Man Candy Monday | Russell Simmons and Snoop Dogg Visit Flint, Michigan

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On the heels of Russell Simmons diagnosing the Flint, Michigan water crisis “environmental racism”–where low-income or minority communities are disproportionately affected by a major environmental disaster, like dumping toxic waste–on The Real Friday, he visited the city today.

Going door-to-door to deliver 200,000 water bottles. Plus offering a listening ear to people like Nakeyja. She has three kids and two tested positive for lead poisoning. The 3-year-old suffers from seizures and Nakeyja’s other child doesn’t speak.

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The story brought tears to Russell’s eyes. Like most of the stories coming out of Flint recently.

To add insult to injury, the water filters the govt passed out don’t work; they do nothing to decontaminate the poisoned water.  Take note govt officials…

imageedit_7_4767175301Russell Simmons next stop was a rally where he met the whistleblower of Flint water crisis, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha of Hurley Medical Center in Flint.

The media mogul followed that up by dropping by Classical Academy to chat up the kids and Principal Tate. RHOA’s Phaedra Parks was also there. No sign of Ayden though….damn.

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Rounding out his trip was playing waterboy once again to Flint residents.

It’s the same role Snoop Dogg had when he visited Flint Saturday for a water drive.

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Decked out in a ‘Flint Lives Matter’ tee the rapper had a one-on-one with Flint Mayor Karen Weaver. To offer help and to exploit his celeb status for this necessary cause. Snoop made this vow to the crowd.

I have a lot of information to take back to my celebrity friends and people around the world who want to help, but mainly we’d like the governor to step up and do what’s necessary to make sure Flint is taken care of.

Don’t we all. Don’t we all. Keep your prayers up for Flint.

 

Russell Simmons’ Art Foundation Honors Dave Chappelle & Ava DuVernay

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Art merged with philanthropy at Russell Simmons’ Art for Life Gala in the Hamptons this weekend. The 20th anniversary (yes, count ’em the big 2-0) brought out habitual hermit Dave Chappelle and ‘Selma’ director Ava DuVernay. The odd pair were recognized for their artistic abilities. And helped raise money for Russell Simmons’ RUSH Philanthropic Arts Foundation that finances arts programs in schools and galleries.

Funnyman Chappelle didn’t mince words about art saving his life, and it being used to reveal some deep seated issues (cough…racism… cough) and disturbing societal patterns (cough…police brutality against minorities… cough) still present.

“I went to an arts high school when shit was awful; there was a crack epidemic and AIDS, and all kinds of shit was happening, and the National Guard was policing DC and I found out about this arts program, and it changed my life in ways I couldn’t even imagine.

“And now  look at me today! Here I am with the “Winners Circle” in the Hamptons. And I have a ‘Great Gatsby’ hat on… I can say honestly that I’m happy. I can stay home on Tuesday nights and watch (Keegan Michael) Key and (Jordan) Peele do my show. And it doesn’t hurt me at all. It doesn’t hurt me at all. I’m just joking y’all.”

Jokes aside, he hinted at how art could be instrumental in making a change.

” The biggest enemy of an artist is apathy. A kid gets killed by the police and I buy a T-Shirt and before I can wear that one, there’s another kid (killed) and I’m running out of closet space.”

Hopefully he won’t need anymore.

Russell Simmons Donates 100 Percent of Clothing Line Profits to Black Empowerment

Russell Simmons and Kanye West want to change the fashion industry, but have conflicting ways on doing it. Photo Courtesy: unclerush instagram

Russell Simmons and Kanye West want to change the fashion industry, but have conflicting ways on doing it.
Photo Courtesy: unclerush instagram

Hip-Hop mogul Russell Simmons is putting his money where his mouth is.

Earlier this month the yogi took to Instagram to gripe about minorities not getting a fair shake within the fashion industry. Somewhere Kanye West is rolling his eyes and saying “duh.”

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But instead of storming on an established designer’s runway and claiming to have the best line of all time. Or ranting at a music concert, Russell decided to take all,I mean every last cent he makes with his Arglyeculture line he sells at Macys and donate it to Black empowerment.

“I want to help create space for more black designers to have access to sell their lines in big American department stores,” he writes on Instagram.

In another Instagram post he writes about donating profits to black empowerment designers and education programs. And giving neighborhood antiviolence programs a cut as well.

It wouldn’t hurt to have more faces of color being on the stage, rather than in the audience.

Yankees CC Sabathia and Shark Tank’s Daymond John Honored at Annual RUSH HeARTS Education Valentine’s Luncheon

 (l.to r.) C.C. and Amber Sabathia, Russell Simmons, Angela Simmons and guests attend the RUSH HeARTS Education Valentine's Luncheon today.

(l.to r.) C.C. and Amber Sabathia, Russell Simmons, Angela Simmons and guests attend the RUSH HeARTS Education Valentine’s Luncheon today.

Celebs BRRaved the Alaskan-like temps in New York City to attend Russell Simmons’ 12th annual RUSH HeARTS Education Valentine’s Luncheon, held at the Plaza Hotel, to raise money for his philanthropic arts foundation fostering children’s creativity.

Of course Russell’s niece Angela Simmons, the supreme socialite, appeared on the red carpet.

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Not far behind was Angela’s bestie track and field star Sanya Richards-Ross.

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Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon reclaimed her hosting duties for the event.

