Oprah Joins Fight to End Hunger

Oprah was fresh off a Parisian vacay, when THE media mogul spread some Black girl magic in Cincinnati.

Oprah shocked volunteers at Freestore Foodbank on Sept. 11th when she came suited and booted to help pack 2,000 meals for school kids in the community.

Oprah was one of 100 volunteers to support Kroger grocery store’s Kroger Zero Hunger, Zero Waste anniversary that aims to end hunger and food waste by 2025.
“It’s an honor to support this initiative in the local Cincinnati community and beyond,” said Winfrey. “I am committed to the fight against hunger because I’ve seen the impact it has on people. That’s why I wanted to be here today to help pack food for Cincinnati children facing hunger. The work Kroger is doing is special and meaningful.”

The cherry on top of the event was…no, Gayle didn’t come. Next time, guys.

Oprah’s food line O, That’s Good! teamed up with Kroger to donate one million meals to Feeding America to feed families around the country.

Oprah stands undefeated as the giving God. Fight me on this.

MCM | ‘Selma’ Star Creates Scholarship for Nigerian Girls

David Oyelowo

Selma‘s David Oyelowo launched a leadership scholarship–for Nigerian girls that were victims of kidnapping, rape and torture by terrorist groups (like Boko Haram)–earlier this month.

The David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship for Girls is giving Chibok schoolgirls, and sadly many others affected by terrorism, a second chance by placing them back in the classrooms.

In not just any ‘ol school. The scholarship covers admittance in the exclusive Anglican Girls Grammer School in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, where the lucky ladies will study math and science.

The British actor released the statement below about his involvement.

“We cannot stand idly by while thousands of innocent girls remain under serious threat. With our help, these bright and resilient girls can blossom into Nigeria’s most inspiring leaders in government, education, business, entertainment, and so much more,” the Queen of Katwe actor says. “The way to combat oppression and injustice is to be intentional in calling it out and then seeking to affect sustainable and long-term change. That is what these Leadership scholarships are all about. We seek to nurture a generation of strong female trailblazers whose positive impact will be felt across Nigeria and around the world.”

David is not only loaning his very famous name to the cause, but fundraising efforts, admin work and promotion.

Oh and one other little thing. The actor’s celeb connections. Like…

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Oooopraaaahhhh! The media mogul is one of the seed investors that cover three scholarships for 2016-2017 semester.

The scholarship is one of several programs under the Geanco Foundation umbrella whose mission is to ” transform the lives of the poor and vulnerable in Africa,” with health and education efforts.

The Chibok schoolgirls have been helpless since their return. It’s nice to know they finally

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

Me-and-Oprah-copy

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.

Teavana’s Tea Time with Oprah Helps Youth Education Programs

I'll drink to supporting four charities. Image Courtesy: Seattle PI

I’ll drink to supporting four charities.
Image Courtesy: Seattle PI

Here’s one more favorite thing of Oprah’s we can go bat shit cray about. (Oprah fans hold your breath and tea aficionados  grip your mugs.) The media maven has teamed up with Starbucks to create her own customized Chai tea that’s described as a mix of “cinnamon, ginger, cardamon(?) and cloves blended with loose leaf black tea and rooibos(?).

Not to sure about all the ingredients, but I’m curious enough to try a free sample. The Oprah Chai tea hits Starbucks and Teavana April 29th. Just in time for Mother’s Day *wink*wink*

And to sweeten the (tea)pot even more, Oprah will give “allllllll of the proceeds” to help youth education, like with The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation that drives her Academy for Girls in South Africa, guiding young girls to be college educated.

The money will also be raised for Pathways to College, an org helping high school kids through the college application process; Dream Academy, a national mentoring program for at risk youth; Girls, Inc., non-profit that equips young girls to embrace their best selves and overcome social hurdles; National Cares Mentoring Movement, a community engagement that aims to shelter kids from impoverished circumstances by mentoring.

Oprah spills the tea on the hush-hush partnership to Starbucks shareholders alongside the CEO, Howard Schultz, click the link below.

When you offered me this opportunity, okay, I wanna give the money back, and give it back to organizations that help kids that were like me to become the best they can be.

http://www.oprah.com/oprahdotcom/Oprahs-Special-Announcement

YOU GET A CHAI TEA…YOU GET A CHAI TEA…YOU GET A CHAI TEA.

POTUS Obama & Oprah Winfrey Commemorate MLK’s ‘Dream’ Speech & 3 Ways King’s Dream is Being Fulfilled

msn

msn

50 years. Even writing it looks weird and not in the way you think. From most people’s reactions, 50 years ago today is like a lifetime ago when Martin Luther King Jr. stepped up to that podium at the Lincoln Memorial and shared his dream with the world. For me 50 years seems a lot shorter than I imagine the event taking place. Of course, i wasn’t even born then (guess my  baby face is accurate at times) so what do I know?. But it may stem from the fact that issues of race, class, inequality, lack of jobs discussed in 1963 mirror those of 2013. So, frighteningly so that I managed to dismiss half a century of the hard work Dr. King and a sea of nameless faces, who filled  the National Mall, accomplished for Blacks to progress. Kudos to your blood, sweat and tears, or better yet  grit, perseverance and faith that manifested The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and The Voting Rights Act. In that spirit I salute those who put in jeopardy their lives for our evolution. And highlight 3  recent national endeavors that help bring us closer to making Dr. King’s Dream a reality:

1. President Barack Obama– I think President Obama’s election may have surpassed even Dr. King’s expectations. I believe  King would be beaming with pride that a black man with the name Barack Hussein Obama is the head of state. Obama’s election also shows that we are inching somewhat closer to getting beyond race when united for a common purpose.

