We are happy to report that as an ambassador for the USA Swimming Foundation, Manuel did not just talk the talk, but plans to swim the swim! She is helping provide free swim lessons to every student at I Promise during a week-long camp in June of this year.
According to jbhe.com, Southern Illinois University Carbondale and the Illinois Institute of Technology have partnered with the Kapor Center to launch the Illinois SMASH Academy – a 5-week, all-expenses paid STEM summer camp for high school students from underrepresented groups in Chicago and Southern Illinois.
The Kapor Center, based in Oakland, is dedicated to leveling the playing field in tech, making the field more diverse, inclusive and better equipped to address society’s challenges and opportunities.
The Kapor Center has already established SMASH academies in California, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. According to the center’s data, every SMASH student graduates high school and 91 percent earn a college degree within five years, 31 percentage points higher than the national rate.
The new program will accept 35 ninth graders from Chicago and 35 from Southern Illinois for the first year of the academy, which will be held at the Illinois Institute of Technology. The deadline to apply is March 1.
Participating students will attend the summer camp for three years, until they graduate from high school. They will study a variety of disciplines including math, biology, chemistry, and engineering. They will also receive SAT and ACT test prep in order to prepare them for college.
“These are future leaders,” said Meera Komarraju, interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. “Even one kid, if they are able to pursue their dreams, for their family and the part of society they live in, this can have a big ripple effect.”
Anyone interested in the program can find more information here.
All Star Code (ASC) will carry out its mission to educate, prepare, and place young men of color in the tech industry through its fifth annual “Summer Intensive” STEM summer program. The nonprofit announced Tuesday that it raised over $1 million for the growth and development of the program. ASC also received a record number of applicants—nearly 1,000 for just 160 spots. According to Christina Lewis, who founded ASC in 2013, the organization is on track to educate a total of 10,000 young black and Latino men in tech and entrepreneurship by 2022.
“All Star Code’s impact continues to spread as we establish a pipeline of talented and ambitious young entrepreneurs who are ready to enter the tech industry,” said Lewis in a statement. “Tech is one of the most influential and lucrative industries, so it’s vital that Black and Latino young men are better represented in this space to capture its economic opportunity.”
BOYS WILL LEARN WEB DEVELOPMENT AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN STEM SUMMER PROGRAM
ASC’s flagship “Summer Intensive” program is a free six-week course that teaches students web development skills and about entrepreneurship. It also empowers students with soft skills and a network of like-minded peers. It will take place in New York City and Pittsburgh.
The effectiveness of All Star Code’s curriculum is amplified by corporate partners like AT&T, Cisco, Goldman Sachs, Google, JPMorgan Chase, MLB, and Medidata, as well as the academic institutions Chatham University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, which provide operational and financial support and services. Through these partnerships, students will gain access to mentorships, speakers, and professional work culture.
Since its creation in 2013, about 300 students have participated in ASC’s flagship summer programs. Of the summer intensive students, 95% of All Star Code graduates have gone on to four-year colleges, while half of the graduates have created their own business or tech-related project, reads the press release.
Lewis says she was inspired by her late father, iconic businessman Reginald F. Lewis, to launch ASC as a vehicle to diversify the tech space. “I channeled his legacy to start All Star Code,” she said. Before his death in 1993, Reginald created TLC Beatrice International Holdings, the first black-owned global enterprise to earn more than a billion dollars in revenue. “I realized that if my father were a young man today, he would no doubt be working in technology, the growth industry for building wealth in the 21st century,” Lewis told Black Enterprise.
Fresh on the heels of kicking off his Hope & Redemption Tour, Common is bringing his social activism to center stage. The “Glory” rapper recently paid a visit to the Folsom State Prison in California, where he treated the inmates to a concert in part with his Imagine Justice initiative.
Imagine Justice took to social media to share the photos of Common’s inspiring trip through its “Faces of Mass Incarceration” photo series. The photos capture the men captivated by the MC, smiling with raised fists as the Chi-Town native performed. Other photos show Common heading down to the crowd of inmates to greet them.
“I’m blessed to have the opportunity to connect with my brothers inside Folsom State Prison and perform for them to inspire them and spread a message of hope, redemption, justice, love and compassion,” the rapper wrote in an Instagram post.
