Friday, June 29, 2012

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Promotes Racial Healing with New Online Documentary

Cornelius Maneaux with his two sons, Cornelius Jr., 17 and Jason, 14 are profiled in the new online documentary, “Healing Histories.” 

“Healing Histories” part of foundation’s Racial Healing Initiative

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has announced the launch of its newest project, “Healing Histories,” an online interactive documentary that calls on Americans to engage in a dialogue around racial equity and racial healing.

The documentary zeroes in on the Central City neighborhood of New Orleans, where citizens young and old, and black and white, reflect on the legacies of racism and segregation and the impact today on gaining access to adequate health care, education and jobs. Equally important, though, residents share inspirational stories about how neighbors are coming together to improve life for the next generation.

“Healing Histories” takes an innovative approach to storytelling. Unlike most documentaries, it’s interactive. Visitors to the site can choose which videos to watch, which interviews to hear and which photographs to view, as if touring a museum and deciding to go down one corridor rather than another. Stories focus on the community's history, homes, neighbors, culture and jobs.

In the years ahead, the ambitious multimedia project will fan out across the country to capture stories about racial issues facing New Mexico, Mississipi and other priority communities the foundation has identified. This story and the racial healing movement it represents is even more important in light of recent news stories such as the Trayvon Martin case and the death of Rodney King.

Among those featured is Carol Bebelle, Executive Director of the Ashe Cultural Arts Center. Bebelle started the Center with a firm belief in the power of combining the intentions of neighborhood and economic development with the awesome creative forces of community, culture and art to revive and reclaim a historically significant corridor in Central City.

Tamara Jackson is President of SAPC Task Force, a Central City second line band. As a child, Tamara Jackson knew the first time she heard the rich sound of a brass band horn blow that she wanted to be a part of New Orlean’s famous second line bands. Now, as president of one of Central City’s Second Line bands she works with the community to engage youth in playing, listening, and appreciating music as a means of celebrating their past.

Cornelius Maneaux, pictured in the top photo with his sons, is a life long Central City resident, and a first time home owner in Central City. After buying his home he became more invested in ensuring that his community was safe for his children. With a fellow neighbor, he formed a neighborhood organization and worked with police in order to establish a regular walk to reduce violence on his block. He’s a believer that the mentality needs to change so that police and local leaders aren’t viewed as the enemy.

Visit the documentary at and to learn more about the foundation's Racial Healing Intiative, visit here.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Largest Black Philanthropy Program in St. Louis Hosts 2012 Campaign Kickoff

United Way’s African American Leadership Society is the number one philanthropic program for African-Americans in the St. Louis metropolitan area

St. Louis, MO - The United Way of Greater St. Louis’ African American Leadership/Charmaine Chapman Society, a philanthropic program for African-Americans in the St. Louis metropolitan area, will kick off its annual campaign on Friday, June 29th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the City Museum. The 2012 Society co-chairs are Brenda and Maurice Newberry.

The Society was founded by Dr. Donald Suggs, publisher of the St. Louis American in 1994, and according to its website, is now the #1 philanthropic program for African Americans in the St. Louis region and throughout the country. It has raised $22 million dollars since its inception, with over 850 individuals who support the program annually.

For more on the upcoming event and to register, visit here and visit the Society's website here.

Shades of Beauty Brunch Honors Women of Inspiration

By Akira Barclay
NY Contributor

Brooklyn, NY - On June 23rd, 2012 at Long Island University Brooklyn Campus, the Founder of Hip Hop 4 Life, Tamekia Flowers Holland hosted the Shades of Beauty Women of Inspiration Brunch & Awards Ceremony. The fundraiser recognized and honored phenomenal women and girls who positively impact their community, personify self-esteem and self-respect, and continue to be an inspiration to girls everywhere. A total of 150 women and girls attended the annual event.

Awards were presented to Deja "Deja Vu" Parker (Women of Inspiration Ladies First Award), Ingrid Thomas-Clark (Women of Inspiration Superwoman Award), Sabah Ayoub (Women of Inspiration Superwoman Award), Michaela Angela Davis (Women of Inspiration U.N.I.T.Y Award) and Rosa Delgado (Women of Inspiration Butterfly Award).

Tamekia Flowers-Holland, founder, Hip Hop 4 Life and Honoree Michaela Angela Davis

Michaela Angela Davis, Sabah Ayoub, Adrienne White, Tamekia Holland, DejaVu, Rosa Delgado, and Ingrid Thomas Clark

Event sponsors included VIBE Vixen Magazine, Luna Bar, ESSENCE, Carol’s Daughter, New York Yoga, Jane Carter, Iced Media, The Jeff Johnson Institute, Brandnice (DJ D-Nice) and Team Epiphany.

About Hip Hop 4 Life

Hip Hop 4 Life has been committed to the positive development of today’s teens since 2003. The organization provides year-round programs that aid in developing and fostering educational values, life skills, leadership, strength, self-esteem, goal-setting and confidence. Hip Hop 4 Life has had the honor of working with Gabrielle Union, Chrisette Michele, NBA All-Star Dwyane Wade and his Wade’s World Foundation, NBA Legend Alonzo Mourning, and Black Entertainment Television/Rap-It-Up, to name a few. To learn more, visit

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rhode Island Foundation’s Black Philanthropy Initiative Awards Inaugural Grants

The Black Philanthropy Initiative Leadership Team: Walter Stone, Linda Newton and Judge Edward Clifton at the February 2009 launch in Rhode Island.

