Colin Kaepernick Completes Million Dollar Donation Challenge

Here’s how you roll into Black History month, fam.

Colin ‘our black prince’ Kaepernick has hit the one milly mark on his pledge to donate to underserved communities around the country.

When I started my #MillionDollarPledge and committed to donate $1,000,000 towards various programs – my original intent was to help the organizations on the ground doing much needed work within our communities.  The goal was to help those helping others. To touch those impacting lives in a real way and to make sure that those in need benefited from the dollars donated.  While on the journey, what I realized was the person that benefited the most from this pledge was myself. I've learned about and had the privilege to work with so many quality organizations fighting for Social Justice daily. I've met so many people that work with so many great non-profits that do amazing work. I've been humbled by the appreciation from places like Assata’s Daughters, United We Dream, and Standing Rock to name just a few of where my contributions from my pledge were able to help. The #MillionDollarPledge was never for me, or about me – It has, and always will continue to be for, and about the people. Perhaps what I've learned most is that we can all enact change. Not everyone has to donate monetarily. Some organizations need volunteers and time just as much as they need a donation. Head over to Kaepernick7.com to learn more about all the programs that have been a part of my #10for10 as well as my #MillionDollarPledge. While there, you can see where all the donations went as well as learn more about all these amazing organizations and how you can help contribute. We have work to do, and the only way to get it done is if we all work together.

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Before getting across the finish line, he challenged famous pals to donate $10K to an org of their choice and he’ll match it. Dubbing it the 10 for 10 challenge.

Usher heed the call Wednesday and donated $10,000 to Helping Oppressed Mothers Endure Inc., a Georgia-based non-profit that helps single and divorced mom’s adapt to a new life.

I am happy to announce that I have completed my #MillionDollarPledge. For this final #10for10 joining me is, multiple Grammy Award winner, singer, songwriter and hitmaker…My brother @usher! He is donating $10k to match my $10k for $20k going towards H.O.M.E from Lithonia, Georgia. H.O.M.E. stands for Helping Oppressed Mothers Endure and they provide furniture to single mothers and their mission is to extend love to the home; restore hope in the heart, and offer help through healing hands to single mothers facing hardship. It has been an honor for me to serve the people with my #MillionDollarPledge. The thanks and gratitude from each organization has been immense. Being able to learn and see how each organization used the donations was a key part of the Pledge. I wanted to make sure that every dollar was going towards making real change in our communities. Thank you to everyone who has supported me, matched me and my pledge and most importantly the people. I know that we still have a lot of work to do, however, by getting everyone involved, I truly believe that we can all achieve and move mountains towards our goals for Social Justice. Please head over to Kaepernick7.com for a complete list of my $1,000,000 if donations as well as others like my brother, @usher who have matched with their generous donations as well.

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Rapper Meek Mill, who is currently incarcerated, donated $10K to Youth Services, Inc, a Philly based charity that supports at risk youth.

Jesse Williams, Steph Curry and Nick Cannon also took part in the #10for10 challenge.

Colin started the one million pledge after opting out of his contract with San Francisco 49ers.

And vows to keep the good works going even without the NFL behind him.

With or without the NFL’s platform, I will continue to work for the people,” he said while picking up the 2017 Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award in December, “because my platform is the people.”

Rumble, baby, rumble <<in my Dave Chappelle voice>>>

‘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.

Issa Rae Raises $500G’s for Alton Sterling’s Kids

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So on a scale from one to 1000, this week ranked one millionth in terms of shittiest.

Amirite?

I’m still in a fragile state to recap what you already know. What I’m sure the whole world now knows. As if they didn’t already. Hell, the King of Pop dedicated a whole song about it in the ’90s. More recently, Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams did a whole breakdown of our beef like an MC–with bars just as insightful as Nas, Common, Mos Def and Talib Kwali–freestylin’ about our appropriation and marginalization.

Actor and Activist Jesse Williams Drops Truth Bomb During BET Awards

Yet, two weeks later and one day after Independence Day (isn’t it ironic?) Alton Sterling becomes not only a hashtag but # 505 on this year’s list–so far– of fatal shootings by police. Not even a full 24 hours later did Philando Castile land # 506.

What’s scary is not only who will be # 507, but the near certainty another Black man or woman will fill the casket. It’s a hopeless reality but no doubt one that’s been contemplated now more than ever.

It makes you wonder if Alton Sterling’s 15-year-old son will live long enough to step foot on the college campus  filmmaker Issa Rae helped foot the tuition for. The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl took to GoFundMe page this week urging supporters to finance a better future for the slain Louisana man’s five offspring by donating up to $200K.

The star/creator of HBO’s new comedy Insecure surpassed her fundraising goal in 9 hours; garnering $567,056 for the Sterling family.

“If you feel helpless, but want to play a small part in easing the burden of #AltonSterling’s family, consider donating to this scholarship fund for his 15-year-old son (and his other kids).

*ALL* funds raised will go to Alton Sterling’s family,” writes Issa.

Following Issa’s lead Los Angeles director Xavier Burgin posted a Go Fund Me page for Philando Castile, which raised $96,040. To help support the Minneapolis man’s girlfriend and daughter, who both watched him get gunned down reaching for his license. The disturbing encounter was streamed live on Facebook.