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DJ Cassidy, Miss Universe and Law & Order SVU‘s Tamara Tunie also made an appearance.

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And Marsha Ambrosius, draped in feathers, performed at the benefit honoring ABC Shark Tank’s Daymond John, founder of FUBU fashion line, Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia, and fashion designer Cynthia Rowley for their career efforts and philanthropic efforts.

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Grammy nominated soul singer Marsha Ambrosius singing at the benefit.

To give a brief snapshot, Daymond is not only known as the shark in suspenders, he also mentors up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

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Daymond was honored at the RUSH HeARTS Valentine’s luncheon. He’s holding up a painting kids did of him.

CC and Amber Sabathia are celebrated for their Pitcch In Foundation that empower inner-city kids with sports programs.

And Cynthia Rowley participates in several charities benefitting breast cancer awareness and community outreach.

The Black Ball!! Alicia Keys’ Keep a Child Alive Celebrates 11th Anniversary

aliciakeysAlicia was the belle of the ball at her annual gala to raise money for her Keep a Child Alive org that provides HIV treatments and support services to families affected in Africa.

How adorbz is the cute PDA between Alicia and Swizz on the black carpet?

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Diddy and Alicia’s hubby Swizz Beatz co-hosted the event held at the Hammerstein Ballroom,in NYC last night.

Diddy and Swizz Beatz (don’t they look like dapper dons?) brought out Kanye West to introduce participants at the Black Ball’s opening.

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Madge cuddled with the guest of honor at the fundraiser and took selfies with Mr. West.

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The event drew in leggy beauties Joan Smalls, Alek Wek and Selita Ebanks, making it a model affair. And where there are models…

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…that’s where music mogul Russell Simmons’ will be. Joined by niece Angela Simmons and Lala Anthony, Russell took video of Diddy and Nas rocking the stage with “You Can Hate Me Now.”

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But it looks like the real showstopper was  Alicia’s performance of  “Empire State,” seeing how they were in the Big Apple.

And backed up Nas for his “If I Ruled the World” performance at the ball.

Rounding out the ball bashers are Estelle and “Top Chef’s” Padma Lakshmi.

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And living legend Aretha Franklin graced A.K with her presence.

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No official word on how much the affair raised, but got a very generous donation of $200K during the night. If I was a betting woman I’d say they took in at least $1 or $2 milly for the cause.

Good work, Ms. Keys. I’m sure the preggo glow worked wonders on those with deep pockets.

LL Cool J and Russell Simmons Visit Incarcerated Teens for Anti-Violence Initiative

Image Courtesy: New York Daily News

Image Courtesy: New York Daily News

The two legends of the recording industry unify their star power to promote anti-violence programs that will protect youth. LL Cool J and Russell Simmons visited a Queens (where they both hail from) housing project hit hardest by the violence.

The GOAT rapper and hip hop mogul chatted with kids about their defense against violence: LIFE Camp, a group of local based-peacekeepers that act as “violence interrupters” when tensions begin to escalate. Their job is to lead raging teens in a more positive and peaceful direction.

To hear what LL and Russell Simmons told the crowd click here

After leaving their old stomping grounds they visited Rikers Island to offer encouraging words to incarcerated young people that could also benefit from the LIFE Camp. LL and Russell revealed their upbringings could have easily led them right where they are now. But, told them not to give up on the fresh start that awaits them later. Simmons preached to them about focusing on their inner thoughts.

The LIFE Camp is funded through Russell Simmons’ prepaid debit RUSH Cards. The millionaire philanthropist already donated $100,000 to the community initiative.

It’s nice to see influential celebs being hands on with this overlooked issue. Kudos, guys.

Russell Simmons’ Art for Life Charity Celebrates 15-Year Fundraiser

Photo Credit: Global Grind

Photo Credit: Global Grind

Russell Simmons’ Art for Life gala has entered its 15th year and it’s still the most sought after philanthropic ticket in town. The mega-mogul, along with some wealthy friends–rapper Rick Ross and Patriots owner Bob Kraft, put their influence and fat wallets behind arts education for inner city youth.

The Hamptons-based fundraiser also threw a spotlight to honorees with an appreciation for arts in the community. Such as former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg and Simmons’ ex-wife Kimora Lee Simmons (who returned the favor by donating $1 milly to RUSH Arts Foundation.)

Rounding out the guest list was the fam: brother Danny Simmons, niece and nephew Angela Simmons and JoJo Simmons (duh!!)

Photo Credit: Global Grind

Photo Credit: Global Grind

Photo Credit: Global Grind

Photo Credit: Global Grind

Star Jones

Photo Credit: Global Grind

Photo Credit: Global Grind

Gayle King

Photo Credit: Global Grind

Photo Credit: Global Grind

Soledad O’Brian played MC for the night

Photo Credit: Global Grind

Photo Credit: Global Grind

Bevy Smith worked the red carpet giving interviews

Photo Credit: Global Grind

Photo Credit: Global Grind

Doug E. Fresh, Kurtis Blow and Naughty By Nature got the crowd off their feet.

Photo Credit: Global Grind

Photo Credit: Global Grind

Photo Credit: Global Grind

Photo Credit: Global Grind

Sounds like an epic night that’s worthy of a cash donation.

If you were absent from the festivities there’s still a way to give to RUSH Arts Foundation and meet your fave celeb. Click here to make a bid.