The multi-hyphenate star recently documented his four-day prison tour visits in a YouTube web series titled The Hope & Redemption Tour, giving viewers the opportunity to hear the heartfelt stories of the women and men facing lengthy prison sentences and what their lives are like behind the prison walls.
Single-night tickets are now on sale and are priced starting at $50 per person per night.
The concerts will feature more than 40 acts across five stages in the Superdome throughout the weekend on the festival’s renowned Mainstage and in the intimate Superlounges. Festival first-timers Diana Ross and Chance the Rapper will open and close the weekend concert series with headlining performances on Friday and Sunday night respectively – along with a special all-female Saturday night lineup, inspired by headliner Mary J. Blige’s forthcoming album Strength of A Woman.
Other well-known performers in this year’s line-up include John Legend, india.arie, Jill Scott, Chaka Khan and Solange.
Roy Wood Jr. from Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” will serve as the Mainstage host for the weekend, with more surprise guest performances to be announced.
For more information about ticket sales and accommodations and for the latest news about the ESSENCE Festival®, visit www.essencefestival.com, join the festival community by following us on Twitter @essencefest #EssenceFest and become a fan of 2017 ESSENCE Festival® on Facebook.
In honor of International Women’s Day, let’s focus on tomorrow’s women—today’s girls. It’s no secret; future success requires well-balanced literacy in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Girls are in danger of being left behind in a technology-first world, and this disadvantage starts in the classroom.
Studies show that, after the age of six, girls think boys are naturally smarter.That has to change, and this change can start by giving girls a head start in science and mathematics at as young an age as possible. While grown women continue the fight to equalize opportunity and advancement on the career battlefield, here are some great programs you can get your girl involved with now to make her STEM-strong.
GOALS for Girls Summer Intensive
The GOALS (Greater Opportunities Advancing Leadership and Science) for Girls Summer Intensive is a free, six-week program for eighth and ninth grade girls. Fifty girls are selected to participate in hands-on experiences, field trips, and conversations with influential women currently in STEM fields. The program focuses on aerospace science, Earth science, and engineering; providing a range of studies appealing to different interests.
Girls can jump right in online and start learning to program with MadeWithCode. The site offers an online community where girls support and learn from one another. There are also actual community MadeWithCode events listed, and parents can host a MadeWithCode party IRL, by downloading the party kit.
New York STEAM Girls Collaborative
The NGCP (National Girls Collaborative Project)is an effort to bring together those who teach STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) courses and programs that seek to engage girls in STEAM. It publishes reports and delves into the topic of diversity in STEM. On the NGCP website, there is a drop-down menu that lets you search in all states and countries for a wide assortment of STEM/STEAM programs targeted toward girls.
Girls Who Code
Girls Who Code is 40,000 members strong. It is an international effort, with Girls Who Code groups in several countries. Parents can look for already established Girls Who Code clubs in their area, or start their own. There is also a yearly Summer Immersion Program open to girls in tenth and eleventh grade that introduces them to computer science and provides insight into the hottest tech careers.
Black Girls Code
Black Girls Code has become synonymous with diversifying and leveling the STEM fields. It’s one of the better known STEM programs for girls, and that is, without a doubt, due to the persistence and dedication of founder Kimberly Bryant. From hackathons to events around the country, girls are sure to find instruction, access, and leadership by joining Black Girls Code.
Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, and Radiohead will headline the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival this year. The 18th annual fest will once again take place over two weekends — April 14 to 16 and April 21 to 23 — at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif.
Aside from a brief surprise cameo during husband Jay Z’s headlining set in 2010, and again for little sister Solange’s appearance in 2014, Beyoncé has never played the desert festival. She will headline the second night, with returning veterans Radiohead on Friday and Lamar (who first played the fest in 2012) closing out the proceedings on Sunday.
All three artists released highly acclaimed new music in 2016.
This past weekend, Steve Harvey, the noted comedian, three-time Daytime Emmy Award winner and television host, two-time best-selling author and celebrated radio host kicked off the 8th annual Steve Harvey Mentoring Program for Young Men with notable mentors and male role models including Choice Hotels CEO Steve Joyce, former NBA shooting guard Duane Ferrelland other community leaders.
A total of 220 fatherless male youths from across the country, aged 13-18, were invited to attend a mentoring camp experience at Camp Grace in Roberta, GA hosted by the Steve Harvey Mentoring Program for Young Men. During the program, the teens live among male role models and are exposed to educational and inspirational activities aimed to introduce them to adulthood and teambuilding, instill self-respect and respect for others, teach helpful life skills and introduce problem-solving techniques to conquer obstacles and empower their futures.
