Queen Latifah To Invest In $14 Million Affordable Housing Project In Newark

By Posted on 0 1 m read

A new housing development project is coming to the city of Newark, New Jersey. Queen Latifah is partnering with GonSosa Development through her BlueSugar Corporation company, where she serves as co-president, to develop affordable housing for residents in her hometown of Newark, valued at $14 million. The project will include 20 three-family townhomes and a three-story mixed-used building with an additional 16 units of affordable housing based on an individual’s income, a fitness center, and commercial space for nonprofit community organizations. 60 of the units will be market rate starting with a price of $1,800.

 

 

According to Cristina Pinzon, a spokeswoman for the project, all of those involved is dedicated to making life better for the residents of Newark.

“They understand how difficult it is to make ends meet for many residents and want to be part of the solution,” Pinzon said in a statement. “They remain dedicated to making life better in communities like Newark.”

The homes will be located on Springfield Ave. and South 17th Street and the project is expected to break ground this summer.

Tiffany Haddish’s #SheReady Foundation Brings Kids Better Opportunities & Resources

During this weeks episode of ‘Hollywood Unlocked Uncensored,” actress Tiffany Haddish joins Jason Lee and DJ Damage for an interview full of non stop laughter.

She shares some funny moments, including the time she took an ‘L’ at her New Year’s Eve Miami appearance. And even talks about the time she had sex on her period —  apparently she was trying to make the guy feel better about himself.

Despite her found success, Tiffany continues to remain humble and look out for the community. #SheReady, a foundation Tiffany started, not only benefits foster kids (as she was once herself), but seeks to provide kids with better opportunities and resources.

During the interview, Tiffany also discusses what it was like growing up and why this new foundation is so close to her heart.

Watch the Full Interview 

Morehouse College Receives $1.5 Million Donation From Billionaire CEO Robert F. Smith

By Posted on 64 2 m read

Morehouse College has announced that Robert F. Smith, the Founder and CEO of Vista Equity, has donated $1.5 million to the institution.

One million dollars of Smith’s donation will go toward creating the Robert Frederick Smith Scholars Program, while the rest will be used to create a park that will give students a new outdoor study area near the campus’ Ray Charles Performing Arts Center.

“Robert F. Smith’s donation of $1 million for student scholarships will have a profound impact on the lives of deserving young men who have the desire to attend Morehouse College, but lack the resources,” said Morehouse President David A. Thomas. “We appreciate his generosity and his investment in a generation of students who will follow in his footsteps as global leaders and entrepreneurs.”

Robert F. Smith is a billionaire, investor, philanthropist, and businessman, who founded Vista Equity Partners in 2000. A global leader in software and technology investments, Vista currently manages equity capital commitments of more than $46 billion and oversees a portfolio of more than 50 software companies, employing 60,000 people worldwide.

In 2016, Smith donated $20 million to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The donation from Smith was one of the largest gifts to the museum by an individual and supported the museum’s digitization program as well as community outreach and curatorial initiatives. To show their appreciation for Robert F. Smith’s donation, the museum renamed its Explore Your Family History Center to the Robert F. Smith Explore Your Family History Center.

“Robert F. Smith has been a trailblazer in the world of finance and technology, and he is now bringing his resources and expertise to empower, engage and enliven the African American community to embrace its history and culture,” said Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of the museum. “Robert’s gift exemplifies his commitment to increasing access to opportunity, recognizing the potential in each of us and his respect for our past.”

Robert F. Smith was listed on the Forbes 400 list as one of the 400 richest Americans.

Kevin Durant Opens After-School Center For Underprivileged Students In Hometown

Kevin Durant is looking to give back to his community in a major way by partnering with College Track to open The Durant Center in Prince George’s County, Maryland. College Track is a program that recruits students from underserved communities and works continuously with them from the summer before they begin high school on through college graduation.

The after-school center, which celebrated its launch Wednesday (Jan. 23) will serve as a place where students will receive the academic, financial, and social-emotional support needed to succeed. According to Yahoo! Sports, Durant has pledged $10 million over the next decade to the program, which features 69 students in its first class.

View this post on Instagram

Just last year Kevin Durant (@easymoneysniper) announced a $10M, 10-year commitment to bring College Track to his hometown of Prince George's County. Today we celebrate the launch of @durantcenter, welcoming 69 students from Suitland High School to this transformative program! – @washingtonpost chronicles the evolution of College Track at the Durant Center and our partnership with The Kevin Durant Charity Foundation and @pgcps here: bit.ly/CollegeTrackDurantCenter – As Kevin says: “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard." Here's to the College Track at The Durant Center Class of 2026👨🏽‍🎓✨👩🏽‍🎓 We can't wait to see you soar. – #wearecollegetrack #educationfirst @35ventures @suitlandhigh1 #collegetrack #kevindurant #kevindurant35 @angelaalsobrooks #301 #princegeorgescountymd #sheisgoingtocollege #heisgoingtocollege @kevindurantfoundation

A post shared by College Track (@collegetrack) on

The Golden State Warriors basketball star says it all starts with someone believing in you just like educators believed in him.

