All Posts By Kesha B

Alicia Keys To Release Memoir Through Oprah Winfrey’s Publishing Imprint

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If you’re always searching for new books to read, there’s one coming your way and it’s from singer-songwriter and 15-time Grammy winner, Alicia Keys. Keys will be releasing an autobiography titled More Myself, through Oprah Winfrey’s publishing imprint, An Oprah Book. The announcement was made Wednesday (March 13).

“I can NOT believe this is happening! My sister, mentor & the QUEEN herself helped me share my journey! Thank you @Oprah for letting me share my truth as the 1st release of your new book imprint & for challenging me to become MORE MYSELF,” Keys tweeted.

More Myself will be published by Flatiron Books and is described as “part autobiography, part narrative documentary.” It will cover Alicia’s journey from her “girlhood in Hell’s Kitchen and Harlem, to the process of self-discovery she’s still navigating.”

In a video published on YouTube, Alicia Keys reveals not telling anyone that she would be writing a book. She also prefers to call her upcoming release a journey versus a memoir. More Myself will be released on Nov. 5.

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‘The Read’ With Kid Fury & Crissle West Is Coming To Television

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The Read, a popular podcast hosted by Kid Fury and Crissle West, will be coming to television!

The Read with Kid Fury and Crissle West (a working title) has been set for a season order of ten 30-minute episodes on Fuse TV. The official description reads, “Inspired by their juggernaut podcast, with more than 85 million listens worldwide and 1.5 million unique listens a month – Kid Fury and Crissle host this talk/ variety format that carries over their beloved segments like Hot Tops and The Read, while additionally featuring a special celebrity and/ or musician guest. The duo uses their sharp, honest brand of cultural commentary and perceptive opinions to drill deep into the roots of the issues and stories affecting their millennial and Gen Z peers, from social justice and politics to dating and music culture, and everything in between.”

Executive producing the show will be Chloe Pisello, David Martin, Alexandra Rago, Jon Thoday, and Richard Allen-Turner, alongside its hosts Kid Fury (Gregory A. Smith) and Crissle West.

As of now, no official air date has been announced.

Issa Rae Talks Choosing A Healthier Diet & Getting In Shape With Women’s Health Magazine

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Issa Rae is on the cover of Women’s Health magazine’s April 2019 issue. With so many things keeping the 34-year-old actress and executive producer busy such as the fourth season of her HBO hit show ‘Insecure’, which will soon begin production, the body-swapping comedy film ‘Little’, a limited-run series on HBO titled ‘The Dolls’, and so much more, it’s hard not to wonder how Issa stays in shape with such a hectic schedule!

During her interview with Women’s Health, Issa recalls gaining what she called “new money weight” once opportunities started to pour in following the success of ‘The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl‘, a web series in which she created on YouTube in 2011.

“When the Web series started, I was very, very broke,” she explains. “Then more opportunities began to come. I was gaining new money weight. When you get a good job, you’re like, ‘I can afford to eat at restaurants all the time!’ That adds up in weight.”

 

Even though she’d become extremely busy, it wasn’t until she saw herself on television that Issa knew she needed to make some changes. And as most of us can relate, exercising and making healthy eating a priority isn’t easy.

“Time to work out is so limited, but when I first started seeing myself on TV, I was like, ‘I gotta make time,'” Issa says. “I was a big excuse person when it came to exercising and eating right. I’d have spurts of trying to work out and being good. Then once I fell off, I’d be like, ‘Well, there’s always next year. Let me make it my New Year’s resolution.’ But even then, I would still be eating wrong while exercising vigorously.”

Instead of hitting the local gym, Issa Rae sets her alarm clock for 4:55 am and alternates between walking and jogging in her neighborhood, which also provides her with a sense of peace.

“I exercise for, like, an hour each day,” she explains. “My neighborhood has a bunch of hills, so it’s walking up hills. Then I alternate between walking and jogging. I hate jogging—you’re going in circles, but I recognize that it helps.” She continues, “You know those earbuds that you put in your ears? I was running, and one fell. It was dark outside and I couldn’t find it. So I was forced to just be alone with my thoughts, and I was like, ‘Oh, I need to do this more often.’ Those moments are the most creative. I think finding those moments while also nurturing your body is important.”