National Coalition of 100 Black Women-Rhode Island and Youth In Action to receive grants totaling $25,000 to support programs in financial literacy and job training

Providence, RI – The Rhode Island Foundation’s Black Philanthropy Initiative (BPI), a permanent endowment devoted to advancing equity and social justice for Blacks in Rhode Island, will grant nearly $25,000 to two non-profit organizations: Youth in Action and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women-Rhode Island (NCBW). These awards represent the inaugural grants from the Black Philanthropy Initiative, established by the Foundation and a group of community leaders in 2009.

“The Black Philanthropy Initiative focuses on long-term solutions to challenges facing the Black community in our state. These inaugural grants supporting programs in financial literacy and job training will help empower participants by giving them the knowledge they need to learn, grow, improve their lives, and in doing so, improve Rhode Island,” said Neil Steinberg, President and CEO of The Rhode Island Foundation. “We are grateful to the dedicated group of individuals who encouraged the Foundation to launch the Black Philanthropy Initiative and we appreciate the hard work of those who served on the grant and campaign committees.”

The NCBW is a nonprofit dedicated to the development of black women and their families in the areas of health, education, and economic empowerment through mentoring, advocacy and political action. The BPI grant of $9,978 will support a series of six day-long financial literacy workshops, entitled “Building Assets/Strengthening Families.” The program will cover topics such as financial savings, credit scores, mortgage literacy, and long-term investing.

Youth in Action, a partnership between youth, adults, and community to create positive social change, will receive $15,000 to extend the content and reach of its youth development and job training initiative, “Project Success.” Designed by and for youth of color in Providence, “Project Success” currently helps 100 young people by giving them skills to achieve both academically and personally, as well as offering job placement and work experience. The BPI grant will allow the project’s next cohort to include an additional 30 participants and will provide resources for a new financial literacy component to the training series.

“This first round of grants distributed by BPI will enable young adults and their families to engage in activities that will increase financial literacy and wise decision-making,” said Denise Jenkins, Foundation grant programs officer for education. “Many thanks to the BPI advisory committee: The Honorable Edward C. Clifton, Jason Fowler, Beverly Ledbetter, Linda Newton, and The Honorable Walter Stone for their dedication to this important initiative and commitment to bettering the lives of all Rhode Islanders.”

The Rhode Island Foundation is a philanthropic and community leader dedicated to meeting the needs of the people of Rhode Island. Founded in 1916, the Foundation is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the United States, and is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. In 2011, the Foundation made grants of $28 million to more than one thousand organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities.

Learn more about the Black Philanthropy Initiative by visiting here.

Black Men & Boys Series: “Day of Atonement”

4 Days Only!  "Day of Atonement" runs June 28th - July 1st in Washington, DC

Join the African Continuum Theatre Company, the only full-time, professional African American theater company in Washington, DC as they present “Day of Atonement,” a production by Michael P. Moss:

“The devastations of addiction, a release from prison, an impending judicial appointment, a debt owed, revenge; these dynamics collide when two brothers, with very different pasts, are reunited. Each must make fateful decisions, and accept the consequences, as long-held secrets expose contradictions in their lives. Issues emerge that call into question what it means to be a son, brother, father, and man.”

Directed by Shirley B. Dunlap, cast members include Deron P. Stewart, Keith I. Irby, DeJeanette Horne, and JoAnn M. Williams. Four performances only! June 28 - July 1, 2012 at the H Street Playhouse. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Friday, June 15, 2012

Steve Harvey Hosts 4th Annual Mentoring Weekend for 100 Young Men During Father’s Day Weekend in Dallas

Steve Harvey talks dream building and manhood with young men at the Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend for Young Men in Los Angeles last year.

Steve Harvey Welcomes Teens & Guest Mentors Nationwide in Dallas for 4-Day, 3-Night Mentoring Experience

DALLAS, TX – From June 14-17, 2012 in Dallas, Family Feud and Think Like A Man’s Steve Harvey will host the 4th Annual Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend for Young Men during Father’s Day Weekend. Created by the comedian, best-selling author, philanthropist and radio host to provide a one-of-a-kind, empowering experience for young men who are without fathers, Harvey will welcome over 100 teenage boys from the Dallas-area and around the country for a 4-day, 3-night transformative weekend on his country ranch. Designed to share and teach the principles of manhood and dream building to young men ages 13-18 with an experience not found in any classroom, through a host of workshops, special activities and interaction with a variety of male leaders, the annual Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend for Young Men has hosted over 300 young men thus far (100 boys per year) in Dallas since Harvey started the program in 2009, and served 400 more young men at regional mentoring weekends across the country.

