Category: Children

Maryland 1st Grader Cavanaugh Bell, 7, Uses $600 of his Savings to Make Covid-19 Care Packages for Seniors

Cavanaugh Bell, 7, of Gaithersburg, Maryland is helping others out of his own savings during the coronavirus outbreak. (Courtesy of “Cool and Dope.” Taken by his mother, Llacey Simmons.)

Anyone, anywhere, at any age, can make a difference if they want. And Seven year-old Maryland child Cavanaugh Bell is doing exactly that.

According to fox5dc.com, young philanthropist Bell spent $600 of his own money, saved up from three Christmases and two birthdays, to create 65 “COVID-19 Carepacks” in addition to 31 hot meals from restaurant Buca Di Beppo, to serve to senior citizens and help local businesses impacted by being closed after Gov. Larry Hogan shut down restaurants Monday.

Cavanaugh filled several shopping carts at Target with food and a bottle of bleach to hand out to seniors. On top of that, he also helped feed 90 students in need on Thursday.

Cavanaugh started a non-profit called “Cool and Dopewith the mission to “eradicate all bullying and youth suicide through political and social action by his 18th birthday on Nov. 20, 2030.”

To read more: https://www.fox5dc.com/news/maryland-boy-uses-600-of-savings-to-make-coronavirus-care-packages-for-seniors-feed-90-students

Russell Wilson and Ciara Pledge to Donate One Million Meals to Food Lifeline and Feeding America in Wake of Pandemic

NFL Quarterback Russell Wilson and Musical Artist Ciara (photo via flickr.com)

According to NBCSports.com, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and singer Ciara have pledged 1 million meals to Food Lifeline and Feeding America in an effort to help keep Americans in need fed in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

To quote the article:

Obviously this worldwide pandemic, coronavirus, is changing the world, second-by-second, minute-by minute. People are losing loved ones, the elderly and the young, people in between. … So what we’ve decided to do is partner with our local food bank in Seattle, Seattle Food Lifeline, and we’re going to donate a million meals and hopefully make a difference,” Wilson said in a video message.

Wilson and Ciara mentioned people losing jobs in the wake of increasing shut down initiatives in an effort to keep the spread of the virus from proliferating an exponential rates. They’ve already seen friends in the area that work for companies such as Alaska Airlines, the Seattle Sounders – where the pair are part owners – and Seattle Children’s Hospital hit with the effects of the virus.

“We want to encourage every out there to join us in whatever way that you can, big or small,” Ciara said. “Everything makes a difference. Everything that we do together makes a difference and together we will conquer this tough time that we’re going through.”

The Feeding America network of food banks “distributes 4.3 billion meals each year through food pantries and meal programs throughout the United States and leads the nation to engage in the fight against hunger.”

The EBONY Foundation Works to Feed Over 650,000 Children and Seniors Weekly During COVID-19 Pandemic, Starts in Detroit

Image of Food Drive (photo via wikipedia.commons.org)

To address the increased need for food assistance during the COVID-19 outbreak amid school closures and social distancing, the EBONY Foundation starting today, wants  community to know “WE GOT YOU” by coordinating the delivery over a million tons of food to community members in need.

This food recovery initiative will start in Detroit serving Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties and the EBONY Foundation seeks to use this model in communities nationwide.

Experts agree that school closures and social distancing will play an important role in limiting the transmission of coronavirus. Families and advocates have concerns about how system-wide closures will impact communities who rely on schools for a range of public services, including providing low-income children with breakfast and lunch, which at times may be the only meal they receive during the day.

The EBONY Foundation has appointed Darryl Anderson of Unique Food Management as the Michigan coalition Chair to coordinate organizations such as Meals on Wheels, Lighthouse, Forgotten Harvest and over dozen food pantries with one common mission – to move over a million tons of food and feed over 650,000 children and seniors weekly during this pandemic. Anderson has over a decade of state and nationwide organizing in food recovery distribution.

National emergencies affect each community differently. For over 75 years the EBONY and JET brand has been at the forefront of championing social justice issues for the Black community. As the quote goes, “When American catches a cold. The Black community catches pneumonia.” Now we have the coronavirus, which has a catastrophic impact on our community, education, economics, and basic health – and EBONY will step up.

“Our families often live in households without food or water at times and now we have this pandemic. Some families rely routinely on food pantries, even in relatively healthy economic times. Some families have no safety nets. school closures would cut off access to some of their only reliable meals. When resources get tight, people without means tend to get squeezed the hardest,” says a spokesperson from the EBONY Foundation.

“The problem is straightforward: Without school, a lot of our communities kids often don’t eat. Close to 30 million children use the National School Lunch Program each year.”