To read Issa Rae’s full interview with Women’s Health, click here.

Steph & Ayesha Curry Foundation Launches Scholarship Program For Girls

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The Steph & Ayesha Curry Family Foundation has launched an annual scholarship for college-bound female students from the Bay Area who are interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields.

The idea of the scholarship was inspired by 9-year-old Riley Morrison, who wrote a letter to Steph Curry expressing her frustration with the lack of sneakers in the girls section of the Under Armour website. Not only did the Golden State Warriors point guard send Morrison two pairs of Curry sneakers, but the two also collaborated on a special purple colorway version of the Curry 6 sneakers, which was introduced in honor of International Women’s Day. Because Curry didn’t feel comfortable profiting off of Riley’s shoe design, he decided that the profits will fund a scholarship.

 

“The Steph & Ayesha Curry Family Foundation is funding an annual scholarship that’s given to a college-bound female student from the Bay Area who has shown an aptitude for overcoming adversity, catalyzing change within her community and demonstrating excellence in a STEM-related field of study,” according to the foundation. “The $30,000 scholarship, whose first recipient will be announced at tonight’s Golden State Warriors game, is paid over two years and requires the recipient to take two or more STEM-related classes each semester while maintaining a minimum 3.0 GPA.”

 

During the Golden State Warriors’ Friday night (March 8) game against the Denver Nuggets, the first recipient of the scholarship was announced. Vivian Wu is a senior at Oakland Tech, has a 4.2 GPA, and has completed over 300 hours of community service as an advocate for marginalized communities, including survivors of domestic violence.

Yara Shahidi, Naomi Osaka, & Adwoa Aboah Among Mattel’s Newest Collection of 2019 Barbie ‘Sheroes’

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To celebrate their 60th anniversary along with International Women’s Day, which is this Friday (March 8), Barbie has announced brand new dolls from their #MoreRoleModels collection as part of an ongoing commitment to inspire the next generation of girls by reminding them that they can do and be anything.

“We’re committed to highlighting empowering role models as a key part of the Dream Gap Project–our ongoing global initiative aimed at giving girls the resources and support they need to continue believing that they can be anything,” reads Barbie.Mattel.com. “By introducing girls to stories of women from all walks of life, they begin to see more opportunities for themselves.”

Among Barbie’s newest collection of extraordinary women and role models are actress and activist Yara Shahidi, tennis superstar Naomi Osaka, and high-fashion U.K. model Adwoa Aboah.

“I’m honored to be repping all the young ones as a Barbie Role Model,” Yara wrote on her Instagram page. “Let’s continue to inspire the next generation and each other.”

Yara Shahidi
Actress, Model & Activist, U.S.A.
2019 Barbie Shero

Yara Shahidi is an actress, model, activist and breakout star of ABC’s Emmy- and Golden Globe- nominated comedy series black-ish. Yara has been awarded an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress and a Gracie Award for Female in a Breakthrough Role. Recently, she also appeared on TIME magazine’s annual “30 Most Influential Teens” list as well as Forbes “30 Under 30” list in 2017 and 2018 for her television contributions and humanitarianism.

Engaged in politics, she launched Eighteen X 18 last year to educate and motivate first-time voters to turn out for the 2018 mid-term elections. She created Yara’s Club in partnership with The Young Women’s Leadership Schools in NYC, a digital meet-up for high school students to discuss societal issues, self-improvement, and higher education. Yara also served as a spokesperson for DoSomething.Org and 3M’s STEM campaign, which raised funds for classrooms in need of science and tech resources, and worked with the Obama White House on STEM initiatives.

 

Naomi Osaka
Tennis Player, Japan
2019 Barbie Shero

Naomi Osaka is a professional tennis player who represents Japan. Born in Osaka to a Japanese mother and a Haitian father, she became the first Japanese player in history to win a Grand Slam, defeating her childhood idol, Serena Williams, to capture victory at the 2018 U.S. Open. She followed up that feat by winning the 2019 Australian Open and reaching No.1 in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings. Having been featured on the cover of TIME magazine in January 2019, Osaka will be the face of the 2020 games in Tokyo.

