Tuesday, August 31, 2010

NY Financier and Philanthropist Announces 2010-11 Fletcher Fellows

Alphonse Fletcher Jr., Harvard Graduate and Founder of Fletcher Asset Management and the Fletcher Foundation, Selects 6th Class of Fellows
Via Press Release: Alphonse Fletcher, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Fletcher Asset Management, Inc., announced the selection of the 2010-2011 class of Alphonse Fletcher, Sr. Fellows. A charitable initiative created in 2004, the Fletcher Fellowship program commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the United States Supreme Court's landmark decision, Brown v. Board of Education. Each of this year's three Fletcher Fellows will receive a stipend of $50,000 for work that contributes to improving racial equality in American society and furthers the broad social goals of Brown v. Board of Education.

Regarding the sixth class of Fellows, Mr. Fletcher said, "Following the legacy of Brown, the three new fellows address questions of social justice and equal opportunity from the fields of history, sociology, and the law. Their projects embrace both the broad promise of Brown and the complications that have arisen in its implementation. Their scholarship is as relevant today as it would have been decades ago because, while often disguised today, unequal treatment persists to the long-term detriment of all in society."

A description of the 2010-2011 Fletcher Fellows and their projects follows:

Mia Bay is Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University, where she is Associate Director of the Center for Race and Ethnicity. In 2009-2010, she was in residence as the John Hope Franklin Senior Fellow at the National Humanities Center. Her fellowship project, "Traveling Black: A Social History of Segregated Transportation," examines segregated transportation and black mobility as an enduring site for African American struggles for freedom and equality. She is the author of The White Image in the Black Mind: African-American Ideas About White People, 1830-1925 (Oxford University Press, 2000) and To Tell the Truth Freely: The Life of Ida B. Wells (Macmillan, 2009).
Richard Thompson Ford is the George E. Osborne Professor of Law at Stanford Law School. He is an expert on civil rights and antidiscrimination law who writes for both the popular press and the legal academy. His fellowship project is "Rights Gone Wrong: Rescuing Social Justice from the Law," a bold examination of the ways in which legal desegregation has not necessarily eliminated subtler and more elusive racial injustices in areas including public education and employment opportunities. He is the author of The Race Card: How Bluffing About Bias Makes Race Relations Worse (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2008).
Tyrone Forman is Associate Professor of Sociology at Emory University, where he serves as Co- Director of Emory's Race and Difference Initiative. His fellowship project, "After 55: Desegregation, Interracial Contact and Race Relations among American Youth," explores the long-term consequences on racial attitudes and racial composition of friendship networks in young and middle adulthood of having attended a racially and ethnically diverse high school. He is one of the leading sociologists of intergroup relations among people of color, of the social determinants of racial attitudes, of the social consequences of racial stratification among African Americans, and on adolescent health and well-being.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., chair of the fellowship program's selection committee and the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard, commented: "The new Fletcher Fellows carry on the conversation about race, social justice, and equal opportunity that has been started, and energized, by the 36 fellows preceding them." Gates added, "The Fletcher Fellowship Program continues to foster interdisciplinary scholarship and creative work on race relations post-Brown in a way that no other program matches."

About the Fletcher Fellowships: The Alphonse Fletcher, Sr. Fellows Program was created in 2004 on the 50th Anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision. In 2004, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the decision, Alphonse Fletcher, Jr., the Chairman and CEO of Fletcher Asset Management, Inc., announced a $50 million philanthropic initiative, of which the Fellowship Program is the centerpiece. The announcement of the sixth class of Fellows brings to 39 the number of Fletcher Fellows working in diverse fields including literature, history and the social sciences, the visual and performing arts, journalism, science, and law. Previous recipients include Stanley Crouch, Anna Deveare Smith, Anita Hill, Brent Staples, Elizabeth Alexander, Kathleen Cleaver, Glenn Ligon, and Hilton Als.

Information on the program is available at the Fletcher Foundation website www.fletcherphilanthropy.org.

Source: PR Newswire/Photo: Crains NY

Monday, August 30, 2010

Actress Terri J. Vaughn Hosts the Take Wings Foundation’s 7th Annual Angel Awards Gala

Take Wings Foundation Board of Directors: President Roslyn Gentry, Helen Vaughn, Billy Ward, Terri J. Vaughn, Founder; Antoinette Otis, Tracy Ward, Executive Director; and Shari Morgan attend the 7th Annual Take Wings Foundation's Angel Awards Gala, August 21, 2010 in San Francisco.

By Tokiwa Smith, Contributor 
BlackGivesBack San Francisco/Oakland

On Saturday, August 21, 2010 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis, actress and native San Franciscan Terri J. Vaughn’s Take Wings Foundation hosted its 7th Annual Angel Awards to benefit its programs that serve at risk teen girls ages 13-18 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The awards gala was hosted by Denise Boutte and Lamaan Rucker of Tyler Perry’s Meet the Brown’s. Grammy award nominated R & B vocalist Angie Stone performed three songs, one of which she was joined by Oakland based singer Goapele. The event was sponsored by Hennessy Privilege, Ross, KBLX, Safeway, Wells Fargo and Kaiser Permanente.

Terri J. Vaughn and Angie Stone look on as Oakland-based R&B songstress Goapele sings one of Stone's songs.

The keynote speaker was Melissa Maxcy Wade, Executor Director of Forensics and faculty member at Emory University, and principle founder of the Urban Debate League, a program that aims to reduce inequality in education in socio-economically challenged schools. Ms. Wade gave an inspiring speech of the inequities in education and how it is our responsibility as a community to do something about it so our children can receive a quality education. The Angel Awards recognizes people in the community that are doing grassroots work to make a difference in the lives of teens. “My favorite thing about this event is our organization being able to honor people that do similar grassroots work,” says Rosalyn Gentry, Take Wings Board Chair. “There is not enough recognition for people that do work from the heart. Our children are our future and you must put your hand in the pot to invest in the lives of children.”

Terri J. Vaughn and Honoree Melissa Maxcy Wade; Vaughn with gala co-hosts Denise Boutté and Lamman Rucker, and songstress Angie Stone.

One of the 2010 Angel Awards was given to Denise LeNoir, M.S.N., B.S.N., M.S.H.A, F.N.P, a Family Nurse Practitioner and coordinator at the Bay Area Multicultural Clinical Research and Prevention Center and Bay Area Pediatrics, presented by Tracy L. Ward, Terri J. Vaughn’s sister and Take Wings Foundation's Executive Director. LeNoir was honored for her dedication to consistently providing healthcare for adolescents and teens, whether or not their parents can afford it. Also honored was Ronny Turiaf, former Golden State Warriors forward, and founder of the Heart 2 Heart Foundation, an organization that makes coronary-related testing and treatment available to people who cannot afford the costs. The award was presented by Vaughn’s mother and Take Wings board member Helen K. Vaughn. He was unable to attend the gala, but accepted his award via videotaped remarks. In addition to the Angel Awards honorees, eight of the program’s alumnae were recognized for their scholastic achievements by continuing their education at various colleges and universities.

