Better late than never! Months after the competition was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Miss Mississippi USA Asya Branch has been crowned Miss USA 2020.
Branch, 22, was awarded the coveted title on Monday in a competition that aired live from Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. She was crowned by her predecessor, Miss USA 2019 Chelsie Kryst.
Placing second runner-up was Miss Oklahoma USA Mariah Jane Davis, and just ahead of her was first runner-up, Miss Idaho USA Kim Layne.
Branch was the first African American to be named Miss Mississippi USA and comes from Booneville.
Prior to her win on Monday night, Branch shared her take on gun laws in her final statement.
“We should require people to pass training and safety classes” before attaining guns, she said.
This year’s winner was chosen by a selection committee that included Fox Nation host Abby Hornacek, entrepreneur Gloria Mayfield Banks, sports reporter and Miss USA 1999 Kimberly Pressler, businesswoman Susan Yara, Miss USA 2000 Lynnette Cole and Carolyn Aronson, CEO of It’s a 10 Haircare and Be A 10 Cosmetics.
The night’s festivities — which were originally slated for spring, but got postponed due to COVID-19 — were hosted by sports reporter and Miss Teen USA 2005 Allie LaForce and American Ninja Warrior co-host Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, a former professional football player.
The competition also included a virtual performance by American Idol alum Haley Reinhart.
With the crown now sitting pretty atop her head, Branch will move to New York City to represent the Miss USA brand and various philanthropic organizations, just as Kryst did before her.
“Being Miss USA has afforded me the opportunity to be an advocate for issues that deserve attention, including criminal justice reform and racial inequality,” Kryst said in a statement. “I am proud to continue the legacy of national titleholders who speak up and encourage change, and I look forward to supporting the next Miss USA and Miss Teen USA in doing the same.”
Continue on to People to read the complete article.
This year has been a huge year for Zoom, as families and friends around the world have turned to the video chat service to stay in touch during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Microsoft Teams just barreled into the room to make Zoom look a little silly by comparison.
According to The Verge, Microsoft’s primarily business-focused video call app is getting a free tier with a 24-hour time limit on calls just in time for the holidays.
As many as 300 people can jam into one room, with a gallery view that can display up to 49 of them on one screen. (Zoom has a max of 100 participants for Basic and Pro users.) There’s also a feature called Together Mode that will arrange everyone’s video feeds so it looks like they’re sitting together in a theater or coffee shop. If your family is that big, feel free to go nuts with Microsoft Teams — and good luck following the conversation.
Calls can be started and joined from a web browser so you don’t need to download an app. Whoever starts the call will need a Microsoft account, which you should have on hand if you’ve ever used Office or an Xbox but is pretty easy to set up if you haven’t. Crucially, folks who don’t have Microsoft accounts can join calls.
Continue on to Mashable to read the complete article.
We are celebrating milestones every day, and this issue of Black EOE Journal is full of them. Inclusion surrounds this issue, as it is at the forefront more than ever.
For example, our Best of the Best lists recognize the top HBCUs and Colleges & Universities for their commitment to inclusion. This issue is also filled with firsts: Senator Kamala Harris, the first black woman of Indian descent to formally accept a vice president nomination; Jeanette Epps, the first black woman astronaut to join the international space station crew; Michael V. Drake, the University of California’s first black president; and much, much more. These are only scratching the surface. Even better news: A new law has been passed requiring large corporations to diversify their boards.
Our cover story- actor, activist, and comedian Anthony Anderson- sees value in inclusion and continuously pushes for justice. A prominent figure in the Black Lives Matter movement, Anderson makes it his mission to advocate for a more inclusive future. “I have to build my own table and seat. We don’t have to sit at other peoplpe’s tables. We invite people to our table,” Anthony says.
You, too, can make a difference, and that is by voting during the upcoming presidential election. Have your voice heard, and advocate for change. Your vote can be what the world needs. So, get out there and vote! Every vote counts.
Last but not least, job opportunities are still present among the pandemic and we’ve presented them for you. Every issue of Black EOE Journal strives to give the best job opportunities and tips while navigating these unprecedented times.
While times are changing, one thing isn’t, and that is the importance of inclusion. So, follow in Anthony Anderson, Senator Harris, Jeanette Epps, and many more influential figures’ footsteps, and make your own change.
On August 31, California lawmakers passed a new, unnamed piece of legislature that would increase diversity and inclusion rates in big California businesses.
Under this new law, large corporations would be required to have at least one board member on their team who comes from an underrepresented community. The legislature further clarifies the definition of underrepresented communities to include: Black and African American, Hispanic and Latino, Native American, Native Hawaiian, Alaska Native, Asian, Pacific Islander, or LGBTQ+.
“Corporations have money, power, and influence,” Assemblyman and author of the law Chris Holden stated. “If we are going to address racial injustice and inequity in our society, it’s imperative that corporate boards reflect the diversity of our state.”
Holden hopes that the bill will make large representative changes resulting in racial justice, similar to the gender equality shown after the passing of the 2018 bill, requiring big-name corporations that have a certain number of women on their board.
While presenting the new legislature, lawmakers strived to prove the necessity for its existence by referring to various studies that showed a lack of diversity in big corporations and the state of California alike. One such study, done by the Deloitte and Alliance for Board Diversity in 2018, stated that out of the 1,222 new board members that were introduced to Fortune 100 companies, 940 of them identified as Caucasian, a whopping 77 percent. Another study, done by the Latino Corporate Directors Association in July 2020, stated that 87 percent of California business boards did not have Latino representation, despite making up almost 40 percent of the total population. Many large technology companies, such as Apple and Facebook, were also tested to have all-white executives in the top executive positions on the board.
“There is enough evidence to show there is discrimination,” Holden told lawmakers. “The numbers simply don’t lie.”
Besides the presence of discrimination, lawmakers also showed evidence of the economic impact that diversity can have on large corporations. Companies that present a larger understanding and representation of diversity have shown to increase in profit as their target audience begins to draw in more people from various backgrounds.
Under Holden’s law, diversity would be required to increase in the coming years in California businesses. Corporations with more than nine board members would need to have a minimum of three members that come from underrepresented communities and corporations with five to eight board members would be required to have at least two of these members. If signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom, the law would also penalize those violators with fines starting at $100,000.
These icons are aiming to make the world a better place. See what they’re up to now.
Director and filmmaker Ava Duvernay is determined to change the narrative of how black people are represented in culture. Duvernay has expressed and showcased her passion that break the boundaries of representation and strives to educate audiences on racial injustice. The brilliant mind behind the critically acclaimed Selma and the 2018 adaptation of the racially diverse A Wrinkle in Time, Duvernay has been featuring more educational pieces as of late.
In 2019, Duvernay released her television series, When They See Us, which followed the story of the real-life Central Park Five. The retelling of this story was not only critically acclaimed but was also a major piece in educating the public about systemic racism against black people. Duvernay is also the director of 13th, a documentary showcasing the history of racial inequality through the United States’ prison system. Her work has recently grown further in popularity, being used as educational resources around the Black Lives Matter movement.
PHOTO BY RICH FURY/VF20/GETTY IMAGES FOR VANITY FAIR
Even before his famous Madea films, Tyler Perry has been a Hollywood powerhouse for years. Serving as the director, writer, producer and an actor on many of his own stage, film and television projects.
Perry has been nominated and awarded several honors of the years. However, Perry prides himself in pouring his life story and childhood background into his work in an attempt to make black stories more prominent in popular culture.
When he isn’t working on a set or within his own production company, Perry has been found to constantly give back to his community. Recently, Perry has become a spokesperson for The Georgians for Refuge, Action, Compassion, and Education Commission, an organization designed to spread awareness and put an end to human trafficking in Georgia.
Sources: Wikipedia and WTVM
Tarana Burke is an activist and the founder of the “Me Too” movement, which worked to spread awareness of the reality of sexual abuse. Though the trending hashtag became the most popular in 2017, “Me Too” has been a working tagline since 2006 and is still an ever-growing organization.
With the events of the Black Lives Matter movement, Burke has recently expressed her ambitions to spread awareness to create a space of healing and change for sexual assault survivors. In a similar fashion, Burke is also the current senior director of the Girls for Gender Equality, an organization working on prevention and healing techniques for sexual assault in schools and workplaces.
Source: Wikipedia and Vogue
Virgil Abloh is an architect, designer, artist, disc-jockey and the lead artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s men’s wear collection. He is best known for his Nike collection Off-White and the commentary he puts into all of his artistic pieces.
Though many of his pieces share messages of individuality and the rebellion of societal norms, Abloh has also used his platform to support Planned Parenthood and educate his audience on immigration issues.
He has won countless awards for his work, including a spot in Time’s 100 Most Influential People, and has used his notoriety in working with the Fashion Scholarship Fund to raise money for his self-named scholarship that is specifically designated for Black students.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
She may be most commonly known for her roles in ABC shows Black-ish and Grown-ish, but acting is just one of the aspects that makes Yara Shahidi stand out.
A passionate advocate for racial equality, voter registration and other culturally engaging topics, the 20-year-old star often takes to social media to educate her young audience of the importance of these societal issues.
She has publicly shown admiration and been in conversation with big-name activists, is the head of the “WeVoteNext” youth initiative, and is working to put more black stories on film with the help of her parents. On top of all of this, Shahidi is also a brand ambassador for Chanel, Bobbi Brown, and Coach, and is currently a full-time student at Harvard University.
When Vashaad Randolph posted a heartfelt personal ad on Facebook, he was looking for a partner. What he got was a post that went viral and introduced him to the country.
People are intrigued by his straightforward approach and personality. Fans can participate in an interactive segment with him when he is featured on the “Love Rants: Meet Your Match” show hosted by Stacii Jae Johnson. He will be a featured guest on the interactive show on September 23, 2020.
“Like thousands of others, we heard about Vashaad’s story and we knew he’d make a great guest,” explains Alexander Riesenkampff, the chief executive officer of GetVokl, a livestreaming platform. “We look forward to having him on, so he can share his thoughts, ideas, hopes, and get some great matchmaking advice.”
Randolph’s post was shared thousands of times, and it was even covered by several news outlets. In it, he shared that he was a single dad of a great three-year-old, and that he was looking to find someone who would be a great match. He is seeking someone who would make a great friend and wife. He moved to Columbus, Ohio, last December and has been trying to find dates. The pandemic hasn’t made it easy on him, which has further prompted him to take his search online.
As a “girl dad,” Randolph let his personality shine through in his post. He’s a loving and caring father, he has high standards for the woman he wants to settle down with, and he’s looking for someone who is also up to the task of being a business partner and stepmother. As a member of the Army National Guard, he is also an entrepreneur, owning a business making custom neon signs. His post did net him a few virtual dates, but he’s still on the search for the right woman.
“I think that everyone should be honest and open with what they are looking for in a life partner,” explains Randolph. “I’ve learned a lot through this experience, I’ve shared a lot, and so far it’s been a positive thing. I look forward to being featured on Stacii Jae’s show.”
The show he’s referring to, “Love Rants: Meet Your Match,” continues to grow in popularity as so many people are single and stuck at home. They are turning to virtual ways to help make a match, and even hold virtual dates. Every week, singles can tune into the show, where they can participate in live virtual matchmaking and relationship discussions.
Stacii Jae Johnson is an interactive podcaster, author, dating/relationship expert, matchmaker and women’s empowerment advocate and the go-to-girl for all things single who has one of the most popular podcasts in the Connection Zone, which is broadcast from the GetVokl network, allowing her to livestream it across multiple platforms at one time. The network allows podcasters to have an interactive experience with their fans. Her show focuses on matchmaking for black singles. Those who tune in can fill out a short matchmaking form, and then her Matching Machine uses her methods of finding the best possible matches. She uses her platform to help people make a match. She will be trying to help Randolph make the perfect match on her show.
“I met Vashaad only through learning about his story. It touched my heart. His level of vulnerability and transparency was a breath of fresh air,” says Johnson. “I’m excited to help him find the perfect match and to discuss his approach.”
GetVokl is an app that allows people to livestream across multiple platforms at one time. It’s free to use and ideal for podcasters, coaches, teachers, bloggers, reporters, or others who want their livestream to reach people on multiple platforms. It’s quick to set up and easy to use, requiring only minimal technical knowledge. GetVokl also features VCoin, which helps podcasters earn more money by letting people give tips or donations as the livestreaming takes place. To learn more about GetVokl or to download the app, visit the site: https://getvokl.com/.To learn more about how VCoin works, watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qroHqQY0IjY&feature=youtu.be.
About GetVokl: GetVokl is a free livestreaming community platform built for podcasters, livestreamers, and hosts to unleash the potential of their audiences through interactive live shows that inspire and create vibrant communities. GetVokl allows a livestream to be broadcast over multiple social media platforms at one time. Join or create your live video community.
There is a good chance that most people reading this have tuned into at least one live video over the last week. It’s something that is becoming increasingly popular, and is expected to continue to increase in popularity going forward. There are many good reasons why more influencers and businesses alike are turning to creating a live video community, and harnessing the power that it can offer. Now is the time to learn how to create a live video community and why it’s so important to do so.
“People are showing that they love live video and interacting with it in a big way,” explains Alexander Riesenkampff, the chief executive officer of GetVokl, a livestreaming platform. “We have helped many people build and grow their live video community, and know that as this field continues to grow, we will be helping many more.”