“I had coaches and teachers that believed I could be something special. That’s where it starts,” Durant told The Mercury News. “Just older folks that believe and trust in your potential, whether it’s coaches, teachers or guidance counselors. You need someone with more experience who believe in you.”

Kevin Durant made the decision to collaborate with College Track after becoming familiar with the work they’ve done in the Bay Area. College Track is an Oakland-based program, which will ultimately open its first east coast site through working on The Durant Center. According to The Washington Post, a second College Track location will open this autumn in Congress Heights in Southeast D.C. and a third is in the early planning stages.

“It wasn’t so much that he didn’t want to do something in the Bay,” College Track chief executive Elissa Salas said. “But he was looking to really invest really deeply in his home community.”

To learn more about College Track, click here.

Beyoncé Reflects On Helping Raise $7.1 Billion To End Poverty

By Posted on 69 2 m read

Beyoncé and Jay-Z are giving back through the Global Citizen organization. The couple recently took a trip to South Africa and India where they were able to help raise $7.1 billion to aid in Global Citizen’s fight to end poverty.

Organizers hoped to reach a goal of $1 billion but completely surpassed that amount with help from groups such as the World Bank and the South African government. The donations will go towards fighting poverty across the Earth and help improve education, healthcare, sanitation, women’s rights, and countless other causes for millions across the world.

Beyoncé took to her Instagram to reflect on Global Citizen’s major accomplishment and gave praise to all of those who volunteer to help make such a positive change.

“After settling in at home from a beautiful trip to South Africa and India, I am still in awe that 7.1 BILLION dollars [were] raised to aid Global Citizen in its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty,” she wrote. “I’d like to give my praise and respect to all the speakers, performers and volunteers who donated their time to contribute to making positive change. Every person in the audience at FNB Stadium earned a seat because they generously donated their time to help their community. Now their efforts and the money raised will help improve education, healthcare, sanitation, women’s rights and countless other causes for millions across the globe.”

View this post on Instagram

After settling in at home from a beautiful trip to South Africa and India, I am still in awe that 7.1 BILLION dollars was raised to aid Global Citizen in its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. I’d like to give my praise and respect to all the speakers, performers, and volunteers who donated their time to contribute to making positive change.  Every person in the audience at FNB Stadium earned a seat because they generously donated their time to help their community. Now their efforts and the money raised will help improve education, healthcare, sanitation, women’s rights, and countless other causes for millions across the globe. I felt so much positivity and pride in the audience at Global Citizen: Mandela 100. Madiba, Johannesburg, and all of my African sisters and brothers, we hope we made you as proud as you all make us.  South Africa was an extraordinary trip for me and my family. God bless. If you would like to become a Global Citizen you can get more info at globalcitizen.org

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

The Global Citizen Festival honored the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela as the late former South African president also had a vision of ending extreme poverty.

“Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life.” – Nelson Mandela

Michael Jordan Makes Multi-Million Dollar Investment In Nonprofit For Children

By Posted on 0 2 m read

Friends of the Children is a nationwide organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of generational poverty and with the help of Michael Jordan, has been able to reach their $25 million fundraising goal.

The legendary NBA star made a multi-million dollar donation to the organization. The announcement was made Thursday. In a statement regarding his donation, Jordan talks about the power of perseverance and credits his mentors for believing in him, which ultimately drew him into Friends of the Children.

“What stood out to me about Friends of the Children was that they employ and train their mentors and that they commit to every child for 12-and-a-half years,” he said. “That dedication is important to me. My mentors believed in me and taught me the power of perseverance. I want youth in Friends of the Children to see that they have that same potential.”

Terri Sorensen, Friends of the Children CEO, says that with Michael Jordan’s donation to the organization they’re able to expand 25 cities by 2025, empowering a growing number of youth and families.

“There are so many communities across the country that we want to serve. With Michael’s investment, we can now expand more quickly to 25 cities,” says Terri. “It’s not every day that you get a call that Michael Jordan—arguably most famous athlete in the world— had heard about your organization and wanted to support it. We got that call. We are thrilled beyond measure for this generous gift and recognition for our lasting impact.”

