Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Reginald F. Lewis Foundation Hosts 3rd Annual Gala Luncheon

Entertainment Attorney and Entrepreneur Londell McMillan Feted by Reginald F. Lewis Foundation, Receives Prestigious Business Award at Lewis Estate in East Hampton

In photo: McMillan (center) receives his award at the 3rd Annual Reginald Lewis Foundation Luncheon Gala. Pictured with McMillan are event co-chair Shawn D. Baldwin, Loida Lewis, Carolyn Fugett and Leslie Lewis Sword (widow, mother and daughter of Reginald F. Lewis) Photo credit: Robert Delacruz,

Via Press Release: Entertainment attorney and entrepreneur L. Londell McMillan was honored at a star-studded bash for the Reginald F. Lewis Foundation at the Lewis estate in East Hampton on Saturday, June 26th. Gayle King, Star Jones, Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X, and Cincinnati Bengals linebacker and TV personality Dhani Jones were among the notables who came out to support the Gala Luncheon. The event, which featured a rousing performance by R&B superstar Deborah Cox, was sponsored by American Express, Bloomberg, Black Entertainment Television, Belvedere, Kate's Paperie, The Camelot Group and GenNx360 Capital Partners.

McMillan received the Reginald F. Lewis Award, which honors African American entrepreneurs who succeeded internationally in business before the age of 50, as Lewis did. The first African American to build a billion-dollar company, Lewis led the largest leveraged buyout in the 1980s. He went on to shatter all expectations and inspire future generations of African American entrepreneurs.
Reginald F. Lewis’s wife and mother Loida Lewis and Carolyn Fugett, with Gayle King (Photo credit: Robert Delacruz,

“It’s very interesting that the quiet giants are the ones that actually move our country forward. You don’t have to be the biggest, loudest, most well-known person to actually be an impact on society and it’s very clear that Reg Lewis was one of the largest impacts that we as African Americans have ever had,” said Star Jones. “He took business to another level, and all of these wonderful entrepreneurs now know success because of Reg Lewis.”

McMillan was personally inspired by Lewis, having met him as a law student. The attorney, who has represented such luminaries as the late Michael Jackson, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Usher, LL Cool J, Roberta Flack and Spike Lee, joined the likes of Sean “Diddy” Combs and real estate mogul R. Donahue Peebles, past recipients. He is partner and co-head of the Media and Entertainment Global Industry Sector at the international law firm of Dewey and LeBoeuf. McMillan is one of the co-owners and partners with real-estate developer Bruce Ratner and hip-hop icon Jay-Z in the New Jersey Nets and the Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn, future home to the NBA team. Additionally, he is Group Publisher of The NorthStar Group, which publishes Jones Magazine and The Source.

Deborah Cox performs at the Reginald F. Lewis Foundation Gala Luncheon (Photo credit: Robert Delacruz,

The event, which was emceed by WCBS-TV News Anchor Maurice DuBois, featured a performance by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Peter Offermann, Phyllis Schless and Robert C. Winters, Jr. were also acknowledged for key roles they played in the life and career of Lewis, with each receiving a Millennium Member award. Joyce Mullins Jackson, Reginald Van Lee, Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook, Khephra Burns, Don Coleman, Daniel & Alicia Bythewood and many more guests graced the lawn of the Lewis' East Hampton Estate.

Following the Gala Luncheon was Beach Glamour, an ocean side benefit given by and for young professionals in their 20s and 30s. Tina Wells, the 30-year-old founder of Buzz Marketing Group, a $5 million dollar business that she started at 16, received the group’s first RFL Young Entrepreneurial Award. The award is given to successful entrepreneurs under 40 who reflect the values, virtues, legacy and philanthropy of Reginald F. Lewis. Music was provided by DJ M.O.S. and WCBS-TV News Reporter Hazel Sanchez served as emcee. Beach Glamour was sponsored by Belvedere, Pedestals Floral Decorators and Kate’s Paperie.

“The Reginald F. Lewis Foundation is pleased to recognize the hard work of Londell McMillan and Tina Wells and the wonderful contributions of Peter, Phyllis and Robert to the story and legacy of my husband,” said Loida Lewis, widow of the legendary mogul and foundation chair. “Perseverance and dedication, especially in entrepreneurship, normally pay off in individual success and community development, and help society in general. We are happy for their success and are grateful for their help of the Foundation.”

Christina Lewis, daughter of Reginald F. Lewis and Gayle King (Photo credits: Margot Jordan, 646-226-6652)


Herb Wilson and Star Jones

Gwen Hankin, Noel Hankin and Arana Hankin; Brooke Smith, Londell McMillan, Jerri Devard and Tracey Ferguson


Eglon E. Simons, Mr. & Mrs. Maurice & Andrea DuBois, and Renee Simons


Loida Nicolas Lewis and Millenium Member Honorees: Peter Offermann, Phyllis Schless and Robert C. Winters Jr.

Additional sponsors of the Gala Luncheon were J.P. Morgan, Ariel Investments LLC, The NorthStar Group and Prudential Financial. Proceeds of both events will benefit the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture in Baltimore, the largest of its kind on the East Coast. For more information, visit

L. Londell McMillan and bust of Reginald F. Lewis
In related news, the Reginald F. Lewis Foundation recently granted Virginia State University, Lewis' alma mater, with a $1.5 million dollar grant - the largest gift in the school's history. VSU's business school will be renamed in honor of Lewis, and the grant will be placed in an endowment with earnings used to support the business school through student scholarships, travel related to academic pursuits, and an academic achievement prize at graduation. To read more, visit HERE.

