All Articles Tagged "charity"
The holidays aren’t just a time for giving gifts to friends and loved ones. It’s also a time to think about the things we can do for others. At times, that support doesn’t take the form of a monetary donation, but rather a bit of support for people we know, folks from the community, or a stranger in need.
I recently stopped by the book launch party for Everybody Paddles: A Guide to Achieving Partnership, Association, Collaboration and Togetherness, a book that’s a collaboration in and of itself. The collection of essays focuses on the personal experiences of a variety of writers who tell stories about how families and communities of people came together to achieve a goal.
Post-party, we sent a few questions to Charles Archer, CEO of the Evelyn Douglin Center for Serving People in Need (a nonprofit that helps the developmentally challenged) and the “chief instigator” of what he calls the “Everybody Paddles movement.” The email Q&A is below. Tell us what you think of the mission.
Madame Noire: Why did you decide to publish this book now? And how did you decide on the writers who would contribute?
Charles Archer: Over the past year, there has been economic, climate, health, legal and political shifts in our society. With these discussions, there was a tone of misplaced accountability. I believe that the accountability belonged to EVERYBODY. This is now the appropriate time to disseminate this message about time, direction and goal.
The contributors to the guide were people that I witnessed EP moments within their lives and each of them making a difference in the lives of others.
MN: Can you elaborate a little on the “Everybody Paddles”mission.
CA: The mission of Everybody Paddles is to create open dialogue, action opportunities while understanding that everybody is required for everything. There is not one unifying goal. Within each of our lives –professional, personal, communal and social – whatever the intended goal, interest or desired outcome that the group has identified requires an active commitment from all.
For example, as a CEO, my organization’s mission is to enhance the lives of others. It’s important for all employees to understand our purpose, act in accordance with our values, and execute our mission. Everybody! I need all of the great staff of the organization to paddle daily for others. The goal will be different for each organization, each family, each state and each sports team.
MN: In the book, you say, “Society is being divided by economics, education, classism, ageism, gender differences, religion, and partisan politics. Despite these challenges, I believe there is opportunity.” What opportunity? Where do people find common ground to further this idea?
CA: The opportunities have always existed but conveying the message about these opportunities did not exist. The opportunity is if we want to create better, improved, unifying companies, families, communities, cities and states we need to work together, find strong partnerships, associate with visionary people and find innovative collaboration. The common ground is found within us to connect in every area of life with others who share our belief and vision. This is no more evident in that the book contributors want to call people to unification and not division.
MN: People are in a good mood around the holidays. In what ways should they come together in the “Everybody Paddles” spirit as we approach the new year?
CA: Think about those in need. Think about the disadvantaged. Think about the homeless and newly displaced. Think about the elderly and disabled. Think about those with health-related concerns or have lost love-ones. Even think about a family member, friend or colleague you have not spoken to in a while. And then do something. Anything.
Volunteer at a soup-kitchen. Donate old clothing. Purchase a food item for a man, woman or family on the street. Take a cooked dish to a neighbor affected by hurricanes. Call, Skype, Face Time or visit a family elder or other member. And pray for comfort and peace for families who will gather without someone. These are all simple things that we can all do. It does not take hours. It takes minutes.
To celebrate her new book Profit With Purpose: A Marketer’s Guide to Delivering Purpose-Driven Campaigns to Multicultural Audiences, author and EGAMI Consulting Group founder Teneshia Jackson Warner teamed up with Dinner With Bevy‘s Bevy Smith for a dinner party/awards ceremony/”discotheque” (Smith’s word) at New York’s Beauty & Essex. The soiree was also focused on the cause-related work of the night’s honorees: P&G’s program My Black is Beautiful; Budget Fashionista and founder of digitalundivided (DID), Kathryn Finney; Black Girls Rock! founder Beverly Bond; celebrity stylist and host of ABC World News’ Cause Celeb with Phillip Bloch, Phillip Bloch; Disney’s Dreamers Academy, a program working in partnership with Essence and Steve Harvey to help high school students reach their career goals; and chef/reality TV star Chef Roble.
We’re going to have more from Warner about cause marketing and her book later this week. But the need for good works in the world is strong enough that we wanted to give the awards ceremony its own little shout out.
The 2012 Purpose Awards Dinner (#profitwithpurpose) was meant, according to the evening’s program, to celebrate with “a night of purpose” and “continue to drive the conversation.” The evening highlighted the social responsibility initiatives of the honorees, and the innovative approach with which they’re tackling their businesses, organizations, or passion projects.
When accepting his award, Bloch said, “When someone shines a light, we all shine a little brighter,” speaking to why it’s important for everyone to do what they can and then cheer that work to take it even further.
