Want to get Read by Viola Davis, Wanda Sykes and Rashida Jones?

These three ladies have enough class and sass to be doling out their own library cards, amirite?

But, when I mean read to, my blinkers, I mean literally read to…with actual books.

Wanda Sykes, Viola Davis and Rashida Jones are the latest celebs to join StoryLine Online, a site chock full of actors (like James Earl Jones, Dule Hill and Betty White) reading–and of course performing–childrens’ books aloud, while the illustrations fill the screen.

There is no cost to see Rashida Jones act like a bee or fear a pop up ad will wreck the flow of Wanda Sykes’ nasally owl impersonation because the SAG-AFTRA Foundation covers the cost to stream more than 40 videos, according to Look to the Stars site.

StoryLine Online, whose aim is to boost literacy, gets over six million views a month from kids, teachers and parents.

The site just introduced a free app for iPhone and Android for access to the full book collection.

There’s nothing like ̶N̶e̶t̶f̶l̶i̶x̶ StoryLine & Chill with your babies, especially if it’s playing detective with Wanda Sykes in “The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake” by Robin Newman.

…Or venturing down South with Viola Davis to see how a family uses music to pull through a crisis in “Rent Party Jazz” by William Miller.

Rashida Jones tells the tale of two unlikely animals (the bear and bee) treating each other fairly in “Please Please the Bees” by Gerald Kelly

Best part? Library cards aren’t required.

Wise Women Wednesday | Ciara and Viola Davis Inspire Students Here and Abroad

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On the tail-end of Black History Month (we had an extra day this year!) Viola Davis paid a visit to Brown University to talk about her life growing up the daughter of an alcoholic father, the neighbor they’d refer to as “ugly, black n****r” and rising to be the first African American to nab an Emmy for lead actress in a TV show.

The “HTGAWM” star shared how her vision changed after being bit by the acting bug. Courtesy of Cicely Tyson’s inspiring portrayal of “…Miss Jane Pittman”

Having a goal enlarged her perspective and possibilities. Viola encouraged the packed auditorium of students to follow her lead.

It’s the passion that catapults you out. It’s the dreaming so big that you can’t even think about your circumstances anymore.

The Central Falls, RI native and two-time Tony winner concluded the hour-long lecture challenging the Ivy Leaguers to ponder their own lasting legacy.

What is it that you could leave on this Earth that could live far past you?

Heavy words.

But we’re not done spreading black girl magic just yet.

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Ciara was in Niageria recently, filming her latest music video. No doubt adopting some of the local choreography.

 

In between stopping traffic with her dance moves, she dropped in on Ilado community and Akande Dahunsi junior high schools. They showed their appreciation by serenading with her “I Got You.”

 

The model/singer returned the favor by giving hugs, taking selfies and motivating the kiddies with an inspiring chant.

 

Remember each one, teach one.

 

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.

 

She’s Baaacccckkkk!! Viola Davis Continues Fight Against Hunger

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V.D. is back! And I don’t just mean on ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder,” although I’m dying to know the second season premiere date. I’m referring to her continuing to be the ambassador on the ‘Hunger Is’ campaign.

Viola joined the campaign, to stomp out childhood hunger in America, during its roll out last year. Drawing on her personal experiences as a starving child, Davis wanted to put her well-deserved star power to good use, again.

The program raised over $4.6 million last year that went towards children’s access to healthy meals and creating long term solutions for childhood hunger.

Viola Davis said this about her continued support of the campaign:

After an incredibly successful inaugural year with Hunger Is, I am grateful to keep the momentum in finding a solution to a problem that is too often forgotten. We have the opportunity to change so many young lives for the better and I look forward to the day when this is no longer an issue in our country.

There is still time to donate to this worthy and necessary cause online at the Safeway Foundation and in Safeway stores.

‘HTGAWT’s’ Viola Davis Helps Raise Millions to Prevent Childhood Hunger

Viola Davis may be a kick ass attorney on on TV, (check your local listings for “How to Get Away with Murder”; it’s a real nail biter) but in real life she’s the face of Safeway Foundation’s Hunger Is campaign helping prevent childhood hunger.

Last spring we followed Viola’s stilettoed footsteps around the country sharing her personal struggles with starvation as a child. The throwback video above is when she appeared on The Ellen Show to talk about joining the Foundation’s efforts to prevent hunger in America. Viola’s personal tales of woe combined with Safeway’s in-store fundraisers dotting over 1,000 shops raised more than $4.5 million for the Hunger Is campaign.

“I am honored to help bring attention to Hunger Is and increase public awareness of the problem of childhood hunger right here in America, and I am thrilled to see how swiftly we are responding to the issue at the most local levels with the award of $1.3 million in grants,” writes the Oscar-nominated thespian in a statement.

“Millions of children go hungry everyday in the United States. I was one of those children and I pledge to tell and re-tell my story until we have eradicated childhood hunger across the nation,” Viola adds.

The Safeway Foundation also awarded $1.3 million in grants to 198 local charities focusing on hunger prevention.

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

Image Courtesy: Hunger Is website

Image Courtesy: Hunger Is website

Did you know that 1 out of 5 kids live in homes without food? And 21 million kids depend on school lunches for daily nourishment? Pretty grim statistics coming from a wealthy country like America. It’s one thing to see it happening,  (3 out of 5 elementary teachers notice hungry students.) quite another to live it. Like Oscar nominated actress Viola Davis, who reveals what going hungry forced her to do.

Now The Help actress is using her celebrity to change the script on childhood hunger. Viola is the ambassador of The Safeway Foundation’s Hunger Is charitable effort. The goal is to raise awareness for hunger prevention and donations to programs efforts to end childhood hunger (ex. No Kid Hungry, Feeding America and Food Research and Action Center). Safeway shoppers in the Bay area can donate at their local store or by clicking here. And if time is all you can afford, click here to volunteer at Hunger Is event in your area.

Let’s all do something to fix this problem, there is no reason babies should be going hungry. Like Tupac spits, “It’s funny they got money for wars/but can’t feed the poor..”

Happy Good Friday, y’all.