Common is Helping Teachers Start School Year Off Right

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Rapper Common is making his educator mama proud.

By donating $10Gs to the Renaissance School of the Arts in Harlem today, through the AdoptAClassroom.org non-profit. The national org gives teachers (who shell $600 outta pocket for pens, paper, trapper keepers, etc) and their students much needed school supplies.

“Growing up, I watched how my Mother cared for her students, both as an educator and outside of the classroom. I realized very early just how important it is to have an adult in your corner, and for many kids that adult is often a teacher,” said Common. “I’m proud to support AdoptAClassroom.org and their partnership with Burlington to help provide classroom supplies to teachers and students in need.”

The coat factory is also throwing a hat in the cause. Pun intended. Don’t think I don’t see you rolling your eyes. Y’all love my corny jokes.

Anyway back on topic. Burlington is pushing their down-coat loving customers to donate at least a $1 to AdoptAClassroom.org to ease teachers pocketbook burdens by running the campaign in all 599 stores across the country.

The Save Our School Supplies (SOSS) drive will run through August 19, 2017. All the money raised will be doled out to teachers this fall where nearby Burlington stores exist.

So get to shopping guys, so teachers can shop less.

Kendrick Lamar Buys Super Fan a Wheelchair-Accessible Van

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Generosity must be in his DNA.

How else would you explain Kendrick Lamar’s obsession with giving away cars?

Most recently the five time Grammy-winning rapper surprised super fan Jennifer Phillips with a wheelchair-accessible van during a tour stop in Texas on Friday.

The Dallas native—who has gone to every Kendrick Lamar show in the Big D—started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the van.

Kendrick Lamar and his Top Dawg Entertainment record label must have caught wind of the quadriplegic’s wish because she was was whisked backstage to meet the Humble rapper, and given a handwritten thank you tee.

So about last night… lol. If you know me or even just look in my Instagram profile for two minutes then you know I am a huge Kendrick Lamar and TDE fan/supporter for YEARS. I've been to every show Kendrick has had in Dallas including the first one that even he forgot about lol and one in Austin. That's 8 shows and not including the other TDE artists shows. I was a big fan of music and concerts before my injury but I never supported and loved a label like theirs before. Of course they have great music but they are also great people. None of them have ever treated me like a stranger or a charity case lol. I didn't meet them because I'm in a wheelchair. I just know great people (shout out to @bluethegreat for the initial in person introduction to Dot & Q). I never supported them for any benefits like this lol. Their music and shows were enough for me. But this is amazing and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you all and always will. Thank God for you Kendrick and I will continue to pray for you. And like I said, next time I'm driving myself to your show lol. Thanks to the whole team! #tde

A post shared by msj3nn (@msj3nn) on

Last but not least Kendrick gave her the money for the van.

Now that’s an unforgettable night. Jen will be a K.L. stan for life behind this.

She’s even plotting the next Kendrick concert.

“Next time I’m driving myself to your show,” Phillips wrote on Instagram.

Fair warning, it likely won’t be a V-class Mercedes Benz type whip.

So please, please, please don’t give this really good dude flak for that like when he bought his lil sis a Toyota Camry for her high school graduation.

I’d rather a Camry (nice ride, BTW) than a bus pass. That’s all I’m sayin’.

And I’m sure Jen, who injured her spinal cord in a car accident in 2007, is appreciative of the comfortable ride.

Touchdown for Charity!! NFL Ballers Invest in 12-year-old’s Lemonade Business

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Minute Maid better watch their back, ’cause Mikaila Ulmer is coming through with her Me & The Bees lemonade, and she’s got some major backup.

From heavy hitters.

The Houston Chronicle reports current NFL players—Arian Foster, Glover Quin, Duane Brown, Jonathan Grimes, Omar Bolden, Bobby Wagner, Darius Slay, Sharrick McManis, EJ Manuel and Malick Jackson—banded together to invest $810K into Mikaila’s lemonade stand-turned-grown-woman biz. (Me and The Bees lemonade is on Whole Food shelves, y’all)

“She’s so humble,” Foster told the Houston Chronicle. “You always have to be open and willing to learn, and she is. I’m learning from her, too. It’s a cycle. You have to keep an open mind and continue to grow.”

“Of course, any time you invest in anything you look at if it’s going to be profitable,” Foster said. “We look for companies that match our main focus of developing a good product, but are also good people and do it for the right reasons. It’s more than about money to us. We believe that investing in small black businesses is extremely important.

The beverage tween and Austin native, met Arian Foster and Glover Quin at “Been Brilliant Entrepreneur Day” at Holthouse Boys & Girls Club in Houston Thursday.

“It’s awesome that I get to work with and around these two,” Ulmer said while sitting next to Foster and Quin, according to the Houston Chronicle. “They’re very smart. I learned a lot from them in the past couple of hours. I’m very happy that I’m able to work with them and they invested in my company and them helping us and mentoring us and believing in our mission. I think we have a better chance of achieving our goals. That keeps me pumped and excited every day.”

Mikaila, who also charmed $60,000 out of those temperamental sharks on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” using her great-grandmother’s recipe of flaxseed sweetened with honey.

What really makes Mikaila our queen bee is her donating a portion of profits to preserve honey bee colonies.

 

Jay Z Joins Effort to Bail Out 100 Dads for Father’s Day

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Jay Z with Kalief Browder

It’s a Father’s Day 100 Dads won’t soon forget.