Take Wings Executive Director Tracy L. Ward (r) presents the 2010 Angel Award to Denise LeNoir.


Co-host Lamman Rucker is astounded when he sees Terri’s statuesque mom Helen K. Vaughn for the first time.

The Take Wings Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to build the self esteem of San Francisco Bay Area at-risk girls between the ages of 13 and 18 by providing positive experiences and role modeling. The organization’s major components involve encouraging and enabling teen girls to provide community service, participate in life skills development activities and workshops, and earn academic scholarships. Visit the website at www.takewings.org.

[Related post, January 2009] The Take Wings Foundation: Hollywood Actress Helps Girls to Soar
Photos by Horace Gipson Jr

Welcome BlackGivesBack San Francisco/Oakland!

Meet our newest contributor, Tokiwa T. Smith! Tokiwa is the Executive Director and Founder of Science, Engineering and Mathematics Link Inc (SEM Link), www.semsuccess.org, a non-profit organization that promotes student achievement and career exploration in math and science for K-12 students. An alumnus of Florida A & M University with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, Ms. Smith has over 8 years experience working in academia and non-profit organizations developing and managing educational programs for precollege and college students.

She shares, "It was 8 years ago in 2002, while coordinating an after-school and tutorial program at a middle school in the Atlanta Public School system that I saw the vision to create Science, Engineering and Mathematics Link Inc (SEM Link).While working at the school in which the student population represented students typically underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers, I reflected upon what gave me the confidence to pursue a STEM degree in college. My confidence came from the adults in my life that encouraged and exposed me to things that facilitated achievement academically as well as exploration of careers in math and science. I wanted to provide those things to these children at this middle school, so even if they chose not to pursue STEM careers, they would have the confidence and exposure to do so."

Celebrity-Driven Auction Site ClubCharity.com Partners with Toronto Blue Jays Star Vernon Wells for Canadian Launch

Via Press Release: ClubCharity.com (http://www.clubcharity.com/), an online auction site for celebrity and corporate charitable giving founded by CharityBids.org and visionary entrepreneur and BET founder Robert L. Johnson, recently announced its launch in Canada through a partnership with Toronto Blue Jays centerfielder Vernon Wells. To kick off the partnership, ClubCharity.com is auctioning a Toronto Blue Jays helmet signed by Wells and covered in Swarovski crystals. Proceeds will benefit Vernon Wells’ Perfect 10 Foundation, www.vernonwellsfoundation.org, supporting single mothers and children in need.

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

“ClubCharity.com takes charitable giving to a new level, making it easier than ever for anyone, anywhere to find incredibly unique and exciting auction items online, while generously donating to so many important causes,” said Vernon Wells. “We’re extremely excited to partner with ClubCharity.com and bring even greater attention to the mission of Vernon Wells’ Perfect 10 Foundation in Canada, the U.S., and worldwide.”

Robert L. Johnson shares, “Our partnership with Vernon Wells is part of our continued effort to extend that exposure to a wide range of global markets, allowing organizations like Vernon Wells’ Perfect 10 Foundation and many others to take awareness-building and fund-raising to new heights.”

In addition to Vernon Wells’ crystal-encrusted, autographed helmet, current auctions include: Holly Robinson Peete's custom-made wedding dress benefiting the HollyRod Foundation, a vacation for 8 at Bob Johnson's Covecastle Villa in Anguilla, West Indies benefiting the Media Access Project, a painting featured in an Alicia Keys video benefiting The Lincoln Rising, and many more.

Visit www.clubcharity.com to view these and other auctions now.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Diversity Affluence Brunch Series Presented by Jaguar Honors Leaders, Achievers & Pioneers in Philanthropy

Diversity Affluence's Bernie Jackson, right, presents award to honoree Reginald Van Lee at the Leaders, Achievers & Pioneers brunch on August 22 in the Hamptons, New York.

Dwayne Ashley, Jacques-Philippe Piverger, and Reginald Van Lee Recognized for their Achievements and Contributions to Advancing Diversity in the Philanthropy and Non-Profit Sectors

By BlackGivesBack NY contributor Akira Barclay

Three leading figures in the philanthropic community were honored on Sunday, August 22nd at the third and final event in a series of Hamptons awards brunches created by Diversity Affluence, the New York-based consultancy specializing in marketing communication, research and business development. Dwayne Ashley, Jacque-Philippe Piverger and Reginald Van Lee were honored at the invitation-only event held at Dockers Waterside Restaurant & Marina, located on scenic Dune Road in East Quogue.

Dwayne Ashley is the CEO of Global Operations for Success for Kids, a non-profit organization aimed at empowering at-risk children and adolescents to become resilient, productive citizens by enhancing personal strengths and giving them a greater sense of purpose in their lives. Recognized as one of the leading authorities in education, talent development, non-profit management and fundraising, Mr. Ashley has raised over $200 million throughout his 22-year fundraising career.

Jacques-Philippe Piverger is founder and chairman of the Global Syndicate and director at PineBridge Investments. He is the co-founder and board member of The Council of Urban Professionals, Team Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Advisory Board Member of George Clooney’s Hope for Haiti Now Fund. Mr. Piverger was formerly the co-founder of The Soleil Group and currently works to raise funds for communities in need around the world.

Honoree Jacques-Philippe Piverger and his lovely family arrive at the event in a 2011Jaguar XJ

Named by Consulting Magazine as one of the Top 25 consultants in the world, Reginald Van Lee, senior vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton, leads the firm’s not-for-profit business. With 26 years of experience, Mr. Van Lee has aided numerous private and public organizations, helping them to better achieve their missions and has provided assistance in driving growth for nonprofit organizations and foundations. He co-founded the Clinton Global Initiative, is Chairman Emeritus of the board of the Evidence Dance Company, Chairman of the Board of the New York International Ballet Competition, and Treasurer and Trustee of the Studio Museum in Harlem. Mr. Van Lee was appointed by President Obama to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and is a member of the MAC AIDS Fund Board. He is also a member of the Executive Leadership Council, Abyssinian Development Corporation, Washington Performing Arts Society, Howard Theatre Restoration Project, and Habitat for Humanity International–Cabinet member.

Reginald Van Lee and Dwayne Ashley, Honorees (Photo: Akira Barclay)

The brunch series, presented by Jaguar to herald the new 2011 Jaguar XJ, celebrates individuals who have achieved success and advanced the diversity agenda in America. “Purchasing power among affluent consumers from ethnically diverse backgrounds is estimated at over $282 billion. It’s an undeniable opportunity which should be addressed by luxury brands,” comments Bernie Jackson. “Jaguar should be commended for recognizing the value of this consumer market and for embracing initiatives such as sponsoring the Diversity Affluence Brunch Series honoring Leaders, Achievers and Pioneers of diversity as a way to connect with this growing demographic.”

Andrea Hoffman adds, “Diversity Affluence is pleased to partner with Jaguar in presenting this series of events that celebrates diversity and brings together some of the most successful influentials and tastemakers who through their work and dedication have advanced the diversity agenda in America. We thank Jaguar for their support of this series and encourage others in the luxury goods category to do the same.”

