World Leaders, Stars Raise $7 Billion at Event Aimed at Fighting Virus

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The Rock pictured smiling wearing a suit at a premiere event

The event included a Dwayne Johnson-hosted concert with performances by Jennifer Hudson, Miley Cyrus, Coldplay and Chloe x Halle

A summit that included a star-studded virtual concert hosted by Dwayne Johnson has raised nearly $7 billion in cash and loan guarantees to assist the poor around the globe whose lives have been upended by the coronavirus pandemic.

Global Citizen said its summit with world leaders had raised $1.5 billion to help COVID-19 efforts in poor countries, along with a promise of 250 million doses of a vaccine for those nations if one is successfully developed.

The group said it had secured $5.4 billion in loans and guarantees from the European Commission and the European Investment Bank to support fragile economies worldwide.

The event included a Johnson-hosted concert with performances by Jennifer Hudson, Miley Cyrus, Coldplay and Chloe x Halle. Cyrus performed The Beatles’ “Help!” in an empty stadium and Hudson performed “Where Peaceful Waters Flow” from a boat in Chicago.

“The $6.9 billion that was pledged today to support the world’s poorest and most marginalized communities is an incredible next step on our journey out of the COVID-19 era, but there is more still to be done, as no one is safe until everyone is safe,” Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Citizen, said after the event Saturday.

“As we fight this virus, we also need to take care of the most vulnerable people and address the challenges they’re facing right now,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during the event.

Speakers also included the leaders of New Zealand, El Salvador, Sweden, South Africa and Barbados.

Organizers said the show was not just a fundraiser, but aimed to draw awareness to the disproportionate impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on marginalized communities.

Continue on to NBC News to read the complete article.

Grammy Awards to rename controversial ‘urban’ category

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Tyler the Creator holding a grammy award

The organization behind the Grammys will cease using the term “urban” to describe music of black origin in its awards. The Recording Academy announced Wednesday that the best urban contemporary album prize will be renamed best progressive R&B album ahead of next year’s ceremony as part of the organization’s “commitment to evolve with the musical landscape.”

The rechristening — which is one of nine key changes to its awards and nominations process — is “intended to highlight albums that include the more progressive elements of R&B and may include samples and elements of hip-hop, rap, dance, and electronic music,” the academy said.

Harvey Mason Jr., chairman and interim CEO of the Recording Academy, said in a statement that major rules and guidelines have been introduced for the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards “to ensure the Grammy Awards are inclusive and reflect the current state of the music industry.”

Tyler, The Creator is among prominent industry figures to have spoken out about the Grammys’ categories, saying “urban'” was racially insensitive and belittled the innovation of black music.

“It sucks that whenever we — and I mean guys that look like me — do anything that’s genre-bending or that’s anything they always put it in a rap or urban category,” the 29-year-old producer and vocalist told reporters after winning the best rap album at January’s ceremony.

“I don’t like that ‘urban’ word — it’s just a politically correct way to say the n-word to me,” he added.

Continue on to CNN to read the complete article.

This Rapper is Joining the Fight for Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention

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Waka Flocka posing at a press event

On the evening of May 25, near the end of Mental Health Awareness Month, rapper Waka Flocka tweeted that he was going to dedicate his life to suicide prevention and mental illness. This tweet likely stemmed from the reminder of his deceased brother’s upcoming birthday, which would happen less than a week later.

The rapper tweeted his support by saying, “I’m officially dedicating my life to suicide prevention and mental illness!!! Y’all not alone Waka Flocka Flame is with y’all now!!!!”

In 2017, Waka Flocka revealed in an interview with the show The Therapist that his younger brother committed suicide in 2013. In this interview, he stated that his brother, Coades, tried to call him before taking his life, leaving Waka Flocka to wonder what would have happened if he picked up the phone.

While the specifics of what the renowned rapper will do is unknown at the moment, Waka Flocka has made his goals clear, stating in a follow-up tweet that he has officially accepted his brother’s passing and believes he is now in a better place.

Waka Flocka stated, “You have no idea how it feel to wanna take your own life man…my little brother took his own life…This year I’m officially accepting the fact that he’s in a better place.”

Queer Eye Season 5 – Now on NetFlix!

