RHOA Kenya Moore Donates to Alma Mater

Kenya Moore holding up that phat check to DPSF image courtesy of Instagram

Kenya Moore may be many things, but a woman of her word is sho nuff one of them. If you recall seven months ago, during the temper fueled “Real Housewives of Atlanta” reunion special, the twirl queen and Nene “moneybags” Leakes hesitantly agreed to donate to their favorite charities. And to prove how deep Nene’s pocketbook is she pledged to match Kenya’s donation to her fave charity as a peace offering for acting ratchet at a Kenya Moore-endorsed charity event.

Well, hunni, Kenya has officially signed, sealed annnddd delivered the $20K to the Detroit Public Schools Foundation. The org confirmed the donation last week.

No word on when Nene is dropping her check in the mail…

What Happens to a Dream Deferred?


There was a ginormous dark cloud hanging over my head today. Well, to be honest, its been accumulating this week with one rejection, after another, until my inbox was littered with notifications of “you’re not a good fit.”Deuces

I received one more today and it didn’t produce a cloud as much as a storm. With lots and lots of showers. And thunder. Plus a Beyonce song blasting in the background. Look, I love you guys. I appreciate you as readers and I’m not on here to whine about my bad week. Even though it was epically bad. I’m interrupting the regularly scheduled celebs-with-a-cause posts to help a girl in need.Me.

I’m writing to get advice. Is there ever a point where you just throw up your hands and ask, “what’s the point?” Of chasing a dream that shows no sign of being caught. To give everything you have, and find a way for the things you don’t, and it not be valued and reciprocated.

So my point is this, why continue? Why try to break into an industry that values coders and engineers (no shade) more than writers. Scribes with unique perspectives on the world, especially during these turbulant times, that don’t require a complex formula to make some sense of the world to the masses.

And let’s say, hypothetically that I did get my dream job, how long before it’s eliminated? Just like all the jobs in the industry seem to be.

This week has put me in the uncomfortable position of being a cynic and a pessimist. Two qualities I abhor in others and somehow adopted.

Dreams are hard. I get it. But at what point do you wake up to reality?

3 Reasons We Need More Malala’s in the World

Two years ago, I was scanning CNN’s site when a breaking news story hijacked the homepage. An innocent Pakistani girl was shot in the head by the Taliban.Reading the vicious details of a young girl being struck down for wanting to enter a classroom was mind-boggling to a Western-based girl, whose country has a history of school dropouts.

I chalked the tragedy up to yet another case of Taliban extremism, and expected its latest victim named Malala to die along with her ideals for equality.

Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow’s reality. -Malala Yousafzai

Flash forward two years later, just two days shy of her assasination, Malala (very much alive and even more outspoken about girls getting an education) is interrupted in her chemistry class to claim the Nobel Peace Prize. I’ve never been so happy to be wrong. Malala Yousafzai is many things, but survivor is at the very top of the list. And not only has she survived she is thriving in her purpose of helping young girls find theirs. If only there were more girls like her. Below I list three reasons why there should be.

1. Change- If you’ve been scrolling through your newsfeed recently, you know that young kids are pawns used to carry out terrorists sick, sadistic missions. And it is the Malalas and the 200 kidnapped African girls, some of which escaped,standing up and being an anchor for change.

2. Revolution- It’s debateable if hash tag activism is effective or not. I’m leaning towards yes…BUT, when it’s backed up by real activism.Social media campaigns merged with protests for equality has illicited change that we’ve witnessed in Ferguson. It’s an instant connection to enlighten the world as well as pave the pavement.

3. Inspiration- There are few role models for young people where education is their mantlepiece priority, especially at Malala’s age.We’re losing our philosophical pioneers (RIP Maya Angelou, RIP Nelson Mandela) left and right. It’s time we start molding a new generation. Malala is a great start.

Congratulations, Malala!!!

Former NFL Player Terrell Owen Sells Memorabilia for Charity

TOclosetsforcauses

Terrell Owens cleaned out his closets recently for a good cause. The former wide receiver hooked up with Closets for Causes–which match celebs with philanthropic opportunities related to style– to raise money for Good Sports, a non-profit promoting active lifestyles for kids.

The former Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles player donated his gear (signed and unsigned) to go kids that are starved of sports gear for sports teams around the country.

“I’m really blessed to be able to partner with Closets for Causes and give back to the youth in the community. It feels good to know that by giving the public the opportunity to own memorabilia from by football career and other personal items, children are receiving the sports equipment they need to pursue their own dreams and go to the next level.”

The Good Sports org wants to bridge the gap between impoverished youth programs unable to provide sports-related gear and kids that have a regular activity to keep them focused.

It’s good to know TO’s gear won’t go unused. But, I wonder what’s to become of his autographed figurines? hmmm check out all his memorabilia by clicking here.

