Thursday, December 30, 2010

The 4th Annual Top Ten Black Celebrity Philanthropists of 2010

The votes are in! Here are your picks for favorite celebrity philanthropists of 2010!


Your top pick for 2010 is Antwan “Big Boi” Patton, one half of the Grammy award winning hip hop group Outkast. Big Boi’s philanthropic vision led him to create the Big Kidz Foundation in 2006 to help support and nurture youth through a variety of cultural experiences. The foundation’s activities this year has supported educational projects and has worked with schools in the metro Atlanta area. A reader shared, “My child attends South Cobb High School and Big Boi's Foundation is the BEST!” In October of this year, Big Boi participated in the Get Schooled National Challenge & Tour (pictured above), an initiative designed to engage and empower more Americans to step up for education.

Big Boi’s charitable activities also supported those in Haiti, after the country suffered a devastating earthquake this year. Jennifer Lester, the foundation’s executive director stated, “The Big Kidz Foundation primarily focuses on youth development in Georgia, but we felt compelled to support a country where children make up 50% of the population leaving more than 2 million children affected.” Big Boi along with many other celebrities, community leaders, and businesses called on the Atlanta community to open their hearts and wallets, helping to raise $1 million to support Atlanta Cares for Haiti.

Related post: Big Boi’s Big Kidz Foundation Hosts 5th Annual Art of Life Canvas for Kidz Celebrity Art Auction & Experience


Vonnie Holliday and NFL Hall of Famer Harry Carson at an event held earlier this year at Saks Fifth Avenue in Atlanta, GA to benefit the Chandria Rouse Kent Brain Tumor Fund.
“Vonnie Holliday is always going the extra mile to help in his community as well as giving donations to help worthy causes! He is more than a philanthropist, he is a blessing!”

In 2008, Washington Redskins defensive end Vonnie Holliday lost his sister-in-law to brain cancer. Chandria Kent’s five year battle inspired the football player to donate time and money to research and a cure for the disease. As a result, Holliday and his family established The Chandria Rouse Kent Brain Tumor Fund at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.

In June, Vonnie partnered with retailer Saks Fifth Avenue in Atlanta to host an event that raised $10,000 to benefit the fund. Vonnie shared, “Before my sister-in-law received the brain tumor diagnosis, I didn’t personally know anyone who has suffered or died from brain cancer. After you watch someone you love suffer with the disease, you learn a lot. I want to make sure people are aware of the disease because it is one that is rarely talked about in the news media.”
See related post HERE.

Pauletta and Denzel Washington arrive at the 10th Annual Harold Pump Foundation Gala on August 12, 2010 in Century City, California.
The Washington's contributions in several areas has been very remarkable.” Ronald- Copenhagen, Denmark

In June, this philanthropic couple presented two neuroscience scholarship awards in their name at the 7th annual Pauletta and Denzel Washington Family Gifted Scholars Program in Neuroscience Awards at a public charter school in Harlem, New York. The Washingtons, being strong believers in the value of family and the empowerment of education, donated $1 million dollars in support of Steve Harvey's foundation and its mentoring activities for young men.

Academy Award winner Denzel Washington accepts an award from Steve Harvey at the NY gala benefiting The Steve Harvey Foundation at Cipriani, Wall Street on May 3, 2010 in New York City.

Actor Denzel Washington speaks at a Boys and Girls Clubs of America news conference on increasing high school graduation rates on September 15, 2010 in Washington, DC. The organization announced a plan to refocus its program strategy toward ensuring its members graduate from high school on time.

Denzel has been a staunch advocate for education, having recently been profiled in Parade magazine highlighting the work of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America - and serving as their national spokesperson for the past 18 years. He credits the organization for keeping him out of trouble. He states, "Our children today are going where we lead them. We have a national crisis on our hands, but if every one of us gets involved, we can make a difference."