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Queer Eye Season 5 promo poster with the fab five in a wooden boat

The Emmy® Award-winning Queer Eye returned ready to transform the stylistically challenged into hip and happening savants at the hands of the Fab Five.

Now in its fifth season, Queer Eye’s fearless ambassadors head east to Philadelphia, the birthplace of the nation, to bring their infectious brand of self-love, confidence and encouragement to a whole new roster of heroes.

Additionally, queer pop artist Vincint created a special song, “Be Me (for Queer Eye Season 5).” The track is featured in the trailer below and available to stream.

So grab some tissues as the all new “Fab Five” serve up hip tips, emotionally charged makeovers and heartfelt reveals that bring out all the feels.

#QueerEye

Watch the Trailer!

Watch the new season now on NetFlix.

The Original Broadway Showing of Hamilton is Coming to a TV Near You

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Lin Manuel Miranda on stage as Alexander Hamilton

By Natalie Rodgers

A fully taped production of the Broadway hit, Hamilton, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, is being released to Disney+ in its entirety on July 3, 2020, just in time for Independence Day.

Originally due to premiere as a theatrical release on October 21, 2021, the movie has been moved up to provide a sense of hope and comfort due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because of the cultural and historical impact that Hamilton has had since its Broadway debut in 2015, Disney plans to make the experience more captivating and to include as Disney quoted, “the best elements of live theater, film, and streaming.”

Creating this kind of atmosphere will not be a difficult task, due to how the filmmakers have already produced it. The production was filmed from various camera angles from the show’s original Richard Rodgers Theatre home and filmed across three different performances in in 2016.

The production will include all of the original Broadway cast members, including Leslie Odom Jr., Renee Elise Goldsberry, Phillipa Soo, Jonathan Groff, Daveed Diggs, upcoming In the Heights star Anthony Ramos, and of course, Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton.

 

Photo: Getty Images 

Unique Ways to Thank your Essential Workers

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Thank You to Essential Workers in Fight Against Covid-19

From doctors and nurses to grocery store clerks and pharmacists, our essential workers are showing up every day to keep us safe and healthy during this time.

We are so thankful for each and every one of these workers, but how can we better show our gratitude and encourage them along the way? Here are four unique ways you can thank our essential workers.

1) Make a Sign

This is a relatively easy one that can be done by the whole family. Create a sign to hang from your window, car, or front yard that can be easily seen by essential workers driving or walking by your home. This little sign of encouragement shows they are being appreciated, even when we cannot personally thank every single one of them.

2) Support Their Families

During this time, essential workers are often working longer hours, and many are unable to be fully present for their families during this time. Check up on the families of essential workers in your life, and see what you can do to help. Delivering groceries, making a meal, or simply being a good listener can help ease the stress of the families who are struggling with the new lifestyle of their essential loved one.

3) Feed the Frontlines

Especially for medical professionals working long hours, getting a proper meal may be the last thing on their mind while trying to help others. Ordering food to be delivered to local hospitals, firehouses, grocery stores, and other essential businesses will not only show them your appreciation but could also ease their especially stressful work day. Ordering food will also help restaurants stay in business!

4) Stay at Home

The best way to show respect for those who are working so hard to keep us safe is to adhere to their wishes and stay inside. Washing our hands, keeping ourselves healthy, and social distancing are just a few of the ways that we can all slow the spread of the virus and speed up the process of bringing our essential workers home sooner.

LeBron James, Bad Bunny, Jonas Brothers to throw class of 2020 a virtual graduation

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LebRon James speaking in front of large audience

The LeBron James Family Foundation recently announced that it will celebrate seniors in a special event called “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020″ at 5 p.m. Pacific on May 16 with help from superstar guests.

The Los Angeles Lakers star has drafted Bad Bunny, Pharrell Williams, the Jonas Brothers, Chika, YBN Cordae, H.E.R., Ben Platt, Megan Rapinoe, Yara Shahidi, Lena Waithe and Malala Yousafzai for the hourlong special. It will air simultaneously on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and the streaming platforms Complex Networks, Facebook app, Instagram, People TV, Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube.

We learned early on in our work with students and families in Akron that education is so much more than academics. It’s about a shared experience, a journey we’re all on together — students, parents, educators, community members and everyone around them. With that not being possible right now, we’ve been working to find ways to help families get through this really difficult time,” James said in a release.