Adding to his generosity, TO has also donated a one hour bowling session with him in Los Angeles. To bid on this fan experience, click here. Hmmm bowling, I was thinking more along the lines of him throwing the pigskin…oh well.

THINK PINK!!! Meagan Good, Kim Coles on Breast Cancer Awareness Month

 

savethetatas

I’ve never been a fan of the color, but I salute the cause. It’s officially breast cancer awareness month; unleash your pink…anything. This year holds special meaning for me with my aunt and mom battling it and fiercely (*knock on wood*) defeating it. Unfortunately my Nana wasn’t able to survive the big C over a decade ago. The harrowing reality that cancer cut her 60-year-old life short is disheartening, at times. But, it’s a reality in which millions of families experience each year. According to Susan G. Komen, 40,000 people are estimated to die this year from breast cancer.

And despite the  rumor that breast cancer is strictly a white women’s disease, it’s only partially true. Yes, we are less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, buuutttt, this is a big but, so pay attention, Black women are more likely to DIE from breast cancer compared to white women. Sorry I’m being so morbid in this post, but I think it’s necessary to shatter any myths circulating around breast cancer. It gives us the chance to actually talk about it and band together to cure it. With that said, I highlight (using my Pink Sharpie) three celebs that are cleverly raising awareness for breast cancer.

Meagan’s Goodies Commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness

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Meagan Good took to Instagram to accept the Harley Davidson Pink Challenge by wearing the firm’s signature tee. The famous hog dealers have a clothing collection–Pink Label– to honor breast cancer survivors. Any pink label gear you purchase a portion will be donated to the National Cancer Foundation and Young Survival Coalition. The Think Like a Man star urged others to accept the pink challenge: “Le’t express our support for the one in eight women who are diagnosed with breast cancer each year…let’s take the Pink Challenge and spread awareness!!!”

Kym Coles WooWooWoo’s Survivors of Breast Cancer

woowoowooSpeaking of tees, comedienne Kim Coles has reignited her famous catchphrase–appearing on sisterhood sitcom “Living Single”–to plaster on some tanks. The WooWooWoo (written in pink letters) tanks  are being sold online to raise money for breast cancer awareness cause. Kim is relaunching the tank in honor of her friend and her sister, who is a survivor. Purchase one while supplies last…it’s only for a limited time.

Team Cancer Free

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One half of the original 106 & Park show host, Free, an advocate for breast cancer awareness, made her annual ‘Making Strides Against Breast Cancer’ 5K walk in Boston last weekend. The walk is to raise awareness and money  for a cure for breast cancer. Free’s team dubbed ‘Team Cancer Free’ has raised over $4,000 so far. Their goal is to reach $5,000 that’ll go towards American Cancer Society’s research in treating breast cancer. There is still time to donate to the cause. If you wish to give click here.

 

Let’s think pink, y’all.

 

PRETTY (FIT) GIRLS ROCK: Keri Hilson Motivates Girls to Stay Active

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Ms. Keri, baby, Hilson made a stop at a YMCA in Atlanta earlier this week to chat with teen girls about the importance of staying fit. The “Pretty Girls Rock” singer encouraged them to join a sports team because being dirty and sweaty isn’t just for boys.

All the more reason  the R&B diva was the keynote speaker at the Pretty Girls Sweat movement; the brainchild of Teen Diaries Foundation that aims to guide young girls nationwide to maintain healthy lifestyles. After riling up the group of 200 girls, Keri and teen pop group the OMG Girlz, put the young’uns to work sweating out their relaxers  by playing basketball, double dutch and kicking those heels up with jumping jacks.

Not only did the teens walk away with exercise endorphins, but also some fitness swag. All well deserved.

The event marks the 3rd anniversary of the Pretty Girls Sweat program developed to combat the country’s childhood obesity epidemic.  To join the movement or donate click HERE.

FLOTUS Michelle is somewhere in the White House doing this:

 

 

UPDATED Jay Z Headlines The Global Citizen Festival to End Extreme Poverty

globalcitizen2014

In *looks at watch* less than 24 hours Jay Z –along with No Doubt, The Roots, Fun, Carrie Underwood and Tiësto–will take over the stage in Central Park  for The Global Citizen Festival. If you remember Alicia Keys rocked the mega crowd so hard last year, I think the trees found rhythm. And I wish she demanded a do over this year. Just because her “Why We Are Here” online campaign along with the matching thought-provoking (and foot-tap worthy) ballad is the embodiment of the festival’s mission to work together to end poverty.

jiggamanNow it’s on Jay Z to inspire us with that same musical message. Don’t scoff, I’m confidant he can pull this off. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, how can Mr. “presence is charity” possibly convince others to care about such a huge problem as global poverty? Simple answer: his presence. Okay, okay, hold on… hear me out. Jay Z holds weight; it’s no secret he is one of the most influential music gods on Earth, you don’t have to ask who the goddess is, and with that comes pull. To get others to care about the shit we ordinarily wouldn’t. (e.g. Yeah, okay everyone marching the streets of Manhattan this week cared about the destruction of the environment. This dude had nothing to do with it? Of course he did, that’s what made it even more newsworthy.)

