All Articles Tagged "condoleeza rice"

Condi Backs Out Of Rutgers’ Commencement After Student Protest

May 3rd, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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students protest condoleeza

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ABC News reports that former secretary of state Condoleeza Rice has backed out of delivering the commencement address this year at New Jersey’s Rutgers University.  A few weeks ago students and some faculty staged a sit-in protesting Rice’s role in the Iraq War.

She released a statement that reads:

“Commencement should be a time of joyous celebration for the graduates and their families. Rutgers’ invitation to me to speak has become a distraction for the university community at this very special time.

I am honored to have served my country. I have defended America’s belief in free speech and the exchange of ideas. These values are essential to the health of our democracy. But that is not what is at issue here. As a Professor for thirty years at Stanford University and as it’s former Provost and Chief academic officer, I understand and embrace the purpose of the commencement ceremony and I am simply unwilling to detract from it in any way.

Good luck to the graduates and congratulations to the families, friends and loved ones who will gather to honor them.”

The school’s board of governors agreed to pay Rice and her national security adviser $35,000 to speak at the graduation ceremony on May 18. The school had also planned to present her with an honorary doctorate degree. But students insisted that Rice bore some responsibility for the Iraq War as a part of the Bush administration and was not welcome at their ceremony.

We admit Condoleeza Rice isn’t perfect, but we think bowing out was a classy move. Keep in mind this is same school that defended paying MTV reality star “Snooki” $32,000 for a speaking engagement, $2000 more than they paid Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison to do the commencement that year. Just let that sink in for a moment.

Tech Divas! Black Women In Tech You Should Know

May 1st, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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black girls code tweetThe lack of diversity in the tech sector has been bandied about over the past few years with the gap slowly closing. Last year Business Insider started tracking the most important black people in tech and continues with its most recent release of the list of 46. Black women even lag behind here with just 10 women who made the cut.

Denise Young Smith, the head of HR over at Apple, tops the list. Smith landed the job in February and she leads the $471.5-billion company’s worldwide human resources division. In total, Apple employs more than 10,000 people.

Majora Carter, founder of Sustainable South Bronx, Startup Box: South Bronx. Carter just launched Startup Box, a new startup incubator and tech education center in South Bronx to encourage entrepreneurship.

Kimberly Bryant is included because of her work with the organization she founded, BlackGirlsCode. Through the six-week program, BlackGirlsCode teaches basic programming, and gives underrepresented youths the opportunity to learn about robotics, and other technological concepts.

When Angela Benton founded NewMe Accelerator in 2011 with co-founder Wayne Sutton it was the goal of creating an accelerator targeting minorities. “Prior to NewMe, Benton launched BlackWeb2.0, an online publication for African-Americans interested in technology and new media,” reports BI.

While Condoleezza Rice isn’t known for her skills in tech, she has become a trailblazer in the arena. The NSA adviser and former secretary of state was recently named to the board of directors of online storage startup Dropbox, becoming one  of very few blacks on any of the boards of the major tech firms.

Education tech founder Heather Hiles was able to get past the bureaucracy and get schools and institutions on board with her company Pathbrite, which raised an additional $4 million. And as of March 2013, Pathbrite’s new learning platform was in more than 100 universities and school districts.

Having got her start working at Apple, Sarah Kuns is now an investor board member at Venture For America, a program whose mission is to help talented college graduates gain experience in the startup world, in December 2013.

As COO of TaskRabbit, Stacy Brown-Philpot oversees the operations of the San Francisco-based startup that runs an online marketplace for outsourcing errands and tasks. Prior to this she worked at Google for nine years and eventually at Google Ventures as an entrepreneur-in-residence.

Erin Teague is the director of product management at Yahoo, which is valued at around $36.9 billion. Teague had been the growth product manager for the mobile-only social network Path for two years where she really made a name for herself. She is responsible for the company’s incredible user growth in 2013. “In the spring, the app was growing by 1 million new users per week. It hit the 10-million-user mark in April,” reports Business Insider. Teague also worked on the product team at Twitter.