Philando’s sister also started one to pay for his funeral.

It’s good to know people care enough to give, but Beyonce put it best: “we dont need sympathy. We need everyone to respect our lives.”

We’re still waiting.

We’re done waiting.

We’re woke and it’s time to start fighting.

MCM | Jesse Williams Drops Truth Bomb During BET Awards

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It’s safe to say Jesse Williams put us all in a trance last night at the BET Awards. Only it wasn’t his gorgeous green eyes that had us hypnotized, although it always helps, but his truth bombs about cultural appropriation.

The Grey’s Anatomy star lit into those who love to bottle up our slang, our dance moves and our fashion style to sell to the masses. Yet, cringe at our efforts to recognize the whole package. Black Lives Matter. The fact that a little brown boy playing in a park alone results in several holes in his body by the police. Without any arrests. Shows it doesn’t.

And that’s what J.W. is hoping to change. Through his involvement with orgs like the California Endowment Sons & Brothers that guides young Black boys to reach their potential through literacy and youth empowerment. Jesse is a boardmember. The actor turned activist is also on the board of directors for the Advancement Project; a civil-rights org seeking community based solutions to racial inequities.

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And still finds time to take part in POTUS’ “My Brother’s Keeper” program.

Between Jesse Williams’ stirring humanitarian acceptance speech (check out his full speech below) and Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar’s chain-breaking performance of “Freedom.”

We’re all woke.

Should Jay Z Drop his Collaboration with Barney’s Amid Racial Allegations?

****************** UPDATE***************UPDATE*******************UPDATE

Jay Z broke his silence late last night. And released a pretty lengthy statement on the Barney’s controvbelow on his website. Check the statement below.

I move and speak based on facts and emotion. I haven’t made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys. Why am I being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately?

Jay goes on to write that the only victims in this situation are those that will benefit from his Shawn Carter Foundation.

Making a decision prematurely to pull out of this project, wouldn’t hurt Barneys over Shawn Carter, but all the people that stand a chance at higher education….The Shawn Carter Foundation is the beneficiary and the foundation is receiving 25% of all sales from the collaboration, 10% of all sales generated in the store on November 20th and an additional donation from Barney’s

Hmmmm still stand by my comments below…

It seems to be the question of the day on Twitter and Facebook. And the only person who can answer it has been surprisingly mum. Actually, it’s not to shocking given an avalanche of angry tweets directed his way and a we-hate-Barneys-petition circulating over 3,000 signatures urging Jay to sign in black/blue or they’ll hate him too. If not already.

Remember, the flames have just recently been extinguished on his Cuba vacation…

….and now we have this situation. While, no doubt Olivia Pope aka Judy Smith is as-I-type-this “getting it handled.” Let’s backtrack.

In February, a teenager visited Barneys department store in Midtown Manhattan to snag a $300 Ferragamo belt he’s had his eye on. Whips out his debit card. Purchase complete. End of story. Nope, just the beginning. He leaves the store, walks a few blocks and is accosted by police officers that take him “downtown,” and according to Trayon Christian have him wait two hours before his story of legitimately buying the belt checks out.

Rewind to two months ago when 21-year old Kayla Phillips visited the same Barneys Trayon will eventually go to. She purchased a $2,000 Cèline bag. Once again, she makes the purchase and leaves. When she gets to the train station four police officers pepper her with questions, look at her store receipts and ask how could she afford this bag?

Both Trayon and Kayla have pressed charges against Barneys and NYC police department.

Barneys CEO released a statement on Facebook yesterday.

Barneys New York believes that no customer should have the unacceptable experience described in recent media reports, and we offer our sincere regret and deepest apologies.

Further to our statement of yesterday, we want to reinforce that Barneys New York has zero tolerance for any form of discrimination. We are a strong proponent of equal rights and equal treatment for all human beings. Our mission is to ensure that all customers receive the highest-quality service—without exception.

How does Jay add to the mix?

Jay Z has plans to release clothing and jewelry lines called “A New York Holiday” with Barneys in November and help decorate their holiday windows in December.

The items Jay has produced range from $70 to $33,000, according to the New York Daily News. And 25 percent of the money from the line will go towards his Shawn Carter Foundation charity that provides minorities college scholarships.

As enriching as it all sounds–especially the relationship to his charity– I’m still on the fence about Jay dropping the deal.

Why, you may ask?

Because and I quote “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.” And as such, Jay looks at the bottom line. Always. Not that integrity isn’t part of his makeup. This showcases it. Yet, this issue pales in comparison to spilled champagne. It’s one that even Oprah struggles with.

Even still,  I seriously doubt two cases of racial discrimination will discourage this millionaire’s club deal. Although I wish it would. It would set a sterling example for his young fans about standing up and walking away instead of chasing the money. As well as his daughter, who some write could easily be Kayla Phillips in 10 or 20 years.

Whatever Jay decides I share Questlove’s sentiments

What do you guys think will Jay pull a Dave Chappelle and run away from the money or stand up and walk away? Do you think he should continue the deal to benefit his Shawn Carter Foundation?

Hit me up below…