Sista Goals! Venus and Serena Donate $1 Million to ATA in Dad’s Honor

 

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A century ago, when the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association formalized a policy barring African-American players, the American Tennis Association – the ATA – was born.

It had to be born.

As it celebrates its 100th anniversary, the oldest African-American sporting organization in the U.S. has ambitious goals.

And Serena and Venus Williams may play a major role in helping the organization cement its legacy.

The ATA wants to set down permanent roots to help ensure African-American kids get every opportunity to thrive in the sport.

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To that end, it plans to build a new facility in south Florida. The location, subject to municipal procedures, is set for the city of Miramar’s regional park. The complex, to be called the ATA Tennis and Education Complex, will house the association’s relocated offices as well as a museum.

And it also will include a national training centre for promising young African-American players. The first major news is the imminent announcement that the first inductee into the ATA’s new Hall of Fame will be … Richard Williams.

There will be a stadium court in the middle of the proposed new complex. And in appreciation of the court being named after their father, Tennis.Life has learned that daughters Venus and Serena intend to endow the project with a hefty sum – $1 million.

Now 75, Williams did the seemingly impossible when he brought daughters Serena and Venus from the pitted courts of Compton, California to sporting immortality.The first two phases will cost about $7 million. First will be tennis courts and the ATA offices. Phase 2 will add more courts, and the museum.“Not only will it be a permanent home, but it also will help the development of the city,” Tucker said. In addition to being an ATA member, Tucker also is vice-president of multicultural business development for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The organization has been trying for decades to make this a reality. There were plans even as far back as 20 years ago in south Florida.

(Written by Tennis Life)

Nicki Minaj Accepts Fans Offer to Pay College Tuition

Hol’ up, Hol’ up Hooolllld up. You mean to tell me my $18G’s of college debt could’ve been eliminated with one (numero uno) tweet to a celeb?

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Well, for a lucky few die-hard (they certainly are now) Nicki Minaj fans that most certainly was the case.

The fairy-tale ending–every college grad prays, wishes and pleads for–happened Saturday. A bold Nicki Minaj fan pleaded her case via Twitter.

Nicki was willing to shell out the coins, if the fan could prove she was a star pupil.

Thus began the put it on Minaj’s tab challenge. For those unaware of how it works–us mere broke and low-paying college grads put in offers for the “No Frauds” rapper and she epically hooked us up.

The tweets speak for themselves.

After a few hours Nicki cut off her purse strings, but it goes without saying she’s our #WCW.

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The #WhyIStayed Social Activist Creates Escape Aid-‘Bolt Bag’ for Domestic Abuse Survivors

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You may not recognize the name. It’s Bev Gooden, btw. But you damn sure remember her setting Twitter ablaze when her hashtag #WhyIStayed went viral in 2014, which nabbed TIME’s Top 10 Hashtags That Started a Conversation.

The Cleveland native is doing more than talking about her experience as a domestic violence survivor. She launched nonprofit org–The Ella Mae Foundation–to advocate for victims of domestic abuse (in honor of late grandmother, who the foundation is named after.)

Starting with ‘The Bolt Bag’ project. It’s exactly what you think it is. A bag full of essentials when you need to…you guessed it…BOLT from someone dangerous.

The Bolt Bag contains toiletries, first aid kits, brush, comb and even more essentials.

IMG_20170426_192401Good hearted folk, like us Blinkers, can donate needed items for the Bolt Bags by reaching out to Bev.

“The time when you leave domestic violence is so, so dangerous, Gooden told NowWhat Her. “And I just wanted to do something tangible, to remove that obstacle.”

“My marriage was abusive and I got out of that marriage.” She adds.

According to the CDC, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

Being in those shoes, Gooden designed Bolt Bag to emphasize anonymity and safety.

“You don’t have to give me your name, or address, or social or phone number. That was the whole idea of the project is anonymity.” the Hampton University grad explains.

NowWhat Her reports hundreds of Bolt Bags have gone out around the world to help all those in need of an escape from a toxic relationship.

To learn more about the Bolt Bag Project click here.

Bev is our #WCW for not only surviving an impossible situation, but giving others the tools to do the same.

Rihanna Runs Bean Town as Harvard’s Humanitarian

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Rihanna presented with Humanitarian of Year award by Allen Counter, director of Harvard Foundation. 

Rihanna was shining bright like a diamond as she accepted Harvard’s Humanitarian of the Year award yesterday at Sanders Theatre at the university.

“So I made it to Harvard — never thought I’d be able to say that in my life,” Rihanna mused as she opened her acceptance speech.

Bad gal Ri Ri, decked out in an off-the-shoulder, belted tweed dress, was honored by the Ivy League for launching the Clara Lionel Foundation, which awards college scholarships to Caribbean students attending US schools.

The Work singer was also recognized for building the Clara Braithwaite Oncology and Nuclear Medicine Centre at Queen Elizabeth hospital in her hometown of Barbados.

Fun Fact: the centre was renamed after Rihanna’s grandmother after the pop star donated $1.75 million to the Bridgetown hospital in 2012.

The Barbadian beauty made sure to honor her memory by passing along some of granny’s wise words in her speech. “You don’t have to be rich to help somebody…if you got a dollar, there’s plenty to share.”

Rihanna’s full remarks are below–they were live streamed.

 

Octavia Spencer Kicks Off Free Screenings of ‘Hidden Figures’ for School Kids

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Hidden Figures is the No. 1 movie for a reason.

One being people saw the untold tale of three brilliant Black chicks–Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae–using their magic to get a man in space more than once. Guilty!

And it’s a really inspiring history lesson that the young’ins can use. Especially now. However not everyone can afford that $20 movie ticket.

Enter our shero Octavia Spencer–who bought out a whole theater in Baldwin Hills, Cali on Saturday so families can enjoy it too.

 

The Academy Award nominee unknowingly jump started a pay-it-forward trend around the country.

A Georgia-based guidance counselor, Kahadija Oliver-Baker, at Jones County high school rounded up 76 of her students on Tuesday to see Hidden Figures.

Not only did she schedule the cheese buses to take them to and fro, but used her own money to get the tickets.

Baker told 41 NBC it was worth it to give her kids an “alternate learning experience.”

“The goal of education to learn the truth, and because their textbooks do not include the full truth.” She continued, “As a parent, as an educator, and as a woman I want to be sure that I help expose the truth to my students.”

The story of three African American women working in NASA’s space program isn’t found in students’ textbooks but it’s one she says still needs to be told.

“I think about my students like my own children and I would have been remiss to not bring about some type of change in order to get them here to the theater to experience this truth,” she said.

Michael Barnathan, film producer for The Help, was next to light the torch in exposing melanin magnificence.

Barbarian bought out two theaters and provided lunch for LA students to see Hidden Figures.

 

Let’s not break this chain of goodness.

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.