Keri Jackson with Event Committee member, model and philanthropist Princess Keisha Omilana and her husband, Prince Kunle Omilana of Nigeria

Paul Wilmont, left and Event Committee Member Dr. Erika Faust and friend at the Diversity Affluence Brunch Series Honoring Leaders, Achievers & Pioneers of Philanthropy presented by Jaguar

Honorees were chauffeured to and from the event in the Jaguar XJ and guests enjoyed test rides and drives of the 2011 Jaguar XJ and XK. The Diversity Affluence Leaders, Achievers & Pioneers Brunch Series was planned in collaboration with global public relations agency, Ruder Finn, Inc., Bernie Jackson for Diversity Affluence and a stellar Planning Committee including:

BJ Coleman, Coleman Entertainment Group; Keenan Davis, Deputy Director, The New York Times; Dr. Erika Faust, Owner of Elite Orthodontics; Latoya Henry, Marketing and PR Expert; Diana Hilson, Integrated Marketing Manager, Black Enterprise; Princess Keisha Omilana, Model, Actress, Philanthropist; Cookie Patten, Event Producer and Business Consultant; Pamela Pickens, Co-Founder of UrbanAdServe; Nkrumah Pierre, PLG Consulting Group; Jocelyn Taylor, JRT Multimedia LLC; and Troy White, Founder, Whytehouse Marketing.

Richard N. Beattie, EVP of Sales and Marketing for Jaguar North America is joined by Honoree Reginald Van Lee; Honoree Jacques-Philippe Piverger; Diversity Affluence's Andrea Hoffman; Honoree Dwayne Ashley; Sharon Corrigan, VP Marketing of Jaguar; and, Diversity Affluence's Bernie Jackson

Henry J. Watkins and Andrea Hoffman; LaToya Henry, honoree Reginald Van Lee and Jocelyn Taylor

Past honorees in the series include: Desiree Dancy, vice president of diversity and inclusion for The New York Times; Stuart Scott, sportscaster and anchor, ESPN’s Sports Center; and Food Network Star Aaron Sanchez, Executive Chef/Co-Owner of Centrico Restaurant; groundbreaking former model BethAnn Hardison, owner of Bethann Management; Fern Mallis, president of Fern Mallis LLC, founder of New York Fashion Week and former president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA); Brian Reyes, Colombian-American fashion designer; and Edward Wilkerson, the accomplished design director of Lafayette 148. See previous event coverage HERE and HERE.

Photo Credit: Alex Lipowec; last three photos courtesy of Margot Jordan, (646) 226-6652

7th Annual “On Our Toes in the Hamptons” Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Evidence, A Dance Company

Ronald K. Brown, Founder, Evidence A Dance Company; Princess Keisha Omilana and Prince Kunle Omilana, Event Honorees

By BlackGivesBack NY contributor Akira Barclay

On Saturday, August 21st, On Our Toes in the Hamptons, the annual performance and fundraising gala benefiting Evidence, A Dance Company was held at the Watermill, NY home of event Co-Chairs the Honorable Bernard H. Jackson and Joyce Mullins-Jackson, Chair of the Evidence Board of Directors. Long recognized as the premier African-American cultural and social event of the Hamptons summer calendar, the event honored Prince Kunle Omilana of Nigeria and his wife Princess Keisha Omilana for their longtime support and dedication to the company. The late afternoon affair featured specialty cocktails by Moet Hennessey USA, a luxury online auction on CharityBuzz.com and an electrifying performance, "Ebony Magazine: To A Village."

On Our Toes in the Hamptons brilliantly merged the glamour of the Hamptons social scene with heartfelt sincerity and support for the Evidence mission to promote understanding of the human experience in the African Diaspora through dance and storytelling and to provide sensory connections to history and tradition through music, movement, and spoken word, leading deeper into issues of spirituality, community responsibility and liberation. The Jacksons, Board Members, event committee and guests, most of whom attend the event every year, exuded a unique warmth and enthusiasm that exploded on the dancefloor with the invitation to “dance with the dancers.” Poolside, Hermès displayed the limited edition custom scarf created to commemorate the Company’s 25th anniversary. The scarf is available for purchase at the French design house’s East Hampton location, and a portion of sales will benefit Evidence.

Limited Edition 25th Anniversary scarf by Hermés

On Our Toes in the Hamptons’ benefit committee included Reginald Van Lee, Chairman Emeritus of the board of Evidence; Zaid Abdul-Aleem, Monica F. Azare, Veronica Claypool, Joanne E. Hill, Andrea Hoffman, Leslie Mays, Gail Monroe Perry, Lauren Roberts, Jennifer Streakes, Dr. Ancy Verdier, Kathleen Vita and Lisa Walker. The Young Professionals Committee included BJ Coleman, Keenan Davis, Estelle, Mignon Espy, Dr. Erika Faust, James Nixon, Nkumera Pierre and Phillana Williams.

Reginald Van Lee (in Hermés), Chair, Benefit Committee; Ronald K. Brown

Joyce Mullins-Jackson, Board Chair, and Joanne Hill, Board Secretary of Evidence sporting Judith Leiber handbags available for auction at Charitybuzz.com.

Kathleen Tait and Emily Tait

The Silver Anniversary Committee includes T. Troy and Keisha Dixon, Maurice and Andrea DuBois, Noel Hankin and Moet Hennessy USA, Judith Jamison, Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Giuffrida; Debra Lee and BET Networks, Terry McMillan, Rhonda Mims and ING, Ms. Baraka Sele, Marva Smalls and MTV Networks, René Syler, Susan Taylor and Khephra Burns, Tamara Tunie, Cicely Tyson, Reginald Van Lee and Booz Allen Hamilton, and Lynn Whitfield.

Ronald K. Brown, Founder, Evidence A Dance Company (left) with Evidence dancers

For more information on Evidence, A Dance Company visit: www.evidencedance.com.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Atlanta Urban League Young Professionals (AULYP) Presents its Annual Dream Catchers Awards Reception

AULYP 2010 Community Service Chair, Ciji Tatum; AULYP 2010 President Kendra Shipmon; AULYP 2010 Founders Scholarship Recipient Elijah Watkins; AULYP Co-Founder Kyla Tilton Cox; AULYP 2010 Vice President Travis Townsend, Esq.
By BlackGivesBack Atlanta contributor Lisa Brathwaite
On Friday, August 20, 2010, Atlanta Urban League Young Professionals presented recent high school graduates with four of their 2010 Founders Scholarships at their Annual Dream Catchers Awards Reception held at Nelson Mullins Law Firm in Atlanta. The scholarships, which were presented at the start of a new college semester, were given to recent high school graduates who held good academic records and demonstrated service in their community.

AULYP also honored young leaders and organizations in metro Atlanta who demonstrated excellence in serving and empowering their community. This year Antwan ‘Big Boi’ Patton accepted AULYP’s Dream Catchers 2010 Empowerment Award on behalf of his Big Kidz Foundation, along with Jennifer Lester, the organization’s Executive Director.

