Couple Goals! Nia Long and Ime Udoka Lead Fight Against Malaria

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“Uncle Buck” star Nia Long and hubby–San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ime Udoka–were handpicked to lead the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign that aids in the prevention of malaria.

The power couple urged their fans, family and friends to donate to the ten-year old campaign to protect children and refugees that sucumb to the preventable illness.

“Ime and I wanted to find an organization that spoke to us on a personal level; we both have family members who have been affected by malaria and we are dedicated to giving back to those in need,” Long said. “It is inconceivable that children are still dying from a disease which is completely preventable and treatable. We are proud to partner with the Nothing But Nets campaign to help raise awareness. A simple bed net can make all the difference for a child and family to prevent the spread of this deadly disease.”

The Nothing But Nets campaign works predominately in Sub-Saharan Africa because its the leading cause of illness and death in most of those countries, where the most vulnerable children are displaced from their homes.

Nia Long is hoping to prevent that by asking supporters to donate $10 to donate a net for a family in need.

“We are thrilled to welcome Nia and Ime into the ranks of Nothing But Nets champions working across the country and around the world to raise awareness, funds, and voices to protect families from malaria,” said Margaret Reilly McDonnell, Director of Nothing But Nets. “We’re committed to working towards the day when no child dies from a mosquito bite.”

 

‘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.

 

‘Push Through’ Third Graders and Recognize Your Greatness, Says Teacher

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Jasmyn Wright is the teacher every parent prays for–inspiring, encouraging and devoted to childrens’ ability to succeed.

Lucky enough for the City of Brotherly Love parentals, the 27-year-old landed at Frederick  Douglass Elementary in Philly. Where her third grade class is taught to “push through” their obstacles daily by reciting this catchy mantra:

“What if it’s too hard?” the teacher asks her students.

“I’m gonna push through!” they respond.

“What if it’s too tough?” Wright asks.

“I’m gonna push through!” they answer.

“What if you’re just too dumb?” she asks.

“That ain’t true!” they exclaim.

“What if you’re just too young?” the teacher asks.

“That ain’t true!” the students answer.

“What if you just can’t do it?”

“That ain’t true!”

“Why, because …”

“I can do anything I put my mind to!”

 

Wright cited pioneering black icons–like Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson and Michelle Obama–that “pushed through” to shatter long-held myths about Blacks to teach her students its possible.

The Spelman alum’s video of positive affirmations has been viewed over three million times on Facebook.

“Teaching my 3rd grade black and brown babies to #PushThrough today,” she wrote in the video caption. “Due to unwelcoming, unsettling, and uncomfortable election results, this was our lesson for the day.”

Wright, a poet and spoken word artist, told the Root that molding the young, gifted and black requires boosting their self-esteem. Even more so in light of a Trump presidency.

“I know that with my class specifically, sometimes they struggle with believing in themselves or sometimes they struggle with grappling through an assignment, or they struggle with interactions with their peers.

“With the election that went on, they were more troubled and they were upset,” she continued. “[So I thought,] yes, this is true, this has happened, but that doesn’t stop us from pushing through. We still have a calling, we still have a purpose, we still are made to leave an imprint in the world, and we cannot give up because of whatever happened.”

Which is why the charter school teacher is also helping kids outside the classroom by starting a nonprofit, I Am My Sister’s Keeper, with two friends. Just like POTUS has My Brother’s Keeper to focus on mentoring young men, Wright wants to raise up girls aged 12 to 18.

Let’s all bow our heads and pray for more teachers like Wright.

WCW | Rihanna Named Global Ambassador To Foster Education

 

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Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Citizen, with Rihanna and Global Partnership for Education (GPE) chair, Julia Gillard

This may be the cherry on top of Rihanna’s sweet year of accollades.

Someone grab the cake, cake, cake, cake, cake to celebrate. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

The navy’s idol was appointed Global Ambassador through a partnership with her Clara Lionel Foundation and Global Partnership for Education (GPE).

The blending of the two orgs is to advocate for the billions of children across the globe without an education. And the 330 million kids enrolled in a school, but still aren’t learning.

So, how will Rihanna and her crew combat this?

GPE operates in more than 60 developing countries, spreading their message that “every child receive a quality education.” By making children living in poor or ravished communities a priority.

As GPE’s Global Ambassador, Rih Rih will travel the globe to encourage world leaders and policy makers to get behind educating vulnerable children raised in communities in crisis.