Lisa Lambert is the VP and Managing Director of Software and Services at Intel Capital. Having joined the company in 1997, she began as a product marketing manager eventually rising in the ranks.

Click through to Business Insider to see the whole list.

Beyonce, Condoleeza Rice, Jennifer Garner And More Team Up To Ban The B-Word

March 10th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Bossy Campaign

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We know by now that when boys are assertive they’re called a leader, and when girls do the same they’re said to be “bossy.” Well Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg, along with her Lean In initiative, The Girl Scouts Of USA, and Lifetime Television have teamed up with top celebrities for a PSA and petition to ban use of this b-word: bossy.

Daily Mail tells us Queen Beyonce announced in the PSA:

 ‘Girls are less interested in leadership than boys because they worry about being called ”bossy.”’

The PSA also revealed girls are not supported to take on leadership roles because of the backlash they receive from their peers. Actress, Jennifer Garner who has two daughters with Ben Affleck, stated “Being labeled something matters.”

Her reference refers to the language used when speaking to children who are  still in the process of developing personalities and identities.  Sheryl Sandberg stated:

“We need to recognize the many ways we systematically discourage leadership in girls from a young age – and instead, we need to encourage them. So the next time you have the urge to call your little girl bossy? Take a deep breath and praise her leadership skills instead.”

Glee star Jane Lynch,  Former US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, and fashion designer Diane von Fustenberg are also featured in the PSA. For more information on the Ban Bossy campaign, go to banbossy.com

Check out the PSA below. What do you think?

First TV, Now A Book Deal: Condoleeza Rice Is Keeping Busy

March 21st, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Not only did Condoleeza Rice recently land a TV deal — to appear on CBS News as we reported — but now President Bush’s former Secretary of State has inked a book deal.

Rice will write “an examination of democracy at home and abroad,” reports the GalleyCat blog. Henry Holt and Company will publish the book in 2015.

The deal was sealed on March 19th, the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, a political and military situation Rice negotiated throughout her time in public office. Many news outlets have been using the anniversary as an opportunity to look back at the last decade in words and pictures.

According to a press release, in the book Rice will talk about democracy-building overseas. “Rice will draw upon stories from her career and personal life to shed light on the essential questions of contemporary democracy, including the centrality of education, immigration, free enterprise and civic responsibility,” said the release.

This is not the first book deal for Rice. In 2009, Rice inked a three-book deal with Crown Publishers. That the deal was “worth at least $2.5 million,” according to the AP.

Condoleezza Rice Is TV’s Latest Pundit With CBS News Gig

January 21st, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Northfoto / Shutterstock.com

Northfoto / Shutterstock.com

Condoleezza Rice is coming to television. CBS News chairman, Jeff Fager, and the president of the news network, David Rhodes, announced that Rice will be coming on board as a regular contributor. The Hollywood Reporter quotes a CBS statement, saying the former Secretary of State “will use her insight and vast experience to explore issues facing America at home and abroad.”

Rice, who currently holds the position of professor of political science at Stanford University, was Secretary of State under President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2009, and national security adviser from 2001 to 2005.

Rice isn’t the only Bush cabinet member to make the jump to TV. “Other figures from the Bush administration have been hired as television commentators, including Karl Rove, the former deputy chief of staff, and the former United Nations ambassador, John Bolton, both at Fox News,” reports the NY Times.

Rice is also a founding partner of a business consulting firm, RiceHadleyGates. She’s also one of the first women to be admitted to the Augusta National Golf Club, and was even tossed into the ring of future presidential candidates after her speech at the Republican National Convention last year.

Multiple Personalities: High-Profile Women and The Business Traits That Led Them To Success

November 28th, 2012 - By Ann Brown
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You probably see these people every day, especially if you work in a large office with various managers. Each leader has different characteristics.

Recently, Forbes looked at “The 9 Corporate Personality Types And How to Inspire Them to Innovate.” It inspired us to look at well-known African-American corporate executives. Do you agree with us?