Singer Mary J. Blige performs at the BET SOS Saving Ourselves - Help for Haiti benefit concert and telethon at AmericanAirlines Arena on February 5, 2010 in Miami, Florida.
Mary J. Blige gives back from the heart.” Katrina - Birmingham, AL

Grammy-award winning singer Mary J. Blige has been busy this year - giving back. Making the list for the 3rd year in a row (two times at the top spot), Mary's charitable foundation FFAWN (The Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now) has partnered with NASA to promote science among girls, adopted an all girls public high school in the Bronx providing mentorship and college scholarships, collaborated with fashion designer Catherine Malandrino on charity tees, and debuted her new fragrance 'My Life' on HSN that broke fragrance records for units sold. HSN Cares, the philanthropic arm for HSN, donated $1 from each bottle sold.

Mary J. Blige (center) attends BET's Rap-It-Up & FFAWN Foundation's celebrity health forum at the Women’s Academy of Excellence on February 9, 2010 in New York City.

As a result of her many philanthropic efforts, Mary was honored by Spelman College at its inaugural BLUE benefit gala in September, for her positive influence on the next generation of dynamic women leaders.

Related post: The New York Women’s Foundation’s 2010 Celebrating Women® Breakfast

Aoki Lee Simmons, Russell Simmons and Ming Lee Simmons attend the 11th annual Art For Life benefit party at Russell Simmons' East Hampton Estate on July 24, 2010 in East Hampton, New York.

“Russell has the most innovative charities under his belt, what is it like 100 of them by now.. :) Second he reaches not only US residents but world wide.. big up Russell”
This past summer Russell hosted his 11th annual Art for Life, a charity gala held in the Hamptons that benefits Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, an organization co-founded by Russell along with his brothers Danny and Rev. Run Simmons. The goal of the foundation is to provide public school students with art education experiences and the empowerment of emerging artists through art exhibition opportunities.

In June, Russell opened his Manhattan penthouse to help raise $250,000 for the Eagle Academy Foundation, which supports three all-male public schools in New York, most of which serve Black and Latino students.

Related post: Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation Partners with Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series
Grammy-award winning singer/songwriter Ne-yo has recently wrapped up his 2010 Giving Tour, a national celebration bringing toys, holiday cheer, and clothing to 3,000 foster and formerly homeless youth in Las Vegas, New York, Atlanta and Los Angeles.

Ne-Yo (center), Denise Rich (right) and other members of the Compound Foundation board of directors attend A Night of Redemption Hosted by Ne-Yo, Denise Rich, and the Compound Foundation on September 20, 2010 in New York City.

Ne-yo's Compound Foundation was founded in 2007 and aims to increase awareness about the status of children in the nation's child welfare systems. For more information, visit

Related post: Ne-yo's Compound Foundation Hosts 3rd Annual Celebration of Mothers


Alicia Keys speaks during Keep A Child Alive's 7th annual Black Ball at Hammerstein Ballroom on September 30, 2010 in New York City.
On World AIDS Day, Alicia along with her celebrity friends staged a "virtual death" from social media, in an effort to raise $1 million in support of Keep A Child Alive, an organization she co-founded that provides life saving treatment and care to those affected by HIV/AIDS, and provides support to orphans and other family member impacted by the disease.

Since 2004, the organization has raised over 10 million from its annual Black Ball fundraiser gala. This year, the gala raised 2.2 million, and featured performances from Jay-Z, Janelle Monae and Sade. View a snippet of Alicia and Sade's performance of 'Stronger Than Pride' and other highlights HERE.

The second charitable couple on our list, the Mournings have been enriching the lives of Miami's youth since 1997.

This past summer, Alonzo along with NBA star Dwyane Wade hosted the 14th annual Summer Groove, that benefited Alonzo Mourning Charities and Wade's World Foundation. The five-day event featured golf, comedy, a concert, benefit dinner, youth summit, youth basketball clinic and sports conference, a free block party, an all-star basketball game and numerous exclusive functions.

A program of Alonzo Mourning Charities is the Honey Shine Mentoring program, founded by Tracy Mourning. In March, the organization partnered with the House of Dereon and Neiman Marcus in Bal Harbor, Florida for an exclusive fashion show for the program's Honey Bugs participants and prospective mentors. See highlights HERE.