See highlights from last year's gala HERE. Creates New Endeavor with Entrepreneur Robert L. Johnson

Celebrity-Fueled Auction Site Features Items from Tom Hanks, Morgan Freeman, Holly Robinson Peete, and Many Others
NEW YORK CITY – JUNE 29, 2010 –, an online auction platform tailor-made for charities and non-profits, today announced its new online endeavor with Robert L. Johnson, founder & chairman of The RLJ Companies and founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET)., an online auction site for celebrity and corporate charitable giving, launched last week with auctions from celebrities including Tom Hanks, Morgan Freeman, and Holly Robinson Peete.

Leveraging the Charity Bids platform, offers a multi-faceted auction site featuring items from celebrities, athletes, artists, and corporations to support a range of worthy causes. Built by a team of longtime volunteer fundraisers, Charity Bids is a secure, user-friendly, customizable solution to run fully branded auctions online. The platform makes it simple for consumers to find, bid, and buy one-of-a-kind and unique auction items. Auctions can also be displayed on multiple web properties simultaneously, allowing charities, corporations, and their affiliates to promote the same auction across multiple sites in a seamless and branded way. This creates infinite opportunities for fundraising, and maximizes exposure via the web.

“What started as a single idea – donating my memorabilia for charity – has turned into a major initiative with global reach, thanks to the relationship with Charity Bids,” said Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies. “Their technology, creativity, and insight is unmatched, and has enabled us to build a robust platform that makes it virtually effortless for celebrities and corporations to give back to worthwhile causes and communities in need,” Johnson concluded.

“We’re so honored to partner with Bob Johnson on this endeavor,” said Israel Schachter, co-founder and CEO of “Together, through Club Charity’s turnkey auction services, we hope to empower celebrities and corporations to raise funds and create awareness for the charitable causes that are an important part of their social responsibility. Who better to partner with than one of the world’s top corporate visionaries and philanthropic leaders?” he concluded.

Visit the site at to see current auctions benefiting the foundations of Chaka Khan, Ludacris and Pat & Emmitt Smith.

About Built by a team of longtime volunteer fundraisers, Charity Bids is an online auction platform tailor-made for the needs of charities and non-profits. With Charity Bids, organizations can run fully branded auctions online – going beyond an event’s four walls to reach more people and create more opportunities for fundraising. The Charity Bids platform can be used in conjunction with a live auction event, launched as an independent auction site, or embedded into one or many existing sites for broader exposure. It is secure, user-friendly, and completely customizable, and includes a suite of management tools and services and integrated marketing support. All auctions are also promoted to Charity Bids’ own network of affiliate sites for broader reach and participation.

About The RLJ Companies: The RLJ Companies, founded by Robert L. Johnson, is an innovative business network that provides strategic investments in a diverse portfolio of companies. The RLJ Companies seeks to target undiscovered or underserved markets then exercise solid management to achieve results. Within The RLJ Companies portfolio, Johnson owns or holds majority interests in businesses operating in banking, private equity, hospitality, automobile dealerships, entertainment, and video lottery terminal (VLT) gaming. The RLJ Companies is headquartered in Bethesda, MD, with affiliate operations in Charlotte, NC; Orlando, FL; Little Rock, AR; Los Angeles, CA; San Juan, PR; and Monrovia, Liberia. Prior to founding The RLJ Companies, Johnson was founder and chairman of Black Entertainment Television (BET).

Black Alumni of Pratt Institute Celebrate 20th Anniversary

Black Alumni of Pratt Celebrate Their 20th Anniversary at the Four Seasons Restaurant, An Evening Honoring “The Creative Spirit”

Via Black Tie Magazine: (New York, NY) The Black Alumni of Pratt (BAP) celebrated their 20th Anniversary with a black tie gala at New York’s Four Seasons restaurant. Pratt Institute is one of the top three visual art institutions of higher education in the nation and the only one of its kind with a Black Alumni organization.

Cynthia and Dan Lufkin with Jane and David Walentas were the evening’s Co-Chairs. Gayle Atkins Perkins and Malaak Compton-Rock were the Vice-Chairs. ABC’s Deborah Roberts and NBC’s Al Roker, (in photo) Mr. and Mrs. in private life, were Masters of Ceremony.

Awards were presented to Annette de la Renta, Distinguished Patron of the Arts Award by Oscar de la Renta; Lee Daniels, Creative Spirit Award by Grace Hightower; Naeem Khan and Ranjana Khan, Creative Spirit Award by Linda Fargo; Marisa Acocella Marchetto, Distinguished Alumna Award by Cynthia Lufkin; Peter Max, Pinnacle Alumni in Art and Design Award by President Bill Clinton through a video presentation assisted by Dr. Thomas F. Schutte, President of Pratt Institute.

During the break for the first course, jewelry designer Kenneth Jay Lane took to the podium in a move that astonished everyone to announce, “When I was honored by Pratt, I gave nothing. I apologize. So, I would like to give $100,000 to the Black Alumni of Pratt.”

Leading the applause were former New York City mayor David Dinkins and his wife Joyce; Robert DeNiro; Maria Cuomo Cole; Fe and Alessandro Fendi; Gayle and Charles Atkins; Gillian and Sylvester Miniter; Eleanora and Michael Kennedy; Mica Ertegun; Carolyne Roehm; Amy Fine Collins; Marcia and Richard Mishaan; Prudence Solomon and Jerry Inzerillo; Muffie Potter Aston; Alex von Bidder; Lisa and David Schiff; Felicia Taylor; Moises de la Renta; Becca Cason Thrash; Silvano Marchetto; Somers and Jonathan Farkas; Stewart Lane and Bonnie Comley; Heather Randall; Rene Slyer; Casey Ribicoff; Eric Javits, Jr.; Eliza Reed Bolen; Zaheen Khan; Alva Chinn; EdMundo Huerta; Alexis Clark and Lola Ogunnaike.

BAP was founded in 1990 to identify and advance scholastic and professional opportunities for Pratt alumni and talented, yet needy Pratt students of African and Latino descent. What started as a small group of humble Black alumni has evolved into an organization that has raised millions of dollars to support students who are in financial need.

