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.

 

Future and Baby Future’s Holiday Homecoming ! Rapper Throws Toy and Charity Drive in ATL

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Santa, take note, my brother. Yes I said brother. Ask about the chocolate Santa come up.

Anyway, he may wanna pull out a pen and pad because Future is giving him a run for his money.

Yesterday, the “Married to the Game” rapper held his fourth annual Winter Wish Land charity and toy drive–through his non-profit, Free Wishes Foundation that encourages kids to dream big.

 

The ATL kiddies sure did. They piled into Atlanta’s Bessie Branham Park where Future hooked up over 1300 dreamers with some Christmas wishes sans the Santa suit. That doesn’t mean he didn’t have elves…err corporate friends/sponsors.

Like Reebok who partnered with Free Wishes by donating 500 pairs of kicks to the cause.

Thank you @reebok #freewishesfoundation #winterwishland

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Samsung doled out free tablets and headphones for the young’uns. Use with caution…

Thanks to @samsungusa for donating tablets and headphones for our raffle items today! #WinterWishLand

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In all 1300 kids walked away with new shoes, coats and toys.

But that’s not all.

Ciara’s baby daddy was all about philanthropy this weekend. Future also attended the UNCF Masked Ball alongside Usher, Tyrese and Jeezy. All three made a gentleman’s pact to donate $25K each to the non-profit supports. Black students journey towards college enrollment.

Future is slaying the giving game this holiday season.

 

 

 

MCM | T.I. Donates $35K to Six Education Initiatives

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Tip is a man of his word.

When the ATL-based rapper signed on to promote  TIDAL’s Money Talk and Education challenge–that encourages charities to fundraise for education programs in different communities–in May, he put his checkbook on the line.

 

The “Whatever You Like” lyricist and father of seven (the newest addition is babygirl Heiress) agreed to match all funds raised.

The Undefeated reports eighty-six orgs took on the challenge from May 4 to June 15. Only six became finalists, which brought in $46,000 combined. In turn T.I. donated $36,000. For a grand total of…

Drum roll please…

…$81,000.

 

So which charities put a dent in the VH1 (“T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle”) reality star’s wallet?

ESSENCE gave us a breakdown on the six orgs.

Fate Loves The Fearless — Education and mentorship program to help Detroit youths excel in school; funds raised will go toward the renovation of a new facility.

Shaw Inspires “Teen-Preneurs” — In-school, after-school, weekend and summer mentoring and leadership program for youth ages 11-25; funds raised will help the program expand to Baltimore and Charleston, South Carolina.

The Musicianship’s 2016 Summer Camp — Summer camp that provides music lessons for young people; funds will be used to buy instruments, supplies, support music instructors and provide a college scholarship.

Generation You Employed — Program that helps unemployed youths with skills and job readiness in five countries (Kenya, India, Spain, Mexico and the United States); it plans to train 1 million unemployed young people and place them in jobs by 2020; funds raised will go toward expanding into Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City.

Educate Me College Tour — Annual tour of historically black colleges and universities provides cultural and educational experiences that inspire students to examine concerns and personal interests during their college selection process.

Truancy Intervention Project (TIP) 25th Anniversary — The dropout prevention agency partners trained community volunteers with children in the Atlanta and Fulton County public school systems who are chronically absent from school and, as a result, either become involved in the juvenile court or referred for early intervention at the school level.

Good job, Tip. <<salute>>

Man Candy Monday I Snoop Dogg Throws Celebrity Basketball Game for Flint

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MSU Coach Tom Izzo, Snoop Dogg mean mugging and Morris Peterson before throwing down on the court.

Snoop Dogg and former NBA baller Morris Peterson teamed up to throw first annual Hoop 4 Water charity basketball game Saturday at Flint’s Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center.

All donations went towards Morris’ Foundation that aims to provide services and resources to teens in and around Flint.

“We’re here to try to fix the problem,” Snoop Dogg told Detroit Free Press. “That’s why we’re bringing joy and happiness and a basketball game so people can have some fun. But no one understands what the cause is. We’re here to make sure we get the problem fixed out here with the water situation.”

20 free tix under CURTIS MAYFIELD at Box Office Will Call courtesy of Uncle Snoop – FIRST COME FIRST SERVE

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Flint residents, which have been sickened by a contaminated water crisis due to corroded water pipes and corrupt government that tried to cover it up, certainly felt the love–thousands attended the charity game.