 

Adwoa Aboah
Activist & Supermodel, U.K.
2019 Barbie Shero

British activist and supermodel Adwoa Aboah, is the founder of Gurls Talk, an online community where young women are free to discuss issues such as mental health, education, self-care, and relationships. Leading from her personal experiences, Adwoa founded Gurls Talk to be a completely open online platform, where anyone and everyone can share their experiences in a safe, judgement-free space. The community is made up of a diverse mixture of people from across the globe. Gurls Talk was founded on the idea that by coming together young women will become individually and collectively stronger, inspire each other, and influence a positive impact on the world.

Adwoa is one of the freshest faces in today’s modelling industry. To date, she has starred in global campaigns and walked in shows for some of fashion’s biggest names including Dior, Chanel and Versace. Adwoa joined British Vogue as a contributing editor in July 2017 and was the inaugural cover star of British Vogue’s December Issue, the first issue from editor Edward Enninful’s “New Vogue,” as well as appearing on numerous international covers for Vogue, Dazed, i-D and LOVE magazine. In 2017, Adwoa was named the British Fashion Council’s Model of the Year, a prestigious accolade awarded to the person who has had the most global impact on the industry that year.

To see the full list of Barbie Role Models, click here.

Will Smith To Star As Father of Venus & Serena Williams In ‘King Richard’

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There’s a new film in the works and it will tell the story of the father of tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams. Will Smith will star in the film ‘King Richard’ as Richard Williams, based on a script by Zach Baylin.

According to Variety, it will center on Richard Williams overcoming tremendous hardship, skepticism, controversy, and his own troubled past to raise two of the greatest and most talented athletes. Despite having no tennis background, Williams drew up a 78-page plan for Venus and Serena’s professional tennis careers. He began giving them tennis lessons on public courts in Compton. The sisters would then go on to become tennis champions and arguably two of the best athletes in the game – with Serena winning twenty-three Grand Slam tournaments and Venus winning seven.

Will Smith is not only starring in ‘King Richard’ but will also be serving as a producer through his Overbrook Entertainment banner. You can catch him starring in ‘Aladdin’ for Disney, as well as on the set of a movie I’m super excited for, ‘Bad Boys For Life’.

Vanessa Anderson Talks Getting Her Start In Public Relations, Destination Crenshaw Project, International Women’s Day, & More With Live Civil

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March 1st officially kicked off Women’s History Month — and while every day should be spent celebrating the vital role and contributions of women to American history and society, we are more than happy to have a full month dedicated to elevating women across the world. In honor of Women’s History Month, we will be talking to several successful women who we feel will inspire and empower the next group of female entrepreneurs and executives.

I had the opportunity to chat with the owner and Senior Account Executive of AM PR Group, Vanessa Anderson. AM PR Group is a boutique public relations agency specializing in the entertainment, digital, and lifestyle industries. The agency’s current roster of clients includes Issa Rae, Marsai Martin, Cassie, and Melina Matsoukas. Vanessa opened up about not only the moment she realized she wanted a career in the public relations field, but what she went through mentally and emotionally before deciding that this was the career path she wanted to take.

“I felt like I had been so pressed to find a job and start my career that I had gotten myself into something that was detrimental to my emotional and mental stability.”

Vanessa also expressed how much it meant to her as a Los Angeles native to be selected as the Publicist for Destination Crenshaw, an art project spearheaded by City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson that aims to reclaim the neighborhood for black L.A.

“In 5 or 10 years, the people walking their dogs and pushing their strollers around Crenshaw and Slauson may not look like me, but they’ll very clearly know that they are walking on OUR streets, in OUR neighborhood. This is the largest project of its kind in the U.S. and I am honored to be on the communications team. I imagine my grandparents, who raised me in this community, would be proud.”