Usher's New Look Trains 600 Youth During Powered By Service Day: CNN anchor Don Lemon and Usher at Powered By Service Day on August 5, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Founded in 1999, the mission of Usher's New Look Foundation mentors youth to use their talents to become community and global leaders. Since 2005, the organization has provided over 118,000 hours of leadership training to 2,200 youth, and has an even bigger goal by 2014 - to engage over 5 million youth in service through its newly launched Powered By Service initiative, an international call to youth service.

Usher receives the Ford Freedom Scholar Award at the 12th Annual Ford Freedom Awards gala held at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History on May 6, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan.

In May, Usher was honored as a Ford Freedom Award Scholar at the 12th Annual Ford Motor Company Freedom Awards gala. Usher stated, “I am truly honored to be named the Ford Freedom Award Scholar and applaud the program for encouraging youth as leaders and entrepreneurs. Young people have the power and ability to create great changes in our communities and the world. It is up to all of us to ensure youth have the support, training, and mentors to make their dreams realities.” For more information on Usher's New Look, visit


Hosea Chanchez (right) with film director Bill Duke at the 2010 Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference Weekend in Washington, DC.
Rounding out the list is actor Hosea Chanchez and his work with youth through his Watch Me Win Foundation. Hosea met with BlackGivesBack earlier this year to talk about his foundation, and his future plans to impact more youth.

Launched this past June, the foundation is dedicated to enriching the lives of urban youth through mentorship, leadership development, encouragement and empowerment. See related post HERE and visit

This is our last post for 2010 and we'd like to thank you for supporting BlackGivesBack! Next year we'll feature more movers and shakers in philanthropy and the non profit sector, announce exciting new projects, introduce new contributors, and continue to highlight charitable events in your city.

Have a Safe, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bay Area Young Professionals Host Holiday Party to Support the Museum of African Diaspora

Courtney Parham, Vanguard Executive Leadership Team; Martin Luther, entertainer; and Michael Orange, Vanguard Executive Leadership Team attend the Vanguard Launch Party to benefit the Museum of African Diaspora on December 4th in Oakland, CA.

By Tokiwa T. Smith
Contributor, San Francisco/ Oakland

On Saturday, December 4th, 2010 at a private estate in Oakland, The Vanguard hosted its Holiday Launch Party. The purpose of this event was to introduce San Francisco Bay Area professionals to The Vanguard, a young professionals group that supports and raises funds for the Museum of African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco. The evening was filled with southern cuisine, art, a silent auction, spoken word performances and a special performance by the Bay Area’s own Martin Luther. The event had over 300 guests and raised approximately $10,000 for MoAD.

MoAD is a San Francisco based nonprofit organization that opened in December 2005. The organization is in the cultural corridor of downtown San Francisco and its neighbors are the San Francisco MoMA, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Zeum, and the Contemporary Jewish Museum. As a dynamic, world class institution, MoAD brings people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds together so they can enjoy, study and appreciate, through enriching exhibitions, public and educational programs, the culture, history and art of people of African descent within the United States and throughout the world. MoAD is uniquely positioned as one of the only Museums in the world focused exclusively on African Diaspora culture and on presenting the rich cultural products of the people of Africa and of African descendant cultures across the globe.

Michael Orange, Katie Allen, Vanguard Advisor; and Franchesa Allen, Vanguard Executive Leadership Team

MoAD Board Member Anna Banks and husband Gregory Hunter, Deputy Director of Redevelopment, City of Oakland

The Vanguard is a young professionals organization dedicated to fostering a long-term commitment to MoAD and making it accessible to a wider audience of young adult and young spirited people. This dynamic group advances MoAD’s mission by hosting a variety of distinctive social, educational, and philanthropic events.

Musician and actor Martin Luther performs.

Young professionals enjoy the party.

Spoken word artist Scorpio Blues (2nd from left) and guests.

Guests enjoyed a southern dinner courtesy of RSVP Catering.