AULYP 2010 President Kendra Shipmon; Big Kidz Foundation Founder and CEO Antwan 'Big Boi' Patton; Atlanta Urban League President Nancy Flake Johnson
C.J. Stewart, founder of L.E.A.D. Inc. and former Chicago Cubs outfielder, accepted AULYP’s Community Leader Award; Howard Franklin, manager of Jason Carter’s successful bid for Georgia State Senate and founder and CEO of Influence Factory, accepted AULYP’s Community Advocate Award and State Farm Insurance received the Community Service Award accepted by Myles C. Mitchom on behalf of the company.

The award recipients were chosen based on their contributions in areas relevant to AULYP’s empowerment initiatives that include education, economic, health and quality of life, and civic engagement and leadership. Proceeds from the event will primarily benefit the Founders Scholarship Program and other initiatives.

AULYP President Kendra Shipmon; AULYP Community Advocate Award Recipient Howard Franklin; Big Kidz Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Lester; Big Kidz Foundation Founder and CEO Antwan 'Big Boi' Patton; AULYP Founders Scholarship Recipient Elijah Watkins; and AULYP Community Award Recipient C.J. Stewart
For more information on the work of the Atlanta Urban League Young Professionals, visit http://www.aulyp.com/.

Photo credit: Al Bouknight, Visual Artisans Inc.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Allstate/UNCF “Quotes for Education” Aims to Raise $100,000 for African-American College Students Under Financial Stress

Fundraising Initiative to Benefit UNCF, Contribute to College Scholarships this Upcoming Fall Semester

Northbrook, Ill., August 17, 2010 —According to a recent study, two-thirds of African-Americans dropping out of college cite finances as the reason for the decision. To address this trend and continue the company’s history of investment in initiatives that strengthen communities, Allstate Insurance Company (NYSE: ALL) today announced the launch of the second annual “Quotes for Education” program.

In partnership with UNCF – the United Negro College Fund – the program seeks to raise $100,000 in scholarships for African-American college students.

As part of the campaign, Allstate will donate $5 to UNCF for each auto insurance quote that is completed between August 15 and September 30, 2010. Quotes may be obtained online at Allstate.com/quotesforeducation or through a participating Allstate Agent.

“The Allstate family recognizes the importance of education and we realize that now, more than ever, it is important to support organizations that champion the pursuit of higher learning and academic success,” says Anise Wiley-Little, Allstate chief diversity officer. “In addition to supporting a trusted community partner like UNCF, we’re also pleased that this program engages families and communities as part of the solution. By completing an auto insurance quote, drivers join with us in helping to make college education a reality for hard-working students.”

Persistent funding deficits, a struggling economy, and significant tuition increases have created a perfect storm for many students, and African-American students are particularly vulnerable. Consider these facts:

African-American students who did not enroll in college are likely to report that the need to work was important in their decision. Almost half of African-American students stated that the need to work was “extremely” or “very” important, compared with their peers (Institute for Higher Education Policy, 2010)

Only 41 percent of black students complete a bachelor's degree within six years (National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, 2008)

About 27 percent of all black students graduated with at least $30,500 in student loan debt, while the percentage range of students of other races who graduated with a comparable debt level is 9 percent to 16 percent (College Board Advocacy & Policy Center, 2010)

Supporting Quotes for Education is as simple as Click, Quote and Support. Participants can take part:
Online – visit www.Allstate.com/quotesforeducation
Mobile – text “ALLSTATE” to 89074
Phone – call Allstate at 1-866-998-2188
Quote: Receive an auto insurance quote from Allstate between August 15 and September 30, 2010.
Support: For each auto insurance quote provided during the Quotes for Education campaign, Allstate will donate $5 to the UNCF up to $100,000.

“We are grateful for Allstate’s commitment to education,” said Michael Lomax, Ph.D., UNCF president and CEO. “The young people whose college studies will be supported by Allstate’s Quotes for Education program are students today, but tomorrow they are the teachers, doctors, scientists, public servants—and insurance agents—who will lead our communities and our country.”

Comedian, Radio Personality and Best Selling Author Steve Harvey To Host 8th Annual Hoodie Awards with First-Ever Live Webcast

Live Stream Gives Fans the Full Star-Studded Experience of the 8th Annual Awards Show Honoring Community Businesses and Leaders
LAS VEGAS, NV (August 23, 2010) – On Saturday, August 28, 2010 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, multi-faceted entertainer Steve Harvey will host the 8th Annual Ford Hoodie Awards honoring community businesses and leaders. Along with Harvey, a bevy of stars will give out Hoodie Awards to the winning men and women in 12 categories, in recognition of the everyday efforts and strides that the stars of our neighborhoods make in their cities and towns.

Already a sold-out event, The Ford Hoodie Awards is the centerpiece of a packed weekend of blowout celeb-filled entertainment for a great purpose. For the first time, Harvey will broadcast the show live on http://www.steveharvey.com/ for fans who can’t make it to Vegas, to experience the full star-studded awards. In a first-ever live webcast sponsored by The Nielsen Company, the 2010 Ford Hoodie Awards will be produced and live-streamed using the lightweight, small portable live production system from NewTek TriCaster™, the worldwide leader in portable live production. Fans all over the world will be able to sit in on the festivities as they unfold live, enjoy Steve Harvey’s classic humor, celebrate their favorite stars, and see which of their favorite neighborhood honorees take home awards in a night always filled with unforgettable moments. In addition, viewers will be able to see interesting and fun data from the Nielsen Company that relate to the award categories being presented.

Running August 27th – 30th, the weekend will also include live broadcasts of the top-rated Steve Harvey Morning Show, musical performances from hit R&B/soul stars, inspiring and informative seminars, a charity golf tournament and charity beach party benefiting the Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend for Young Men, and more.

Among the luminaries joining Harvey for this year’s awards show will be Sherri Shepherd, Fantasia, Angie Stone, Dwele, Michael Clarke Duncan, Holly Robinson Peete, Victoria Rowell, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, Antonia “Toya” Carter, David “Mr. Brown” Mann, Tamela Mann, George Wallace, and more. In the photo are Steve Harvey with his wife Marjorie at the 2009 Hoodie Awards.

In addition to presenting sponsor Ford, the 2010 Hoodie Awards are being made possible with the gracious support of Glory Foods, Hillshire Farm, The Home Depot, Kodak, Wells Fargo, Budget Rent-A-Car, the National Education Association, Outback Steakhouse, 5-hour Energy, Prudential, State Farm Insurance, Optimum Care/Magic Shave, AT&T, Burger King and The Nielsen Company.