Jay may not change the state of poverty in one night, but he sure as hell will–to borrow from the late great Tupac Shakur–“spark the brain” that will make poverty a conversation starter. It wouldn’t be the first time Jay Z ignited a flame of consciousness to a cause close to his heart. I recall him doing just that, without picking up a mic.

If you’ll allow me, I know it’s not Thursday, but let’s go back to 2006 when Jay Z announced a world tour to spread awareness for the  global water crisis, in conjunction with being a spokesman for the United Nations. MTV captured one of his stops in Angola and released the documentary “Diary of Jay Z Water for Life.” To refresh your memory hit play after the jump.

And if it piqued your interest enough, here’s another one:

Shocking, right? Not only was he present, but he also got his hands dirty in the process. Allow me to reintroduce myself indeed…

In his book “Decoded” he explains his ideas about giving to charity.

“…Of course I do sometimes like to see where the money I give goes. When I went to Angola for the water project I was working on and got to see the new water pump and how it changed the lives of the people in the village, I wasn’t happy because I’d felt like I done something so great. I was happy to know that whatever money I’d given was actually being put to work and not just paying a seven-figure salary for the head of the Red Cross. And I did a documentary about it, not to glorify myself, but to spread the word about the problem and the possible solutions.”

And the importance of coming together to solve this ginormous world issues.

…But whether it’s public or private, we can’t run away from our brothers and sisters as if poverty is a contagious disease.

Amen, Hov. I hope those written words from four years ago will resonate on the stage tonight and squeeze its way into our hearts, enough to give a damn.

************UPDATE*******************************UPDATE**********************************UPDATE****************************UPDATE***********************************UPDATE**************************UPDATE

photo credit: Twitter

photo credit: Twitter

So, its been ten hours since we last chatted, and since then, Jay Z has rocked the crowd in Central Park …and got the date wrong for when the organization wants to eradicate poverty (it’s 2030, not 2013, Mr. Carter). But what he did get right is bring Beyonce on stage. She was the cherry on top of Jay’s indulgent 50 minute concert. To see the Carters perform “Holy Grail” and “Young Forever,” check it out below.

And Bey and Jay will keep us forever young with this one…

During his performance he thanked all the people in the crowd for working to eradicate poverty with their volunteer work.

photo credit: Beyonce Jay Z source

photo credit: Beyonce Jay Z source

Our prayers were answered (at least mine were) with pregnancy glow and all, Alicia Keys made a return by opening the festival.

Image Courtesy of mleshik007 Instagram

Image Courtesy of mleshik007 Instagram

 

Also on hand were…

theroots2

…. The Roots

That’s all folks!! **in my Jay Z voice** What a great night, wouldn’t you agree?

 

jaybeythatsawrap

Slam Dunk or Foul?: Dwayne Wade Partners with Sandal for Youth Charity Program

Dwayne Wade in Turks & Caicos with kids from Sandal Foundation. Image Courtesy: Instagram

Dwayne Wade in Turks & Caicos with kids from Sandal Foundation. Image Courtesy: Instagram

Newlywed Miami Heat baller Dwayne Wade is taking his charity Wade’s World Foundation overseas. The NBA champion will take his philanthropic talents to the Caribbean (and, of course Miami) where he’ll enlighten at-risk teens about the benefits of a good education. And provide sports and rec centers for them to stay fit.

Not unlike what he does in the states, except this go ’round he’s teaming up with Sandals Resorts Foundation, an org that matches Wade’s World Foundation mission to create education and environmental projects for teens. In Sandals case, they cater to Caribbean communities–Jamaica, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas, Antigua, St. Lucia, Grenada and Barbados– they have their resorts in.

The “game changer” program (yes, that’s the official name) aims to upgrade 11 multipurpose sports courts in the Caribbean and South Florida for kids to have a place to play and stay fit.

So why did the M.I.A baller decide to venture into foreign territory with his charity?

The opportunity to partner with the Sandals Foundation was a natural progression to the work we do and affords us the chance to continue to expand our reach internationally providing today’s youth with safe and fun places to learn explore and develop their potential.

Those willing to water those seeds of promise can make a donation to the game changer program here, or if you wanna give your fingertips a workout text GAME to 41444 to donate.