Anderson will be coordinating the EBONY Foundation’s pilot initiative of grab & go breakfast and lunch pickups at the schools as well as negotiating with the school district for school bus deliveries to those that are homebound.

Partnering organizations and schools include: Variety Feeds, Micah 6 Sprout, Baldwin Center, Dream Center, All Saints Church, Pontiac Youth Rec, Meet Up and Eat up, Avondale Elementary and Middle School, and the Waterford Schools.

For more information or to get help coordinating resources in another state, reach out to: wefeedyou@ebonyjet.org and www.ebonyjet.org.

Neveah Woods, 9, Gets Noticed by Mattel for her Clothing Designs for Barbie Dolls

Naveah Woods (photo via Click On Detroit)

Creative 9-year-old Nevaeh Woods from Detroit decided to make her passion for making clothing for Barbie dolls into a business and her designs have gotten attention of a big name company, according to WDIV Detroit.

Woods started making doll clothes out of whatever she could get her hands on and now her creations are getting noticed by the Barbie Mattel team.

“When I grow up, I want to be a fashion designer,” Neveah said. In a way, according to NewsOne, she already is a fashion designer. She makes clothes for her Barbie dolls out of everyday items like ribbon, socks and scissors.

Her mother, Sha’kvia Woods, watches and encourages her daughter, but they still surprised her.

“I just took pictures of them, so I was really amazed,” Woods said. “I shared it to Facebook and then I got a lot of my friends say make this public and when I made it public it just went viral.”

Her designs caught the attention of Mattel, the maker of Barbie. “Barbie sent me this amazing box, but we don’t know what’s inside it yet. Today we’re going to find out,” Neveah said.

Inside the box were plenty of new Barbies to style.

“It made me feel special because I’m achieving my goal to be a fashion designer and that’s what I really want to do,” Neveah said. “So I can be famous and make stuff and encourage people to follow their dreams.”

Frederick Joseph, #BlackPantherChallenge Founder, Raises $35,000 For Children With #SantaClausChallenge

New York author and creator of the #BlackPantherChallenge, Frederick Joseph, launches the #SantaClausChallenge after learning the Operation Cover Chicago 2019 toy drive was short 9,000 toys. With only four days until the toy drive, Joseph called on others to join the challenge by donating or buying a gift for kids in Chicago.

Another Chance Church, launched Operation Cover Chicago 2019 with the aim to make it a Christmas to remember for 10,000 families who otherwise couldn’t afford to buy toys. Statistics show that the Chicagoland community is comprised of 9% of students who are homeless and 45% of adults who are unemployed or under-employed.

Frederick Joseph kicked off the #SantaClausChallenge with a $500 donation to their GoFundMe, which aims to raise $35,000 to purchase toys for children ages three to 15. Inspired by his generosity, GoFundMe made a donation of $5,000. “All children deserve to feel like they matter, especially during the Holidays,” said Frederick Joseph. “This is an opportunity to show them that the community cares and is standing behind all families. I’m calling on others to take action and donate to help more kids experience the joy of Christmas.”

As of December 17th, the challenge met its goal by raising $35,000 to service 10,000 families.

Joseph successfully created the #BlackPantherChallenge, an international movement that raised over $950,000 to send over 73,000 children to see the Black Panther film for free in 2018. He’s been rallying behind community based GoFundMes ever since, having raised over $1.25 million to date for good causes.

Operation Cover Chicago 2019 will be giving away the toys to 10,000 families on December 20, 2019 at 9550 S. Harvard Chicago IL, 60628 at 7pm. To make a donation, visit:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/operation-cover-chicago-2019

“Find Black Santa” App Helps Families Locate Black Santas Across U.S. and Abroad

Find Black Santa App created by Jihan Woods (photo via findblacksanta.com)

According to wthr.com, after having trouble finding a Santa Claus her sons could relate to, Dallas psychiatrist Jihan Woods decided to make sure others wouldn’t encounter the same problem.

In 2018, she created a Kickstarter campaign raising some $5,000 in 30 days. The result was a very special app called “Find Black Santa.”

“After several years of trying to find a Santa that was relatable – that my children could identify with, I realized that kind of all over the U.S., but specifically in Dallas, I wasn’t able to find a Santa that represented our family,” Woods explained.

The app lists Santas in 35 states and Washington, D.C. – from Oregon, to one in the Mall of America, and as far south as Florida. She’s even located them in London, Canada, and Amsterdam.

Since creating the app, organizations have reached out to Woods to tell her about their black Santas. And black Santas have asked her to list them for events.

To find Black Santa, click here.

To read more: https://www.wthr.com/article/app-helps-families-search-black-santa

 

Tyler Perry to Build Compound for Displaced Women, