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)

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?

Black Girl Magic! Beyonce, Zendaya and Kerry Washington Top Celebs Gone Good in 2015 List

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While we’re toasting Golden Globe winners, let’s also raise a glass to all the celebs that gave an ish about social issues in 2015. DoSomething.org, “one of the largest orgs for young people & social change in the world,” was kind enough to keep a tally of all the celeb do-gooders trying to revamp this crazy world for the better by spotlighting issues like gun control, feminism, racial justice and transgender rights.

Including Beyonce, the Flawless performer was not only feeling herself but the Baltimore protesters too. It’s reported her and Jay Z used some of their billions to bail out the Black Lives Matter protesters. And then there’s her surprise jaunt to a Haitian hospital through her Bey Good charity.

Zendaya places sixth on the Celebs Gone Good list and I’m scratching my head why she’s not No. 1. A spot reserved for her pal Taylor Swift. Tell me if I’m wrong… here are the facts: the “K.C. Undercover” star used her birthday to get fans to donate to three African orphans, used a humiliatingly shallow dig (looking at you Giulana) to school us all on discrimination and racial tolerance, participated in initiatives like Get Schooled Foundation to inspire kids to stay in school and is UNICEF’s spokesperson.

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Move over Jay Z and Beyonce. Step aside Brangelina because John Legend and Chrissy Teigen ARE the philanthropic power couple of 2015. It’s not enough they’re good looking, talented and iconic meme motivators (seriously, stop what you’re doing and follow them. I mean right now.) but they’re generosity is on fleek too. Hashtag blessed. The Selma star and his Fab Life wife also rallied behind Black Lives Matter protesters in NYC with donated meals. Following the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado, the couple donated money to the org and encouraged others to do the same. Also (yes, there is more) not one to forget his roots Legend donated $500,000 to his alma mater, Springfield City School District in Indiana.

Viola Davis Joins The Safeway Foundation’s Mission to End Childhood Hunger

Viola Davis gained an Emmy and a gold star from DoSomething.org for her work with childhood hunger. The How to Get Away with Murder star is the ambassador of “Hunger Is” initiative that raises awareness and looks for strategies to combat the country’s childhood hunger problem. An issue close to the Julliard grad’s heart as a victim of those same circumstances growing up in Rhode Island.

No Scandal here. Kerry Washington is a fashion maven, so why not use it as a weapon for social change? That she did. As the Allstate Foundation’s spokesperson for their Purple Purse program that sparks a conversation about domestic violence and financial abuse. Additionally, the fixer everyone loves, is commended for her veteran work with FLOTUS Michelle Obama and LGBTQ efforts.

Last but never least is Serena Williams. The tennis champion gets kudos for hosting the Serena Williams Live Ultimate Run this spring to raise money for her charity and endorsing the 1 in 11 campaign that encourages everyone have access to education.

Riding these goddesses coattails are Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg. She’s a spokesman for No Kid Hungry org to end child starvation in the US and vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. And Black-ish’s Yara Shahidi (and Nas’ cousin) for encouraging girls to get involved with STEM in a partnership with Science Sleuth.

All together now, “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!!”

For a complete list of Celebs Gone Good click here.

 

Serena Williams Supports UNICEF’s 1 in 11 Challenge

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Now that the powerhouse Tennis champ has the extra shot of energy, she’s using it to support UNICEF’s 1 in 11 challenge. To represent the 1 in 11 children around the world out of school.

To change those numbers, UNICEF, FC Barcelona Foundation and Reach Out to Asia have teamed up to start three pilot education programs that marry sports with schooling.

The orgs are raising money to jump start the programs in three of the most impoverished countries–Indonesia, Nepal and Bangladesh–and expand from there.

To take the 1 in 11 challenge, grab a ball (doesn’t matter what kind) and a camera or smart phone. Shoot a short innovative (no pressure) film using the ball or making it an accessory. Then, blast the short film on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr with #1in11 and nominate two friends to take the challenge.

Finally, and most importantly, make a donation, if possible.

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Keep tabs on the 1in11 challenge as you could win some cool offerings. Including a Serena Williams autographed Murakami Flower ball. To see the full list of prizes click here.

The challenge runs from Jan. 11th to Feb.13th. Winners will be chosen based on originality and creativity of the videos.

Who knows? Maybe this will be the new ice bucket challenge.