Source: Black Tie Magazine/ Photo by Nick Hunt of

Read more about BAP's co-founder, Dwight C. Johnson HERE. To date, BAP has awarded scholarships to 940 students, and has an endowment of over $1 million dollars.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mo’Nique Honored at Atlanta Urban League’s 2nd Annual Spirit of the League Awards Luncheon

By BlackGivesBack Atlanta contributor Lisa Brathwaite

The venerable Atlanta Urban League held its 2nd Annual Spirit of the League Community Empowerment Day Awards Luncheon on June 26, 2010 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, where it honored talk show host, comedienne and Academy Award-winning actress Mo’Nique as its Lifetime Achievement Honoree. Pictured in the photo are Gail Nutt, Atlanta Urban League Board Member and Luncheon Co-Chair, Mo'Nique and Noni Ellison-Southall, Vice Chair, Atlanta Urban League Board and Luncheon Co-Chair.

Mo’Nique was joined by community heroes Felicia Hicks, attorney Melvyn Burrow and David Crawford in being recognized for uniquely demonstrating courage, commitment and an ability to overcome significant life obstacles, going on to achieve success and give back to the community.

“Each of their stories is unique, but they all share a common thread,” said Nancy Flake Johnson, president and CEO of Atlanta Urban League. “With faith, hope, love, sacrifice and determination, you can overcome any obstacle and turn your life around!”

Upon receiving her award, an appreciatively tearful and reflective Mo’Nique shared, “I’ve gotten a lot of ‘You can’t’, ‘You won’t’, ‘You’re too big’, ‘You’re too Black’, ‘You’re a woman’… I said, ‘OK. But if I stay focused, something is going to happen.’ And something did.”

She went on to encourage those in attendance to, “Please dream. Dream the impossible. Take it to the place where they say it can’t go. It’s called, ‘Barack Obama’, ‘Ben Carson’, ‘Oprah Winfrey,’ ‘Jay-Z’… Let’s keep working so that when we get to our ancestors, they can say, ‘Job well done!’”

Community Honoree Felicia Hicks and Nancy Flake Johnson, President & CEO, Atlanta Urban League

Ambassador Andrew Young gives historical perspective before delivering the invocation; Roger Bobb, Honorary Co-Chair, EVP, Tyler Perry Studios

Cole W. Carroll, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Atlanta Urban League; Community Honoree David Crawford and Nancy Flake Johnson, President & CEO, Atlanta Urban LeagueFounded in 1920, the Atlanta Urban League was organized to inspire, encourage and assist individuals to achieve their highest human potential by enabling African Americans and others in underserved communities to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights. For more history and information, visit

Photo Credit: Alex Johnson III Photography

Monday, June 28, 2010

Photos of the Day: Apollo Theater Foundation Hosts Spring Benefit Concert & Awards Ceremony

Actor Jamie Foxx and Apollo Legend Hall of Fame inductee Aretha Franklin on stage at the 2010 Apollo Theater Spring Benefit Concert and Awards Ceremony at The Apollo Theater, June 14, 2010 in New York City.

The Apollo Theater Foundation hosted its annual Spring Benefit Concert and Awards ceremony on June 14th in New York City. The event, hosted by actor Jamie Foxx, inducted Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame. Also honored were JP Morgan & Chase Company with the Corporate Award, and Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony with the Ruby Dee & Ossie Davis Arts and Humanitarian Award.

Dick Parsons, Chairman, Board of Directors of the Apollo Theater Foundation; Jonelle Procope, President and CEO, Apollo Theater Foundation; and event honorees Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez


Kimberly Davis, President of JP Morgan Chase Foundation and Jonelle Procope; Leslie Uggams and Chris Tucker


Singer and event performer Estelle; Gayle King (right) with daughter Kirby

The Benefit Committee members included Camille and Bill Cosby, Tonya Lewis Lee and Spike Lee, Smokey Robinson and Pauletta and Denzel Washington.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Vonnie Holliday and Saks Fifth Avenue Team Up for Football & Fashion for Brain Cancer Research

By BlackGivesBack Atlanta contributor Lisa Brathwaite
In 2008, Washington Redskins defensive end Vonnie Holliday lost his sister-in-law to brain cancer. Chandria Kent’s five year battle has inspired the football player to donate time and money to research and a cure for the disease. In the photo above: Jeannie Rouse, mother of Chandria Kent and Eboni Holliday; Vonnie Holliday, Eboni Holliday; Darin Kent, husband of Chandria Kent; Dr. Wally Curran, executive director of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and associate vice president for cancer, Emory University Woodruff Health Sciences Center.

On June 10, 2010, The Vonnie Holliday Foundation and Saks Fifth Avenue at Phipps Plaza in Atlanta, Georgia held a benefit night of fashion and football, raising money for the Brain Tumor Program at the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University. Guests wore gray, the signature color of the evening in recognition of brain cancer, and nearly $10,000 was raised at the event. NFL Hall of Famer Harry Carson and CBS Sports Commentator Shannon Sharpe were among the night’s many supporters, browsing themed sports tables and bidding on silent auction items from spa and travel packages to autographed sports memorabilia.

Vonnie Holliday and NFL Hall of Famer Harry Carson
Vonnie Holliday of the Washington Redskins; Eboni Holliday, wife of Vonnie Holliday and sister of Chandria Kent and Brandi Williams, PR strategist for studio b public relations
*blackgivesback opportunity alert* Contributions to this cause are still being accepted. For more information, please contact Brandi Williams at, or call 704-779-1100. To learn more about the work of the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University, visit
Photo credit: ExclusiveAccess.Net

Monday, June 21, 2010

Steve Harvey’s Mentoring Weekend Exposes Young Men to Endless Possibilities

By BlackGivesBack Dallas contributor Froswa' Booker-Drew

Comedian, best-selling author and top radio personality, Steve Harvey, provided 100 teenage boys the experience of a lifetime during his 2nd Annual Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend. Held during Father’s Day weekend on June 17-20 in Dallas, Texas, the event encouraged the young men to explore their potential and possibilities. With the support of many sponsors such as SoftSheen-Carson, the Mentoring Weekend offered participants an experience that they would never easily forget.