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day (March 8) is #BalanceForBetter, which is all about marking a call to action for accelerating gender balance. Find out what Vanessa Anderson had to say about conversations surrounding diversity, inclusivity, and gender-balance by checking out the full interview below. She also offers advice to those looking for a career in public relations, as well as who she celebrates for International Women’s Day.

 

 

When did you realize that you wanted a career in public relations — and what was the first step you took towards making that happen?

 

“I graduated from college in 2007 just as the recession was hitting and upon graduation could not find a job —anywhere. At the time, I wanted to be a high school history teacher and couldn’t find a school or district in LA to hire me. Here I was with this very expensive Ivy League degree and couldn’t get a job. By the end of the summer, I had found a job as a first-grade teacher. And even though I loved the kids, I absolutely hated the principal and would cry every day on my way home. I knew I was destined for something — anything — better, so I put in my notice and started working part-time at the GAP. I felt like I had been so pressed to find a job and start my career that I had gotten myself into something that was detrimental to my emotional and mental stability. So, I worked at the GAP for about a month and in that time went from folding clothes to a junior management position. My bosses there quickly recognized my genius (laughs) and wanted to put me on the corporate tract, but I knew retail was not for me long term. I had gotten the job to hold me over while I figured out my life and when they told me they felt like I could have a real career within the company it really made me get my shit together. I started thinking about the things I enjoyed— music, tv, movies — and how I could be a part of those worlds without being talent. I had a friend in high school who’s aunt was a high-profile entertainment lawyer, so I called her and told her what I had interest in and asked if she could help point me in the right direction. She was the one who suggested I look into publicity. After talking to a few people in the field and doing my own research, I was like “YES! This is the career for me!” I felt like it was a job where I could utilize all the best parts of my personality and character as well as my education. My friend’s aunt helped me get an assistant position at a boutique pr firm and that was the beginning of who you see today.”

 

 

What were some of the challenges you faced early on in your career — and how did you overcome them?

 

“Well, I was 25 when I opened up my own company and even though I had saved some money, it wasn’t enough. No one in my family had ever opened their own business so I didn’t have anyone close to me to show me how to run a business so it really was trial by fire. I was also struggling to get clients because people were hesitant to work with me and pay me because I didn’t have 20 years of experience and wasn’t coming from one of the large communication firms. It was hard to get paying clients so I worked for free for a long time until I got enough experience. My unemployment and savings were enough to pay my rent, car insurance, and basic necessities every month. Everything else my friends covered for me out of pity (laughs).”

 

Last year, you announced that you were selected as the Publicist for the Destination Crenshaw project. How important was this opportunity to you as a woman who grew up off of Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. and Crenshaw?

 

“This project means everything to me, especially because I grew up in this area. Destination Crenshaw is a very L.A.-specific project, but the history of Black L.A. is really the history of Black people in America. Like most urban enclaves in major cities, South L.A. is undergoing a serious change. It is vital and mandatory that we document and memorialize the contributions Black Angelenos have made to L.A. and the world for that matter. Often times these types of projects are done or conceptualized after Black people have been pushed out but not this time around. In 5 or 10 years, the people walking their dogs and pushing their strollers around Crenshaw and Slauson may not look like me, but they’ll very clearly know that they are walking on OUR streets, in OUR neighborhood. This is the largest project of its kind in the U.S. and I am honored to be on the communications team. I imagine my grandparents, who raised me in this community, would be proud.”

 

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #BalanceForBetter, which is a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the government, boardroom, media and sports coverage, in wealth, etc.. How important is a gender-balanced world to you?

 

“Conversations surrounding diversity, inclusivity, and gender-balance are always so interesting to me. I honestly believe that the idea that people have to be “called-to-action” is moreso for my white and male counterparts than for me. Every day that my company is open is a call-to-action. Women of color, and in my case a Black and Latina woman with an immigrant parent cannot and will not thrive without us living and breathing inclusion and gender balance. I don’t need a special occasion to remember to hire women and people of color. However, if days like this can encourage people to look twice at women for executive positions, not just assistants and coordinators, then I am in full support.”