“These students have worked incredibly hard for this and there’s no way we can let that go unrecognized. While this won’t be the graduation experience they were supposed to get, we hope we can still give them something special because they deserve it,” the basketball great added.

The commercial-free, multimedia event — which will be curated by high school students and educators across the country with support from the American Federation of Teachers — will feature a collection of vignettes, commencement speeches and celebrity performances.

Students, families and teachers will be encouraged to submit photos and videos using #GraduateTogether for a chance to have them included in the telecast. Don’t know what to do with your senior portrait? Artist JR is inviting seniors to share them for the virtual yearbook celebrating the nation’s 2020 high school graduates. Local TV stations also will feature shout-outs to high school students in their communities.

Continue on to the LA Times to read the complete article.

BECOMING – OFFICIAL TRAILER

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MIchelle Obama book jacket cover

BECOMING is an intimate look into the life of former First Lady Michelle Obama during a moment of profound change, not only for her personally but also for the country she and her husband served over eight impactful years in the White House.

The film offers a rare and up-close look at her life, taking viewers behind the scenes as she embarks on a 34-city tour that highlights the power of community to bridge our divides and the spirit of connection that comes when we openly and honestly share our stories.

Film Release Date: May 6, 2020
Format: Original Documentary Feature

Directed by: Nadia Hallgren
Produced by: Katy Chevigny,
Marilyn Ness, & Lauren Cioffi
Co-Producer: Maureen A. Ryan
Executive Producers:
Priya Swaminathan & Tonia Davis

A NOTE FROM MICHELLE
I’m excited to let you know that on May 6, Netflix will release BECOMING, a documentary film directed by Nadia Hallgren that looks at my life and the experiences I had while touring following the release of my memoir. Those months I spent traveling—meeting and connecting with people in cities across the globe—drove home the idea that what we share in common is deep and real and can’t be messed with.

In groups large and small, young and old, unique and united, we came together and shared stories, filling those spaces with our joys, worries, and dreams.

*BECOMING is the third release from Higher Ground Productions and Netflix*

To view the documentary now available on Netflix visit, netflix.com/Becoming.

#IAmBecoming

Watchmen: An HBO Limited Series

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Watchmen movie poster

Set in an alternate history where masked vigilantes are treated as outlaws, WATCHMEN, from executive producer Damon Lindelof embraces nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel, while attempting to break new ground of its own.  Regina King leads a cast that includes Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Jean Smart and more.

ownhbo.com/watchmen

#WatchmenHBO

‘Atlanta Angel’ Tyler Perry Paid For Seniors’ Groceries At More Than 70 Stores

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Tyler-Perry-pays-seniors-groceries

The actor, writer and director purchased goods for elderly shoppers at 44 Kroger stores in Atlanta and 29 Winn-Dixie stores in Louisiana.

Tyler Perry just made the lives of a lot of people in Georgia and Louisiana easier during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 50-year-old movie mogul purchased the groceries for certain shoppers at 44 Kroger stores in Atlanta and 29 Winn-Dixie stores in Louisiana. Perry’s generosity covered the hauls of elderly people shopping during the hour reserved for them amid the global health crisis.

Perry currently lives in Atlanta and grew up in New Orleans. The receipts for those whose groceries were paid for were reportedly signed “Atlanta Angel.”

Elderly and immunocompromised people are at high risk for serious complications from the coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so many grocery stores have announced in the last few weeks that they’d be blocking off the first hour or two of the business day for people 60 and older to shop.

Felix Turner, manager of corporate affairs for Kroger’s Atlanta division, said in a statement to HuffPost: “We would like to join our customers in thanking Mr. Perry for his kindness and generosity during this unprecedented pandemic. It was truly a pleasure to see our customers fill with joy and gratitude as the news spread throughout 44 stores across Metro Atlanta.”

Winn-Dixie tweeted a statement on Wednesday thanking Perry for “paying it forward by purchasing groceries for elderly and high-risk [Winn-Dixie] customers shopping at Louisiana stores this morning.”

Continue on to Huffington Post to read the complete article.