People tend to feel more urgency to watch a live video. Seeing that it’s live gets them interested. The area of live video offers a lot of potential for those who are brand influencers, businesses, or those who want to make a strong connection with their followers. Not only is viewing live video on the rise, but research shows that it tends to outperform recorded video.
Those interested in creating a live video community should spend a little time exploring how others have done it. GetVokl, for example, has many live communities that can be accessed, providing a good place to do a little homework and learn the ins and outs. Once you are ready to get started, GetVokl can help you create a larger community. They also make it easy to directly monetize the audience. The app allows each live video to be shown across multiple platforms at one time. This ensures that your video is live across all platforms, rather than being live on one and then having to post a recorded video to the others.
Here are 5 reasons why it’s a good idea to create a live video community:
Live video gives you the ability to increase engagement and interaction with your audience. It allows for immediate feedback and discussion. This helps to build authority, make a connection, and increase loyalty.
An effective marketing tool, creating a live video community can lead to an increase in sales and revenue. It gives all types of companies and influencers a way to increase their earnings.
Live video communities feel real and authentic. This is one of the reasons why people prefer it to recorded videos. Most recorded videos are heavily edited, yet people prefer the authenticity that comes with it being live.
There is a greater ability to make an impact when you engage in live video with your target audience. They can ask questions, provide immediate feedback, and get to know your personality more.
Audiences tend to watch for a longer period of time when the information is coming to them live, as opposed to in a recorded video. Keeping your target market watching longer makes for a more effective marketing experience.
“Creating a livestream community is something anyone can do,” added Riesenkampff. “Once you do it, you will see there are benefits. It’s like getting the chance to be with your people in the same room, even if they are thousands of miles away. Whether you hold Q&A sessions, offer how-to talks, host interviews, provide advice, or just offer fun looks into what you are doing, it leaves a powerful mark.”
GetVokl is an app that allows people to livestream across multiple platforms at one time. It’s free to use and ideal for podcasters, coaches, teachers, bloggers, reporters, or others who want their livestream to reach people on multiple platforms. It’s quick to set up and easy to use, requiring only minimal technical knowledge. GetVokl also features VCoin, which helps podcasters earn more money by letting people give tips or donations as the livestreaming takes place. To learn more about GetVokl or to download the app, visit the site: https://getvokl.com/.
About GetVokl: GetVokl is a free livestreaming community platform built for podcasters, livestreamers, and hosts to unleash the potential of their audiences through interactive live shows that inspire and create vibrant communities. GetVokl allows a livestream to be broadcast over multiple social media platforms at one time. Join or create your live video community. To learn more about GetVokl, please visit https://about.getvokl.com.
Black Lives Matter protests are being held in cities and suburbs across the country and world in response to the death of George Floyd. At the same time, thousands of new cases of COVID-19 are reported daily in the US, showing the battle against the virus is far from over.
While plenty of protesters are taking to the street, if you are unable to attend in person, there are still ways to support the cause from home.
You can donate supplies, sign petitions, and email local government officials, while also educating yourself and supporting Black-owned businesses.
Protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement have now made their way into every corner of the United States, and they’ve even erupted across the world. The consecutive deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor have sparked protests against police brutality and systemic racism.
While the protests continue, the US is still battling COVID-19. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that while people have a right to demonstrate, close-proximity gatherings, shouting, and crowd-controlling irritants that lead to coughing and rubbing of the eyes may increase the spread of the virus.
Some Black Lives Matter advocates do not feel comfortable protesting. Ines Aguerre, a New York resident who works at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, told Insider, “I’m making the conscious decision not to [protest] because I work with patients with autoimmune diseases who are at a higher risk for coronavirus, and I don’t want to risk infecting them.” Instead, Aguerre said she is using her time after work to educate herself and her family, while also donating to organizations that support Black Lives Matter.
Here are 14 impactful ways to support the movement from home.
Providing essential supplies for protesters can go a long way. Amnesty International has a list of recommended essentials for protesters, including masks, shatter-resistant eye protection, other personal protective equipment, water, energy snacks, and first aid kits.
From home, you can sew masks, make posters, gather first aid kits, and purchase snacks and water. Some protests have supply drop-off stations, and if not clearly stated, you can contact the protest organizer or an attendee to collect the supplies.
If you know members of your community are heading out to a protest, offer to be their emergency contact. As support, you carry the responsibility of ensuring your team gets home safely, and should check in every couple of hours.