D. Salters/WENN.com

 BAMBI: Sherri Shepherd

“Almost every new recruit starts out bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. They are fresh hard drives ready to be filled with data. You can get them to do almost anything. They walk into meetings armed with fresh slides, broad smiles, and a professionalism they’ve practiced in interviews, in school, and in the mirror,” writes Forbes.

Although she has been with The View for more than a minute, Sherri Shepherd is still comes to the table every morning with newbie enthusiasm. Shepherd recently launched her own wig line, as we reported.

You’re Not Down With Brother Obama? 20 Black Celebs Who Have Republican Tendencies

September 12th, 2012 - By Blair Bedford
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As the next Presidential election draws nigh in November, the two most popular candidates, Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney have been paving the campaign trail. With election year comes slander, controversy and your occasional celebrity political rants. Politics met entertainment with the latest celebrity rant, coming from Nicki Minaj, in which she rapped in vote of Republican Mitt Romney. This was a shock to fans and celebrity bloggers everywhere, but Nicki is not the only popular African-American face that has shown favor to the GOP.  Here is a list of some African-American celebrities who have supported or are affiliated with the Republican party:

Source: USA Today

LL Cool J

LL Cool J attended the Republican Convention in 2004 and has been a supporter of Republican New York governor George Pataki back in 2002. He has never officially stated his political party.

The Issue With Standing For Nothing: What Exactly Makes You A “Role Model” In The Black Community?

August 22nd, 2012 - By Charing Ball
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Source: Flickr – YBFchic

Recently Harry Belafonte caused a minor uproar when he gave his opinion on the state of minorities in Hollywood today:

“And I think one of the great abuses of this modern time is that we should have had such high-profile artists, powerful celebrities. But they have turned their back on social responsibility. That goes for Jay-Z and Beyonce, for example. Give me Bruce Springsteen, and now you’re talking. I really think he is black.”

Much of the backlash to his statement had more to do with his example of Jay-Z and Beyonce, the latter even released a paper thin list of philanthropic efforts to counter his statements, however little introspection is giving to his overall point about how many black artists and celebrities fail to use their platforms for influence outside of themselves. It may be easy to brush Belafonte off as an old hater, in fact, some folks already have, but consider that at the height of his career, Belafonte risked public ostracization by refusing to perform in segregated venues and marched with the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – even at a time when it wasn’t cool to do so.  He also financially supported the movement, including bailing him, as well as other protestors, out of Birmingham jail where King wrote his famous letter.  And throughout his life, he has continued to be an instrumental voice for human rights, from protesting against apartheid in South Africa and the unfair embargo in Cuba to lending his celebrity to the genocide crisis in Rwanda. If anyone has the right to be critical of today’s black elite involvement, it certainly should be Belafonte.

Yet as many high profile black entertainers, celebrities and political and business leaders continue to enjoy the perks of power and personal influence their visibility has afforded them, most are reluctant to speak truth to power.  In some cases, if that truth works against their own personal interest, some high profile blacks will intentionally work against the community’s best interest.  We see it in rap music; we see it in Hollywood, we see it in politics too. Even writer Richard Hazell, with EurWeb, noticed the same trend among black athletes when he wrote the following:

“Are there any athletes that stand for something socio-political? Are there any that would be willing to risk fame and fortune in the modern era? Well, many risk fame and fortune over dumb stuff; sexual assault, spousal abuse, disorderly conduct, and DUI are but a few of the charges that have been filed against high profile athletes in the last 10 years. During Kobe Bryant’s trial for sexual assault and rape Nike and McDonalds dropped him within days of the allegations surfacing. So athletes are willing to act a fool on their own accord and risk endorsements, but are not willing to risk those same endorsements by taking a stand for a controversial political stance? It’s looking like a duck, it’s quacking like a duck, so it’s not a pigeon.”