Honestly, I wasn’t too excited to hear that Mr. Gabrielle Union was partnering with the resort, given their homophobic past. Learning years ago that they banned same-sex couples from their resorts cast a shadow over their sandy white beaches, for me.

Yet, nothing is forever, including same sex bans, but I can’t lie and say I don’t feel some type of way about it. On one hand it’s a fitting way to synchronize two charities with one specific goal: enriching kids lives. Buuttt they’ve banned a whole group of people based on their sexual orientation for 23 years. Two decades!?. I know it’s time to let it go. The ban has been lifted. It’s a new day. Maybe so, but does it give anyone else pause over what kind of teens (is it straight AND gay or “Or”?) their willing to help?

Let me know what you guys think below.

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tinacharlesIn other sports related news, WNBA player Tina Charles slashed her salary in half to jump start her charity Hopey’s Heart Foundation, which purchases and distributes defibrillators to local schools around Michigan. The New York Liberty center launched the org in her aunt’s honor, who died of organ failure last year, and spent over $14K (she makes $100,000, according to Black Enterprise) purchasing 10 defibrillators for donation before she passed.

She’s raised $48K for the foundation so far and wrote a $50,000 check to go towards the charity’s goal of getting 100 defibrillators.

No qualms about this one. You go girl.

Tyler Perry Donates $45K to Atlanta Homeless Shelter

perryphilanthropyMega producer (and to Spike Lee’s chagrin, creator of the wise cracking, law breaking grandmom Madea) Tyler Perry shows he loves the children by donating $45,000 to an Atlanta teen shelter at risk of closing.

The “If Loving You is Wrong” producer spent his 45th b-day making teens and their families dreams come true by keeping the Young People Matter shelter’s doors open to the 6,000 they service, until the end of the year.

The shelter’s $580,000 grant that lasted three years will expire at the end of this month.

Perry stopped by the shelter last week to talk with the kids at the facility that boasts of being the only “24-hour bed space to both males and females under 18″ in Atlanta. And the shelter only has five beds!?!

Watch the news coverage of Young People Matter shelter

According to Access Atlanta, Perry’s PR reps confirmed the $45,000 donation was meant to coincide with his 45th year on Earth. You gotta love the symmetry of his philanthropy.

The president of the board on Young People Matter, Andrew Bostic, hopes others will follow in the famous filmmaker’s footsteps in supporting their shelter’s mission.

To make a donation to Young People Matter shelter, click here

Considering how open Perry is in discussing his past life of homelessness (he once quipped to Essence, “Can you imagine a 6-foot-five man sleeping in a Geo Metro?) it’s inspiring he reached back to help others in the same dilemma.

Kerry Washington Uses Fashion to Spotlight Domestic Abuse

kwpurpleNew York Fashion Week may be kaput, but “Scandal” star Kerry Washington introduced the hottest accessory for a woman’s safety. The purple purse.  The tasseled, chain-strapped purse was  designed by Olivia Pope  Kerry herself, and Vanna White debuted yesterday at Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse Challenge. Fashion aside, this purse carries a strong message for any woman or girl suffering financial abuse, a little known form of domestic abuse where a partner uses money to control a spouse’s freedom.

In light of the tsunami-sized public uproar over NFL players Ray Rice and Adrian Peters alleged physical abuse cases, now is as good a time as any to jumpstart a convo about a form of abuse that is very rarely talked about. To bring you up to speed, financial domestic abuse is experienced in 98% of abusive relationships and is cited as the top reason for why victims stay in unhealthy  relationships, according to the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

It starts by slowly pulling away a woman’s purse strings, until she’s financially trapped.

“When the victim finally realizes she wants to take back some control, she often can’t. That whole hashtag #WhyIStayed that happened last week, you saw how many of those responses were about feeling trapped financially,” Washington, the purple purse ambassador told The Huffington Post.

KERRYWASHINGTONPURPLEPURSE

The Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse Challenge aims to take back the power stolen from these women by using the handbag (adorned the color of domestic abuse awareness) to be a topic of conversation. As well as a source of funds for charities advocating for domestic abuse victims.

So, here’s how it works, when you donate $10 or more, you will enter a daily drawing to win one of three purple purses Ms. Washington designed. There will be three winners every day. You can enter here and for those that prefer email: purplepurse@crowdrise.com with the subject line “Please enter me in the sweepstakes-Win a Purple Purse.” In the email include all your contact info. You have until October 3rd to enter.

So far the purple purse challenge has taken in over $500k in donations. I guess survivors of domestic abuse are in good hands….sorry, couldn’t help myself. To learn about other charitable pursuits the Allstate Foundation contributes to click here.

And if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse and need help, know that you are not alone. Go to a safe place and contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE for help, because no one deserves to be abused.

 

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