Welcoming back ten young men from previous years to serve as junior counselors for the boys through the weekend, the Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend for Young Men includes life-affirming sessions and team-building activities to address common risks young men face on the journey to adulthood, focusing on personal responsibility, dream building, nutrition, physical fitness, and positive leadership to equip them with support and inspiration to realize their potential and build the future they want. In addition to Harvey’s guidance, the young men will take part in activities with dynamic business, education, sports and entertainment figures including NFL’s Shaun Smith, NBA’s Thaddeus Young, Ford Motor Company’s Frederick Toney, and more.

Harvey solicits applications for the mentoring program on his syndicated radio show, The Steve Harvey Morning Show, with this year’s class chosen from thousands of essay submissions. In Dallas, the young men will be introduced to a variety of mentoring and outside experiences that challenge them to dream bigger and envision their futures as socially, emotionally and physically strong, responsible men. Over four days, the Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend for Young Men will include the You Can Be Me session on careers, a Do-It-Yourself workshop, Tied to Greatness and Suit challenge, barbershop grooming, Dream Hall, Town Hall with Harvey on the Roles and Responsibilities of Men, a live broadcast of The Steve Harvey Morning Show, fishing, football, basketball, golf and more.

Sponsorship support for the Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend for Young Men comes from Choice Hotels, Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Essence Magazine, Ford Motor Company, General Mills, The Home Depot, K&G Fashion Superstore, Screen Gems, State Farm, U.S. Army, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Wellness Interactive. In conjunction with his program’s continued expansion, Harvey also plans to host regional Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekends in New Orleans and Chicago later this year.

For information about The Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend for Young Men and the Girls Who Rule the World Mentoring Weekend, please visit Source:  Press release

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Help Celebrate The Black Benefactors 5th Anniversary with Razoo's Twive and Receive

I'm pleased to announce that my giving circle, The Black Benefactors, is participating in Razoo's Twive and Receive, a 24 hour online fundraising campaign. From now until 3:00 am EST on June 15th, your donation will help us to fund organizations serving the African American community in the Washington, DC region, and help us to win prizes of up to $30,000!  Visit here to donate!

I created The Black Benefactors in 2007 to support DC's African American nonprofit community and here's how we work:  We pool our monies and time with our peers, and then we decide collectively where to give them away. We've granted $11,500 to six organizations that provide mentoring, youth development, college readiness, arts and more.  I was inspired to create a giving circle after experiencing challenges I faced early in my career while managing a nonprofit organization.  Not having a strong plan in place for board recruitment and development, fundraising and marketing ultimately caused its demise.   On my last day, I vowed to myself to do whatever I could to help organizations build their capacity to prevent them from having to close their doors.  My vision was to create a network of individuals who give their money and time to help address these issues and to increase diversity among volunteers and board members in nonprofit organizations.  I'm proud of our successes to date, and I hope this fundraiser will provide funds (and new members!) so we can award larger grants this year in observance of our 5th anniversary.

And, I'd like to thank all of the founding and annual members - without you, none of this would be possible!  They are:  Maxine B. Baker, Rachel and Paxton Baker, Jana Baldwin, Faith Bynoe, Michael and Latoya Coffey, Rubie Coles, Ebonie Johnson Cooper, Tekisha Everette, Ivan Fitzgerald and Monica Grover, Jovette Gadson, Maya Garrett, Celena Green, Angela Jones Hackley, Erin Lee Hairston, Jennifer Hardy, Melissa Johnson, Edward Jones, Thelma Jones, Anita Marsh, Desy Osunsade, Robert Parker III, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Parker Jr., Alexandra Rucker, Marjorie R. Sims, Vernon Spearman, Stacey Trammel and Keight Tucker.

To learn more about The Black Benefactors, visit here, here and here!

Visit our fundraising page here, and please post on our Facebook page at or tweet us at @blkbenefactors to let us know of your donation!  Thank you!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Black Men and Boys Series: Michele Lawrence Talks ‘Saving Our Boys’

Michele Lawrence, founder of Saving Our Boys

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Meet our latest Black Men and Boys Insider, Michele Lawrence, a noted community and business leader who educates and mentors individuals, small businesses and neglected communities on financial literacy and economic empowerment. Her efforts have reached over 5,000 individuals and have won her numerous awards, such as The Network Journal’s ‘25 Most Influential Women in Business’ for 2012; a Community Service Citation from Philadelphia Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. in 2011; and recognized as a ‘Woman on the Move’ by the Philadelphia Tribune. But it was a meeting she attended in her community that turned her focus to black boys. It was there that she learned new prisons were being built based on reading and math test results of 8-year old boys, and she felt compelled to take action.

In August 2011, Lawrence created Saving Our Boys, a nonprofit working to prepare young African American men for success beyond high school through character building, leadership skills development and instilling a sense of social responsibility. Launched on the campus of Cheyney University in conjunction with the Call Me Mister program, the young men are challenged to expand their notions of success, hard work, discipline, manhood, leadership and personal development. They discuss topics such as how to interview; the importance of first, second and third impressions; money management and wealth building; self-expression through artistic endeavors; how the media affects the image we have of ourselves; what problems ail our communities and how we can solve them; and the power of words. After the program’s summer session ends, the young men participate in monthly Saturday sessions during the school year.

Saving Our Boys is built on the belief that by cultivating a village and providing the tools and resources that will give African-American boys access to a brighter future, they will realize their full potential. Read on to learn more.