According to Kevin Folkes, Vice President of Sales at SoftSheen-Carson, the weekend provided a great opportunity to engage with young men and offer options outside of their normal environment. “If we touch a portion of young people here to have different insight, we have been successful.” Folkes stated the event was designed to make sure that young people take responsibility for their own future. Participants are expected to be accountable and conduct their lives in a professional manner based on the skills given to achieve success. “The young men have a good understanding of success but they lack the resources and role models to do what it takes to ultimately become successful.” For Folkes, this goal of the event has parallels to his own life journey. “I had tremendous opportunities to have mentors in my life. I had a teacher in junior high school take four to six kids to his property where he had a lake and we fished. This gave me the opportunity to see what the other side of America looked like and it opened my eyes.” The same concept is what the Mentoring Weekend was created to provide.

Kevin Folkes, Vice President of Sales, SoftSheen-Carson, speaks to the young men during a panel session.

The weekend began with haircuts and grooming for the young participants at the Harveytown Barbershop provided by SoftSheen-Carson, and a welcome dinner sponsored by Glory Foods and Hillshire Farm. Panel sessions featured community leaders and corporate executives who shared advice on topics such as, ‘What It Takes to Get Into and Stay in College,’ by Dr. Steve Perry of the Urban Prep Academy and Clifton Crosby of College Summit; and ‘You Can Be Me,’ featuring Earl Lucas, Design Manager for Ford Motor Company; Kevin Folkes of SoftSheen-Carson and Todd Bullock of Hillshire Farm. ‘Manhood 101’ and ‘Roles and Requirements of Men’ featured Steve Harvey as the speaker, and a screening and discussion of “Fair Game,” an innovative documentary featuring interviews with prominent black males was sponsored by the 21st Century Foundation and Kentucky Fried Chicken. And the weekend just wasn’t for the young men, but their parents and guardians also received helpful information. The FBI sponsored sessions on gang awareness/identification and how to keep their children safe on the internet that were conducted by FBI special agents.

In photo above: Young men receive grooming and haircuts at the Harveytown Magic Barbershop, courtesy of SoftSheen-Carson, the #1 ethnic haircare brand in the world. The company provided a full-service barbershop and provided professional grooming tips for all attendees. The barbershop was a fully functioning pop-up barbershop featuring free barber services, including cuts, shaves and trims from professional barbers. In addition to services, the young men were given tips and tricks for proper grooming from the pros. Each guest was given an exclusive gift bag featuring Magic shave and other mens grooming products to follow-up their grooming routine after the event.

Other activities included fishing, physical fitness activities with US Army Drill Sergeants, football, cardio tennis with USTA, paintball, golf, visiting American Airlines for a tour of a plane, and an interactive construction experience with Home Depot. “All of the sponsors have a point of reference or some part of their life in which they can relate to the young men. This is a way to reach out to the next generation of leaders,” said Folkes. Additional sponsors included Comfort Inn, State Farm Insurance, Ford Motor Company, Glory Foods, Budget, Kmart, Outback Steakhouse, and Sam’s Club.

In addition to the annual weekend, follow up is conducted to ensure that participants remain focused to continue in the program. Participants are invited back to serve as junior counselors the following year.

Folkes offers a suggestion for those who want to make a difference in their communities. “The key objective is to take the basic value of this program which is universal. The same thing can be done working one on one as a mentor or being involved as an entire community. Share your life or career skill to make a difference.” Director of Marketing for SoftSheen-Carson, Jennifer Matthews, was also elated to be a part of the event. “The level of organization is amazing. We wanted to be here. We want the young men to take something away that will be with them for the rest of their lives.”

About The Steve Harvey Foundation & Mentoring Weekend
The mission of the Steve Harvey Foundation is to mentor young men through the Principles of Manhood to enable them to achieve their dreams and become better citizens and better men who are emotionally, politically and economically strong. Hosting the inaugural Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend for Young Men during Father’s Day Weekend in 2009, Harvey brought 100 teenage boys and their guardians from around the country to his ranch in Dallas. The program’s success inspired Harvey to expand his mission nationwide and create 10 satellite mentoring programs for 2010 in New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Tampa, Washington DC, Charlotte, Detroit, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Shreveport. For information about The Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend for Young Men or to make a donation, please visit

Photos courtesy of Bratskeir & Company and W&W Public Relations, Inc.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Steve Harvey & Friends Host 2nd Annual Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend for Young Men

Steve Harvey with young men from the 1st Annual Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend (Photo credit: Patrice Tudor)
Steve Harvey Welcomes 100 Teenage Boys to Dallas for 4-Day, 3-Night Mentoring Experience

On June 17-20, 2010 in Dallas, comedian, best-selling author and top radio personality Steve Harvey will host a blowout Father’s Day Weekend with a second unforgettable year of the Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend for Young Men. A 4-day, 3-night transformative experience, the 2nd Annual Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend for Young Men will serve 100 teenage boys with empowering presentations and summertime activities that build their road to the future. A mentoring initiative to inspire the next generation of men with opportunities not found in any classroom, Steve Harvey will welcome special guests such as Dr. Steven Perry, Lee Haney, Stephen A. Smith and other leaders from the business and entertainment worlds.