Where they not only watched a heated matchup between Snoop and Morris (Adidas provided the sick jerseys) on the hardwood, but were provided with cases of bottled water.

Michigan State (Go Spartans!) basketball coach Tom Izzo was hanging out courtside. Not that Morris needed it, the former Toronto Raptor trounced Snoop even with NFL player Eric Enron serving as the rapper’s Scottie Pippen.

Get the game’s final score and highlights here.

MTV’s Sway was there to coach Morris’ team to victory.

@realsway 💯💯Thanks 4 Coming to Flint Bro! #Ball4Water #WorldArtistRefuge #MorrisPetersonJrFoundation

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Morris and Snoop were handed keys to the city by Flint Mayer Karen Weaver for their charitable efforts. And decided to make Hoop 4 Water an annual event.

Until next year guys, thanks for keeping Flint in the news. You are officially our #MCMs.

Prince’s Legacy of Philanthropy

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The purple Prince left us with more than a music catalogue to match our every emotion. (Although I’m always in the mood for “Purple Rain” and “When Doves Cry.” The two have been on instant replay since his passing.)

His most under wraps contribution–not having to do with the purple piano–was giving back to little known causes.

A point his good friend Van Jones, political activist, told CNN this weekend. (Check the interview below.) Prince helped Jones launch #YesWeCode, an org that seeks to teach 100,000 underprivileged kids coding. On one condition, Jones couldn’t tell anyone Prince created and jumpstarted the program. Yet, performed during the launch at ESSENCE Music Festival 2014.

Prince’s generosity didn’t stop there. In 2011, the majestic one donated $1 million to Harlem Children’s Zone during his “Welcome 2 America” tour dates in NYC. He even put up one of his guitars to auction off. And gave $250,000 each to Uptown Dance Academy and the American Ballet Theatre.

Oh, and if you’re living under a solar paneled roof in the Bay Area you can thank Prince for saving the environment. He footed the bill as the face for environmental group Green for All.

Jones says Prince’s philanthropy is just as important as his music.

He did not want it be known publicly, and he did not want us to say it. But I’m gonna say it because the world needs to know that it wasn’t just the music. The music was just one way he tried to help the world, but he was helping every day of his life

R.I.P, Prince. Thank you for your numerous gifts. There will be no other like you.

Serena’s Good Deed! Builds School in Jamaica

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Fresh off the Australian Open, Serena ditched her tennis skirt for a hardhat today in Jamaica.

The 21-Grand Slam winner got her hands dirty alongside Jamaican sprint stars Warren Weir and Yohan Blake to build Salt Marsh Primary School in Treelawny, Jamaica–birthplace of the real Flash aka Usain Bolt.

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Guess he was to busy preparing for Rio to join in on the fun.

No matter, Serena wasn’t solo in accomplishing the mission. Which took a few days with the help of her nonprofit–Serena Williams Fund–support, and partnership with Helping Hands Jamaica, a Christian non-profit that funds desperately needed community projects.

Serena posted a video of the ribbon cutting ceremony on Instagram.

 

Captioned, “After all the hard work, the school is finally finished!”

This is the third school Serena built through her nonprofit.

When does this chick sleep?

Feel Good Friday|Every Girl Deserves This Doll for Christmas

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While I’m partial to the Ava Duvernay dollie–it’s currently on hold for my eight-year-old niece. You would have to be a Scrooge not to appreciate Josilyn Martin-Richardson’s efforts in making sure as many little girls as possible have a Barbie under their tree this year.

Did I mention she is eight?

Josilyn’s aha moment came when she was playing with–you guessed it–a Barbie in a Chicago park. And the girl she was with spilled she didn’t have a Barbie. From that day on Josilyn made it her mission that no other suffered the same fate.

She asked her mom if they could take up a Barbie collection for needy girls. Who could say no to that heartfelt request?

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With the help of her parents, Kellie and Jonathan Richardson, Velvet Lounge in Chicago and Rollingout magazine Josilyn arranged a fundraiser brunch this week. She collected 300 Barbies and $600 towards her goal of 1,000 dolls.

The Barbies collected will be scattered to various orgs around Chi-Town, including LaRabida Children’s Hospital,Lowden Homes, Trumball Park of CHA, Ada S. McKinley Youth Services and University Church in Chicago.

Because “every girl deserves a Barbie.”

Donations can be made by contacting Kellie Martin at kelliec.martin@gmail.com

 

 

Uh, Santa this one has been very, very nice this year.