It’s sickle cell awareness month and to raise awareness for this overlooked disease–that more of us suffer from than you think–we’re highlighting a model spokesperson. No, literally!! Jourdan Dunn was tapped by Sickle Cell Disease Association of America to be their ambassador.
What does the gorg supermodel that slays fashion runways and a Beyoncé vid have in common with a debilitating illness affecting red blood cells?
To erase those thought bubbles from your head, here are a few good reasons Jourdan Dunn wasn’t just a pretty face for the Association: She tells Vogue she carries the sickle cell gene and passed it onto her four-year-old son, Riley.
Now she’s educating others through her Cell for Gratitude charity initiative. She already put her fashion skills to good use by designing a cell necklace in which proceeds go to the Association.
I don’t want people to feel sorry for my son or me. I’m not ashamed about sickle cell anemia. I want to talk about it because there are a lot of people in the industry who have sickle cell or who have a family member that has it, but they don’t talk about it. Many others don’t know if they even carry the gene.
Unlike normal blood cells that are round, those with sickle cells are oval shaped. And when the blood cells are clogged–due to infection or body temp changes–it triggers unbearable pain.
Jourdan says her goal as Association ambassador is to brush off the shame of the illness and get people talking.
I want people who have it to speak up because sickle cell anemia isn’t something to be ashamed of. There are other people dealing with it, and we shouldn’t turn a blind eye.
For those itching to contribute to this under-the-radar cause blood donations are greatly appreciated. To see if you qualify to give, click here
To read a full version of the Vogue article click here
First there was six-month-old Jonylah Watkins, gunned down alongside her father in Chicago last year. Now, the family of Ne’Riah Miller, a toddler killed in a shooting in her Kentucky home this summer, have to mourn another gone-way-to-soon life stripped of potential.
To combat this sorrowful reality, community members of Shawnee, KY pulled together and marched in support of lil Ne’Riah. Among them was rap mogul Master P, who hails from Louisville, and used the occasion to teach kids (including his two sons that marched alongside him) what they need to do to have bright futures.
After the rally, organizers, Ne’Riah’s family and fellow marchers gathered at a local YMCA to hear Master P and Christopher 2X, a Louisville-based community activist, speak to youngsters about tapping into their potential.
Decked out in a fire engine red tee with “Don’t Shoot…Let the Kids Grow” text in the front, Master P reminisced about his only goal growing up in the Louisville PJs was to live to be 19. And didn’t have a clue what to do after that milestone.
Well, he certainly developed a blueprint that included basketball and music production. Now through his Let the Kids Grow Foundation, he’s steering the young ones to alternate life paths BESIDES slinging crack-rock or having a wicked jumpshot.
Kudos to P for giving back to his hometown ‘hood and trying to help turn this vicious tide.
What hasn’t already been said about the comedic queen of gab’s untimely passing? Yes, she was an acerbic tongued, plastic surgery addicted crowned KING of reading our thoughts and hilariously saying them aloud, without blushing. But that was Joan Rivers. The mean girl we would begrudgingly admit to literally LOL-ing over her flippant evisceration of Nicki Minaj’s red carpet getup on “Fashion Police.” Or revel at her exchanging insults with the world’s most famous pig and then getting into a red carpet throwdown.
Yet, as accustomed as we were to Joan Rivers, Joan Rosenberg (her birth name) was someone we are just now getting acquainted with. She’s the gal that didn’t get the headlines from making a Ray J sextape because she was too busy volunteering for God’s Love We Deliver every Thanksgiving.
She was the one that battled with attempted suicide–as well as living with the aftermath of her husband’s suicidal death– when Joan Rivers was going through a mandatory career hiatus. And got an unlikely guardian angel (disguised as her dog) to prevent her from doing it. But was extremely vocal about the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention‘s support. Prompting them to release this statement:
Joan Rivers, you will be remembered for your brilliance as a comedian, but we at AFSP want to thank you for inspiring so many survivors of suicide loss to speak out and find their way forward after the death of a loved one. Your courage and your work helped give the suicide prevention efforts in the United States the momentum they needed to become a national movement. We’ll miss you.
And became just as adamant a supporter for the Guide Dogs for the Blind. In fact she was going to be the guest of honor at the Canine Heroes Auction later on this month.