Log onto www.SteveHarvey.com for up-to-the-minute news or more information about the 2010 Ford Hoodie Awards, and don’t forget to catch the 2010 Ford Hoodie Awards on Saturday, August 28th, live-streaming at 7:30 pm PT/10:30 pm EST on www.SteveHarvey.com!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Weekend Reading

New on BlackEnterprise.com: Choosing A Board for Your Nonprofit

Our Dallas contributor Froswa' Booker-Drew provides 5 great tips for choosing a strong, viable board of directors for your nonprofit organization on the website's new column, the Nonprofit Insider. Read it HERE. Thinking about starting a nonprofit? Read my column for Black Enterprise HERE, 4 Things to Do Before You Start A Charity.

New Report Reveals 47% Graduation Rate for Black Males

This week, the Schott Foundation released its latest biennial report on Black males and public education. The report shows that out of 50 states, half have graduation rates for Black male students below the national average. In addition to a national summary and detailed state-by-state data, the report highlights the success of New Jersey's Abbott plan, which demonstrates that when equitable resources are available to all students, systemic change at the state level can yield significant results.

The report's findings include:

The five worst performing districts with large Black male student enrollment are New York City, N.Y. (28%); Philadelphia, Pa. (28%); Broward County, Fla. (39%); Chicago, Ill. (44%) and Nashville, Tenn. (47%).

The states with Black male student enrollment exceeding 100,000 that have the highest graduation rates for Black male students are New Jersey (69%), Maryland (55%), California (54%) and Pennsylvania (53%).

The districts with Black male student enrollment exceeding 10,000 that have highest graduation rates for Black male students are Newark, N.J. (76%); Fort Bend, Texas (68%); Baltimore County, Md. (67%) and Montgomery County, Md. (65%).

“Taken together, the numbers in the Schott Foundation for Public Education's report form a nightmarish picture--one that is all the more frightening for being both true and long-standing,” said Geoffrey Canada, President and CEO of the Harlem Children's Zone, who provided the foreword in the report. Read the report at http://www.blackboysreport.org/.

Young Professionals and African American Museums: Where Are They?

The Heritage Salon takes a look at young black professionals and their involvement with African American museums. Jada Wright-Greene shares, "When I think back to my experiences with museums and observing the demographic of visitors that attended museums regularly, I didn’t observe many young people or young professionals patronizing these institutions." Today, there are many groups of young people raising funds and awareness of our nation's most prestigious museums, but where are the young black professionals raising funds for our black museums? Read the article HERE.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sphinx Organization Presents The Next Generation Of Classical Musicians

By BlackGivesBack NY contributor Akira Barclay

Bloomberg and the Sphinx Organization launched the campaign for 'Sphinx Laureates at Carnegie Hall' on Thursday, July 29th with an elegant reception hosted by event chair, Actor/Director Delroy Lindo. Guests had the opportunity to learn more about The Sphinx Organization, a non-profit arts and youth development organization dedicated to building diversity in classical music and experience a brilliant virtuoso performance by 13 year old violinist Randall Goosby, winner in the 2010 Sphinx Competition.

The event was hosted by Bloomberg, long time partner of the Sphinx Organization and co-presenters of this year’s 2010 Sphinx Laureates at Carnegie Hall. Co-presented by entrepreneur and philanthropist Sheila C. Johnson, the blockbuster event will take place on October 5, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium. The concert will feature the critically acclaimed all Black and Latino Sphinx Chamber Orchestra and soloists from the Sphinx Competition for young Black and Latino string players. Last year's inspiring concert sold out to an audience of nearly 3,000 and was critically acclaimed by Allan Kozinn of The New York Times.

In addition to Bloomberg, Ms. Johnson and Mr. Lindo, the event has received leadership support from Sphinx sponsors Sander Buchman and Norma K. Buchman, James M. and Jaclyn P. Fox, Carl and Charlene Herstein, John Morning, Nordstrom, Inc., William F. Pickard, Detroit, Michigan; Victoria Hull Sharp, Paul and Kathy Weaver, and actress/singer Vanessa Williams.

The concert directly promotes Sphinx’s mission to build diversity in classical music on stage, in the audience, and through the performance of works by composers of color. The Sphinx mission is one that resonates deeply with Lindo who declared, “Our goal is to increase the support for these young musicians, who are truly changing the face of classical music.”

Violinist Randall Goosby, winner in the 2010 Sphinx Competition, with actor/director Delroy Lindo at the Sphinx Organization's reception for the Sphinx Laureates at Carnegie Hall event on Thursday, July 29th in New York City.

Tickets for the Sphinx Laureates at Carnegie Hall are available at http://www.sphinxmusic.org/carnegie/.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Celebrity Philanthropy: Monique Coleman & Anthony Hamilton

Monique Coleman, star of the High School Musical films, was recently invited to speak at the United Nations for International Year of the Youth as part of Monique's promotional visit to garner global awareness of her movement, 'Gimme Mo'.

GimmeMo' is an online talk show hosted by Monique launching on September 8th with the intention of empowering today's youth. She will facilitate conversations about real issues, bringing awareness to organizations that are serving teens, and conducting celebrity interviews.

Monique stated at the UN, “In 2010, it’s hard to believe that many parts of the world live on just a few dollars a day; that in America, the land of opportunity, the high school drop-out rates are at an all time high. Or that in certain countries, girls are being forced to become women far before they are ready. From global warming to human trafficking, earthquakes to corporate disaster, there is no shortage of world issues for us to be aware of. As future leaders it’s imperative that we open our eyes to our brothers and sisters all over the world and help solve problems down the street as well as across the sea.”

Visit the website at http://www.gimmemo.com/.

National CASA Association Announces Partnership with GRAMMY® Award-Winning R&B Recording Artist Anthony Hamilton

New CASA Radio PSA Launched During Hamilton’s National Summer Concert Tour to Help Recruit African American Male Volunteers

SEATTLE, August 16, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — The National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association announced today that GRAMMY Award-winning R&B recording artist Anthony Hamilton will serve as a national spokesman for the organization.

Through the use of a :30 PSA, Hamilton will work diligently to recruit African American male volunteers for the national nonprofit organization. He will also represent CASA at national child welfare conferences and events around the country to raise awareness of the growing number of African American children in the foster care system.

David Soukup, a Seattle Superior Court Judge, developed the CASA concept in 1977, after becoming concerned about making decisions on behalf of abused and neglected children without enough information. He conceived the idea of appointing community volunteers to speak up for the best interests of these children in court.

Today, there are more than 70,000 CASA volunteers who advocate for more than 230,000 children in the foster care system. These caring adults serve as fact-finders for judges by thoroughly researching the background of assigned cases and ensuring that they are brought to a swift and appropriate conclusion. In the United States, more than 152,000 African American children are in the child welfare system, with boys representing more than half of the children in foster care; yet there are only 8,400 African American CASA volunteers.

“We are honored and excited that Anthony Hamilton will serve as one of our national spokesmen,” stated Michael Piraino, chief executive officer of the National CASA Association. “His passion and dedication for children will go a long way to help us recruit much needed African American male volunteers.”

Hamilton will work alongside Judge Glenda Hatchett, who has been a national spokeswoman for CASA for the past seven years, to raise awareness of the organization and to recruit volunteers.