To learn more, click here.

Chance The Rapper Donates $1 Million To Mental Health Services In Chicago

By Posted on 157 2 m read

As the discussion surrounding mental health in the black community continues, it seems as though more celebrities are advocating and using their platform to bring awareness to not only making mental health care resources readily available to those in need but to also normalize the conversation and inspire others to get help.

During a summit for his nonprofit organization, SocialWorks, Chance the Rapper announced that he pledges to donate $1 million to mental health services in Chicago.

“With the help of SocialWorks, we want to change the way that mental health resources are being accessed by you,” he said.

SocialWorks has also announced a new initiative, My State of Mind, which aims to unify the broader mental health community and increase the access and visibility of services. As part of Chance’s pledge, six mental health initiatives will receive $100,000 grants.

If you keep up with Chance the Rapper, then you know he’s no stranger to giving back. In 2017, he donated $1 million to Chicago Public Schools, describing the donation as a “call to action” to encourage other major Chicago companies to help the community. For the 2018 school year, SocialWorks and Chance teamed up with STATE Bags to donate 30,000 backpacks to children in Chicago. He along with STATE Bags founders Jacq and Scot Tatelman handed out backpacks filled with school supplies to local kids and their families.

“We admire the work we’ve seen by STATE and are proud to partner with them as we work towards enhancing education and conversation around funding formulas nationally,” Chance said.

To read more about SocialWorks, click here.

Tyler Perry Gifts Actress With A Home For Her Mother

By Posted on 72 1 m read

Tyler Perry has been known to be a  very generous person, making everyone around him wishes come true. Earlier this year Perry  gifted Tiffany Haddish with her dream car, a Tesla. Then he offered actor Geoffrey Owens a spot on his hit TV show “The Haves and The Have Nots” after being “shamed” for working at Trader Joe’s as a bagger. Now the 49-year-old filmmaker has granted another wish. This time he gifted   one of his actors with  a house for her unwell mother.

TMZ reports,

Tyler dropped $350,000 on a home in Georgia … and gave it to the ailing mother of LaShun Pace, who worked alongside Tyler on a play all the way back in 1999.

Tyler and LaShun stayed in touch ever since they worked on a play Perry wrote and co-produced two decades ago … and his connection to the Pace family runs deep.

LaShun’s family makes up a Gospel group and Tyler put one of their songs in “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion.”

So, when Tyler learned Bettie Pace had fallen ill and her dying wish was to own a home big enough for her large family … he stepped up and bought a property close to where the Paces were born and raised in Atlanta.

We think it’s safe to say that Tyler Perry is one of the greatest boss!

Luka Sabbat X Related Garments Give Back To Haiti

By Posted on 55 2 m read

Connection that go beyond the bloodlines. Collaborations that aspire to create change should be predicate upon change itself, a continuous evolution, a passing down of foundations on which future success may be built.

Luka Sabbat and his father Clark Sabbat visited Haiti to reunite with family with hope so sharing some inspiration with a community still rebuilding. In collaboration with RELATED GARMENTS the team designed a special collection of mens and women intimate apparel. 

The ‘x’ in ‘Sabbat x Related’ means more than marketing, or the causal exchanging of design ideas. For Clark, it means nostalgia and the unbreakable bond of family. For Luka, it means paying homage. For Mike and David, it means extending the brotherhood of their brand beyond bloodlines.

For Luka,  “The project was a powerful way to help—to go back to see where his family comes from and who he is, and also to actually give back in a meaningful way.” (HELP provides merit- and need-based scholarships for children.) And though a pair of socks or underwear may seem inconsequential, both Sabbats understand that little things can make a big difference. “You’re not going to see underwear per se—it’s so personal, you wear it under your clothes—but it’s good to know that part of your money is going to charity,” says Luka. “People spend so much on useless stuff—but when you give back, [even] if it’s small, it adds up.”

 

Luka and the team visited HELP, an organization that seeks Haiti’s brightest, and pays for their college education. HELP has an 85% success rate, where those that graduate, go on to work as engineers, agronomist and more. Rebuilding the country on brain at a time.

The team also visited EMI, an organization teaching Haitians how to speak english. This mastery of english will provide more opportunities for Haitians. The team visited multiple programs to decide who they would eventually partner with. On this particular visit to the Ecole Nouvelle Zorange, Luka’s connection with the kids evolved into a full soccer match. Before the match the team visited the grounds and passed out socks to many a bare feet.

“As a way to effect change we chose HELP as our charity of choice. 12% of net proceeds will be donated to HELP. We believe building a strong educational foundation will be the best way HAITI will have the leaders and the thinkers it needs to progress into the 21st century.”