As we say a fond farewell, judging by her last requests it will be a star-studded one, to a comedic pioneer let’s also give a nod to the generous spirit that was rarely seen, but will be dearly missed.
One last tickle: “I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware” R.I.P Joan Rivers
On the heels of Young Jeezy’s arrest– for an AK-47 found on his tour bus that wasn’t his, but connected to a Wiz Khalifa concert shooting–he’s giving back to future Donald Trump-type captains of real estate.
The “Seen It All” lyricist pulled a $1 million dollar check out his wallet as a donation to the Jay Morrison Academy; an online school that offers coaching in real estate deals.
Because of Young Jeezy’s generous donation through his Street Dreamz Foundation, which looks for opportunities to give back to communities in need for over a decade, 1,000 underprivileged students (including felons and single moms) can enroll for free.
And also cover the cost to textbooks and mentoring calls. Anyone else considering making a career change to take advantage of this sweet deal?
If you are, it will make Young Jeezy’s contribution worthwhile. This is what he said about his donation:
A wise man told me one time if you want to help your community give them something else to sell besides drugs, give them something else to sell. I think this is a great opportunity, for young entrepreneurs, for the young real estate guys who want to get into something else, even for the community overall.
Thanks for creating that something else, J.
For those interested in applying for the academy’s scholarship click here.
Happy post-Labor Day, post-BBQ, post-no white pants allowed season. Summer is unofficially a wrap–just don’t tell Mother Nature because she’s still beaming 80° weather over our heads in the Big Apple–and what better way to give it a fond farewell than having a ludicrously philanthropic blowout by the self-proclaimed man himself.
Ludacris kicked off his 9th annual Ludaday weekend, a four day binge on charitable events benefitting the ATL community through the Ludacris Foundation, with a strike! Nope, no one was out, the “Fast & Furious” star launched a celeb bowling tournament Thursday, which attracted Neyo, Lance Goss and Rev Run’s daughter Angela Simmons.
But, the actual winner of the night was producer Lil Ronnie.
The Ludaday weekend charity tour took over Banneker High School Friday, with a health talk and improv workout at the gym. Wonder which snatched bod will look the best in their back-to- school clothes…
The Ludaday weekend tour bus rolled onto Georgia State University. The new Frosh and upperclassmen were treated to a block party with free food and entertainment by Bobby Shmurda. **raised eyebrows** as nice as it may have been to get Shmoney dance lessons and watch his cap get stuck in the clouds, didn’t this up-and-coming rapper just dodge a drive-by shooting?!! Just saying…y’all be safe.
Rounding out the last two days of the Ludaday weekend was a celeb b-ball game, which Larenz Tate, Dwight Howard,
Bow Wow Shad Moss, and Big Tigger suited up for to take to the hardwood at GSU gym Sunday. The victor was, of course Ludacris for the game and hosting a starstudded charity event.
Sitting courtside was “Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta” stars Rasheeda and Kirk, no doubt taking a break from the show’s violently explosive reunion show.
And the Pied Piper of R&B, R. Kelly, chilled with Luda backstage.
Cheers to the friggin weekend!!!
I’ve had my eyes glued to Juan Gonzalez’s “News for all the People” book for the past three months. No, I’m not a slow reader, I just don’t want the book to end. At the risk of sounding like a geek (which I totally am) I’m unbelievably fascinated by the tome that chronicles minorities breaking into the media.
The book not only acknowledges brown faced pioneers of TV, radio and newspapers–just to name a few (Ida B. Wells, Jackie Cooper and John Russwurm) because their are a TON, to many to record for this tiny blog–but also the insurmountable obstacles they faced getting there.
What’s more shocking is having the living nightmares of racial tension in the ’50s and ’60s jump off the page and onto TV screens in 2014. The Ferguson residents standoff with police last night harkened back to a time I thought was over. Where reports of civilians being teargassed in the streets, while protesting injustices in their community lived only in history books.
Although it’s not to surprising given that history has repeated itself countless times before in the form of Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Ramarley Graham, Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo,and Eric Garner. Now 18-year-old Michael Brown is added to that haunting list of the gone to soon crew. The soon-to-be college freshman was struck down by Missouri police after putting both hands in the air in surrender.
Similar to what residents of Selma, Alabama did on March 7, 1965 when attempting to march to the capital, and were struck by tear gas and billy clubs. Playing out that same M.O., Ferguson riot police threw tear gas at protesters and arrested two reporters last night.