What inspired you to create Saving Our Boys?

Saving Our Boys spawned from a meeting I attended where it was shared 3 new prisons were being built in Erie, PA based on the reading and math test results of 8-year old boys. I sat there perplexed thinking that I misunderstood what was said until I heard it repeated. I sat there and tried to digest the thought that it was being determined our boys would not be graduates, but rather inmates; they would not matriculate, but rather circulate in our court system from one state penitentiary to the next.  Filled with an array of emotions that ranged from anger and frustration to hurt and heartbreak, this news resonated with me far beyond the meeting, piercing my soul, which compelled me to take action. And so I did.

Young men participate in a session.

How is the Saving Our Boys program designed? How long are you connected to these young men and how do you measure impact?

The mission of Saving Our Boys is to prepare young men in grades 5 through 12 for success beyond high school by building character, developing leadership skills and instilling a sense of social responsibility. This is a continuous program with each new cohort being actively mentored by the former, which creates a “my brother's keeper” relationship. In this village we will leverage local resources to build future generations of leaders. Our measurements are as tangible as report cards - with exponential improvement in performance with each marking period - to the intangible of having the young men press their way to the meeting or sharing in session how they've taken something they've learned, applied it, and found that it worked. I've incorporated a few tools to assess the skill sets and strengths of each of the young men to determine a baseline for academics, social skills and life skills. Collaborating with constituents who have evaluated student behavior and establishing measurable outcomes to determine the program's performance level has been impactful.

Share your successes with the program. What have some of the young men accomplished as a result of participating in the program?

We have young men who are refining their writing skills, perfecting their craft and sharing it with their peers and the staff. We have one young man who, after learning about Black Wall Street and how there were barbers in Oklahoma, took what was a hobby and has translated it into a business. He figured that if barbers helped build Black Wall Street, he would build his own legacy by establishing his own business. We have yet another young man who has a talent for writing stories and has written his first book which is getting published independently this year. These are just a few of the great stories I have to tell about our young men who are defying the odds and helping to put an end to the prison pipeline.

What are your thoughts on the state of black men and boys in this country, and how can we all get involved?

Black men in America face a far more dire situation with unemployment and education. Thanks to first class prisons and second class schools, there is a concerted effort to cut off the advancement of black men, with more money being given to keep them imprisoned, than is given to fund the educational institutions in their communities. With an educational system producing young men without the tools necessary to fulfill entry level positions and coupled with a systematic effort that tags black men for incarceration, we continue to produce generations of men who are not only unknowledgeable of law and basic principles, but are also in no position to lead their families. And a vicious cycle continues to be repeated. There exists an increasingly strong need for mentorship in our communities. That's how we help - by having a conversation with these young men, taking them by the hand, and leading them. We talk about these young men; but rarely do we talk to them. Start a conversation. Find out what they stand in need of, and help guide them accordingly.

Visit Michele's website at Thanks to reader Megan for the story tip! Have a story to share for our Black Men and Boys Series? Tell us at info[at]blackgivesback[dot]com.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Girls for Gender Equity Honors Anita Hill and Celebrates 10 Years of Service

NEW YORK - Girls for Gender Equity (GGE), a Brooklyn, New York-based youth development organization promoting the physical, psychological, social and economic well-being of girls and women, is celebrating their 10th anniversary with a cocktail reception honoring Anita Hill on June 14, 2012 from 6-9 p.m. at the Brooklyn Historical Society.

GGE is thrilled to honor Anita Hill for her work as a leader, visionary and author. In 1991, her courageous testimony during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings sparked a national conversation on sexual harassment and women’s equality in politics and the workplace. Author of Reimagining Equality and Speaking Truth to Power, Anita is the Advisor to the Provost as well as professor of social policy, law, and women’s studies at Brandeis University.

“Ms. Hill’s testimony exposed the normalization of sexual harassment in the work place and the bureaucracy that too often forces victims to feel powerless and remain silent,” explained Joanne Smith, GGE’s Executive Director.

“The charge she led 10 years before GGE began allowed us to believe we could combat sexual harassment in schools under the auspices of Title IX of the Education Amendment. We stand on Professor Hill’s shoulders as we work to keep communities safe from gender-based violence and remove barriers that impede students’ academic achievement.”

GGE’s work to eliminate gender-based violence within school systems is based on Title IX, the civil rights law requiring that any educational establishment receiving funds from the national government provide equal opportunities to students, regardless of gender. Title IX covers the following ten key points: access to higher education, athletics, career education, education for pregnant and parenting students, employment, learning environment, math and science, sexual harassment, and standardized testing and technology. Its passage 40 years ago was a promising sign in the fight for girls’ and women’s rights, but poor enforcement has limited its effectiveness. Sexual harassment is one of the points of Title IX that is often overlooked and has become a key area of focus for GGE.

Since 2001, GGE has been a catalyst for change improving gender and race relations, and socio-economic conditions for our most vulnerable youth and communities of color. Through advocating for the uniform implementation of policy, developing the leadership skills of young people while directly serving their needs and providing educational trainings for schools, organizations, parents, politicians and others, GGE is committed to exposing and eliminating gender-based violence in communities. This anniversary celebration is an opportunity to personally thank Anita Hill for speaking up for so many women 20 years ago and celebrate GGE's victories over the past decade while acknowledging the achievement of young participants who continue to inspire today.