A sprawling interactive experience on Harvey’s ranch in Dallas, the Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend for Young Men is the brainchild of Steve Harvey to bring guidance to young men who are without fathers in their lives, to help encourage their dreams and uncover their strengths to build the future they want. Bringing together 100 teenage boys aged 13-18, between grades 8-11 from single-mother households across the country, the Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend will teach and share the Principles of Manhood and dream building with other life-affirming sessions. Addressing the needs that will enable them to become better men who are emotionally, politically and economically strong, the motivating sessions include fitness and health, college, a Do It Yourself session, entrepreneurship, finance, style, manhood, dream building, and activities such as tennis, fishing, golf and paintball. Serving 100 teenage boys in the first Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend last year, ten (10) of last year’s participants will return to Dallas this year to serve as junior counselors.

Steve Harvey shared about the importance of this weekend: "The real necessity for the mentorship program is the lack of fathers just being fathers. If every father were to accept the challenge before him as a father, there would be no need for mentoring. That is another program I'm keenly interested in developing, how I can help share with fathers how to step up into the role. I myself had to grow, and understand the difficulties that some fathers face, but we need to find ways that a man can take to finally fulfill his role as a father."

We'll have event highlights from our newest contributor, Froswa' Booker Drew. Froswa' was previously featured on BlackGivesBack HERE, as the first person profiled for the Insider series. Welcome BlackGivesBack Dallas!

For more information about The Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend for Young Men or to make a donation, please visit

Wendy’s Helps Give the Gift of Love This Father’s Day: While you're out this weekend, stop by Wendy's for the 2010 Father's Day Frosty Weekend. The campaign celebrates dads and raises money for adoption. Wendy’s will donate 50¢ for every Frosty and $1 for every Frosty pin-up sold to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA).

Money raised online in the weeks leading up to Father’s Day weekend and in-store during the holiday weekend will directly support Dave Thomas Foundation’s signature program – Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK). The program awards grants for adoption agencies to hire recruiters to aggressively work to place foster children into adoptive families. Wendy’s Wonderful Kids is active in all 50 states to place foster children with the loving families they deserve. For more information, visit

Mo'Nique to be Honored at Atlanta Urban League's Spirit of the League Community Empowerment Day Awards Luncheon

Atlanta, Georgia (June 8, 2010) - Talk show host, comedienne and Academy Award-winning actress Mo'Nique will be honored at the Atlanta Urban League's 2nd Annual Spirit of the League Community Empowerment Day Awards Luncheon. The event will be held on Saturday, June 26, 2010, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Atrium Ballroom, 265 Peachtree Center Avenue in Atlanta.

HLN Weekend anchor Richelle Carey and Ryan Smith, host of TruTV's "In Session," will co-host the event. WSB-TV Channel 2 Action News anchor Jovita Moore, honorary co-chairs Roger Bobb, executive vice president of Tyler Perry Studios and William Hawthorne, senior vice president of diversity strategies and legal affairs of Macy's, Inc., will assist in the presentation of the awards.

Spirit of the League will honor community heroes whose stories will inspire others to succeed. This year the League will present its Spirit Lifetime Achievement Award to Mo'Nique, because through her life's experiences she has overcome challenges and obstacles to achieve personal success and contribute to the community.

"Mo'Nique has demonstrated the Spirit of the Urban League movement by overcoming challenges that could have completely redirected her life's path," said Nancy Flake Johnson, president and CEO of the Atlanta Urban League. "Instead, she found the courage, spirit, commitment and dedication that enabled her to stay focused on achieving her dreams. The Atlanta Urban League is proud to honor Mo'Nique as we believe that her story will inspire others to achieve their dreams in the face of adversity."

Noni Ellison-Southall, vice chair of the Atlanta Urban League's Board of Directors and board member Gail Nutt are co-chairs for the event. Cox Enterprises, WSB-TV, Channel 2 and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. are presenting sponsors. Other sponsors include: Macy's, Anheuser Busch, ING Foundation and the Coca Cola Company.

Mo'Nique rose to fame in the series, The Parkers. She made a name as a stand-up comedienne performing at many venues, including Showtime at the Apollo. Mo'Nique transitioned to the big screen with roles in Phat Girls and Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins. In her latest role in the film Precious, Mo'Nique won numerous awards including an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Golden Globe Award and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award. Today, she hosts The Mo'Nique Show, a late-night talk show on BET.

The Atlanta Urban League was organized to inspire, encourage and assist individuals to achieve their highest human potential by enabling African Americans and others in underserved communities to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights. The agency partners with corporate and community stakeholders to offer pathways to empowerment through education, workforce/career development, housing, youth development and entrepreneurship.

The Spirit of the League Awards Luncheon is a fundraising event for the Atlanta Urban League. Tickets are $100 for members and $125 for non-members. For more information, tickets, or sponsorship, visit, or call Dottie Johnson at (404) 659-6580.

For more events happening in your community, visit the BlackGivesBack events page HERE.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Giving While Living: New Report Explores Unique and Bold Approach to Philanthropy

Why would philanthropists choose to spend all their money now, instead of leaving some behind?

In a new report released this week, Turning Passion Into Action: Giving While Living, The Atlantic Philanthropies explores the practice of "Giving While Living," and makes the case for this unique and bold type of philanthropy.

Atlantic, which by 2020 will become the largest foundation ever to spend down its endowment, defines giving while living as the decision by a donor to spend his or her philanthropic resources while alive, often as an active participant in the giving program. In this report, Atlantic aims to inspire people at varying levels of wealth to consider giving while living.

The report includes profiles of eleven philanthropists who are giving while living, and one of those featured is business executive and philanthropist Anthony Welters.

Hailing from the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, Welters built AmeriChoice, an HMO that was acquired by UnitedHealth Group in 2002. This brought Mr. Welters and his wife Bea considerable wealth. Through their AnBryce Foundation, the Welters founded Camp Dogwood Summer Academy in rural Virginia for low income children and families, that provides academic support, character development and leadership training. The couple funds the entire operation, at a cost of $1 million per year. The Welters have also created the AnBryce Scholarships at NYU Law School, Mr. Welter's alma mater, that pays full tuition for 30 students each year, and a $10 million endowment to fund scholarships for NYU undergraduates.

