrepreneurial risk in pursuit of a social mission.”

Ms. Dorsey was named President of Echoing Green in May 2002. She was most recently appointed vice-chair of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, after serving as a team member of the Innovation and Civil Society subgroup of the Obama Presidential Transition's Technology, Innovation, and Government Reform Policy Working Group. Ms. Dorsey serves on the board of City Year (national), DonorsChoose.org, and Freelancers Insurance Company, Inc., a for-profit insurance company and subsidiary of Working Today. She also serves as an advisory board member of the Action Tank for Social Entrepreneurs, America Forward, and the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation.

In 1992, while training to be a pediatrician at Harvard Medical School, Ms. Dorsey received an Echoing Green Fellowship. With it, she launched the Family Van, a community-based mobile health unit that provides basic health care and outreach services to at-risk residents of inner-city Boston neighborhoods. As a public policy innovator, Ms. Dorsey served as a White House Fellow from 1997-1998, serving as Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Labor, advising the Clinton Administration on health care and other issues. She was later named Special Assistant to the Director of the Women’s Bureau of the U.S. Labor Department, where she helped develop family-friendly workplace policies and spearheaded the labor secretary’s pay equity initiative.

"The country has faced exceptional challenges in the past year," said Brian Kelly, editor of U.S.News & World Report. “With our Best Leaders issue, we focused on individuals from a range of industries who have demonstrated unwavering leadership and a commitment to finding solutions in this difficult time."

Source and photo: Echoing Green

White House Advisor Melody Barnes to Present Obama Administration Domestic Policy Insights at Independent Sector and Council of Michigan Foundations Annual Conference

(Washington, D.C., October 30, 2009)— Melody Barnes, domestic policy advisor to President Obama and the director of the White House's Domestic Policy Council, will keynote the opening session of the Independent Sector and Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF) Annual Conference, to take place November 4-6, 2009, at the Detroit Marriott, Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan. She will open the conference, “Challenging Times, New Opportunities,” with an examination of how the government and nonprofits can work together in new ways to respond to the challenges facing communities across the country.

The conference has already broken registration records with over 1,100 leaders attending from the nation’s charities, foundations, and corporate philanthropy programs. Also breaking records at the conference is the NGen: Moving Nonprofit Leaders from Next to Now initiative, which will provide special programming to more than 200 professionals under the age of 40.

Barnes joins a diverse and dynamic list of plenary speakers that includes Geoffrey Canada of the Harlem Children's Zone; Margaret McKenna of the Wal-Mart Foundation; Janet Murguía of the National Council of La Raza; Sean Parker, founder of Facebook Causes; and Jeff Raikes of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Other prominent African American foundation and organization leaders participating in the conference include Aaron Dworkin, President of the Sphinx Organization, Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP, and the Honorable Norman Rice, President and CEO of the Seattle Foundation.

Prior to her position at the White House, Barnes served as the senior domestic policy advisor to President Obama’s campaign and was the executive vice president for policy at the Center for American Progress. From 1995 to 2003, she was chief counsel to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy on the Senate Judiciary Committee. In those capacities, and as director of legislative affairs for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and assistant counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, she worked extensively on civil rights and voting rights, women’s health, religious liberties, and commercial law.

Barnes received her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received her law degree from the University of Michigan. She began her career as an attorney with Shearman & Sterling in New York City, and is a member of both the New York State Bar Association and the District of Columbia Bar Association.

“Independent Sector is honored to have Melody open our annual conference,” said Diana Aviv, president and CEO of Independent Sector. “As we think about the future and how we might make even more significant contributions to improve lives in the communities we serve, we welcome Melody’s thoughts about how government too can make an even greater difference. We look forward to partnering with her going forward.”

Independent Sector is a nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition of approximately 600 charities, foundations, and corporate philanthropy programs, collectively representing tens of thousands of charitable groups in every state across the nation. Its mission is to advance the common good by leading, strengthening, and mobilizing the nonprofit community. To learn more about Independent Sector, please visit: http://www.independentsector.org/.

Source: IndependentSector.org
Photo: Essence.com