Proceeds from the fundraiser cocktail reception will go directly to support GGE’s ongoing work in education and community building. Join them on June 14 to honor their 10 years of service and make an investment in the future of equality for girls and women of color. Visit for more information.

Source:  Press release/Photo: Brandeis University

Capitol Hill Staff and Corporations Support DC Charity, Horton’s Kids, at Nationals Park to Empower Youth

Organization to appear on Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible with First Lady Michelle Obama on June 13

Washington, D.C. – On May 30, 2012, more than twenty members of Congress, 100 congressional staffers and their families took to the field at Nationals Park as part of the fourth annual “Home Runs for Horton’s Kids” event that supports youth from Washington, D.C.’s Ward 8. Youth and their families participated in batting practice and other activities to benefit Horton’s Kids, which offers a wide range of services to 300 children and 100 families. The event featured a buffet of traditional park eats and gourmet dishes, a silent auction, take-home photo opportunities and face painting and crafts for kids. Approximately one third of the organization’s yearly program budget was raised, with all proceeds going to Horton’s Kids programs.

Horton’s Kids came about 23 years ago when previous Capitol Hill staffer and Horton’s Kids Founder, Karin Walser, was approached at a gas station by young children offering to pump gas for change. Touched by the children’s stories, Walser along with her friends began tutoring the children and taking them on outings. Ever since, Horton’s Kids has been providing fundamental services like reading and nutrition programs to children from the Ward 8 community in Anacostia. Additionally, Horton’s Kids joins forces with many health professionals in the DC area to address children’s basic needs such as nutritious food, clothing, and health care.

In 2010, a community resource center was built in Ward 8 so that staff and volunteers could be available on-site to provide services needed by the neighborhood, which is the most impoverished area of the nation’s capital. Thanks to First Lady Michelle Obama and the Food Network’s chef Robert Irvine, the center has undergone renovations, which will be featured on Restaurant: Impossible on June 13.

Horton’s Kids’ corporate sponsors were crucial in making the renovation happen. “The support we have received from Microsoft and The Home Depot is incredible,” said Horton’s Kids Executive Director, Brenda Chamberlain. “It’s because of them that we are able to continue enriching the lives of children and their families in Anacostia.”

As a part of the community center renovation, Microsoft donated equipment and software for a state-of-the-art computer lab to support the children served by Horton’s Kids at their Community Resource Center. The donation included 10 new computers, 16 computer monitors, and 29 Acer Tablets as well as other computer equipment, all uploaded with the most current software. This equipment will not only help the children become more adept at using technology but will also help neighborhood parents – who are able to take advantage of the community center – create resumes, search for jobs online, and communicate with potential employers via email. Microsoft also donated a server and two Xbox 360s gaming consoles equipped with their popular technology Kinect, which allows the children to exercise in a safe, secure, and fun environment.

“There is a definite opportunity divide in Anacostia and that keeps too many children from realizing their full potential,” said Microsoft Vice President for U.S. Government Affairs Fred Humphries. “We are honored to help contribute to the advancement of these children’s education and future careers.”

U.S. Rep. Henry "Hank" Johnson Jr. (GA-4) with Screech, the Nationals mascot, and youth at the event.

The Home Depot was also invaluable during the renovation and donated building supplies and appliances for the kitchen, in which Horton’s Kids holds healthy cooking classes for children and their families. Since Restaurant: Impossible, Home Depot has continued its commitment to the community by holding a job fair at the center where more than 70 residents interviewed for 30 job openings in several local Home Depot stores.

“The Community Resource Center is going to have a huge impact on the lives of the children that Horton’s Kids helps,” stated Home Depot Vice President of Government Relations, Kent Knutson. “We are very proud to be a part of this project and community, and we’re excited about continuing to support the important work Horton’s Kids does.” Other sponsors of Horton’s Kids include Alpha Natural Resources, DirectTV, Nuclear Energy Institute, and Walmart.

Horton’s Kids received the Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management in 2012 and was voted ‘Best Non-Profit’ by readers of the Washington City Paper.   Visit  to learn more.

Top photo credit: A Horton's Kids Family attends the "Home Runs for Horton's Kids" event at Nationals Park.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Gordon Parks Centennial Gala Celebrates 100 Years of Legendary Artist

A video display of Gordon Parks and his iconic photographs greeted guests at the Museum of Modern Art, the venue for the Gordon Parks Centennial Gala in New York.

NEW YORK, NY - On Tuesday, June 5th, celebrities and luminaries from art, fashion, music and entertainment gathered at the Museum of Modern Art to celebrate the centennial of Gordon Parks' birth and his contributions to the art world. In observance of this milestone, organizations across New York will host an array of events beginning this month that will feature a major museum exhibition, the publication of a four-volume box set of his photographs, gallery exhibitions, public art projects, lectures, film screenings and centennial scholarships to support the arts. These events will present both iconic and rarely seen images by Parks and greatly add to the conversation about the artistic, cultural, and political impact of his work.