To view more pictures from the event, and for more information on Vanguard membership, visit the blog at You can follow Vanguard on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information about MoAD, visit

Photo credit: Kola Shobo of KSJ Photography

Monday, December 27, 2010

Coca-Cola Foundation Awards $4 Million in 4th Quarter to Support Active Lifestyles, Education and Environmental Programs

The Coca-Cola Foundation Awards Over $19 Million to Communities Across the U.S. and Canada in 2010 -- Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation and NAACP Among 4th Quarter Grantees

ATLANTA – The Coca-Cola Foundation, the philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company, has awarded grants totaling $4 million to 38 organizations across the U.S. and Canada in the fourth quarter of 2010. In line with the Foundation’s commitment to building sustainable communities throughout the U.S. and Canada, this grant funding will help support local initiatives in 11 states, including the District of Columbia and one Canadian province. The grants focus on water conservation, community recycling, active healthy living and education. In 2010, The Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded and paid over $19 million to community programs in the U.S. and Canada.

“At the Foundation, our goal is to make a positive impact by promoting and creating sustainable communities around the world,” said Ingrid Saunders Jones, senior vice president, Global Community Connections (pictured), The Coca-Cola Company and chair of The Coca-Cola Foundation. “The funding provided to these 38 organizations will support community programs that align to our giving priorities across the U.S. and Canada.”

Of the 38 organizations allocated funds, $1 million was put towards promoting and sustaining active healthy living initiatives; $2.2 million was given to support education programs; $400,000 towards promoting water conservation projects; $300,000 was distributed to aid community recycling efforts; and $50,000 was awarded to support local community programs.

Among the organizations receiving funding include:

Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc., New York, NY, $50,000

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Baltimore, MD, $100,000 -- Funding will support five local NAACP chapters by funding Project HELP (Healthy, Eating, Lifestyle Change and Physical Activity), a comprehensive education and community awareness program designed to address healthy eating, physical activity and healthy lifestyle changes.

Soccer in the Streets, Atlanta, GA, $75,000

Atlanta Urban League, Atlanta, GA, $50,000

Fayetteville State University Foundation, Fayetteville, NC, $25,000

Jackie Robinson Foundation, Inc., New York, NY, $100,000

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), New York, NY, $35,000

National Urban Fellows, New York, NY, $40,000

Ron Clark Foundation, Atlanta, GA, $250,000

Southern University at New Orleans Foundation, New Orleans, LA, $25,000

About The Coca-Cola Foundation
Since its inception, The Coca-Cola Foundation has donated more than $355 million to community projects and initiatives across the globe. To learn more about The Coca-Cola Foundation and its community request guidelines, please visit HERE.

Source: Press release/Coca Cola Foundation

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

The holiday season is also known as "the season of giving," as people give of their time and treasure to help those less fortunate. Celebrities such as pop recording artist Akon, hip hop artist Big Boi, Chilli and T-Boz of TLC and others have joined in the season by hosting toy giveaways, fundraisers and more.

(In photo above): For the third year in a row, Akon and the Konfidence Foundation gave back by hosting a toy giveaway to ensure less fortunate children in Metro Atlanta enjoy the holidays. On Monday, December 20, 2010, Akon and his mother Ms. Kine Gueye Thiam, President of the Konfidence Foundation, were on hand to personally distribute 2,000 holiday toys to Atlanta children in need at Cascade Family Skating Rink. Each child received an age appropriate toy to take home.

Additionally, Akon & the Konfidence Foundation teamed up with AG Entertainment’s owners, Alex Gidewon, Simon Gidewon, and The Gidewon Foundation to host the 6th Annual Christmas Holiday for Kids Affair on Monday, December 20th. The Foundations put together an afternoon of skating, games, music, food, and toy giveaways for over 600 less fortunate children living in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Akon was on hand to show support for the children with an autograph signing and handed out soccer balls, footballs and other toys to the children in attendance.

Star Dolphins’ wide receiver Davone Bess delivers toys to inner-city outreach ballet classThe wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins personally collected the gifts during a toy drive he initiated with help from The Miami Foundation after establishing a philanthropic fund with the permanent endowment. “This is just one way we work with our fund holders to give back to the community,” said Emily Gresham, vice president of development for The Miami Foundation.