Using apps like 5-0 Radio, Broadcastify Pro, and Police Scanner Radio & Fire 4+ you can also monitor police presence to update protesters. According to Vice, “The number of users of an app which lets people listen in to police radio broadcasts across the country is nearly doubling every day during the protests.”
When someone is held in jail for being unable to pay, the impact can be detrimental. As Business Insider previously reported, “people detained pretrial can lose their jobs, fall behind in school, be unable to take care of family, and are more likely to be convicted.” Plus, black and Latino individuals typically face fines that are “35% and 19% higher, respectively, than whites who have been accused of similar crimes, while simply being black increases someone’s odds of being held in jail pretrial by 25%, according to the Pretrial Justice Institute.”
On June 6, in response to the Black Lives Matter protests, children’s television show of fifty years Sesame Street held a “Town Meeting” to discuss the importance of racial equality.
The program entitled “Standing Up to Racism” was geared toward children and their families to discuss the Black Lives Matter Movement, the importance of racial equality, and how they can better support and stand up for their friends being bullied or treated unfairly.
The meeting, done in collaboration with CNN, was hosted by news anchors Van Jones and Erica Hill. Jones and Hill led many of the conversations and transitions of the many guests that appeared to speak at the meeting, varying from field professionals to Sesame Street’s favorite furry faces. Familiar faces – Elmo, Big Bird, Abby Cadabby, Gabrielle, and Rosita – were present, as well as Atlanta’s mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, psychiatrist Beverly Daniel Tatum, religion professor Jennifer Harvey, and former police commissioner Charles Ramsey.
The meeting began with Elmo asking his father to define words, such as “protest” and “racism,” in terms that were easy for children to understand. The meeting continued to feature stories from Big Bird, Rosita, Gabrielle and Abby Cadabby as they asked their own questions and shared their experiences of racism to the panel of experts who appeared on the show. Additionally, children of varying races and ages submitted their own questions to ask the experts the why’s and how’s of the day’s events, as well as ask for advice on how to better stand up for themselves and their friends.
If you missed the Sesame Street special or wish to watch the meeting again, the entire video can be found here
For the last several years, June has been recognized as Pride month, giving the LGBTQ+ community the spotlight in activism, education and celebration of their community. However, after the tragic death of George Floyd that occurred during the last week of May, many people have gone to the streets in support of the Black community and the Black Lives Matter movement.
The nonprofit organization that runs LA Pride, Christopher Street West (CSW), announced that they will be holding a peaceful protest on June 14 in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
The president of the CSW, Estevan Montemayor, stated it was the organization’s “moral imperative to honor the legacy of Marsha P. Johnson and Silvia Rivera, who bravely led the Stonewall uprising, by standing in solidarity with the Black community against systemic racism and joining the fight for meaningful and long-lasting reform.”
The June 14 march will begin at 10:00am (PST) at the intersection of Hollywood Blvd and Highland Avenue in Hollywood, and will march to San Vicente Blvd. and Santa Monica Blvd over a three-mile stretch.
Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us educated many people on the story of the Exonerated Five, the young men wrongly convicted in the attack on a Central Park jogger in 1989.
Now, the award-winning director and writer is using the groundbreaking miniseries for a new online education initiative.
Via ARRAY, her multi platform media company and arts collective, DuVernay is launching ARRAY 101.
On May 28, the Oscar nominee revealed on Instagram, “Today, I’m so, so proud to launch a project that my comrades at @ARRAYNow and I have been working on for over a year. Today, we launch #ARRAY101: dynamic learning companions for all our film/TV projects.
On its 50th anniversary, the iconic Los Angeles Pride Festival and Parade, which normally draw hundreds of thousands of people to West Hollywood in June, will be going digital because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Organizers recently announced that the festival will instead be held virtually on several digital platforms over a period of months and spanning into 2021.
Back in mid-March, Christopher Street West – the nonprofit group in charge of putting on the festival, announced that it would be postponed. However, it was confirmed that the festival has been canceled the in-person celebrations, and will instead return in 2021.
“Due to the evolving effects surrounding COVID-19, CSW has made the responsible decision to forgo in-person LA Pride celebrations for the remainder of the year,” the group said in a statement. “The organization will instead re-imagine how it will celebrate its 50th anniversary through new and exciting initiatives hosted on its digital platforms, with the hope of returning to a physical celebration in 2021. More details will be announced soon on how Los Angeles will celebrate its 50th Anniversary through exciting digital initiatives.”
The three-day festival is one of the largest LGBTQ celebrations in the nation.
CSW said it would roll out its digital initiatives in the coming months.
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.
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