The gala honored three individuals who embody his artistic passion and vision, each at the pinnacle of creativity in the fields of film, fashion, media and art - singer/songwriter Alicia Keys, photographer Annie Leibovitz, and HBO's Co-President Richard Plepler.

Dinner chair Russell Simmons with Shalisa Chang, a youth participant from the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation

Benefit committee members Thelma Golden, director and chief curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem and Glenn Ligon, artist

Benefit committee member Leslie Parks, daughter of Gordon Parks

Former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford Jr.

Robin Hickman, producer and niece of Gordon Parks

Dinner chair Sarah Jessica Parker, actress

Hosted by journalist Anderson Cooper, and co-chaired by Karl Lagerfeld and Gerhard Steidl, the gala featured cocktails, dinner and a live musical performance by Irvin Mayfield. Gala benefit committee members included Whoopi Goldberg, Bethann Hardison, Jamie Hector, Iman, Liya Kebede, Tangie Murray, Desiree Rogers, Marcus Samuelsson and Andre Leon Talley.

About the Gordon Parks Foundation
The Foundation permanently preserves the work of Gordon Parks and other artists, makes it available to the public through exhibitions, books, and electronic media and supports artistic and educational activities in which he had an interest in his lifetime.

Photo credit: Stacey Trammel/Buzzology

Capital Cause Presents Young Philanthropists Industry Brunch

WASHINGTON, DC - On Saturday, June 30th, DC's emerging philanthropic community will gather at the Josephine Butler Mansion for the Young Philanthropists Industry Brunch, uniting a diverse group of young professionals and seasoned industry leaders who are ambitious and motivated about bringing change to their communities.

The brunch is hosted annually by Capital Cause, a group that engages young professionals in the giving process, by connecting them with opportunities to donate their time and money to deserving causes. Proceeds from the event will benefit select charities in the DC area that are working to address poverty, homelessness and hunger. Attendees will vote to decide which nonprofit gets a donation of their money (capital) or time (cause).

The closer (host) committee members for the lunch are Ebonie Johnson Cooper (President, Friends of Ebonie), Kristal Dail (Nutrition Specialist, DC Dept. of Health), Julian Dioulu (Technician, US Dept. of State), Richard Glover (President, Magna Group Technology), Lamont Harrell (President, The Harrell Group, LLC), William Jolley (New Media/Digital Content, Attorney), Ursula Lairston (Columnist, Washington Life), Andrew Lee (Staffer, US House of Representatives), Rashonda Rosier (Marketing Manager/Social Media Consultant, AAPT), Jameel Scott (Specialist, US Dept. of Education), Joseph A.C. Smith (Assistant to Pastor, Alfred Street Baptist Church) and Brandon Tristan Todd (Director of Community Affairs, Councilmember Muriel Bowser).

Tickets are $40 - $100 and the price includes a brunch buffet, unlimited mimosas, industry leader access and a donation to the charity of your choice.   Last year's lunch sold out, so get your tickets today at

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Apollo Theater Hosts 7th Annual Spring Gala Benefit Concert & Awards Ceremony

Apollo Theater’s 2012 Hall of Fame Inductee, Lionel Richie, Apollo Theater president and CEO, Jonelle Procope, and Citi CEO and Corporate Honoree, Vikram Pandit

Lionel Richie and the late Etta James inducted into Apollo Legends Hall of Fame

HARLEM, NY - On Monday, June 4th, the Apollo Theater, one of the nation’s greatest cultural treasures, hosted its 7th annual spring gala benefit and awards ceremony. Proceeds from the gala supported the non-profit Theater’s arts, education and community engagement programs.

Lionel Richie and Etta James were inducted into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame, and joined past inductees of legendary musicians, artists, and entertainers whose paths to fame included the Apollo. Both received a plaque in the Apollo Walk of Fame, installed under the Theater’s iconic marquee on 125th Street.

The gala was hosted by Sinbad, celebrated comedian and former host of Showtime at the Apollo, and featured special performances and tributes by Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, Eddie Levert and Valerie Simpson, who remembered her husband and legendary songwriting partner Nick Ashford. Guests included Gayle King, Apollo Theater Board Chairman Richard Parsons, Leslie Uggams, and Gabon Ambassador Michael Moussa-Adamo and family, among others.

Gladys Knight performs during the Apollo Theater 2012 Spring Gala.

Gospel music duo Mary Mary performs. The duo tweeted, “Omg!! At the Apollo theater watching Ms Gladys Knight honoring Ms Etta James. Can't believe we're singing here to honor Lionel Richie!”

Danny Glover, Apollo Theater president and CEO, Jonelle Procope and Ray Chew, gala musical director.

Additionally, each year at the Spring Gala benefit, the Apollo recognizes a corporation whose support enables the Theater to grow and expand its artistic, community, and education programs. The Apollo presented Citi with its 2012 Corporate Award, in recognition of its outstanding philanthropy and community leadership. “Citi is proud to be a long-time supporter of the Apollo Theater,” said Citi CEO Vikram Pandit. “The Apollo is world-renowned for discovering great talent and its education programs are second to none.”