Recipients of the toys are children enrolled in the Thomas Armour Ballet after-school Morningside Elementary Outreach program. The program provides free ballet classes and equipment to more than 200 children. Funded in part by The Miami Foundation grants, the ballet program works with children to give them the tools they need to advance their education and careers.

AIDS activist and event host Maria Davis, rapper Nas and restaurateur Melba Wilson attend the 2nd annual holiday dinner at Melba’s 125 on December 22, 2010 in New York City. The event served Christmas dinner to families affected by HIV/AIDS.

Composer Qunicy Jones attends the dedication of Quincy Jones Elementary School on December 15, 2010 in his hometown of Los Angeles, California.

On December 11, 2010, Newark, NJ Mayor Cory Booker, Newark Now President LaVar Young, and representatives from private businesses, non-profit organizations, and public agencies teamed up to host the "2010 Brighter Holidays" toy and coat giveaway to help Newark families. This year, New Jersey Nets player Terrence Williams greeted families and the Burlington Coat Factory gave out more than 2,300 coats and clothing for children. “I'm happy to give back to the kids of Newark," said Mr. Williams. "No child should ever be without a toy during the holidays and I hope this helps to put smiles on the children's faces.” Pictured: Thomas Bass, Founder and President of The Bass Foundation, LaVar Young, CEO & President of Newark Now, and NBA Player, Terrence Williams of the NJ Nets.

Vanessa Simmons, Angela Simmons and guests attend the Compound Foundation's Annual Giving Tour at Boys & Girls Club of Atlanta on December 20, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Have you voted for your favorite celebrity philanthropist for 2010? Vote HERE today.
Happy Holidays from all of us at BlackGivesBack! May you have a joyous, safe and peaceful season.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mentoring In the News

Male Mentor Program Launches in Newark, NJ - Expansion Headed to Chicago and Philadelphia

On Saturday, December 18, 2010, in an effort to build the capacity of men from the faith based community willing to engage in mentoring young boys, Metropolitan Baptist Church in Newark, NJ hosted the launch of “MEN-TOUR: Recruit. Reclaim. Restore,” a male mentor recruitment and capacity building effort led by Stephen Powell, executive director of Mentoring USA, through a recent grant award from Open Society Foundation/Campaign for Black Male Achievement.

The launch was held during the church’s monthly Straight Talk for Men fellowship—a convening of men from the local faith based community to discuss issues relevant to male responsibility from a spiritual context. The goal of the MEN-TOUR effort, which will be piloted in Newark, NJ; Chicago, IL, and Philadelphia, PA in 2011, is to reclaim men who have already served as mentors in some capacity, utilize and build their capacity to recruit more male mentors, and show how communities and schools will undergo a gradual restoration to safety and academic success for young men.

Special guests and presenters on hand to support the MEN-TOUR launch included: Irvington, NJ Mayor Wayne Smith; David Banks, President/CEO of the Eagle Academy Foundation; Ryan Mack, CNN Contributor and Financial Expert; Shawn Dove, National Manager of the Open Society Foundation Campaign for Black Male Achievement; Kenneth Braswell, Executive Director of Father’s Inc.; Alex Ellis, CEO of Tied to Greatness; Rev. David Jefferson, Sr., of Metropolitan Baptist Church; Thomas Owens, Director of Communities in Schools Mentor Success Center; David Jefferson, Jr., Youth Minister/CEO of Dream 4 Youth LLC; Terry Richardson, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of South Orange; Luther Wright, former professional basketball player/author; and Richard Stanard, National Medical Missions Director of the National Baptist Convention USA.

Metropolitan Baptist Church was the ideal venue to host the MEN-TOUR launch, as it already incubates the Trinity Mentoring program—a collaborative mentoring partnership between Greater Newark CARES Mentoring Movement, Metropolitan Baptist Church, Communities in Schools of New Jersey, and Mentoring USA.

