‘Luke Cage’ Star Simone Missick Promotes S.T.E.M Education

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Luke Cage’s body may be dipped in the armor of a God (those bulletproof biceps are perfect for shielding a child from harm!) but he’s not the only life-saver.

Misty Knight is the real shero for teaching kids the gems of a S.T.E.M– Science, Technology, Engineering and Math–education at Paley Center’s ‘Stem to Screen’ Q & A event over the weekend.

 

Unlike Misty, whose free ride to college was basketball, Detroit-bred Simone Missick nabbed an engineering scholarship to Howard University.

 

It was the first step toward achieving her dreams.

Although, she was never one to cower from a challenge as she explained to Jet Blame it on growing up in 3-1-3.

“Detroit was where I first did theater, interestingly enough. Just really growing up with such a strong foundation in Black culture, Black history and Black pride made me the woman that I am. I was never ever anywhere in the world where I felt less than because I was Black. I feel like to know who we come from, knowing who my grandmother was, who my mother was as women growing up in Detroit  was so influential to me. And to be able to see my teachers, who were strong successful Black women with a  little sass, bit of humor and loved God.  I mean it’s Black Girl Magic all wrapped up in a Detroit woman.  Then you’ve got the history and soul of Motown wrapped all around that. So, that helps you go into any character.”

Simone emphasized to media students those same roads can be traveled to accomplish their goals.

Who knows maybe a new hero will rise from the ashes.

For now Simone is our WCW.

 

Michelle Obama took to Broadway to promote “Let Girls Learn,” and it’s so empowering

Michelle Obama Helps Broadway Shine A Light On Girls' Global Education

(Photo by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)

Our incredible First Lady Michelle Obama has been a powerful advocate for educating women and girls for all of her years in the White House, and we are SO behind that message. Michelle started the initiative called “Let Girls Learn,” which is an organization that tackles many of the issues that prevent adolescent girls around the world from getting an education. Yesterday, Michelle hosted an event on Broadway to raise awareness for this cause that is so close to her heart.

 

The event was held in the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre in New York City, with hilarious comedian Stephen Colbert as the emcee. Michelle spoke in front of a theater full of the spouses of global heads of state who are in town for the U.N. General Assembly, and implored them to make this an issue.Billboard reported some of Michelle’s impassioned speech.

“I want to be clear that as First Lady of the United States I have no budget of my own for programs, I have no authority to make or pass laws, and I cannot issue any kind of executive orders. When people hear the stories of girls who aren’t in school they want to help. And as spouses of world leaders, so many of us here in this room have platforms to tell these stories and bring people together to take action for these girls.”

Michelle called on her fellow influential women to use their power to ensure that girls are given the opportunity to get an education.

 

Performers came from Wicked, The Color Purple, Beautiful: The Carole King Musicaland Waitress. These performers included Cynthia Erivo, who recently won a Tony for her incredible performance in The Color Purple. Billboard also quoted her thoughts on the historic day.

“The thing about me that is most important is that I’m a young Broadway actress, but I’m also female. So I have a vested interested in other young women learning and being confident in themselves.”

The keynote speakers were three young women who spoke from their own experiences of overcoming obstacles to get an education.

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Meet 17 year old, Halima of Malwai. At the age of 15, Halima was forced to leave her education behind and marry a man twice her age. Weeks into marriage, Halima told her husband that the Mother Group, a community group of women that supports girls and fight for their right to go to school, would come looking for her once they learned that she had been married off. And they did. They found Halima and helped her break free of her marriage and return to her an education. Now, Halima works with @USAID's ASPIRE program and serves as a role model in her class as she is still able to achieve top grades despite missing months of school. Yesterday, Halima courageously shared her story on the stage of New York's historic Jacobs B. Bernard Theater as part of the First Lady's "Broadway Shines A Light on Girls' Education" at the 71st United Nations General Assembly. #LetGirlsLearn

A post shared by Michelle Obama (archived) (@michelleobama44) on

 

Noor Abu Ghazaleh of Jordan, Summyka Qadir of Pakistan, and Halima Robert of Malawi spoke about the kinds of extreme obstacles in their path to an education such as child marriage, poverty and an indifference to women’s education. But despite all of these hardships, these young women were able to achieve their goals of learning and growth. The post above details the story of Halima of Malawi.