The announcement comes on the heels of Rihanna headlining the Global Citizen Festival on Saturday. The festival’s goal is to end extreme poverity by 2030 by getting people to participate in charity acts.

Rihanna is indeed a rare diamond.

WCW | Miss USA Deshauna Barber Takes Part in Girls’ Mentoring Camp

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Straighten your crown, girls. I know it’s bound to be crooked with the lack of recognition and value given to you.

Luckily, there is someone to teach you how–Miss USA Deshauna Barber.

The country’s royal highness/ lieutenant in U.S. Army Reserves paid a visit to Steve Harvey’s mentoring camp for girls last weekend in Atlanta.

Deshauna held a panel discussion with Marjorie Harvey (Steve Harvey’s wife) and Brandi Harvey (and daughter.) Followed by a Q &A with some of the 100 teenagers at the camp.

She may have even whipped the youg’uns in shape, during their 5 am wake up workouts. Hoo-rah, indeed.

 

The Girls Who Rule The World camp was also filled with makeovers, ziplining and rock climbing. All the activities fearless females do.

Check below for Deshauna’s take on what how to be a girl that rules the world.

 

The GWRW camp was launched–through the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation– “to fostering excellence in youth. Cultivating the next generation of responsible leaders.”

Let’s keep those crowns straight, girls

 

WCW | Zendaya’s Birthday Wish to Empower Women

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K.C. Undercover’s Zendaya celebrated the big 2-0 Thursday. First she commemorated the milestone by (duh!) taking a selfie declaring herself “a woman.”

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Then the Spider-Man: Homecoming star does what she does best–direct the spotlight to a cause that needs it.

Zendaya’s birthday wish is to raise $50,000 to Convoy of Hope’s–“a faith-based non-profit that provides food, water, emergency supplies and opportunities to people in need around the globe”–women empowerment initiative that  gives job training and education to women in  Ethiopia, Tanzania, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Philippines.

Below is what the future Nobel Peace Prize winner wrote on the Convoy of Hope’s donor page:

“For my birthday this year, please join me in supporting strong, beautiful and dignified women around the world. Your gift of any amount will make a positive difference in the lives of these amazing ladies. So, let’s do this!”

So far, $3,433 has been raised to make sure women continue to run the world.

 

Last year, Zendaya used her 19th birthday to raise $52,858 for orphaned children in South Africa.

Another year older, but Z is light years in the wise department.

 

Black Girl Magic! Sacramento Girl’s Good Deed Program

At 10 years old I was a Girl Scout drop out–don’t ask. And I would purposely smear glue on my hands just to peel it off. Hey, dont give me that judgey look. You did it too. Admit it.

But never once in my pre-teen years did making the world kinder, gentler and more patient enter my thought bubble. All those guilty of being a jaded New Yorker before 16 raise your hand *raising both hands.*

Thankfully 10-year-old Leah Nelson, of Sacramento, is more proactive about spreading good karma nationwide. FOX 40’s report–on the persistent Cali gal convincing strangers to do a random good deed for a stranger–went viral this week.

Unlike similar stories Leah’s “Becuz I Care” program involves a keepsake. Sorta. When a perfect stranger accepts her mission of “universal kindness” they receive a handmade bracelet with this note:  “Because I care is a program that can go all around the country. All you have to do is start with a few bracelets. Then whenever you do something nice for someone (i.e. buy their coffee at Starbucks, or pay them a compliment) you give them a bracelet, and pass down this message: In a world with so many issues, let’s just show other people that they are valued.”

Thanks to Fox (there’s a sentence never thought I’d write.) Leah’s message has gone global–she’s getting responses from England.

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The junior social advocate even threw  a bracelet making party yesterday to keep up with demands.

I never thought it was going to get this big,” Leah said Tuesday evening while she and several friends got together for a bracelet-making party to meet increasing demand.

“I think because there are many issues in the world…it really brightens peoples’ days to hear that there’s still some kind things, good things, going on in the world,” she added.

Go ‘head and sprinkle that brown skinned goodness, girl.

To help the cause please click here.

 

 

IYB Woman Crush | Woman Creates Safe Haven for Baltimore Kids

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In case you haven’t noticed, news outta B-more has gone from bad to worse this week with one of the cops, who had a hand in Freddie Gray’s murder, was cleared of charges. Yes, yet another one. Lost count? Good thing they are.

Unfortunately no one is keeping a tally on how this is affecting kids and their ability to…I don’t know…be like normal young’uns. Luckily Erika Alston carved out such a safe haven for 100 neighborhood kids between ages 5 to 17.

CBS Evening News reports Alston revamped an old laudromat into an after-school rec center– Penn North Kids Safe Zone, a few days after the riots sparked by Freddie Gray’s murder.

“The whole world got to see our children standing face-to-face with officers, and throwing rocks, and they didn’t have another outlet. We’ve created that outlet.”

The Kids Safe Zone includes homework help, peer support, field trips and a range of recreational activities–from Xbox video games to sports teams–for kids to escape.

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Funding for Safe Zone comes from the state (Maryland’s governor donated $50G’s for the computer lab) and private donations. The center got a big boost when Alicia Keys made a surprise visit in November. Soon after A&E Network donated $30,000, followed by $10,000 from Kaiser-Permenete.

Say it loud: More safe zones and less jail cells. To donate to Ericka’s Safe Zone click here.

 

Woman Crush Wednesday | Breast Cancer Survivor Walks 1,000 Miles Topless

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Paulette Leaphart flaunts (yes, I wrote flaunt not bear) her scars like an Olympian flashing their medals every time she walks topless across the country.

The only difference for the Biloxi, Mississippi native and single mother of eight is the path she chose to walk down (which currently leads to D.C.) is one she was given.

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GOD Could have chosen AnyONE in the WORLD….. BUT HE CHOSE ME!! 🙏🏾 ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Paulette Leaphart WALKING 1000 Miles from Mississippi to Washington D.C #Topless ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• #BreastCancerMovement #Awareness SUPPORT THE JOURNEY #ScarStory #HistoricMovement #ChangeWillCome Zee Mullen, CEO of Savvy Affairs SPEARHEADING The Paulette Leaphart Story…. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• DONATE HERE: https://www.gofundme.com/PauletteLeaphart •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Beyoncé & Paulette /Lemonade Video http://youtu.be/wD6IJinfrLI •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• #ThePauletteLeaphartStory #PowerFul #1000MileWalk #EmbraceYourScars #AliciaJones #NationsCapitol #Survivor #Supporters #BreastCancer #Scars #DoubleMastectomy #ZeeMullen #SavvyAffairs #LifeStylesInAction #ItsALifeStyle #UnScriptedReality #DoingForOthers #GivingBack #Lemonade #Beyonce #DrJackie #LookBook #Married2Medicine #BreastSpeak

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Leaphart set off on a 1,000 mile topless walk on April 30. Leaving her hometown of Mississippi, making stops in Atlanta, D.C. with her final destination New Orleans (projected June 30th) to raise awareness for breast cancer. And motivate more  Black women to get mammograms.

In 2014, Leaphart was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer that resulted in a bilateral mastectomy without the chose of reconstructive surgery.

With two large scars replacing her breasts, all symbols of feminity vanished as well.

“What is a woman without her breasts?” Leaphart asked People. “I have always identified as a very feminine woman.”

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That changed when she took the bold move to go topless at the beach. The huge applause she received led her to also post a topless pic on Facebook that garnered 100,000 likes.

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Leaphart also got the attention of Queen Bey. The ‘Get in Formation’singer gave Leaphart a cameo in Lemonade. 

Who better to symbolize making lemons out of lemonade?

To donate to Paulette’s cross-country journey, which is being chronicled in upcoming doc “Scar Story,” click here.

 

 

Woman Crush Wednesday | Kelly Rowland Plays Big Sis at Boys & Girls Club Atlanta

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Just when you think the Godiva Goddess (aka Kelly Rowland) can’t get any sweeter she plays big sis to 30 or 40 kids from Boys & Girls Club Atlanta.

The “Chasing Destiny” star-lite teamed up with allergy reliever Claritin (a staple in my purse this time of year) to host the outdoor event yesterday, according to YBF.

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As Claritin’s celeb ambassador she talked to the kids about chasing their dreams and challenging themselves to go above and beyond whatever they choose to pursue. Check out a clip of Kellz motivational message below.

 

The goal of Kelly’s partnership with Claritin is to help restore various outdoor areas for three Boys and Girls Clubs in communities most in need. Starting with A.T.L’s Westside Boys and Girls Club location—Salvation Army BGCA Bellwood Club.

Before the hammer and power drills come pictures, splits and one-on-one convos with the Grammy award-winning chanteuse, who was all to happy to accommodate her young stans.

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Fun was had by all.