Mr. Welters shares in the report, “Philanthropy isn’t something that happens overnight. It builds over time. I saw an opportunity to be supportive of others, in the same way that people were supportive of me. As I became more successful, I continued sharing with others. It’s what my wife and I do in the normal course of our lives.”

Also included in the report, Giving While Living, are tips for donors considering giving while living, a breakdown of the best proven methods for a giving while living practice, and a resource guide to philanthropy advisors, seminars and web resources. Most of all, the report highlights the dramatic social impact of giving while living.

View the report HERE and the accompanying slideshow on Atlantic's website that features philanthropists profiled in the report, and their views on giving while living HERE. A full PDF of the report is available online, and to request a hardcopy of the report, please contact Tricia Rosensohn,

Harlem Mentees Culminate Mentoring Program Year In Style

Actor Harry Belafonte (center), Mentoring USA Honorary Chair, attends the 2010 Mentoring Recruitment Call to Action at PS 154 on June 15, 2010 in New York City. Photo: Wireimage

Mentoring Champions Harry Belafonte and Susan Taylor Joined Mentoring USA and NYC Schools Chancellor Joel Klein in Sounding “Mentoring Recruitment Call to Action”

(Tuesday, June 15th--Harlem, NY)---Nineteen Harlem public school children, who participate in the school based program of Mentoring USA, presented New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein with a special hand-crafted “memory book,” complete with sketches and photographs chronicling their school years’ “mentoring memories.”

The event took place on Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at the Harriet Tubman Learning Center (PS 154) in Harlem, where the children attend school. Joining Chancellor Klein, who received this one-of-a-kind treasure because of his on-going support of mentoring programs, were mentoring champions: Mentoring USA Honorary Chair, the legendary Harry Belafonte; Board Director of HELP USA and Mentoring USA, actor and philanthropist, Charles Grodin; Founder of the National CARES Mentoring Movement and former Editor-in-Chief of Essence Magazine, Susan L. Taylor; and Chairman of Mentoring USA, Matilda Raffa Cuomo, to sound a “mentoring recruitment call to action,” particularly for males, the most needed mentors.

The students listened with attention to Harry Belafonte who told them to “live up to your own expectations, we are here to help you.” Susan L. Taylor told the gathering, “Our community is in trouble, we need you to stay in school, graduate, do well and come to your community to help. “We need Black men, particularly, to volunteer as mentors—the experience is invaluable for both the adult and the child.”

Mentoring USA Honorary Chair, Harry Belafonte; and Susan Taylor, Founder of the National CARES Mentoring Movement

In addition, expansion of Mentoring USA programs was announced as a result of a grant from Verizon. The grant will facilitate plans for expansion in East New York, Brooklyn, Syracuse and Queens. Also attending the festivities were Jim Gerace, Verizon President of the New York Region; Linda Mann and Michelle Blake Wilson, USTA Eastern; and Whitney Brown and Aaron Miner of NYC Service. "Verizon mentors have been working with P.S. 154 students for over a decade," said Jim Gerace, Verizon President of the New York Region. "Building on the tremendous success of the P.S. 154 program, we are proud to be able to support the expansion of the program throughout New York City and into Central New York, and look forward to many years of continued partnership."

Mentoring USA, founded by former first lady of New York, Matilda Raffa Cuomo, is an effective, early-intervention mentoring program to prevent school dropout. By providing mentors at schools, community centers and foster care agencies, Mentoring USA helps children, ages 7 to 21, improve their self esteem through financial literacy training, nutrition and wellness, and anti-violence education. The Mentoring USA model has proven to be effective in helping a child to reach his or her full potential. When each child is matched with a trained, caring, adult volunteer mentor on a one-to-one basis, the child’s grades improve, school absenteeism minimizes, and children gain confidence and hope for the future.

Mentoring USA special guests and supporters from the USTA Eastern and Verizon join NYC Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, Mentoring USA Founder, Matilda Raffa Cuomo, and Stephen Powell (front left, kneeling), Executive Director of Mentoring USA for a group photo.

For more information, visit

Photo credit: Martyna Borkowski

Celebrity Paintball Tournament Raises Funds for First Annual Moving Mountains Weekend

Actor Jamie Hector (R) along with youth from Moving Mountains, Inc., attend the 1st Annual Moving Mountains Weekend on June 12, 2010 in New York City.

Jamie Hector is best known for his roles on HBO's The Wire and NBC's Heroes, but he says that his favorite role is as the founder of Moving Mountains, Inc., a nonprofit organization that works to improve the lives of youth by developing their artistic talents, and encouraging them to pursue their dreams while building character.

On June 12, 2010, Jamie's celebrity friends joined him for his organization's 1st annual Moving Mountains Weekend in New York City. The weekend began with a paintball tournament at NYC Paintball in Long Island City Queens. All teams who played sponsored a package that benefited the organization's summer programming that helps to keep the youth off the streets and active within their communities.

Later in the day, guests attended an honoree’s luncheon honoring NY WBLS radio personality Egypt with the Image Award, Actor Michael K. Williams and Robert Vasquez with the Humanitarian Award, and Gifted Apparel for their continued support of the Moving Mountains organization.

DJ Fa Self, Egypt, Jamie Hector, JD Williams and Michael K. Williams attend Moving Mountains Inc.'s 2010 Fund Raising Weekend on June 12, 2010 in New York City.

“It’s a great thing to have all of you come out to support Moving Mountains at our first annual gathering. I want to thank you all for coming out and playing a wonderful game of paintball with us today, and I definitely want to say to all those who we’re honoring today, you definitely make a difference in not only our lives at Moving Mountains, but in the lives of others as well,” shared Jamie.

