Akon Collaborates with ONE to Launch Social Media Campaign Combating Energy Poverty

Akon with USC students on campus this month. Image Courtesy: veooz.com

Akon with USC students on campus this month.
Image Courtesy: veooz.com

Hey, USC students, Akon has a homework assignment for you: create a viral social media campaign to heighten awareness for energy poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Akon approached the college kids this month alongside ONE org, which will make it their next social media project, to hear pitches for the #PowerProject Campaign Lab.

This effort ties in with the singer’s latest initiative “Akon Lighting Africa” that plans to bring power to 1 million African homes by the end of this year.

Born in St. Louie with roots in Senegal, Akon knows the value of electricity for a community.  Read his comments below.

“It’s hard to imagine living without basic electricity, but that’s the reality for 600 million people in Africa. Imagine giving birth or having an operation in a dark hospital with only a flashlight and no other equipment. Want to get a vaccine? Forget it, there are no refrigerators to keep them cold. Pretty much everything you and I take for granted cannot function without power–schools,hospitals, factories, farms, and businesses.”

But the singer/songwriter can’t do it alone. Hence, the open call for any and all USC students to submit proposals for ONE’s campaign dubbed The Power Project. In June, ONE will release #PowerProject, a tool to send letters to local senators about the project’s significance and steps on how to bring energy access to 50 million people living in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Guess, we take for granted how easy it is to flip a light switch…

Dr. Dre Gives Million Dollar Donation to USC; FLOTUS Message to Bowie State Graduating Class


So, I guess Dre (Andre Young) is putting the Beats headphone money to good use. He and the other super producer Jimmy Iovine donated $70 million dollars to go towards the undergraduate Trojans. University of Southern California will take that big fat check and establish the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and Business (whew!!that’s a mouthful). The school will focus on entrepreneurship, computer science and the arts. The main emphasis is innovation and using technology and arts to pinpoint the next big thing.

The vision and generosity  of Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young will profoundly influence the way all of us perceive and experience artistic media says USC President C.L. Max Nikias


And speaking of educational opportunities, FLOTUS thinks that young African Americans need to broaden theirs. In a commencement speech to Bowie State University this week, Michelle Obama lectured the predominately Black student body on their lax ambitions and narrow career goals. Can’t say that I blame her. To often I hear young boys quote Biggie’s “Things Done Changed” lyric: “Either you’re slingin’ crack rock or you got a wicked jump shot” as an excuse not to try something new. Hopefully others were listening to FLOTUS, who received a standing ovation. Check the video below.