But before the accolades, one has to get started. In her acceptance speech, Bond said she only wanted to make a cool t-shirt when she started. Today, Black Girls Rock! has a televised awards ceremony that uplifts not just young girls, but women also.
When presenting the award, Warner thanked Bond for answering her calling. “We’re so happy that you said yes,” said Warner.
“We’re all connected and we’re all affected,” said Bond during her acceptance speech.
And if that wasn’t enough, there was good food, good music (Talib Kweli was DJing, with Bond jumping into the booth for a few minutes), and cocktails aplenty. Party with a purpose…
When it comes to community service, African Americans give away 25 percent more of their income per year than whites, according to findings by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Root recently looked at the top 12 philanthropists and included were a number of black celebrities and businesspeople.
Most people are aware of Bill and Camille Cosby’s long history of philanthropy–in 1988, they donated $20 million to Spelman College, the largest gift ever given to a black institution. This is just one of their major donations. They also run the Hello Friend/Ennis William Cosby Foundation to fulfill the goals and dreams of their son, who sought to initiate change through education.
But did you know Alicia Keys was a top philanthropist as well? She co-founded Keep a Child Alive with AIDS activist and film-television producer Leigh Blake in 2003. It is committed to providing AIDS medicine and care to children and families in India and Africa. In 2010, Keys’ Digital Death campaign raised over $1 million for Keep a Child Alive through Twitter and Facebook donations.
A black philanthropy list wouldn’t be complete without Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons and Oprah Winfrey. Simmons, in fact, has been called the “Godfather of Hip-Hop Philanthropy,” for raising millions of dollars to benefit urban youth through his Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation and Hip Hop Summit Action Network.
Oprah, of course, is the top African-American philanthropist. She has donated more than $300 million through the Oprah Winfrey Foundation, Oprah’s Angel Network and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation. “Forty million dollars alone went toward the creation of Winfrey’s leadership academy for girls in South Africa. One hundred percent of proceeds from Winfrey’s Angel Network funds charitable projects and grants globally,” states the Root.
But you don’t need to be a multi-millionaire to give back. It is not only money to donate but time as well. Donate time to a homeless center or a grassroots community organization. But if you do want to give money to an organization, research first.
“They are not all 501(c)3s. You want to understand the type, and know what it means for the public and you, the prospective donor,” says Amanda Ebokosia, executive director and founder of The Gem Project, a nonprofit organization that’s dedicated in building leaders through the development of educational enrichment programs for youth and young adults. Find out what type of nonprofit it is, either contact them directly or visit sites like Charity Navigator, for organizational information if listed. And check out sites like Volunteer Match to find a listing of organizations that suit your interests, advises Ebokosia. “Above all, you want to know the intentions of the organization, how they’re governed, and what they’ll offer for the community.”
And, you don’t have to have a lot of money to donate. “With the spark of crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, we’ve found how great impact can be measured, by small contributions,” says Ebokosia.
Another option are giving circles, groups of individuals who donate money or time to a pooled fund for charity or community projects. “It focuses on the collaborative efforts of individual contributions… to yield a bigger impact to support and fund a shared interest,” Ebokosia points out.
Interested in getting involved even further, check out Friends of Ebonie, a full service social responsibility and career enrichment firm for millennials of color. And right now, given the ongoing relief effort for Hurricane Sandy, the American Red Cross is always an option.
NBCUniversal’s telethon “Coming Together,” which aired on Friday, raised about $23 million for the American Red Cross, the company says. Besides the previously reported guests — Bruce Springsteen, Christina Aguilera and Billy Joel among them — celebrity guests included Mary J. Blige and Tina Fey. We’re happy to report that this isn’t the only charitable effort out there.
Disney and ABC have also partnered with the American Red Cross to raise money for the effort. As of about 1pm this afternoon, they’d raised about $9.25 million, including $3 million from Samsung. (The New York Yankees, U-Haul, and Home Depot are among some of the other companies that have donated millions of dollars to help.) For more info about how you can participate with that, click here.
While there are many uplifting stories about people pitching in, donations pouring in and life slowly getting back to normal in some areas, there are also disturbing stories about people who are still in dire need with supplies running low and temperatures dropping. ICYMI, there’s this story from the Times this weekend discussing the scary circumstances that people living in New York’s public housing system face, from a lack of water to crime at the hands of disgusting opportunists.
Digging a little deeper, a follow-up story discusses the belief among some victims that relief is coming to people based on socioeconomic status.
“Around the city, particularly in places already sensitive to the afterthought status conveyed in the Manhattan-centric characterization ‘outer boroughs,’ the accusations of neglect seemed colored by a growing belief that the recovery from Hurricane Sandy has cleaved along predictable class lines,” The Times writes.