JUST MERCY

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JustMercyMoviePoster

JUST MERCY is a powerful true story that follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his battle for justice as he defends a man sentenced to death despite evidence proving his innocence.

Click to see more! JustMercy_MovieWBHE

#JustMercy

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@JustMercyFilm

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@JustMercyFilm

Netflix Premieres First Ever Documentary About Black Women CEOs

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multiple images of the stars of She Did That Netflix series

Black women CEOs and entrepreneurs are the stars of the newest Netflix documentary called She Did That. Filmmaker and blogger Renae L. Bluitt created the documentary to promote a more accurate representation in the media of Black female business owners.

She Did That is Bluitt’s first cinematic project, and as a digital content creator and PR consultant, she has been writing about the entrepreneurial pursuits of Black women on her blog, In Her Shoes, for nearly a decade. But now the topic is being brought to the world’s attention via the world’s most popular streaming service.

The film revolves around the lives of four Black women entrepreneurs, their journeys, and how they face issues such as the funding gap for Black women. Inspired by #BlackGirlMagic, Bluitt wanted to show how Black women turn challenges into opportunities and become an inspiration to the next generation.

“As the fastest group of entrepreneurs in this country, [Black women] are literally turning water into wine in spite of the many obstacles we face on our entrepreneurial journeys. This film was created to let the world know what it really takes to be a successful Black woman entrepreneur in this world. Platforms like social media only show us the results and the highlights, but “She Did That” pulls back the curtain to reveal how and why we do it,” Bluitt told Forbes.

She Did That highlights the perseverance and determination of Lisa Price, the founder of hair care brand Carol’s Daughter; Melissa Butler, the founder of beauty brand The Lip Bar; Tonya Rapley, the founder of My Fab Finance; and Luvvie Ajayi, a New York Times best-selling author, speaker and digital strategist.

For the project, Bluitt intentionally hired a camera crew of Black women as well as production staff, assistants, and researchers for filming locations. In addition, after almost 2 years of filming, the documentary premiered at a sold-out screening event at ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans. It has since been screened at several HBCUs and other cities in partnership with organizations that cater to Black women.

Bluitt said she is overwhelmed with the opportunity to partner with Netflix. Now with a wider audience, she hopes that the film willl touch more Black women’s lives.

“I want women to know that even the most successful women in business have experienced the challenges and obstacles they face while building their brands. We all make mistakes, learn from them, and stop to refuel or keep going even stronger. I want women to know they are not alone in their fears and the biggest takeaway is this – if the women in this film can do it, you can do it, too!”

Stream it now on Netflix by visiting netflix.com/title/81194454

Continue on to Black Business to read the complete article.

NAACP Announced the Winners of the 51st NAACP Image Awards Hosted by Anthony Anderson on Saturday, February 22nd

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Rihanna, dresed in a floy purple dress, accepts her award on stage at the NAACP Image Awards ceremony

Rihanna Received the President’s Award and U.S. Congressman and Civil Rights Leader John Lewis was Honored with the NAACP Chairman’s Award during the Live Ceremony.

The Star Studded Evening Featured Appearances from Angela Bassett, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jamie Foxx, Tiffany Haddish, Deon Cole, Janelle Monae, Jill Scott, Lena Waithe, Leslie Odom Jr., Lizzo, Lynn Whitfield, Marsai Martin, Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Sterling K. Brown, Tamron Hall, Tichina Arnold, Winston Duke, Yara Shahidi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Robin Thede, Brie Larson, Chloe Bailey and Harold Perrineau, with powerful Performances by Jill Scott and H.E.R. with Skip Marley.

The NAACP celebrated the stellar achievements of the 51st NAACP Image Awards winners during a special ceremony which was broadcasted live on BET Saturday, February 22, 2020 at 8 p.m./7 p.m. CT from the Pasadena Civic Center Auditorium. Winners of the night included Lizzo (Entertainer of the Year), Angela Bassett (Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series – “9-1-1”), Jamie Foxx (Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture – “Just Mercy”), Lupita Nyong’o (Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture – “Us”), Marsai Martin (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture – “Little”), Tracee Ellis Ross (Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series – “black-ish”) and “Just Mercy” (Outstanding Motion Picture).