Very few black public figures take an active stance for justice anymore. This includes Condoleezza Rice, the first African-American woman to serve as national security advisor and secretary of state. Recently,  it was announced that Rice was admitted to the Augusta National Golf Club‘s, making her the first African American woman member.  And the Black community cheered. Somehow this is supposed to be a milestone in Black history.  This is Rice’s Jackie Robinson moment.  We are supposed to clap, give high-fives and sing the last verse of “We Shall Overcome,” because finally they let one of us into the big house – of golf.

Laugh, but I have been reading this very sentiment all day. I never understood the Black community’s love affair with Rice. In her roles as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, along with her cohorts in the Bush Administration, concocted a scheme to suggest that Saddam Hussien was responsible for the September 11th attacks and then led the U.S. into an illegal invasion, which resulted in the deaths of millions of innocent Iraqis along with over 4000 American soldiers.  She also personally approved the use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques against so-called “insurgents,” a tactic that would become immortalized in the Abu Ghraib scandal.
Closer to home, while the Gulf Coast was underwater thanks to Hurricane Katrina, Rice decided to jet off to New York for some Broadway theater, a tennis match with Monica Seles and shoe shopping at Salvatore Ferragamo.

But she speaks so well and she is accomplished. She speaks multiple languages and plays a mean classical piano. She certainly is not one of those lacefront-having, welfare queens with 10 kids by four different men.  In other words, she is respectable. I know, you were thinking that. In fact, I’m willing to bet that somewhere around the third sentence, some of you have already stopped reading just to write just that very feeling in the comment section below and to remind us that not only is she Condoleeza Rice, she’s DR. Condoleeza Rice.

But what’s so respectable about a woman, whose major contribution to society was torture, war and an indifference to the suffering of the black and poor? So what that she was chosen for membership into a golf club, which only started letting in African-Americans on its green in 1990? Who cares that she now gets to rub elbows with these old white men, who were so defiant against the entry of women of any shade that the former chairman once stated, “There may well come a day when women will be invited to join our membership, but that timetable will be ours, and not at the point of a bayonet.”

Bonjou! 8 Famous Folks You Might Not Have Known Were Creole

May 10th, 2012 - By IndigoBlack
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Let me be clear in saying, I’m talking Louisiana Creole descent. Sorry if you clicked and were looking for one of the many other kinds. But where was I?

Frenchcreole.com identifies Creole people as a broad cultural group of people of all races who share a French or Spanish background. No matter how you come to the conclusion that one is Creole (and please, let’s not get into the colorstruck aspects of it all), there are many people who identify as such, and they speak a wide variety of languages. In our random travels through the Internet (or da Intanetz as we like to call it), we were surprised to find a number of celebrities who are of the Louisiana Creole heritage. If you’re nosey like us, you probably want to know who. Check it out.

Source: drumlessons.com

Sheila E.

Sheila Escovedo is hands down one of the coolest people to ever pick up a set of drumsticks and go to town on the drums, and if you didn’t know, she’s also of Mexican and Louisiana Creole heritage. Her father, famous drummer Pete Escovedo, is Mexican-American, while her mother, Juanita Escovedo (formerly Gardere), is French and black. I’ve been a fan since homegirl showed up in Krush Groove and dropped The Glamorous Life, but I can say that I didn’t know she was Creole…

About Their Business: 7 Black Female Politicians Who Made History

April 30th, 2012 - By Terri Williams
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Since the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 – the document that expresses the want, will, and hopes of the people – the country’s political system has reflected a disproportionately low number of women. Black females are even scarcer. However, some black women have been trailblazers in the political arena, shaping history and leaving a legacy that cannot be erased.

Patricia Roberts Harris

Patricia Roberts Harris

Patricia Roberts Harris broke several racial and gender barriers throughout her distinguished political career. In 1965, she became the first black female ambassador when President Lyndon Johnson appointed her as U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg. Two years later, she returned to her alma mater, Howard University, where she became the law school dean, making her the first black female law school dean in the country. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed Harris to serve in his cabinet as secretary of housing and urban development. She was the first black female in a presidential cabinet.