Sadly, it goes without saying that those with money, those places that are centrally-located and the parts of town that are deemed “more important” (usually based on their economic importance) do get the most attention first in situations like these. Many years ago when New York City suffered a blackout, for instance, I lived in the Financial District of downtown Manhattan and promptly regained power the following morning while places in Queens and other parts of the city suffered much longer.
Infrastructure has been a hindrance. In some cases, relief organizations says they literally can’t get to the people who need it. But we need to make sure to continue to maintain a focus on the many thousands who continue to struggle to pull their lives back together, and work quickly to get them the basics they require. They need us and we must answer the call.
NBCUniversal announced today that it will air “Coming Together” a benefit to help needy victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and West Virginia. The benefit will air live on NBC stations including Bravo, E!, Style and USA tomorrow between 8pm and 9pm. Proceeds from the telethon will go to the American Red Cross.
Among the scheduled performers are Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Christina Aguilera and Billy Joel. Matt Lauer will host; Jimmy Fallon and Brian Williams will also join in the effort.
Matt Lauer also hosted a post-Hurricane Katrina telethon that raised $50 million for the Red Cross. An NBC spokesperson tells The New York Times that other stations not owned by NBCU will be allowed to air the telethon if they like.
I think everyone (aside from right-wingers and folks who just can’t stand President Obama) was equally disgusted by Donald Trump’s extra thirsty proposition to the President. If you live under a rock, the man with the worst comb over in history, too much money and a lot of time on his hands put out a message saying he would give $5 million to a charity of the President’s choice, if he turned over his college applications, records and his passport. The fact that he would only feel like giving such a great amount to a charity in need for the sake of trying to prove something negative about President Obama says a lot about this man’s character. And while he could have totally ignored Donald Trump’s dumb arse all together, during an appearance on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” last night, the funniest commander-in-chief since…maybe President Clinton, decided to poke fun at all the speculation about where he was born and the fact that “The Donald” is just a little jealous, but not for the obvious reasons:
“This all dates back to when we were growing up in Kenya. We had constant run-ins on the soccer field, he wasn’t very good and resented it. When we finally moved to America, I thought it would be over.”
After his comical claim, Leno asked the President if he had ever even met Donald Trump before for this man to have so much animosity towards him, and such an obsession with his life. The President said that no, he hadn’t ever met the man, and I’m sure at this point, he doesn’t want to meet him. EVER.
Check out the clip from last night and tell us what you think of the President’s comments about everything. And big LOL at Jay Leno for comparing the POTUS and Donald Trump’s beef with his against David Letterman. And on a sidenote, am I the only one who thinks that any black person who gets approached to sign up for “The Apprentice” should say HELL NO!? Clearly that man is just trying to exploit the black celebs who come on his show because he thinks their behavior will garner big ratings, but the disrespect towards our black president is unacceptable at this point, and those in the community that he’s trying to profit off of should take a stand. But that’s just my opinion. Carry on!
The Roots’ Black Thought may be best known for his work with the band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and elsewhere, but he’s also making a name for himself in the world’s of philanthropy and women’s health.
In 2010, he and a friend, Dr. Janice Johnson Dias, a sociology professor at John Jay College, partnered to raise awareness about health issues affecting women and girls.
“She laid out for me the ways in which women and girls were dying from breast cancer, suicide and other chronic diseases and explained to me that these things were all connected to obesity and physical inactivity. It was her vision that if we merged the power of hip hop with social science, we can change the way things are,” Black Thought tells Black Enterprise in a one-on-one interview.
As a dad, Black Thought says he was drawn to this effort, as much as he is to certain cities around the country where these illnesses are prevalent; places like Newark, NJ, Philadelphia, and Jackson, MS.
For more about the GrassROOTS Community Foundation, upcoming events and how you can launch a nonprofit effort in support of a cause you care about, read more on BlackEnterprise.com.
Wyclef Jean isn’t just feeling the backlash because he was “telling his truth” about Lauryn Hill in his memoir Purpose. He’s also in actual legal trouble over his now-defunct charity Yéle.
If you recall, this charity was meant to bring much-needed relief and rebuilding to victims of the massive January 2010 earthquake that struck Haiti. People around the world were moved to help in the days, weeks and months following the devastating natural disaster. Moreover, Wyclef’s name as a recording artist and candidate for president of Haiti helped the charity quickly raise about $16 million. Just as quickly, Wyclef was being accused of using the charity’s funds for things other than helping the victims. In fact, The New York Times reports, that the charity and its financial dealings are still under investigation by New York’s attorney general.
“[T]he charity effectively went out of business last month, leaving a trail of debts, unfinished projects and broken promises,” the newspaper reports. Yéle was founded in 2004. ”Even as Yéle is besieged by angry creditors, an examination of the charity indicates that millions in donations for earthquake victims went to its own offices, salaries, consultants’ fees and travel, to Mr. Jean’s brother-in-law for projects never realized, to materials for temporary houses never built and to accountants dealing with its legal troubles,” the story continues.