The gala benefit concert and awards ceremony was produced by Ron Weisner for Ron Weisner Entertainment, and a glamorous after-party featuring a stylish lounge was transformed and created by celebrity event planner Marc Wilson of Marc Wilson Design:

Apollo Theater Young Patrons: Lauren Maillian Bias, Peter Were, Seitu Jemel Hart, Tiffany Meriweather, Alexis Cepeda, and Jumi Falusi at the Apollo Theater Spring Gala After Party.

Alicia Bythewood, Apollo Spring Gala Co-Chair with Charles Biondo, Francesca Biondo and Tomoko Haber

William and Terri Borden, Carolyn and Mark Mason and guests from Citigroup.

Chaka Khan and  Jonelle Procope. Chaka performed a tribute to the late superstar Whitney Houston.

DJ D-Nice provided sounds for the evening.

Guests dancing at the Apollo Theater Spring Gala After Party.

The Apollo Theater gratefully acknowledges its Spring Gala Sponsors: Citi; MacAndrews & Forbes; His Excellency Michael Moussa-Adamo, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Gabonese Republic to the United States of America, Mexico and Haiti; JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Ticketmaster; and TVOne. Visit the website at

Photo credit:  Shahar Azran Photography, LLC

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

National Council of Negro Women Elects Coca-Cola Company Executive to its Highest Post

Ingrid Saunders Jones Named Chairman of the Organization

Washington, DC – The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) has recently installed Ingrid Saunders Jones, Coca-Cola’s senior vice president of Global Community Connections and Chair of The Coca-Cola Foundation, as chairman of the board at its 55th annual conference in Washington, DC. Jones is the first to be elected to the post since the passing of Chair Emerita Dr. Dorothy I. Height.

“I am elated that such a distinguished membership has entrusted me with the task of leading this illustrious organization,” said Jones, incoming NCNW Chair. “To be in the company of former leaders such as Mary McLeod Bethune, Dr. Dorothy Height, and Dr. Barbara Shaw who have touched the lives of black women around the globe is an honor and a privilege that I do not take lightly.”

Jones will begin her tenure as chairman of the national board immediately. As chairman, Jones will oversee fundraising for the organization, while garnering national attention for NCNW’s national community outreach and educational programs. Chairman Jones will focus on revitalizing the organization through fostering a new generation of members into the organization.

Under Ms. Jones’ leadership, the Coca-Cola Foundation has contributed more than $460 million to support sustainable community initiatives, including the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Catalyst, the Critical Difference for Women program at Ohio State University, the International Coastal Clean-up, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and the World Wildlife Fund.

“It has been an honor to serve as chairman of the National Council of Negro Women for the past two years, said Dr. Barbara Shaw,” outgoing NCNW Chair. “I have the utmost confidence that Ms. Jones will continue to lead this movement into a new era of service that will further enrich African-American communities domestically and women of the African diaspora abroad.”

Shaw was named chairman in May 2010; she succeeded Dr. Height who had served as head of NCNW for more than forty years. Prior to her selection as NCNW’s Chair, Shaw was a prison administrator with the State of Maryland.

To learn more about the National Council of Negro Women, visit its website,

Source:  Press release/Photo credit: Coca-Cola Company

Monday, June 4, 2012

Women in Power and Pink Turn Out in Support of Autism for 4th Annual Pink Pump Affair

Charisse Bremond-Weaver, President, Brotherhood Crusade; Host Committee Member Delilah Lanoix-Harris; KCBS/KCAL Anchorwoman Pat Harvey and SNN President Areva D. Martin, Esq. attend the 4th Annual "Pink Pump Affair" in Los Angeles.

Event raised awareness for autism research and resources among the underserved and in communities of color

LOS ANGELES, CA - Over 250 of Los Angeles’ most influential women dressed in pink pumps attended Special Need Network Inc.’s (SNN) sold-out fourth annual “Pink Pump Affair,” at the beautiful Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills on Sunday, May 20th, 2012. An empowering, inspiring, and uplifting afternoon was had by all who heard the moving stories and testimonies of SNN board members, parents and honorees.

The “Pink Pump Affair,” the brainchild of Special Needs Network’s co-founder and president, Areva Martin Esq., was designed to bring together powerful women from different backgrounds and to garner their support for more autism research and resources. Generously sponsored by Toyota, Walmart, Wells Fargo, Broadway Federal Bank, Martin & Martin LLP, Global Down Syndrome Foundation, Bob Blake & Associates Inc. and LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the event provided women an opportunity for networking and bonding, while raising money to send children with special needs and their siblings to summer camp. This year’s event was chaired by SNN Board members Bonnie Berry LaMon, Esq., and Shamya Ullah; and SNN Advisory Board member and past Women of Distinction honoree Monica Holloway and Leah Bizoumis served as the Honorary Event Chairs.