I fear we, as a country, are going backwards. Not just in this case because it’s not an isolated incident. At this point these aren’t incidents…their just as intentional as the Wilmington, NC massacre or the ethnic cleansing in Vicksburg, MS (Google it) that are ugly revolting scars on our nation’s history. But at what point do we heal the wounds because these serial encounters are just picking the scabs. And the bleeding has got to stop.
Let’s press forward, let us heal together. Peacefully. Because at the end of the day all we want to do is be free.
There are very few performers that can seesaw between drama and comedy as effortlessly as Robin Williams did. How he managed to make me cry from laughter playing Mrs. Doubtfire, and also shed a tear of sorrow when counseling a baby-faced Matt Damon in “Good Will Hunting” is wrapped around one word: genius. It’s a word tossed around too much these days, but one most fitting for Robin Williams rare breed. He was a star that could sparkle with a maniacal wit and dim with wisdom and understanding on the big screen.
It wasn’t until this week that I discovered his generosity extended off set when he gave his comedy colleague a pick-me-up gift in the form of a bicycle to lift his spirits. And despite being the biggest star on set of a St. Jude Children’s hospital PSA, he treated the hospital’s co-star/patient like the true star.
And lest I forget he was one of the few performers who still entertained the troops. In the U.S. and outside it, he brought his comedy routine to 90 thousand troops in 13 different countries with the United Services Organization, a non-profit that helps boost U.S. troops morale, according to CNN.
The USO released a statement of sadness on Twitter when they learned Williams’ died.
And I share that same melancholy over his loss and I’m also grateful for his very worthy verse.
Robin Williams (1951-2014)
Akon ditched the stage for the high brow African Summit held in Washington this week. The “I Wanna Love You” artist hobnobbed with African leaders and promoted his Lighting Africa org that aims to light up over 1 million homes in rural areas of Africa with solar energy this year.
Learn more about Akon Lighting Africa mission with the org’s video tracking their progress.
The Senegal native chatted with Politico about the overlooked economic value of Africa and its resources by Americans. And explained why celebs are “intimidated” by social activism.
He says every little thing gets blown up when a celeb is attached to it (word) and when putting your famous name behind a social cause is a major responsibility. Unless of course, everyone does it (cough, #savingourdaughters) together.
To check out Akon’s full full interview click here
Your favorite Georgia peach is exercising her Southern hospitality by collecting back-to-school supplies to distribute to single parents in Atlanta. Through Kandi’s Kandi CARES charity–she’s filling her Walmart shopping cart up with notebooks, pens, pencils and three-ring binders–you can register to receive the school related swag.
And for those generous Atlantans willing to contribute to the cause, you can meet the mogul housewife tonight (between 6pm-8pm) at the Walmart on Research Center Drive.
Happy school shopping!!!
Kandi’s event looked like a success. To view her thank you message, check out the video below.
Boys and Girls Club alumni took over Times Square this past weekend to sound the alarm about the club’s new campaign: Great Futures. It aims to reinforce the idea that “when school’s out, clubs are in.” The day party was hosted by the oldest teenager in the world, sorry Dick Clark, Nick Cannon and Neyo and young club entertainers performed. But music producer Timbaland stole the show by whipping out a $1 million check to the BGCA org through his–and wife Monique Mosley’s–Always Believing Foundation.
The foundation’s goal to encourage youth to be a voice in their community matches BGCA Great Futures campaign to provide a safe and engaging place for kids to be their best selves.
Endorsing that message was Yankess star CC Sabathia, Olympic icon Jackie Joyner-Kersee, singer Estelle and “The Talk’s” Adrienne Bailon who made an appearance with thousands of others at the Crossroads of the world.
The festivities weren’t confined to the big apple, boys and girls clubs across the nation were celebrating the new initiative to emphasis after-school programs.
Virtual celeb supporters included Lebron James, Kelly Rowland, Ashanti and Michael Phelps that took to their social media to show support. Kelly posted this pic on her Facebook page.
“When the 3PM school bell rings, 15 million kids in America have no place to go. But just like me, you can help! Open the door for America’s Kids…”
Now through Sept. 15, all donations made to Great Futures campaign will be matched dollar for dollar, to donate click here