Wyclef stepped down from his leadership position with the organization in 2010 when he began his presidential run. The New York attorney general had, shortly before, offered Jean a settlement of $600,000 for misuse of the charity’s funds. That offer was turned down. That offer is also equal to the value of the offices that Yéle occupied in Haiti. Today, the property is abandoned, all signs of the tents and other aid that had been handed out has disappeared and all volunteer groups that were organized have disbanded. Yéle is even being accused of accepting aid and not paying what it agreed to.
An audit found that the financial mishandling began long before the earthquake. Expenses included private jets for Wyclef and his family and friends (Lindsay Lohan?!), chauffeurs, landscaping, “office-related expenses,” and even payment to Wyclef at “his market rate” of $100,000.
Hundreds of thousands died after the quake and more than one million people were left homeless. To this day, 369,000 remain displaced, living in tents and other makeshift accommodations. Using money meant to benefit homeless and hungry people for personal gain when you’re already a well-paid celebrity is despicable and ugly. A charity spokesperson said Wyclef is “committed to ensuring that things are made right.”
It’s Fashion Week in New York City and the cast and crew of Basketball Wives LA are in town filming. But there isn’t a camera crew in sight in the space behind Salon 804 in Harlem. There, under the city’s iconic fire escapes, a makeshift classroom has been fashioned and Jackie Christie is teacher for the day. A dozen girls grill the reality star on her rise to fame.
Christie talks about her life story, taking care to smooth over any negative behavior they might have seen on her show. “I don’t take mess from nobody. That’s what you see on the show [with the other girls]” she told her attentive audience. “I always feel bad after. But, I’m a fighter and I have passion.”
It was a passionate, fighting spirit that led Rochelle Mosley, a celebrity stylist from Richmond, VA now based in Harlem, to start Project Girl. The program is meant to take the stigma off of living in public housing and channel the hustle it takes to survive that environment into something positive and entrepreneurial. Friday’s event with Christie is one of a series of workshops that covers an array of topics impacting girls’ lives.
Mosley started the program when she realized that many of the girls interning in her salon did not have the information they needed to prepare for the future. “This summer I took notice of how much they didn’t know,” she said. “My 17-year-old intern didn’t know how to address an envelope… I want to help them get where they need to be so they can live like Jackie, like the people they see on TV. She’s not living a lie, it’s real for her, and she can show the girls how to make it real for them.”
Project Girl workshops feature women from all walks of life. Last month a dentist came in to discuss hygiene and a life coach visited to assist the girls in working through their problems. At the request of parents in the community, Mosley opened up the sessions to girls age between the ages of 12 and 18.
The workshops are not only an opportunity for the girls to hear women share their experiences, but to support each other’s growth. The girls don’t leave Mosley’s influence once the sessions end. She uses her network to help the girls with any problem they bring to her. “I get emails all the time,” she said. “I got an email last night from a young lady who is in 11th grade and she’s in a school where there is one college counselor to 200 kids. She said she feels like time is running out and she doesn’t have the support for college.” Mosley connected her with scholarship and test prep experts.
Empowerment is the goal here. Mosley believes that fear is what holds many women back from pursuing their dreams. For her, fear was a motivator. “I’m just thinking about not being like my mother,” she said. “That’s not derogatory. I grew up a certain way. My mother never owned anything or went on vacations. I grew up like these kids. I want to tell them just because your mother isn’t talking about it, doesn’t mean it’s not possible. I’m the first entrepreneur in my family.”
Christie was brought in to impart wisdom on juggling a busy life in the entertainment industry. Although mostly known as a polarizing character on Vh1’s raucous reality show circuit, Christie has a myriad of projects going on at any given moment, including self-help books (she just released her latest, Proud to Be a Colored Girl) and a fashion line. Her advice to girls and women is to follow their dreams. “Google, Google, Google. You can never get enough education and information,” said Christie. “That’s how I learned to be a self-published author. And now I’m five books in, with three best sellers.”
If the girls are starstruck by Christie, they don’t show it. They ask everything from updates on her co-stars’ whereabouts to advice on launching entertainment careers of their own. That fearlessness makes it apparent that this small circle of girls in Harlem is the perfect foundation to forge a new crop of first-generation entrepreneurs.
Actress and singer Jennifer Hudson returns to Chicago Tuesday to honor the memory of her slain nephew.
Hudson and her sister, Julia Hudson, plan to hand out school supplies starting at 10 a.m. at the Kroc Corps Community Center, 1250 W. 119th St. in the West Pullman neighborhood, as part of the second annual Julian King Hatch Day.
Check out the rest of the story here.
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