2. Freeze Stop & Frisk– There has never been a more blatant form of racial profiling than New York City’s Stop & Frisk policy. A federal judge recently ruled that New York police officers violated the civil rights of minorities with this tactic. I believe Dr. King would be proud that the federal government has recognized how detrimental this policy is to the minority community.

3. Documenting the Struggle– Movies like “The Butler” and “42” document what our ancestors had to endure to get us where we are now. I believe Dr. King would appreciate those stories being distributed through the mainstream media and being praised.

globalgrind

globalgrind

President Obama and Oprah made powerful speeches to commemorate the occasion and also gave us a history lesson on where we’ve been and hopefully where we need to go. check it inside:

Oprah shares how her 9 year old self begged her mom to go to the 1963 March on Washington. Well, you made it to this one, O.

Graduating Class of 2013–Oprah, Kerry Washington & Wynton Marsalis Has Something to Say

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In honor of cap and gown season and in the spirit of my six-year-old niece making the sweet transition from kindergarten to numero uno grade, (Aside: OMG, I can’t believe she’s in numbered grades already, geesh where does time go? End of  Aside.) I got to thinking about my own college graduation ceremony, and before you ask, no I won’t reveal the class year, just be satisfied that it was fairly recent…well, depending on your definition of fairly. Anyway, I pondered  how uplifting New York Senator Chuck Schumer was in teaching my Hofstra University class, okay, you pried it out of me, class of 2006, how we each have a choice to go after what we truly desire or travel down the already paved path we think we belong on. Yeah, profound stuff. My curiosity got the better of me and wanted to know what commencement speakers are advising the class of 2013, which has been speculated about, researched on, and are now part of the growing group of student loan debt payers. Welcome to the club, guys. Anywho, I rounded up a couple of speakers who I believe are most inspiring and thought-provoking. Congrats Class of 2013!!!

 

Media Maven Oprah Winfrey took her legendary motivational speaker self to the hallowed halls of Haaahhhvaaadd or better known as Harvard to give the commencement speech. She taught the graduating class that failure is inevitable but not unconquerable. Favorite quote:  It doesn’t matter how far you rise at some point you will stumble. But, there is no such thing as failure, just life trying to move us in another direction.

CNN correspondent Soledad O’Brien wasn’t too far away. As an alumnus of Harvard, she was the class guest speaker. She  told the class of 2013 to find purpose in helping others. Favorite quote: You have been positioned to do great things, but do them in service of others and you will discover that selflessness is ultimately what makes you great.

Check out below why O’Brien won’t give the Harvard graduates advice.

NY Giants linebacker Justin Tuck gave an engaging and witty speech (after receiving his honorary degree–he popped that newly earned-appropriately Giant blue collar) to graduates of  St. Francis College. As founder of Tuck’s R.U.S.H. for literacy program that motivates kids to read and write, he urged the class of 2013 to find solutions to social problems plaguing our communities. Favorite quote: What cause are you going to champion? What cause will you make your own? We should all have an uncanny desire to service.

Check out below why Tuck asked the graduating class to get on their feet.

Jazz Icon Wynton Marsalis put the 2013 University of Vermont graduates in the shoes of the parents, friends and teachers who supported them through their journey. In his emotional speech, he even managed to shout out his son Simmie who was also a graduate. He advised the graduates not to be far from those you most depend on and always live in the moment. Favorite quote: Each moment is a procession from the future into the past and that sweet spot is always the present. Live in that sweet spot. Be present.

Find out why Marsalis played “When the Saints Go Marching In” below:

Kerry Washington, yes, she addressed the elephant in the room. What can Olivia Pope teach me about my journey to adulthood? Especially since she’s, well, the Presiden’t mistress. Welp, it’s a show folks. Ms. Kerry Washington plays a mistress on TV, in real life she is an alumnus of George Washington University and is more than qualified to advise the 2013 graduating class to fulfill their purpose by developing their own story. Favorite quote: You can follow someone else’s script; do what is expected and follow the status quo or you can look at all you have accomplished today, and use it as fuel to venture forth and write your own story. 

Find out below what famous person Washington is related to who is also an alumni of GWU.

Last, but certainly not least because I feel Dr. Tererai Trent is the most fascinating. Her name may not be as recognizable as the others above. But she is a walking, talking inspiration with her “hunger” to educate herself in a country–Zimbabwe –that doesn’t promote educating girls. However, she chose to educate herself. Three degrees–bachelor’s, masters and PH.D.–later Dr. Trent’s focus is on her non profit Tinogona Foundation (meaning it is achievable) that offers educational opportunities for girls in Africa. Earlier this year she gave a commencement address to graduates of Walden University, she urged them to align their dreams with being a force of change. Favorite quote: Your goals and your dreams have greater meaning if their connected to your community, when your dreams are connected to the greater good.