Choice Hotels has supported the annual Steve Harvey Mentoring Program for Young Men since its inaugural year and is now the program’s largest donor and partner. In addition to providing complimentary hotel stays for the mothers of participants, Harvey Foundation staff and volunteers, Choice Hotels has contributed more than a quarter-million dollars to the Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation in less than two years.
It’s four months out from this year’s ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans, and ESSENCE has just revealed its first look at the 2016 lineup.
For the 22nd year, ESSENCE Fest is bringing sure-to-be-lit nighttime concerts featuring more than 30 of today’s hottest hip-hop and R&B stars. This year’s lineup is a mix of old and new: soul and R&B, hip hop and pop—from Kendrick Lamar to Mariah Carey to Maxwell to Lion Babe.
“The ESSENCE Festival is back in New Orleans with an extraordinary roster of the biggest names and best performers in entertainment—from global music icons to the industry’s rising stars,” said ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks. “We are welcoming Mariah Carey, Kendrick Lamar and Maxwell to headline the Superdome main stage. In addition, we will be embracing newcomers like Leon Bridges, Jeremih, Lion Babe, Dej Loaf and The Internet, as well as fan favorite Charlie Wilson for the ultimate cultural experience in New Orleans this July 4th weekend.”
Click through to see a full list of performers, and be sure to check back for updates.
It’s here! Summer… and man, is there is a lot going on in the world. So if you just want some time to pause and do something fun alone or with loved ones, check out a few things happening this month. Personally I am looking forward to the Sneaker Exhibit. Enjoy July!
ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL
Rated PG-13 –NOW PLAYING
If you just want to catch a really great flick…. Me and Earl and The Dying Girl “lives” up to the hype. (Yes, I’ve seen it, and yes, I’ve got a lot to say… GBN review coming soon.) Oh, and Earl is the greatest character I’ve seen in a while. Highly Recommend. Check out the trailer here: https://youtu.be/2qfmAllbYC8
Rated R – NOW PLAYING
Admittedly I’ve been benched for the last few months and not up on my reviews and screenings, but I have been meaning to see the critically acclaimed DOPE.
High-school senior Malcolm (Shameik Moore) and his friends Jib (Tony Revolori) and Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) bond over ’90s hip-hop culture, their studies and playing music in their own punk band. A chance encounter with a drug dealer named Dom lands Malcolm and company at the dealer’s nightclub birthday party; when the scene turns violent, they flee — with the Ecstasy that Dom secretly hid in Malcolm’s backpack. A wild adventure ensues as the youths try to evade armed thugs who want the stash.
I just saw the trailer for this and I’m hooked. Gotta say… I am loving Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson in the acting game. Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day”) directs. Check out the trailer here: https://youtu.be/Mh2ebPxhoLs
July 8 – July 11, 2015 Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival: A celebration of Hip-Hop Culture and the Borough of Brooklyn Artists include: Common, Mobb Deep, Lion Babe, Freeway, Charles Hamilton, Pitch Blak Brass Band, Skyzoo, John Robinson, DJ Rob Swift, Torae, and “Uncle Ralph” McDaniels, http://www.bkhiphopfestival.com
July 18 – IRVINE, CA; July 19, 2015 – MOUNTAINVIEW, CA
Artists Include: The Game, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Ice T, Afrika Bambaataa and The Soulsonic Force, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Mack 10, Xzibit, Warren G, Rapper’s Delight, Kurtis Blow, Too Short, Doug E Fresh, DJ Quik, Kool Moe Dee, King T, Grand Master Melle Mel, Tha Alkaholiks, Biz Markie, Slick Rick, EPMD, Cold Crush Brothers, Ras Kass and other special guests. The event will be MC’d by Chief Rocker Busy Bee. https://www.facebook.com/artofrapfest
The Colorado Black Arts Festival is excited to present the best of visual and performing arts to celebrate its 29th Annual Festival July 10-12, 2015 in historic Denver City Park West. This year’s Festival theme “Rock Steady” conveys the ability to excel in the arts with a rocking and soulful dimension. It represents a soulful genre that captures artistic rhythms with origins in the African diaspora. Rock Steady 2015! To learn more, go to: http://www.colbaf.org