White House and Corporation for National and Community Service Host Mentoring Meeting

On Wednesday, December 15, 2010, the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, the White House Office of Public Engagement and the Corporation for National and Community Service hosted a meeting at the White House to discuss national priorities on mentoring. The goal of the meeting was to facilitate a mentoring dialogue between researchers, organizations, foundations, and corporate partners to assist in the expansion of mentoring efforts with the goal of impacting academic and behavioral outcomes for children and young adults.

The convening began with short presentations about the Obama Administration’s mentoring priorities, briefings from leading researchers, and updates regarding strategic growth and implementation plans from mentoring organizations. The meeting also served as a chance for leading mentoring organizations, such as MENTOR, Big Brothers Big Sisters USA, National CARES Mentoring Movement, National Alliance of Faith and Justice, and Mentoring USA, to explore opportunities for collaboration with each other, as well as opportunities to collaborate with the corporate and foundation leaders in attendance.

Pictured: Stephen Powell, Executive Director of Mentoring USA; Jay Roberson, Birmingham City Councilmember; Susan Taylor, Founder and CEO of the National CARES Mentoring Movement; Dr. Cheryl Grills, President-Elect of The Association of Black Psychologists, and Dr. Eugene P. Walker of the DeKalb County (GA) Board of Education

Source and photos courtesy of Mentoring USA

Monday, December 20, 2010

Metro New York Chapter of the National Black MBA Association Awards $17,000 in Scholarships

Scholarship recipients Patrick Spann, Chacine McCoy, Chavon Sutton, and Mark Gonsalves with Ky Hester, Director of Student Relations and Honoree

More than $400,000 in Scholarships Awarded to Outstanding Students Since 1990

NEW YORK, NY – The Metro New York Chapter of National Black MBA Association hosted its 20th Annual Scholarship & Awards on Wednesday, December 1, at Abigail Kirsch Stage 6 at Steiner Studios. In partnership with The New York Times, BNY Mellon, Moody’s, American Express, and Church Pension Group, the Chapter awarded $17,000 in scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students who have demonstrated academic excellence and community leadership. This year’s scholarship recipients are Patrick Delices, Asata Glasgow, Mark Gonsalves, Chacine McCoy, La-Toya Niles, Patrick Spann and Chavon Sutton.

The Chapter also recognized NV Magazine for the Chapter’s President’s Award, Ky Hester for MBA of the Year, Quincy “Ouigi” Theodore, Owner and Founder of Brooklyn Circus for Entrepreneur of the Year, BNY Mellon for Corporate Partner of the Year, and Genevieve Michel-Bryan, VP of Broadcast at Black Enterprise for Corporate Executive of the Year.

Derrick Bryant, President of the Metro New York NBMBAA Chapter, quotes Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Bryant adds, “For the last 40 years, the Metro NY Chapter of the NBMBAA has been changing the lives of those seeking to better themselves, their families, and communities.”

Robert Childs from American Express presents scholarship award to Asata Glasgow

Robert Childs and scholarship recipient La-Toya Niles

About the Metro New York Chapter of the National Black MBA Association: Founded in 1970, the Metro New York Chapter of the National Black MBA Association was the first professional group in New York to connect professionals, students and corporations with the goal of providing career development and broadening African Americans' exposure to positions of influence. The Chapter strives to lead in the creation of economic and intellectual wealth for the Metro New York African American community. For more information, visit

“High School to High Heels” to Benefit from the Northwest Georgia Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women’s Annual Christmas Gala

Atlanta Mentoring Program to Benefit from Northwest Georgia Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women’s 2nd Annual 'Our Favorite Things' Christmas Gala

By Lisa Brathwaite
Atlanta Contributor

The Northwest Georgia (NWGA) Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., held their 2nd Annual Our Favorite Things Christmas Gala on Saturday, December 4th, at a private estate in Atlanta. All proceeds benefited the chapter's High School to High Heels Mentoring Program and Scholarship Fund, whose purpose is to provide adolescent African American girls with positive role models and to promote self-awareness as they transition into young adulthood. Pictured in photo: Erin Coleman, anchor, WSB-TV and 2010 Gala Mistress of Ceremonies poses with John Evans, President of NAACP DeKalb County, and Georgia State Representative Alisha Thomas Morgan, House District 39.