Because they’ll get to spend it with their kids instead of cell mates. All thanks to new father of three (you prob haven’t heard) Jay Z, backing Color of Change’s fundraising effort to bail out 100 Dads today.

The racial justice org did the same thing last month for moms.

Sadly it’s needed given that one in 9 children have a parent behind bars. A truth bomb Jay Z launched in his penned TIME article, For Father’s Day, “I’m Taking on the Exploitative Bail Industry.

In the think piece Jay Z shares the heartbreaking reality of being locked up with no way out:

 If you’re from neighborhoods like the Brooklyn one I grew up in, if you’re unable to afford a private attorney, then you can be disappeared into our jail system simply because you can’t afford bail. Millions of people are separated from their families for months at a time — not because they are convicted of committing a crime, but because they are accused of committing a crime.

And why the rap mogul has made it his mission to take on the exploitation of the bail bond industry:

 …when I helped produce this year’s docuseries, Time: The Kalief Browder Story, I became obsessed with the injustice of the profitable bail bond industry. Kalief’s family was too poor to post bond when he was accused of stealing a backpack. He was sentenced to a kind of purgatory before he ever went to trial. The three years he spent in solitary confinement on Rikers ultimately created irreversible damage that lead to his death at 22.

The sad reality of nearly 700,000, on any given day, that get locked up without a conviction or a way to pay for their freedom.

Thankfully, there are some that found a way out today.

Happy Father’s Day!!

The Weeknd Donates $100,000 To Medical Center In Uganda

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CREDIT: Getty Images

According to E! News, The Weekend was motivated to make a donation because of French Montana’s work to raise awareness for the health canter through Global Citizen, a social action platform, and Mama Hope.

The Moroccan rapper has been spreading the word through his #Unforgettable Dance video which is touted as a “call to action to raise awareness for the needs of Suubi and the people of Uganda.”

In March, Montana traveled to Uganda to shoot the “Unforgettable” music video. Once he landed in Uganda, Montana met with the founders of the Suubi Center, and spoke with community members about some of the challenge that they face (especially new mothers and babies).

Montana was so inspired by the visit that he pledged the first $100,000 donation to help pay for ambulances, premature incubators, cribs and a blood bank for the Suubi community. He’s now challenging others (including some of his musical peers like The Weekend) to make donations to help pay for the new maternity center.

Click here for more information on Montana’s #Unforgettable Dance challenge.

 (Reported by Vibe)

Cha-Ching! Ne-Yo Invests $2.3 Million in Tech School to Attract Minority Coders

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Ne-Yo has been M.I.A lately. Perhaps it’s due to a new house, new baby (it’s a boy!), new album and upcoming tour.

Whew!! I’m winded from just writing that sentence.

Luckily, what hasn’t changed is his gentlemanly ways.

Hence, the Miss Independent crooner’s announcement of investing $2.3 million dollars into a San Francisco-based technical school, Holberton, so underprivileged kids can learn to code.

“Everybody knows that tech and all these things are the wave of the future,” Ne-Yo told Tech Crunch. “I just love the fact of what they’re doing with the school — that they’re making it easier for underrepresented people in the world of tech. They’re giving them a platform and access to this knowledge that they probably wouldn’t get otherwise. I think that’s one of the coolest things about this whole situation.”

Another dope thing is Holberton doesn’t charge tuition until after the student gets a job. You read that right. If and when they do, the school takes 17 percent of a salary.

Plus, the odds of getting selected are def in minorities favor—Holberton’s current class is made up of 40% female and 53% of color, according to Tech Crunch.

No wonder Ne-Yo is also a member of the Holberton’s board of trustees.

“I’m definitely going to be hands on,” he said. “I don’t know if I’m going to do every day because there’s this little music career thing that i’ve got going on,” he joked. “So there’s that but i’m definitely going to be hands on.”

Ne-Yo is definitely swapping the gentleman for philanthropist.

Won’t He Do It! Shaquille O’Neal Covers Funeral Expenses for Teen Who Accidentally Shot Himself

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Shaq played a savior of sorts this Easter holiday.

Lord knows the family of Malachi Hemphill needed one.

After learning their 13-year-old son accidently shot himself while handling a loaded gun during a livestream Instagram video.

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WXIA reported that his friends watching the video had warned Malachi to put the safety on the gun, and it went off as he proceeded to do so.

“I heard a big boom,” his mother Shaniqua Stephens told the outlet. “I just knew that it was something that was wrong.”

Malachi was found by his mother and sister.

The Atlanta-based teen died Wednesday at Grady Memorial Hospital.

Thursday evening Shaquille O’Neal visited the family to give his condolences and offer to pay for the funeral.

“We just broke down and started crying because Malachi didn’t have any insurance,” Shantirea Bankston, Malachi’s godmother, said.

“We weren’t prepared to bury him this young. We didn’t have insurance for him. So to have that from Shaquille O’Neal it was a blessing and very touching, and we appreciate everything he do for the community.”

 Shaquille O’Neal released a statement saying he was willing to help to ease some of the family’s unimaginable pain.
“No mother should have to go through this,” he said. “I can only imagine the pain that she and all of Malachi’s family must be feeling.”
Hopefully, no other mother will have too. We’ll be praying for you, fam.