 

 

If you could celebrate someone in particular for International Women’s Day who has inspired you, who would it be?

 

“First would be my grandmother, Nettie Martin, who taught me everything about life and being a woman and a partner. She died when I was 17 but managed to give me all of her life gems and lessons before she left me. She taught me that when you leave a room people could either remember you for your beauty, your intelligence or both. The decision was up to you.

Aside from her, I would want to celebrate a woman who I aspire to be like and who constantly inspires me, Tammy Golihew. Tammy currently is the head of Amazon Studios Television Publicity, International and Prime Video but used to run the Unscripted and Scripted TV PR department for Warner Bros. Studios. She and I met when I had a contract at WB doing publicity for The Real, and she singlehandedly changed my life. This version of Vanessa would not exist without her support, guidance and example. She and I are cut from the exact same cloth and our birthdays are days apart — she actually has the same birthday as my grandmother. She is a constant reminder that I can be a boss, command respect, get what I deserve, and absolutely never compromise on what I’m worth — and do it all with a red lip and a pair of designer stilettos.”

 

What advice would you offer to aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking for a career in public relations?

 

“Think twice. This is the era of #publicists. Thinking this career is for you because you see someone on Instagram pretending to be on a private plane will have your feelings hurt and your bank account on life support. To really be great at this job you need to be willing to work hard and put your ego to the side. I get passed up all the time for bigger agencies and you can actually google and see the covers and exclusives and work I’ve done. Constantly hearing “no” or “you’re not the right fit” is hurtful and could make you start doubting yourself and your capabilities. It’s disappointing but I have to remember that it’s not about me. This field of work is built for those who can withstand a bunch of no’s because the real blessing is on its way.

Owning a company is hard and requires constantly thinking of new streams of revenue, new ways to engage with potential clients, constantly building relationships with agents and managers and brands and writers — it’s a 24-hour job. The private jets do come but you need to be okay with the basic economy first and for a long time.”

 

What is a quote that you live by?

 

“For a long time:

“Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.” – Zora Neale Hurston

More recently:

Every lyric in Drake’s “Mob Ties” (laughs).”

 

Napa Valley Black-Owned Winery Partners With Delta Air Lines

What started out as a way to celebrate Black History Month has now turned into a long-term partnership between a black-owned winery and a major United States airline.

Napa Valley’s Brown Estate Vineyards is partnering with Delta Air Lines to be featured on Delta’s 2019–2020 winter wine menu aboard its domestic Delta One flights. Featured wines will include Brown Estate’s 2017 Betelgeuse Sauvignon Blanc and 2017 Chaos Theory red blend, selected by Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson. Yesterday, Delta hosted a surprise tasting with Brown Estate owners and Robinson in the San Francisco Sky Club and onboard for customers traveling on a flight to New York.

“Partnering with innovative, diverse suppliers from certified small, minority, and women-owned businesses like Brown Estate is fundamental to Delta’s strategy to keep climbing year-round,” said Heather Ostis, Vice President of Supply Chain Management. “Seeking employee perspectives and leveraging unique ideas brings us closer to meeting that goal, while creating the highest quality experience for our customers.”

Brown Estate was founded in 1996 and is headed by president Doreen Brown and winemaker David Brown. According to their website, in April 2017 Brown Estate opened their Brown Downtown tasting room on the re-emerging First Street corridor in the heart of downtown Napa.

“We are delighted to partner with Delta Air Lines,” said Deneen Brown. “Delta’s all-in commitments to the spirit of inclusion and to their wine program are perfectly aligned with our core values at Brown Estate.”

The 2017 Betelgeuse Sauvignon Blanc is described “endless summer in a bottle” — straw gold in color, with refreshing clarity. Tropical fruit comingles with subtle citrus, fever grass and lemon verbena, while night-blooming jasmine and honeysuckle are complemented by a cascade of stone fruit, lychee, pineapple and guava.