Over 400 guests were in attendance including Jennifer Lester (Executive Director, Big Boi's Big Kidz Foundation), Nancy Flake-Johnson (President, Atlanta Urban League), Rashan Ali (WVEE V-103 radio personality and Founder, Sporty Girls, Inc.), Georgia State Senator Donzella Jones and many others.

Throughout the evening, guests enjoyed fine food, cocktails and live music featuring the Morris Brown Collegiate Choir, soloist Alva Rowland and keyboardist Dr. Al Pinkston.

New this year was a featured author section which included book signings by local authors: Byron Rivers (Voices of Redemption), State Representative Alisha Thomas Morgan (No Apologies: Powerful Lessons in Life and Politics), and attorneys Travis Townsend, Jr. and Trinity Townsend (When the Cops Come Knockin').

Those in attendance had the opportunity to bid on a variety of silent auction items and several luxury vacation packages. Raffle items and unique gift offerings made available for purchase rounded out the evening. Platinum and Bronze sponsors included Diageo Marketing (Ciroc Brands) and Coca-Cola Refreshments, respectively.

Gala Silent Auction Coordinator Marty Pinkston shares a jovial moment with a gala guest.

Dr. Wade Ivy, Kendall Ridley (Owner of Element K Creative and Friend of NWGA) pose with Dr. Ashleigh May (Gala Public Relations Coordinator) after the announcement of silent auction winners; Gala Guest and Talvia Peterson, President, Stone Mountain Lithonia Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc.

The High School to High Heels Mentoring Program and Scholarship Fund is a 2-year program with several foci including: academic achievement, career development, self respect, and respect for others. Its goals are achieved through one-on-one mentoring, professional development seminars and cultural activities. Girls also receive guidance regarding collegiate opportunities, with scholarship monies offered to exceptional students.

For more details about the 2nd Annual Our Favorite Things Christmas Gala please visit: Information about the NWGA Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., can be found at

Source: Dr. Ashleigh May, NWGA Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc./Photo Credit: Michael Paras Photography

Dwyane Wade Covers December Issue of MONARCH Magazine, Talks Charity Work

With all the hysteria surrounding his forthcoming season with the Miami Heat, Dwayne Wade has proven his all-star status both on and off the court. Dwayne Wade sits down with MONARCH Magazine to discuss his excitement about how his new teammates will be good for basketball and his non-profit foundation, Wade’s World Foundation, created in 2003 to give back to underserved communities and support issues of purpose.

He speaks on his life growing up in Chicago, witnessing drug and gang violence in his community and questioning why there was an absence of celebrities visiting his community. It appears Wade has realized his true calling and recognizes that his life is just more than basketball.

“I’ve seen the gangs and the drugs and the shootings. So I will always be involved and try to stop those things from happening.”
About creating Wade's World Foundation: “…the foundation is something I’ve always had in my heart because of where I came from..” Also included in the issue are stories on musician El DeBarge and fashion stylist Lloyd Boston.

MONARCH’s December issue is on newsstands now. Monarch is designed to embody the thoughts, vision and intellect of today’s black urban professional, and can be found at all major retailers, including Wal‐mart, Barnes and Noble, Borders, Target, and various other retail locations throughout the country.

On December 16, 2010, the magazine hosted an invitation only event at the J.Crew store in Georgetown, DC to celebrate the relocation of the magazine to the nation's capital. The decision to move the magazine was to “…have the magazine in a place that embodies today’s culture and style for the professional…DC has that,” states publisher Will Walters.

The event was hosted by America's Next Top Model's Paul Wharton and author/personal branding authority Melissa Johnson. Guests received complimentary styling tips on transitioning their looks from corporate to nightlife from a J.Crew stylist and a 20% discount on their purchases.

Event host Paul Wharton

To subscribe, please visit
Source and photos: Monarch Magazine