For more information about the Moving Mountains organization, please visit

Photos: Wireimage

Monday, June 14, 2010

Photos of the Day: Absolut Brooklyn & The Eagle Academy Foundation

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Executive Director of Habitat-NYC Josh Lockwood, Chairman & CEO of Southern Wine and Spirits Harvey Chaplin and filmmaker Spike Lee attend the ABSOLUT BROOKLYN launch at the Habitat for Humanity Bed-Stuy Build Site on June 9, 2010 in the Brooklyn Borough of New York City.
Absolut Vodka and filmmaker Spike Lee have collaborated on a new city-inspired, limited edition flavor called Absolut Brooklyn, that captures the culture and vibrancy of Brooklyn, New York. The brand will donate $50,000 of the profits to Habitat for Humanity - New York City, an organization dedicated to transforming lives and the city by building quality, affordable homes for families in need. The funds will be dedicated to Habitat's newest affordable homes project in Bedford-Stuyvesant, scheduled to be completed in 2011.

The Eagle Academy Foundation Hosts Soaring Eagles Benefit Reception, Raises $250,000
Governor David Paterson attends the Eagle Academy for Young Men benefit reception at the home of hip hop mogul Russell Simmons on June 9, 2010 in New York City.
On June 9, 2010, the Eagle Academy Foundation hosted the Soaring Eagles benefit reception at the home of event host Russell Simmons, to support the work of the Foundation, an organization committed to the development of a network of all male, college-preparatory public schools that educate and develop young men into future leaders. The event raised over $250,000 to support the Foundation in creating Eagle Academies in high-poverty communities with high rates of incarceration.

New York Governor David Paterson and event honoree Max Siegel; Former NBA player Alan Houston and Charles Poole, Senior Group Director of Community Affairs and Consumer Outreach of event honoree Anheuser-Busch, Inc.
Charles Poole, Governor David Paterson and Dennis Walcott, NYC Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development
Publicist Marvet Britto, Governor David Paterson and Harper Audrey
For more information, visit

Photos: Wireimage

Friday, June 11, 2010

Celebrity Philanthropy: Usher, Alonzo Mourning & Dwyane Wade

R&B Superstar Usher Helping to Promote WE SERVE - A National Partnership between ServiceNation and AmeriCorps Alums
AmeriCorps is a national service program that engages citizens in volunteerism. By participating in this program, members learn new skills, and earn money to pay for college, along with many other benefits while giving back. Are you an AmeriCorps alum? Read on!

On June 9th, ServiceNation and AmeriCorps Alums announced a partnership to find, connect and engage more than 600,000 AmeriCorps Alumni.

As ServiceNation’s Youth Chair, Usher has agreed to provide autographed memorabilia in a registration contest aimed at getting more alumni formally involved in AmeriCorps Alums. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, there are more than 600,000 national service alumni, but less than ten percent are registered with AmeriCorps Alums, the official alumni organization.

“Most AmeriCorps members don't know that they have to register with us,” says Amity Tripp, Executive Director of AmeriCorps Alums. “They think that, like after college, you are automatically on the alumni association's mailing list. But because AmeriCorps is a government-managed program, we can only reach the alums who opt-in to our system.”

“AmeriCorps Alumni represent a huge, untapped group of potential volunteers who have the energy, idealism and networks to do great things in their communities,” said Greg Propper, executive director of ServiceNation. “By connecting those who have already volunteered and are eager to volunteer again, WE SERVE will help ServiceNation reach our 2020 goal of engaging 100 million Americans in community volunteering and an additional one million in full- and part-time stipended national service per year.”

To date, AmeriCorps members have given more than 775 million hours of service to hundreds of organizations in the United States and its territories. AmeriCorps members last year mobilized 2.4 million community volunteers for the organizations they serve.

AmeriCorps alums – anyone who has completed a term of national service, including NCCC, VISTA and pre-AmeriCorps VISTA – are encouraged to visit and register as part of WE SERVE. All AmeriCorps alums who register receive a coupon to the AmeriCorps Alums store and are entered in a drawing for one of ten gift cards to Target worth $100 a piece. A drawing based on referrals will award the Grand Prize – autographed memorabilia from ServiceNation Youth Chair Usher.

The WE SERVE outreach contest will end at 5pm EST, June 30th at the close of the National Conference on Volunteering and Service.

Meet NBA Champs Alonzo Mourning and Dwyane Wade this Saturday!
Alonzo Mouring and Dwyane Wade are gearing up for their annual Summer Groove charity weekend with a meet and greet on Saturday, June 12th at Publix Supermarket, 1181 S. University Drive, Plantation FL from 12pm-2pm.

The first 333 Publix guests will have the opportunity to meet the dynamic duo during an autograph session at the in-store promotion. Join the fun with great music, raffles, giveaways and product sampling from participating partner products.

Consumers have the opportunity to win and be a part of The Summer Groove weekend of fun with an “Enter to Win” sweepstakes running now through July 2nd, 2010, which requires no purchase. Check out the Be a Pro With Zo & D. Wade Sweepstakes Presented by Publix and participating partner products in-stores. Log on to by July 2nd to enter to win fabulous prizes and memorabilia including:

1st PRIZEOne (1) $500 Publix Super Market Gift Certificate; Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino “Party Like a Rock Star” gift basket that includes autographed guitar by FOREIGNER, Overnight stay (mid-week) Deluxe Accommodations at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Hollywood, FL, $100 Food & Beverage Certificate, $50 “Free Play” and Assorted Hard Rock logo items; Summer Groove VIP package for two (2) that includes: 2-night hotel stay (7/16 and 7/17), tickets to the Groove Comedy Show Hosted By Heineken, Publix Charities Groove Benefit Gala, and Carnival Cruise Lines Groove All-Star Basketball Game.