Brown Estate’s 2017 Chaos Theory is a well-balanced red blend of Merlot, Petite Sirah and Zinfandel, greets the nose with a lively aroma of ripe Rainer cherries, blackberry compote, winter spice and heavy cream. Hints of Asian apple and Meyer lemon are followed by dark chocolate, tiramisu and fresh-baked croissants.

Will Packer To Produce Three-Part Docu-Series On ‘The Atlanta Child Murders’ For Investigation Discovery

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Coming to the Investigation Discovery channel next month is a new docu-series produced by Will Packer that will tell the story of the 29 mysterious murders of African-American children that shook the Atlanta area in 1979.

‘The Atlanta Child Murders’ tells the story of what would turn out to be 23 horrifying months of trying to track down what appears to be a serial killer targeting the Atlanta, Georgia area. It began in 1979 when two 14-year-old boys go missing. A few days later a woman stumbles across their remains, with one boy fatally shot and the other strangled. This incident begins a horrifying 23 months, with a total of 29 African-American children being stolen from their families and killed. Multiple suspicions lead nowhere, and under intense pressure, local police rush to find the killer before he strikes again. The city is primed to blame someone, anyone, for these cold-blooded crimes against the community. Yet decades later, no person has been tried for these murders, and the killer has never been confirmed.

“This case remains one of our countries’ most perplexing mysteries, and at ID we are proud to shine a light on every angle of this largely forgotten story,” says Henry Schleiff, Group President of Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, American Heroes Channel, and Destination America, “Will Packer’s vision to revisit this national tragedy through the never-before-heard perspective of the victims’ families brings home the true devastation of these cases.”

Will Packer will produce the three-part series with Jupiter Entertainment, according to Deadline. He will executive produce alongside Kelly Smith, Harrison Land, Mike Sheridan, Allison Wallach and Pamela Deutsch.

“Having lived in Atlanta for over 20 years, the story of this senseless tragedy is personally important to me, and the echoes of what happened 40 years ago still resonate in the city,” says Packer. “I am proud to give a voice to the victims’ families, many of whom still seek closure to this day, and analyze how this story is more relevant than ever in today’s environment.”

‘The Atlanta Child Murders’ will premiere on the cable network on March 23.

This Baltimore Yoga Instructor Wants To Teach Black Men The Importance of Holistic Health

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If you’re into yoga, then I’m sure you’re aware of the great mental and physical health benefits associated with the ancient Hindu practice. It decreases stress, relieves anxiety, fights depression, can improve heart health, and more. It is something that everyone, both men and women, is highly encouraged to participate in.

After suffering from a heart condition that he says forced him to transform his lifestyle, Changa Bell started to use yoga as a way to improve his physical and mental health. He grew up watching his father do yoga, but it wasn’t until he suffered a major health infraction that Bell turned to the yoga studio to “save his own life.”

“I was raised in the ’80s and yoga was totally not the cool things to do, but I always grew up having yoga as a part of my life,” the 46-year-old Baltimore native tells PEOPLE. “I had a major health infraction and I wanted to do better. I needed to turn my life around. I was in the yoga studio to save my own life.”

Bell began to take yoga seriously, eventually becoming a certified instructor. As a way to encourage fellow black men to find the same healing he did by practicing yoga, Changa Bell created the Black Male Yoga Initiative (BMYI) in 2015. He says one of the reasons he founded the organization was to create a space where black men didn’t feel out of place.

“A major factor was my own personal discomfort in yoga studios. I didn’t feel anybody cared about whether I was there or not. It seemed like I was being judged over my appearance and I didn’t fit the mold,” Bell admits. “I just didn’t want others to feel that way. And once I did indeed get myself better, I wanted to make sure other men didn’t feel the same way I did. I wanted to create a space where they could be themselves and be better.”

Within the last year or two, the conversation surrounding mental health in the black community has become a very hot topic. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, African Americans are 20 percent more likely to experience serious mental health issues than the general population, including depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. We are also at greater risk for societal circumstances that increase the risk of mental illness, such as homelessness and exposure to violence. Bell admits that it’s not easy to persuade black men to take on yoga.