“Our boys need positive role models,” noted Hamilton. “Becoming a part of CASA will provide me with an opportunity to reach out to those men who can become everyday heroes to these children, and help change their life of hurt, into one of hope.”

For additional information about becoming a CASA volunteer, call toll free (800) 628-3233 or visit www.CASAforChildren.org.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Public Relations Agency Launches New Division for Nonprofit Organizations

The Garner Circle PR Launches the Creative Closet Pop Up Agency Division

Creating exposure opportunities for non-profit organizations

By BlackGivesBack Atlanta contributor Lisa Brathwaite

Attention nonprofit organizations: Here’s your chance to receive pro-bono PR services from a leading public relations firm. The Garner Circle, a public relations, lifestyle marketing and event execution agency headquartered in Atlanta with offices in New York and Los Angeles, is offering this highly coveted opportunity. Founded by Nicole Garner, the firm recently celebrated its five year anniversary. Its newly created company division, The [CREATIVE CLOSET], will provide pro-bono PR and publicity services for one competively selected nonprofit organization.

While The Garner Circle has served as the PR agency of choice for celebrities like Ne-Yo, Ciara, Kim Porter, Bilal, Janelle Monae, Young Jeezy, Keri Hilson and Chrisette Michelle, their roster of non-profit clients include the I Am Atlanta Campaign, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes Foundation, Shandon Anderson Foundation, Gidewon Foundation, Double Take Makeover, AIDS Atlanta, Show Me The Way Foundation, and Strike 4 A Cure.

Read on to learn more and how to apply:

Via Press Release: In the fall of 2010, The Garner Circle Headquarter's [CREATIVE CLOSET] division will open the doors to their “pop up agency” concept. The agency will grant one deserving non- profit, that can benefit from the industries of fashion/beauty, the opportunity to receive pro-bono PR and publicity services for their organization or community cause. The agency’s “new talent” will seek out non- profits who are making a difference but may not have the resources or the voice to get their efforts heard. The [CREATIVE CLOSET] Pop Up Agency non-profit submission process launches today, visit www.TheGarnerCircle.com/Creative.

“It is our due diligence to serve as a corporate neighbor in the industries that we serve, and the pop up agency concept will allow us to give back, utilizing our resources and expertise in a truly meaningful capacity,” states The Garner Circle PR founder Nicole Garner. Non-profits who satisfy stated requirements will be invited to a “Go See” atmosphere where they will present their organization’s event, campaign or cause idea to the agency. Although only one organization will be selected, all non-profits will be analyzed on-site and given PR advice and suggestions. Social media will play a large role in this concept, as the entire pop up agency experience will be captured through live blogging, Twitter feeds, real-time Flickr photos, Facebook applications, live streaming, YouTube videos as well as traditional media vehicles.

Once a non-profit is selected, the team will develop a PR campaign, ranging from the development of PR content to digital/ non - traditional methods. Work will culminate on a national platform and pull in a plethora of national partnering entities. “The pop up store concept has been made very popular by massive brands such as Target, as an agency we wanted to continue this innovation in the service industry,” states Garner.

For requirements and to apply, visit www.TheGarnerCircle.com/Creative (application HERE) or join the conversation on Twitter at #CreativeCloset / @TheGarnerCircle. The application deadline is August 30, 2010.

About The Creative Closet: The [Creative Closet] serves as a three part creative division of The Garner Circle PR. Headquartered in Trump Towers (Atlanta), the division will house showroom access for the agency's fashion and beauty clientele, an idea incubator, and serve as the central location for the Pop Up Agency. For more information visit www.TheGarnerCircle.com/creative.

Black Enterprise Celebrates 40 Years, Launches the 'Nonprofit Insider'

Nation's Premier African American Business Resource Celebrates 40 Years & BlackGivesBack Contributes to BlackEnterprise.com's New Online Feature, the 'Nonprofit Insider'
For the past 40 years, Black Enterprise magazine has been the premier business, investing, and wealth-building resource for African Americans. Providing essential business information and advice to professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and decision makers, the media empire reaches 4 million readers every month.

Black Enterprise, along with Pepsi, will observe the magazine's 40th anniversary this Labor Day weekend in conjunction with the Black Enterprise/Pepsi Golf & Tennis Challenge, being held September 2–5 at the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, CA. The highly anticipated event is expected to bring together past and present business luminaries for a once in a lifetime celebration of black business success. Guests will be ushered though 40 years of history BLACK ENTERPRISE style with four exclusive nights of festivities and entertainment from the 1970s to 2010. On Sunday, Sept. 5, the NEXT 40 Gala caps off the 40th Anniversary with today's business elite honoring tomorrow's headline makers. For more information call 800-209-7229 or visit www.blackenterprise.com/gt.

The Nonprofit Insider: BlackGivesBack Contributes to New Feature on BlackEnterprise.com
In addition to its magazine, BE produces television programming, business and lifestyle events, Web content, and digital media.

New to BlackEnterprise.com is the 'Nonprofit Insider,' an online feature highlighting the nonprofit sector geared towards those who work for, donate to and run nonprofit organizations. I was honored to be asked to write the first feature, '4 Things To Do Before You Start A Charity.' View my article HERE and be sure to bookmark the feature for words of wisdom, resources and best practices from today's African American nonprofit professionals.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Washington Redskins Chris Draft Encourages Literacy, Healthy Living for Families Through First Children’s Book

Chris Draft signs copies of his new book, Do You Want to Play Catch? at the Washington Redskins Store on August 8, 2010 in Dulles, Virginia.

WASHINGTON D.C. – Washington Redskins Chris Draft is inspiring youth, one children’s book at a time. On Sunday, August 8, 2010, following the Washington Redskin’s Fan Appreciation Day activities, Draft announced the publication of his new inspirational children’s book, Do You Want to Play Catch?
In Do You Want to Play Catch?, the 13-year NFL veteran and linebacker shares his story of how a simple game of "catch" can teach valuable lessons and build relationships. Draft, who started the Chris Draft Family Foundation in 2006, has focused on developing programmatic initiatives to encourage healthy lifestyles, literacy and character building. “It all starts at home,” added Draft. “If we are going to make a difference in the lives of people, change has to start first in the home. This book encourages parents to read with their child and to engage in a daily physical activity such as catch. Do You Want to Play Catch? is more than the title of my book, it’s a challenge to parents and kids to reconnect in a new and exciting way.”

The vivid, youthful illustrations and heartwarming story of Do You Want to Play Catch? is designed to inspire families to get out and 'play catch' with the goal to strengthen a family’s bond while encouraging healthy physical activity.

“Whether it’s playing football or softball, it’s all about spending quality family time and staying active together. Growing up, my mom, dad, brother and I constantly engaged in activity throughout the year. I wrote this book to inspire families to play an active role in each other’s lives and to stay physically active in the process.”

Draft hosted a special book signing at the Dulles Town Center Mall to announce the availability of the book, which is available at Washington Redskins official stores. Proceeds from book sales will support the Chris Draft Family Foundation’s literacy programs and initiatives. To find out more about the Chris Draft Family Foundation, visit http://www.chrisdraftfamilyfoundation.org/.