2nd PRIZETen (10) persons each will receive one (1) autographed basketball by Zo and D. Wade; One (1) pair of tickets to the Carnival Cruise Lines Groove All-Star Basketball Game; and Two (2) commemorative shirts.

Fifty (50) persons each will receive two (2) tickets to the Carnival Cruise Lines Groove All-Star Basketball Game.

ABOUT THE SUMMER GROOVE:NBA Champions Alonzo Mourning and Dwyane Wade have joined forces once more to host the largest event of the summer –SEMINOLE HARD ROCK PRESENTS THE SUMMER GROOVE HOSTED BY ZO & D. WADE. Held in Miami, Florida, July 14-18, 2010, the Groove is a five-day weekend event that has something for everyone: golf, comedy, concert, benefit dinner, youth summit, youth sports conference and basketball clinic, a free block party, an all-star basketball game and numerous exclusive functions. Now in its 14th year, proceeds benefit Alonzo Mourning Charities and the Wade’s World Foundation. For more information, visit

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Abyssinian Development Corporation Celebrates Harlem Renaissance Day of Commitment

Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III, Chairman of Abyssinian Development Corporation; Georgi Exinord, 8th Grade Student at Thurgood Marshall Academy for Learning and Social Change; Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President of Children’s Defense Fund; Sheena Wright, President and CEO of Abyssinian Development Corporation attend Abyssinian Development Corporation's Harlem Renaissance Day of Commitment Leadership Breakfast on June 2, 2010 in Harlem, NY.

By Akira Barclay, BlackGivesBack NY contributor 

On June 2nd, the Abyssinian Development Corporation (ADC) held its Harlem Renaissance Day of Commitment Leadership Breakfast in Shepard Hall at City College of the City University of New York. Hosted by ADC founder and Pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III, the event welcomed longtime partners, friends and constituents including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to come together and celebrate ADC’s Education Movement and two decades of extraordinary accomplishments, programs and services that have contributed to the electrifying revival of the Harlem community.

Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund, and Thomas J. McInerney, Chief Operating Officer of ING Insurance and Chairman of the ING Foundation were honored with the Harlem Renaissance Award. Speaking of honoree McInerney, ADC President and CEO Sheena Wright said, "Tom McInerney's exemplary commitment to diversity and inclusion, children's education, and empowering the underserved speaks to the very essence of the Harlem Renaissance Award. We're so proud to honor this visionary chairman of the ING Foundation who believes, as we do, that education is an essential element to ensuring and building truly successful communities."

Samara Eubank and Sydeny Bush, Students from Thurgood Marshall Academy Lower School

Founded in 1989 by the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church, Abyssinian Development Corporation is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit comprehensive community development corporation dedicated to improving the quality of life for Harlem’s cherished families. For more than 20 years, ADC has been at the forefront of revitalizing the socioeconomic fabric of the Harlem community by developing quality affordable housing, spearheading commercial development, fostering education, strengthening families and building community capacity through civic engagement. Having leveraged over $600 million in investments in Harlem, ADC has played a key leadership role in Harlem’s development. ADC sponsors three high-performing public education institutions—the award-winning Abyssinian Head Start Program and the two innovative Thurgood Marshall Academies. ADC’s Education Movement —a holistic approach to increasing and improving opportunities for young people to benefit from a quality education continuum is a national model for investment in public education.

For more information, please visit:;; and

Photo Credit: Bob Gore Productions

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

DC Entrepreneur Provides Trip of a Lifetime for Girls in Foster Care

Stacie Turner (center), founder of Extra-Ordinary Life Foundation, with staff and teen participants at the foundation's Travel, Culture and Etiquette Educational Workshop, held at the National Museum of African Art on May 22, 2010 in Washington, DC.
In just a few days, the 2010 World Cup will officially begin in South Africa, one of the biggest sports events in the world. Among the thousands of travelers that are expected to attend the festivities will be ten girls from the D.C. area foster care system.

This past January, BlackGivesBack introduced you to Stacie Turner, an entrepreneur, Harvard Business School grad, and founder of the Extra-Ordinary Life Foundation, an organization that provides life-changing experiences to teen girls living in foster care. (See previous post HERE). Like these young ladies, Stacie is also a product of the DC foster care system. She worked at Procter & Gamble and BET Networks prior to becoming a successful businesswoman and real estate entrepreneur.

On Saturday, May 22, 2010, ten teen girls from the DC foster care system selected for this once in a lifetime opportunity, gathered at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African Art for the foundation's Travel, Culture, and Etiquette Educational workshop to begin their preparation for the trip. For most of them, this will be their first time traveling outside of the D.C. area. Stacie shares, “My goal is to show teenage girls that the world is their oyster by providing extraordinary experiences.”

The girls had an exciting afternoon that consisted of learning about travel, protocol and etiquette by Bryan J. Langley, former U.S. Assistant Chief of Protocol, White House/U.S. Department of State, and Aimee Violette, former Protocol Officer, U.S. Department of State; and they learned about the history of South Africa by Dr. Deanna Cooke, Center for Social Justice at Georgetown University. They took a guided tour of the museum by Prosser Stirling, Docent, and finished the day with and Soccer and World Cup 101.

The teens shared their excitement with Stacie and the chaperones about traveling for the first time, and asked questions about how African Americans are treated in South Africa. Stacie shared with the girls about her first trip to South Africa while in college, and Kristin, a teen from Maryland, shared that she was looking forward to sharing about her trip with other girls once she returned home.

Stacie shared, “It’s important for these young girls to experience events that exemplify the ideas of hard work, determination, discipline and belief in self – key qualities that I believe are necessary to succeed in life. I want the girls to feel the energy of limitless potential; to inspire them to believe that they, too, have limitless potential.” The trip will take place from July 5-16.

Visit the foundation's website at
Photo credit: Mike James