At the age of 15, Halima was forced to leave her education behind and marry a man twice her age. Weeks into marriage, Halima told her husband that the Mother Group, a community group of women that supports girls and fight for their right to go to school, would come looking for her once they learned that she had been married off. And they did. They found Halima and helped her break free of her marriage and return to her an education. Now, Halima works with @USAID’s ASPIRE program and serves as a role model in her class as she is still able to achieve top grades despite missing months of school.”

That is SUCH an inspiring story, and we are so glad to see such a powerful collection of women coming together to make sure all young girls like Halima have access to education. According to the First Lady, 62 million girls around the world aren’t in school, and we are very supportive of all of Michelle Obama’s efforts to change that.

 

To find out how you can help or contribute, check out the Let Girls Learn website, which details ways that we can get involved.

The post Michelle Obama took to Broadway to promote “Let Girls Learn,” and it’s so empowering appeared first on HelloGiggles.

Ka-Ching! Tyler Perry’s (Pricey, but) Good Deed

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Tyler Perry is rich, guys. How rich is he? He dropped $150,000 on a piano. No, the keys aren’t made of gold, but the “Steinway B grand” has felt the fingertips of musical royalty–Duke Ellington, Count Basie–and belonged to one: Nat King Cole.

It’s not just bragging rights the “Gone Girl” star bought the piano. That big check will benefit Nat King Cole Generation Hope that supports music education in schools.

T.P. is the real rich bitch.

Misty Copeland Visits Local Boys & Girls Club

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Misty Copeland–the first Black principal dancer of ABT, in case y’all forgot–surprised some lucky  boys and girls at the Suncor Boys & Girls Club this week.  She was there for a tour of the soon-to-be opened Commerce City, Colorado facility.

According to The Denver Post, the club boasts a tech lab, teen room, art center and kitchen where kids can cook meals.

“The Boys and Girls Clubs are giving so many children an opportunity to dream bigger than what their communities may offer  for them or what their  family situations may be,” Misty says. ” I’m definitely proof of that.”

Misty started dancing at her hometown Boys & Girls Club at 13.

Now she’s watching 12 and-13-year-olds dance in front of her, CBS reports. The iconic dancer rounded out the visit by putting a personal note to future club members into a time capsule.

Always a class act.

IYB Women Crush | Moves Like Zendaya ‘Walking Dead’s’ Danai Gurira Non-Zombie Mission

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When Zendaya isn’t slaying it in Taylor Swift music videos, she’s churning out her own hits with a dream team–super producer Timbaland and songwriter Diane Warren. Yesterday the trio, taking a break from working on Zendaya’s sophomore album, visited  Camp Google for Music Week.

The free summer camp is meant to quench inquisitive kids’ thirst (when they start asking why a million times drop ’em off at Google.) with “interactive science activities and adventures.”

So,  what was the scientific brain teaser to call in the “K.C. Undercover” star and Timbo? Why, music and dance of course.

The kiddies wanted to know the process of making music, how to combat writers block (hello and welcome to my world) and the age old question: if you have no rhythm can you still dance?

For answers to all these questions and to see an adorbs dance off, click here.

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Danai is just as ride-or-die for her squad as Michonne on “The Walking Dead.” Yet, her recent undertaking doesn’t require a katana. The actor/director is trying to bridge the gap between Hollywood and Zimbabwe through her non-profit–Almasi (meaning brilliant diamond in Swahili) Arts Alliance that helps “create and facilitate artistic collaborations between African artists and American artists and artistic institutions.”

Danai is calling all “Walking Dead” stans to donate a crisp Hamilton (for now…) bill  towards creating more art programs for Almasi, and in return see what zombie life is like. Sorta.

The lucky recipient will be flown to New York to attend season 6 premiere of “The Walking Dead” and get whisked away yet again. This time to Atlanta to see sites where the cast has previously filmed. A weapons training session is included and lunch with Danai.