About the Chris Draft Family FoundationThe mission of the Chris Draft Family Foundation is to strengthen communities by empowering families to live healthy lifestyles. The Foundation focuses on seven primary initiatives with overarching themes that stress the importance of education, healthy lifestyles, character development, personal responsibility, self-discipline and physical fitness.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Photos of the Day

President William Jefferson Clinton and Founder of Usher's New Look, Usher Raymond IV, pose with New Look members at the New Look Foundation's First Annual World Leadership Awards at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on August 6, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.

United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan; Associate Director, White House Office of Public Engagement and Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy, Kareem Dale; and Actor Quinton Aaron speak during the "Let's Read. Let's Move" event at the Education Department on July 30, 2010 in Washington, D.C.

Laila Ali, actresses Wendy Davis, Monique Coleman and Garcelle Beauvais; television personality Shaun Robinson, founder of In a Perfect World Manuela Testolini, actress Niecy Nash; Jodie Blum, President of Image of Change (see previous post on Jodie HERE) and actress Pauletta Washington attend the "I Am Perfect - Exactly As I Am" event at SLS Hotel on August 6, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California. The informal brunch, hosted by Shaun Robinson and Manuela Testolini, celebrated a notable group of exceptional teenage girls. {Related post: Exactly As I Am: Journalist Shaun Robinson Authors Book for Today's Girls, view HERE.}
R&B singer Musiq Soulchild (right) talks with reporter Cinque Muhammad about the violence among youth in Chicago at a townhall meeting, during a concert tour stop in June. He shared, "I think that recording artists are convinced that they need an organization established or a charity or nonprofit foundation. And that's really cool because it motivates and gathers resources...I don't have a nonprofit organization or a foundation. I don't have a charity per se, at least not officially. I just do things in the spirit of giving back." Read the article HERE.

President of ESSENCE Communications Michelle Ebanks and supermodel Iman celebrate ESSENCE magazine's 40th anniversary at the New York Stock Exchange on August 5, 2010 in New York City.

Photos: Wireimage

Safeway Names Senior Vice President in Charge of Government Relations and Philanthropy

Former Government Relations Group VP to Head Public Affairs, Corporate Social Responsibility Efforts and Giving

Via Black PR Wire: (August 3, 2010) PLEASANTON, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY) today announced that it has appointed 16-year veteran Jonathan Mayes to Senior Vice President of Government Relations, Public Affairs, Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy.

"Jonathan is an exceptional leader and has successfully represented the company and its stakeholders in his role as our key Government Affairs person," said Larree Renda, Executive Vice President, Chief Strategist and Administrative Officer. "Certainly he will bring the same level of excellence and commitment to these other functions that interact on a daily basis with our customers and communities."

Mayes, 52, joined Safeway in 1994 as a Senior Attorney focused on employment law, business litigation, and consumer protection matters. In 1996, he joined the company’s Government Relations team as a director and was promoted to Vice President of that function in 1999. In 2008, Mayes was named Group Vice President of Government Relations in charge of the team of professionals that focus on local, state and federal government matters in the geographies in which Safeway operates in the United States and Canada.

Before joining Safeway, Mayes was Senior Corporate Counsel for Lucky Stores, and an attorney at Donahue Gallagher Woods LLP. He is on the Executive Committee and Board of the California Grocers Association, and a member of the Board of Directors of the California Retailers Association. He formerly has served as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Warner Pacific College; Chairman of the Board of Law Center For Families; President of the Charles Houston Bar Association; Chairman of the Food Marketing Institute Government Relations Committee; Chairman of the California Grocers Association Government Relations Committee; and board member of Bay Farm Community Church where he currently serves as Music Director. He has been honored by both the Bay Area Minority Bar Coalition and the Charles Houston Bar Association for his exemplary service to the legal community.

Mayes received his Juris Doctorate degree from Willamette University College of Law, in Salem, Oregon.

ABOUT SAFEWAY (http://www.safeway.com/)
Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America, based on sales. The company operates 1,712 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $40.8 billion in 2009. The company’s common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY.

Photo source: Business Wire

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Goapele, Common, De La Soul, Mick Boogie and more perform at ONE MusicFest, benefiting the James Brown Family Children Foundation

By BlackGivesBack Atlanta contributor Lisa Brathwaite

Progressive spectators indulged in an array of styles and sounds at ONE MusicFest, the first annual indoor/outdoor live concert experience on the campus of Atlanta’s King Plow Arts Center on Saturday, July 31. Sponsored by MINI, a diverse selection of creative artists, musicians and nationally acclaimed performers Common, Goapele, De La Soul, and Mick Boogie came together to celebrate unity through real music and hip hop, soul and rock and roll expression. A portion of the concert’s proceeds benefited the Brown Family Children Foundation, the philanthropic partner of the event.

“The Foundation’s premise is about keeping and giving back music to the schools. As we know, the arts programs are always the first to go, and Dad felt very strongly about making sure kids got real instruments in their hands to learn and play,” said Dr. Yamma Brown, Vice President of the Brown Family Children Foundation and daughter of the legendary James Brown. “So we’re partnering with schools and trying to stay rooted in the community, particularly the underprivileged communities, because that’s where Dad would have gone. We want to make sure that we stress that in our programs, so that legacy of him is the focal point.”

“For me, giving back is telling the truth and staying true to who I am. It doesn’t always mean being political, it just means being who I am as an artist, as a woman, as a writer,” said singer/songwriter Goapele, acknowledging that participating in events such as the ONE MusicFest gives her an opportunity to support local organizations like the Brown Family Children Foundation, in addition to global causes in which she’s involved. Claiming South Africa as one of her communities, she’s gone back to her roots for a project she’s doing with artists from the Diaspora, as evidenced by her recently released World Cup 2010 celebratory recording, “Victory,” featuring Hip Hop Pantsula (listen HERE).

The Foundation received a special recognition presentation during the ONE MusicFest, and a designated area served as a drop-off spot for its current initiative of musical instrument donations for students in the city of Atlanta.

For more information on the evolving work of the James Brown Family Children Foundation, visit http://www.jamesbrownfamilyfdn.org/.

Dr. Yamma Brown, Vice-President, Brown Family Children Foundation

Photo Credit: Alex Johnson III Photography, ajiii3@aol.com

MSNBC and Ebony Magazine Partner for Education

NEW YORK—July 28, 2010—MSNBC and Ebony Magazine are partnering up in August to put education issues in the forefront of the nation’s spotlight. Beginning August 9, MSNBC will feature twice-daily segments focusing on a variety of pertinent education issues, including the central challenges facing our public school systems today, the benefits of charter schools versus traditional public schools and how to improve the quality of our school systems on a national level.

The partnership will culminate in a two-hour education special, “Making The Grade,” which will air on MSNBC on Sunday, August 15, beginning at noon ET. The special will ask the tough questions about the state of our nation’s education systems and will celebrate education methods that have a proven track record of making a positive difference for students and educators. MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall will host the special discussion, which will include participation from actor/activist Hill Harper and other widely known figures in the Black community.