Will And Jaden Smith’s Water Company ‘JUST’ To Donate Water To Flint Michigan Until Water Crisis Is Fixed

By Posted on 0 1 m read

Word on the street has been that Jaden Smith owns his own water company called JUST. The water company is actually owned by both ICON’S Will and Jaden and it is eco-friendly.

The company has vowed to donate water each month to Flint, Michigan schools until the city’s water is drinkable again. JUST has already donated over 9,000 bottles of water to flint. The fact that Flint still does not have water is mind-blowing, and the company was, even more, shook when they find out that it was still affecting public schools.

“This just makes sense for us to do,” Laufer told MLive. “After reading more about [Flint’s] challenges and the mayor objecting to pulling bottled water from the schools, we thought, ‘Let’s help these kids.’”

Will and Jaden Smith founded JUST back in 2015 in efforts to provide a green alternative to plastic bottles and to invest in communities. The bottles are 82 percent plant-based and they are in the process of having investments in Glen Falls, New York.

We are not seeing much change or progression when it comes to the water crisis. In 2017 the EPA awarded the city with 100 million dollars to replace the water pipes and this should be completed in 2020.

 

 

AMC Theatre’s & Color Of Change Will Provide Free ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ Tickets to Underprivileged Kids

We are all gearing up to watch Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle In Time and Color of Change and AMC Theatres are working together to make sure that underprivileged kids get a chance to screen the movie for free. Color of Change is a nonprofit civil rights advocacy organization and according to Variety magazine, the free ticket will be offered through their “Give a Child the Universe” initiative.

The “Give a Child the Universe” initiative encouraged both individuals and groups to purchase and donate tickets to the movie. With the donation, Color of Change will give tickets away to partners, schools and other community organizations for showings and their local AMC theatre.

“Color of Change believes in the power of images and supports those working to change the rules in Hollywood so that inclusive, empathetic and human portrayals of Black people and people of color are prominent on the screen,” Color of Change Executive Director Rashad Robinson said, according to Variety. “From Selma to now A Wrinkle In Time, Ava DuVernay has set out to change the rules in Hollywood for people of color and women.

“By casting a black teenage actress Storm Reid as the heroine at the center of this story, the filmmakers, and the studio send a powerful message to millions of young people who will see someone like them embracing their individuality and strength to save the world,” Robinson added. “We are pleased to partner with AMC to ensure that as many young people as possible, regardless of economic and financial hardships, can see this groundbreaking film.”

The A Wrinkle in Time challenge is taking over social media just like the Black Panther Challenge. People will be buying out theaters soon, and we can not wait for our little boys and girls to see themselves in a positive light on the screen once again!

 

Phylicia Rashad & Denzel Washington Helped Pay For Chadwick Boseman To Study At Oxford

By Posted on 67 2 m read

During his appearance on Live! With Kelly and Ryan, This Is Us star Susan Kelechi Watson shared a story about her time studying at Oxford. In this story, she revealed that she and her classmates were not able to afford the tuition and alumni Phylicia Rashad pitched in to help.

“I remember a friend of mine reached out to Phylicia Rashad, who is also an alumnus of Howard, and got on the phone with Phylicia and Phylicia was like, ‘Oh no you’re going!’ And we were like, ‘Ok…’ She was like, ‘I will call you back.’”

“The next thing you know she calls back and says, ‘Denzel and I are paying for you guys to go,’” Watson added. “I’m happy to say he paid for my scholarship to go and we went and had this amazing summer that changed all of our lives. I saw Mr. Washington at some occasion years later and I said, ‘Excuse me Mr. Washington, you paid for my scholarship to go,’ and he was like, ‘Yeah, you’re welcome.’”

Recently, Chadwick Boseman revealed that he has a very similar story. Boseman, who attended Howard University was mentored by Rashad.

“She would do a play in D.C. and you’d go see it, and she’d drive you home and talk to you,” he recounted in his cover story interview with Rolling Stone. “‘How you eating? You look too skinny. You need a pork chop.’ We were just trying to aspire to her excellence.”

Rashad said that she knew that Boseman would make it big one day.

“Chad was this lanky young man with big eyes and an endearing smile and a very gentle way,” she said. “What I saw in him was the sky was the limit. He never asked me to introduce him to anyone – that’s not his way. He was going to make it on his own merits.”

When the chance came for Boseman to study at Oxford, he was helped by Rashad and friend Denzel Washington. Baseman says, “I’m sure he has no idea, it was random.”

Boseman went on to say that he is waiting to meet Washington in person to personally thank him.