The afternoon began with the President’s Reception where Martin gathered with honorees, event sponsors, event committee members, fashion show designer Galina Sobolev and past Women of Distinction honorees to kick off the fabulous afternoon. Following the reception, the afternoon continued with a silent auction featuring designer shoes and handbags from Tory Burch, Trina Turk, BCBG Max Azria, J&A Shoes, David’s of Beverly Hills, and other top designers. As guests enjoyed high tea they were treated to a runway fashion show featuring Single by Galina Sobolev. Models walking in support of special needs kids donned beautiful and colorful fashions perfect for the summer. The fashion show closed with show-stopper, celebrity model Toccara Jones from America’s Next Top Model. The afternoon’s mistress of ceremonies was none other than Univision anchorwoman Gabriela Teisser.

Areva Martin and Tocarra Jones

Martin and Omarosa Manigault

Following the runway show, SNN Parent Meshelle Baylor shared her personal story and testimony about the work of SNN, leaving not a dry eye in the room. Her story of triumph and unwavering support from SNN moved the guests to donate thousands of dollars in support of SNN’s signature program, CAMP JPAC.

The afternoon came to a close as SNN honored individuals who have made tremendous contributions to the community and have helped to raise awareness and funds for special needs children. The Toyota Advocates Award was presented to Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe, Founders of Sophie’s Voice Foundation. Women of Distinction awards were presented to Autism Advocate and Author, Claire LaZebnik; Self Advocate and Ambassador of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, DeOndra Dixon, whose brother Jamie Foxx presented a moving tribute virtually from out of state; and Walmart Chief Tax Officer & Senior Vice President, Claire Babineaux-Fontenot. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to LA County Supervisor Gloria Molina for her tremendous contributions as a public servant and for being an inspiration to women as being a woman who has and continues to break barriers. Each honoree was presented with a beautifully engraved Tiffany gift and certificate from the United States Congress.

Honoree DeOndra Dixon with her proud father, George Dixon

Celebrity model Tocarra Jones walks the runway in support of kids with autism and special needs.

SNN Board Members Jan Davis & Bonnie Berry LaMon, Esq., SNN President Areva D. Martin, Esq, Honoree Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, Lifetime Achievement Honoree LA County Supervisor Gloria Molina, SNN Board Members Cheryl Gully and Sonjia White, Esq.

Women of Distinction Honoree Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, Chief Tax Officer & SVP, Walmart; Martin, and Javier Angulo, Director of Community Relations, Walmart

Arlene Ford and Areva Martin with Alva Mason and Gail Herring of Toyota.

About Special Needs Network, Inc:

Founded in 2005 by attorney Areva D. Martin, SNN is a community based, non‐profit organization formed to respond to the lack of representation of the underserved segment in special needs populations. Martin is one of the nation’s foremost autism and disability rights experts. She is a frequent on air contributor to The Dr. Phil Show and Anderson Cooper 360 , and has been featured on CBS and FOX News. Her bestselling book The Everyday Advocate: Standing Up for Your Child with Autism and Other Special Needs was re-released in paperback this past April.

For additional information on SNN call 213.389.7100 or visit the website at

Newark Charter School Honors “Outstanding Men of Character,” Raises Scholarship Funds for Students

Honorees Thomas O. Johnston, Byron Pitts, Guest and Rahfeal Gordon attend the “Fathers for Our Children” Awards Ceremony at the Newark Museum in New Jersey.

Newark, N.J. – Continuing its commitment to spotlight men who serve as role models to Newark youth, the Marion P. Thomas Charter School (MPTCS) honored men of outstanding character at their annual “Fathers for Our Children” Awards Ceremony at the Newark Museum on Wednesday, May 23, 2012. The distinguished list of honorees included: Byron Pitts, Chief National Correspondent CBS Evening News and Contributor, 60 Minutes; Thomas O. Johnston, Principal, Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, P.C.; Adrian Council, Publisher, The Positive Community Magazine and Rahfeal Gordon, CEO, RahGor Motivations & Publishing. Additionally, the contributions of the late Congressman Donald Payne, Sr. were spotlighted.

“I have attended this event for the past several years and have very much enjoyed learning from the dignitaries who have been honored. I am humbled to be among them. I first became a part of the Marion P. Thomas Charter School community several years ago. I know firsthand that there’s power in its credo–it takes a village,” said Thomas O. Johnston, Principal, Porzio, Bromberg, and Newman, PC in his acceptance remarks.

The event was sponsored by Wells Fargo and supported in part by PSE&G, Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, P.C. and City National Bank. Additional support was received by other companies and individual donors. Proceeds from “Fathers for Our Children” will benefit the Marion P. Thomas Charter School Foundation. The Foundation was established to provide support to MPTCS graduates.

Honoree Rahfeal Gordon with a student presenter.

The awards program featured inspiring performances and presentations from MPTCS students, ranging from kindergarten through 8th grade, in honor of the esteemed honorees.

MPTCS Foundation President with honorees.

Since its inception, the MPTCS Foundation has awarded more than 100 scholarships totaling more than $150,000. MPTCS is the only charter school in the state of New Jersey, and one of the few nationally, that offers this extent of support to its alumni. By awarding scholarships, the Foundation ensures that tuition does not become a barrier to students who wish to continue their education at high quality high schools and colleges. MPTCS alumni are currently attending: Taft, Marist, St. Benedict’s, St. Vincent’s, Christ the King, The Peddie School, as well as Rutgers, Quinnipiac, Spelman and Montclair State Universities.

For more information about the school, visit