“It’s still a work in progress,” says Bell. “Getting men to follow you as a yogi is hard, so I have to model the lifestyle. I just try to stay centered and be who I am and that resonates with people. I show that it’s okay to love openly, it’s okay to love yourself. It’s really modeling this openness and ability to grow spiritually that I think really resonates.”

Since starting BMYI in 2015, Changa Bell has been able to encourage dozens of black men to attend his yoga classes and hopes to help at least 1,000 Black men become licensed yoga instructors.

According to PEOPLE, Bell now travels around the country teaching and talking about the importance of holistic health. The loved ones of those he has been able to reach says they’ve seen positive changes in their partners both mentally and physically.

“I’ve seen changes in their emotions,” Bell said. “They’ve talked to us about changes in their home life, in terms of literally being ‘different people.’ Sometimes their wives will come in and say, ‘I don’t know what you’re doing, but keep on doing it!’ Right now it’s been a lot of emotions, mood, and anger management changes for the positive!”

Ava DuVernay Named Co-Chair Of Prada’s New Diversity & Inclusion Council

Following the release of what seemed like a plethora of racially insensitive high-end and low-end products from fashion houses everywhere, one luxury brand, in particular, is taking the steps necessary to diversify its company and “amplify voices of color.”

Prada has created an advisory council that will be led by filmmaker and screenwriter Ava DuVernay and activist and artist Theaster Gates. The Prada Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council’s purpose is to “advise the company as it invests in diverse talent development and expands opportunities for young students of color in the fashion industry.”

The company’s new initiative includes partnering with several universities and colleges to create internships, sponsorships, and training programs at Prada offices in the US and worldwide.

“Prada is committed to cultivating, recruiting and retaining diverse talent to contribute to all departments of the company,” Miuccia Prada, chief executive officer and lead creative director at Prada, said in a statement. “In addition to amplifying voices of color within the industry we will help ensure that the fashion world is reflective of the world in which we live, and we are thrilled to be working with long-time collaborators, Ava DuVernay and Theaster Gates, on this important initiative. We look forward to working with the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council to help us grow not only as a company but also as individuals.”

Prada is no stranger to receiving backlash for racially insensitive imagery. In December, the luxury fashion house issued an apology and discontinued selling a small simian figure with a black face and big red lips, a creature created by Prada as part of its holiday “Pradamalia” collection.

I don’t make a lot of public posts, but right now I’m shaking with anger. Today after returning to NYC after a very…

Posted by Chinyere Ezie on Thursday, December 13, 2018

“Prada Group abhors racist imagery,” Prada said in a statement according to CNN. “The Pradamalia are fantasy charms composed of elements of the Prada oeuvre. They are imaginary creatures not intended to have any reference to the real world and certainly not blackface. We abhor all forms of racism and racist imagery.”

Serena Williams Joins Poshmark’s Board Of Directors

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After launching her own line of clothing last year, Serena Williams appears to be expanding her resume beyond the sports industry as the legendary tennis player has now been appointed to join Poshmark’s board of directors.

If you’re unfamiliar with Poshmark, it’s an online marketplace created for people to sell their new and used clothing. Poshmark, which was founded by Manish Chandra, Tracy Sun, Gautam Golwala, and Chetan Pungaliya in 2011, is valued at nearly $600 million, according to News One. Poshmark sellers collectively garnered $1 billion since the company was launched.

“I’m really excited to join Poshmark because it really speaks to my core values,” said Williams. “They really believe in so many different aspects of my life that I am not only living but I’m also preaching.”

Manish Chandra released a statement on what makes Serena Williams the perfect fit for Poshmark’s Board of Directors, even adding that the platform was developed by a team of strong women like Williams.

“What triggered my initial interest [in Williams], is there are very few people who have that focus on excellence. What we are trying to build is a very diverse, independent board, people who can guide us to the next level of growth,” said Chandra. “Seeing she had the right experience, and the passion for fashion, that’s the way we looked at it.”

Serena Williams currently has a closet on Poshmark, where the proceeds from purchased items will go to the Yetunde Price Resource Center, an organization that she founded in memory of her sister who was fatally shot in Compton in 2003.