But, wait there’s more.

A swag bag full of survival gear and a zombie makeover for the ‘gram.

If I peaked your interest click here to donate on crowdRise So far $14,975 has been raised.

Let’s Keep the arts alive (in my Jessie Jackson voice) and these fab ladies for doing their part.

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY | Marriage Equality for All | Jilly from Philly Schools Future Writers

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I’m still smiling from SCOTUS’ landmark decision to permit every American (YES!, you, you and you) in every state, to walk down the aisle and into the arms of their beloveds today. In sickness and health, for richer or poorer til death do them part. Or divorce. Hey, ish happens, even he gets that.

As my five-year wedding anniversary creeps up this summer, I’m so overjoyed that members of my family, friends, can finally experience the same act of love and commitment (y’all can jump the broom!!) that was at one time only granted to us, straight couples. Love really does conquer all.

And who knew 9 justices wearing long robes would give us the long-awaited love lesson we’ve all been waiting for. For the first time in my adult life I’m proud to be an American. For two reasons: this moment of human rights and dignity for ALL and because my president can do this.

Let’s keep FEEL GOOD FRIDAY stories flowing. First, I want to apologize for my absence these past few weeks. But I’m back, bishes and ready to spread some good vibes.

So let’s get to it.

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Jilly from Philly is partnering with Mahogany greeting cards (an African-American imprint of Hallmark) to create college scholarships for future scribers.

The national scholarships will be handed out through Jill Scott’s Blues Babe Foundation, which provides mentoring and college tuition assistance to students in poor areas of Philly (where else?), Camden, NJ and Delaware.

The two winners (from anywhere in the US) will each receive a $10,000 scholarship and an invite to a three-day writing workshop at Hallmark headquarters in Kansas City for Summer 2016. The workshop, specifically catered to students, is to shadow a Hallmark writer.

Mahogany writers will also infiltrate Camp Jill Scott, annual summer camp for North Philly junior high students, to teach creative writing.

Here’s what the three-time Grammy winner said about them teaming up.

“My love and passion for writing is reflected in my music and my poetry and I’m sincerely grateful that Mahogany decided to partner with the Blues Babe Foundation to help nurture young minds.”

Yet another reason to buy Black cards at local pharmacies. For more info about the merit-based scholarships click here.

Happy Feel Good Friday, babes. Love wins.

If You Blinked Woman Crush | A Dancer’s Dream for Brooklyn

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It’s safe to say once on Oprah’s payroll you stay on it, unless your name is Lindsay Lohan. But, Brooklynite dancer Dwana Smallwood took the Oprah experience and ran with it–from South Africa to Brooklyn.

Let’s start at the beginning. Smallwood danced her way to the biggest companies in the world: Alvin Ailey Dance company. Yet, she yearned for more.

She told WABC:

“Even though Alvin Ailey is one of the biggest companies in the world, and that was the only place I wanted to dance, and I kept thinking is that my life’s purpose to perform.”

Not for long. After performing on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” Oprah begged her to take her talent of graceful pirouettes to her South African all girls school.

“I said please, please, please would you go to my school in South Africa and teach my girls what you know.” Oprah reveals to WABC.

Not only did she go. Smallwood’s one week diversion of teaching turned into four years.

“What she did at my school, she came in to teach dance but she taught them about life, she taught them all of the social emotional skills that we know it takes to really be successful, and not only survive but to thrive in the world,” Oprah says.

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And now Smallwood is bringing those valuable lessons to her own dance school–Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center in her hometown of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.

The 4,000 square foot studio was made possible by Oprah’s more than half a million donation. Smallwood’s goal of molding future Misty Copelands or even Barack Obama’s through discipline and motivation remains the same.

“I want to give you wings so you can fly can just give you the tools to compete on the world stage as a dancer, as a doctor, a teacher, anything you want.” Smallwood says.

It seems to be working. One student had this to say about Smallwood’s guidance:

“Ms Dawa has inspired me to become anything I want to become” Sahai Heyward told WABC.

Marking this dance queen our woman crush of the week.