All Articles Tagged "celebrity philanthropy"
(Associated Press)–The Black Eyed Peas are opening a school where local teenagers will learn video and music production using professional-quality equipment. The six-time Grammy Award winners announced Tuesday that their Peapod Foundation together with the Adobe Foundation will open a Peapod Adobe Youth Voices music and multimedia academy in lower Manhattan.
(New York Times) — The charity named for the rapper Kanye West that was intended to reduce high school dropout rates has closed mysteriously. Its former executive director, Joseph Collins, sent an e-mail to associates last month, telling them that he was looking for a job because the charity, the Kanye West Foundation, had closed, and its phone has been disconnected. “I am reaching out to let you know that the Kanye West Foundation (kanyewestfoundation.org) has officially closed it doors after a successful 4+ years of programming and events,” Mr. Collins wrote in the e-mail, which was given to The New York Times by executives from two nonprofit groups that had worked with the organization. “It has been an incredible experience working with Kanye and the board to realize his mother’s vision and I am honored to have been given the opportunity to lead the Foundation.”
(AOL Black Voices) — Celebrities often like to open their big hearts and big wallets to poor countries to share the good fortune that fame has allowed them. Marquee names like Bono, Sean Penn and Angelina Jolie spend lots of time donating and raising money to give to impoverished countries full of emaciated black people. They raise millions, the money gets there and somehow the people stay poor and destitute. In the case of Madonna, her attempts at building a school in Malawi to improve the educational future of girls at a cost of $15 million have apparently failed badly. The New York Times reports that the board of directors of her organization, Raising Malawi, has been put out and replaced by a caretaker board and plans to build the school are officially abandoned. The Material Girl’s good-hearted effort to change the fortunes of young girls who need an education echo the difficulties met by Oprah Winfrey’s school in Johannesburg, which has been plagued with allegations of sexual improprieties and, most recently, the discovery of a dead baby on the property.
(The Grio) — If Jill Scott isn’t recording or touring for a Grammy-award winning album, chances are the soulful songstress is lending her voice to Blues Babe Foundation, the philanthropic organization she founded in 2002. Blues Babe’s initiatives empower students from underprivileged neighborhoods around Philadelphia to continue their education. Among these projects: bringing new computers into North Philadelphia’s Pierce Elementary School, where a young Scott got her start.
In addition to introducing grade schoolers to the digital world, Blues Babe keeps students in a creative environment; in partnership with VH1, Blues Babe is committing to keeping music programs in all Philadelphia schools. And in the summers, Camp Jill Scott takes students out of their urban surroundings to introduce them to the peace and nature.
(AllHipHop News) — Hip-Hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs is backing up claims to support young entrepreneurs with a $100,000 donation to help fund startup businesses for urban youth across the country. Diddy was honored on Sunday (February 13th) during the 2011 Annual Bryan-Michael Cox Pre-Grammy Brunch at the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills, California. The annual event was organized by Cox, SESAC and 100 Urban Entrepreneurs, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving urban youth and developing future business leaders.
(Mother Jones) — OVERSIZED SHADES have replaced pith helmets, but the new scramble for Africa has its share of adventurers, would-be saviors, and even turf battles. As Madonna’s publicist explains, “She’s focusing on Malawi. South Africa is Oprah’s territory.”
Hate it or love it, Americans need Hollywood to guide us in world affairs and encourage our contributions to countries and organizations in need. While Bono, Bill Gates and Angelina Jolie are celebrities who have used their star power to bring attention to various causes, it may seem like there are only a couple of African-American celebrities who raise awareness and money for Africa without much praise or recognition. Alas, there are more than the media lets on. Here, we’ve assembled a few of the shining stars who give back to Africa and then some…
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Is there a celebrity that you admire so much you’d be willing to buy their life?
This is the question that Grammy-Award winning singer and philanthropist Alicia Keys seeks to answer with the launch of a new campaign called Digital Life Sacrifice on behalf of her charity, Keep a Child Alive.
In honor of World AIDS Days, Keys has recruited a number of celebrities who will sign off of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter until fans donate $1 million. Funds will be used toward medical care and support children and families affected by HIV and AIDS in Africa and India.
Participating celebs, which include Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Serena Williams, Jennifer Hudson, Kim Kardashian and Swizz Beatz, filmed “last tweet and testament” videos and are appearing in ads that show them lying in coffins to represent their “digital deaths.”
“It’s so important to shock you to the point of waking up,” Keys told the Associated Press. “It’s not that people don’t care or it’s not that people don’t want to do something, it’s that they never thought of it quite like that.”
Donating is simple: text the first name of the celebrity that you are “mourning” to 90999 and $10 will be donated. Between them, celeb participants are estimated to have nearly 29 million fans on Twitter.
“We’re trying to sort of make the remark: Why do we care so much about the death of one celebrity as opposed to millions and millions of people dying in the place that we’re all from?” said Leigh Blake, the president and co-founder of Keep a Child Alive.
According to AVERT, an international HIV and AIDS charity, as of 2008 in Sub-Saharan Africa, an estimated 1.4 million adults and children died of AIDS. Also, Africa has over 14 million AIDS orphans.
Since its inception in 2003, KCA has raised $27 million.
The Digital Life Sacrifice is an extension of the Buy Life campaign, which Keys and Blake started on Sept. 30. The campaign involves selling $35 gray T-shirts imprinted with a bar code. People who have the Stickybits or WiMo apps on their phones can donate $10 to the charity just by scanning any Buy Life T-shirt’s bar code.
Keys is hoping more people, whether they are celebrities or not, become involved with the initiative.
Keys’ efforts are commendable. Whether you support the idea or not, this is a campaign that has caught people’s attention. However, are we really so dependent on celebrities when it comes being proactive about social issues like AIDS? The thought is quite startling. Blake even told the Associated Press that Lady Gaga could probably raise all the money by herself because “she’s able to draw attention to these issues…and people follow it and act.”
The name of the campaign is Buy Life. Wouldn’t it be just as effective, if not more, to have people who are really living with AIDS in the promotional shots dressed in a Buy Life T-shirt? Nevertheless, we should be involved in the fight against AIDS regardless if its through Alicia Keys’ campaign or otherwise. There are millions in the world who truly need a chance at life.
(Black Enterprise) — Mary J. Blige is partnering with NASA to encourage girls and young women to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). NASA released two public service announcements featuring Blige and space shuttle astronaut Leland Melvin this week on NASA TV online. In addition, Blige, who cofounded the Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now in 2008, has made several television appearances in the last week to talk about the program.