On Wednesday, August 11, Tamron Hall will moderate the Ebony Education Roundtable, an education summit hosted by the University of Chicago and Johnson Publishing Company. MSNBC will air portions of the roundtable discussion during “Making The Grade” on Sunday, and the full roundtable will be available for live viewing on Ebony.com., MSNBC.com, Ebony.com and TheGrio.com will also feature education-related editorial content on their respective sites.

MSNBC and Ebony’s education partnership comes as a precursor to MSNBC's participation in Education Nation, a weeklong event beginning September 26th across all NBC News platforms. Education Nation will include a two-day education summit and special in-depth coverage of education issues on NBC News, MSNBC, msnbc.com and the NBC stations.

“Education is the foundation upon which to build a better you, better communities and a better world for all of us,” said Yvette Miley, Executive Editor of MSNBC. “We hope that MSNBC’s participation will help move the conversation forward. We owe it to our children and ourselves.”

Source: MSNBC

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

John Legend and Swizz Beatz Team Up to Raise Funds for Arts Education for New York City Youth

By BlackGivesBack NY contributor Akira Barclay

On Saturday, July 24, at the RUSH Philanthropic Arts Foundation’s star-studded Art for Life fundraiser in East Hampton, NY, R&B crooner John Legend and Honoree Kaseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean teamed up to announce an incredible donation. The two acclaimed recording artists are auctioning off the opportunity for two fans to join them both in-studio for an intimate recording session to raise funds for arts education.

The auction is live on charitybuzz, the leading destination for online charity auctions, now through August 18th. The auction package is estimated to be worth in excess of $50,000. Visit: http://www.charitybuzz.com/catalog_items/209176 to place your bid.

About Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation

Founded in 1995 by brothers Russell, Danny and Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, a 501 (C ) 3 organization, is dedicated to providing disadvantaged urban youth with significant arts exposure, access, and education as well as providing exhibition opportunities to early and mid-career artists and artists of color.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

African American Non Profit Executives Celebrated in 2010 Power & Influence Top 50 List

For the 13th year, the Non Profit Times (NPT), the leading business publication for nonprofit management, celebrates the nonprofit sector’s top executives and thinkers in their annual Power & Influence Top 50 listing of the most influential executives for the past twelve months. Among the African American nonprofit executives included on the distinguished list is Laysha Ward, President of the Target Foundation, pictured above. The NPT states, “Ward is the epitome of a corporate foundation executive. Forget that the foundation gives away millions every week. She is out in the field making sure the dollars have an impact and is not shy about providing advice to CEOs of both small and name-brand charities. Her strategic funding has made a difference in sector policy and national service issues.”

Let’s learn more about the honorees of the Class of 2010:

Cheryl Dorsey, President, Echoing Green Foundation, previously featured HERE.

Via NPT: “While training to be a pediatrician at Harvard Medical School, she received an Echoing Green fellowship; now she runs the joint. A rock star when it comes to helping social entrepreneurs find seed funding and technical support, Dorsey also has the ear of the White House for philanthropy and service.” Photo: Echoing Green

Helene D. Gayle, President & CEO, Care USA

“A world-renowned epidemiologist, she could have made a boatload of money after leaving the Centers for Disease Control by going to work in bio-tech. She decided to be a change agent and take the lead shaping world policy on HIV/AIDS, healthcare in the developing world and how nonprofits should approach issues as social entrepreneurs.”

Also included on the list are Emmett Carson, President & CEO, Silicon Valley Community Foundation; Israel L. Gaither, National Commander, Salvation Army; Benjamin Jealous, President & CEO, NAACP; Katrina McGhee, Senior VP, Global Business Development & Partnerships, Susan G. Komen for the Cure; A. Barry Rand, CEO, AARP; Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, President & CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and Blair H. Taylor, President & CEO, Los Angeles Urban League.

The Honorees will be celebrated for their work next month at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

To learn more about all of the 50 honorees, visit HERE.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Diversity Affluence Honors Fashion Industry Leaders at Second Brunch in Series Presented by Jaguar

Event Honored Bethann Hardison, Fern Mallis and Edward Wilkerson in Recognition of their Achievements and Contributions to Advancing Diversity in Fashion

By BlackGivesBack NY contributor Akira Barclay

Diversity Affluence, the New York-based consultancy specializing in marketing communication, research and business development hosted the second Leaders, Achievers & Pioneers Brunch Series™ on July 25 honoring groundbreaking former model BethAnn Hardison, owner of Bethann Management; Fern Mallis, president of Fern Mallis LLC, founder of New York Fashion Week and former president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA); Brian Reyes, Colombian-American fashion designer; and Edward Wilkerson, the accomplished design director of Lafayette 148. Katherine Creag of WNYW-TV’s “Good Day New York,” hosted the event. Pictured above are honorees Bethann Hardison, Fern Mallis and Edward Wilkerson.

The brunch series, presented by Jaguar to herald the new 2011 Jaguar XJ, celebrates individuals who have achieved success and advanced the diversity agenda in America. The first event, held on July 11th, honored individuals from media and entertainment. In addition to an awards presentation in which honorees received a personalized crystal award from Diversity Affluence and Jaguar, honorees were chauffeured to and from the event in the new Jaguar XJ. All guests had the opportunity to enjoy a test ride by driving the 2011 Jaguar XJ and 2011 XK along East Quogue’s scenic Dune Road.

Jaguar’s Leah Watkins-Hall; Andrea Hoffman, President and CEO, Diversity Affluence; Honoree Edward Wilkerson, design director, Lafayette 148; Jaguar’s Connie Cunningham; attorney Bernie Jackson, Diversity Affluence

Event Host Katherine Creag, reporter, FOX-5; Andrea Hoffman; Honoree Fern Mallis, founder, New York Fashion Week and owner, Fern Mallis LLC

VOSS, artesian water from Norway, is being offered exclusively at the events which are inspired by the highly-touted book, Black Is The New Green: Marketing to Affluent African Americans, co-written by Diversity Affluence Founder Andrea Hoffman with Len Burnett. The brunch series is planned in collaboration with global public relations agency, Ruder Finn, Inc., Bernie Jackson for Diversity Affluence and a stellar Planning Committee including:

BJ Coleman, Coleman Entertainment Group
Keenan Davis, Deputy Director, The New York Times
Dr. Erika Faust, Owner of Elite Orthodontics
Latoya Henry, Marketing and PR Expert
Diana Hilson, Integrated Marketing Manager, Black Enterprise
Princess Keisha Omilana, Model, Actress, Philanthropist
Cookie Patten, Event Producer and Business Consultant
Pamela Pickens, Co-Founder of UrbanAdServe
Nkrumah Pierre, PLG Consulting Group
Jocelyn Taylor, JRT Multimedia LLC
Troy White, Founder, Whytehouse Marketing

The third event in the series will be held Sunday, August 22nd honoring non-profit and philanthropic leaders.