During the ceremony, NAACP President and CEO, Derrick Johnson, presented global music and fashion icon, business entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Rihanna, with the President’s Award which is presented in recognition of a special achievement and distinguished public service.

Rihanna accepted the award saying “Thank you to the NAACP for all of your efforts to ensure equality for our communities. Thank you for celebrating our strength and tenacity. We’ve been denied opportunities since the beginning of time. Still, we prevail. so I’m honored. Imagine what we can do together. Thank you for this honor.”

U.S. Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis (D-GA), was recognized with the NAACP Chairman’s Award during the ceremony and sent in a special video accepting the award.

Jill Scott took to the stage with an electric performance of “Do You Remember” and “Is It The Way” and Skip Marley joined H.E.R for a medley of “Slide”, “Slow Down” and “Turn THe Lights Down Low”.

Additional guests in attendance included Brie Larson, Chloe Bailey, Deon Cole, Elaine Welteroth, Harold Perrineau, Janelle Monae, Lena Waithe, Leslie Odom Jr., Logan Browning, Lukka Sabbatt, Lynn Whitfield, Octavia Spencer, Robin Thede, Shahidi Wright Joseph, Sterling K. Brown, Tamron Hall, Tichina Arnold, Tiffany Haddish, Winston Dukes, Yara Shahidi, Yvette Nicole Brown.

See the full list of winners from the 51st NAACP Image Awards telecast below:

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series

Tracee Ellis Ross – “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series

Angela Bassett – “9-1-1” (FOX)

MOTION PICTURE CATEGORIES

Outstanding Motion Picture

“Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture

Michael B. Jordan – “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture

Lupita Nyong’o – “Us” (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

Jamie Foxx – “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

Marsai Martin – “Little” (Universal Pictures)

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

Lizzo

Previously announced winners

TELEVISION CATEGORIES

Outstanding Comedy Series

“black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson – “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Deon Cole – “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Marsai Martin – “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Drama Series

“Greenleaf” (OWN)

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series

Omari Hardwick – “Power” (Starz)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Harold Perrineau – “Claws” (TNT)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Lynn Whitfield – “Greenleaf” (OWN)

Outstanding Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special

When They See Us (Netflix)

Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special

Jharrel Jerome – “When They See Us” (Netflix)

Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special

Niecy Nash – “When They See Us” (Netflix)

Outstanding News/Information (Series or Special)

“Unsung” (TV One)

Outstanding Talk Series

“Red Table Talk” (Facebook Watch)

Outstanding Reality Program/Reality Competition Series/Game Show

“Rhythm + Flow” (Netflix)

Outstanding Variety (Series or Special)

“Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé” (Netflix)

Outstanding Children’s Program

“Family Reunion” (Netflix)

Continue on to NAACP to read the complete announcement.

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  1. NOBLE’s 44th Annual Training Conference & Exhibit
    July 24, 2020 - July 29, 2020
  2. Women in Federal Law Enforcement Leadership Training
    August 3, 2020 - August 6, 2020
  3. National Society of Black Engineers 46th Annual Convention
    August 19, 2020 - August 23, 2020
  4. 2020 American Society for Health Care Human Resources Association Event
    August 22, 2020 - August 25, 2020
  5. Blacks in Government (BIG) 42nd Annual National Training Institute
    August 24, 2020 - August 27, 2020
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    October 8, 2020 - October 13, 2020
  7. HBCU Career Development Marketplace
    November 10, 2020 - November 12, 2020
 
*Please be sure to check event websites for latest updates on postponements or cancellations due to COVID-19 precautions.

Upcoming Events

  1. NOBLE’s 44th Annual Training Conference & Exhibit
    July 24, 2020 - July 29, 2020
  2. Women in Federal Law Enforcement Leadership Training
    August 3, 2020 - August 6, 2020
  3. National Society of Black Engineers 46th Annual Convention
    August 19, 2020 - August 23, 2020
  4. 2020 American Society for Health Care Human Resources Association Event
    August 22, 2020 - August 25, 2020
  5. Blacks in Government (BIG) 42nd Annual National Training Institute
    August 24, 2020 - August 27, 2020
  6. NFBPA: A Construct for Change Forum 2020
    October 8, 2020 - October 13, 2020
  7. HBCU Career Development Marketplace
    November 10, 2020 - November 12, 2020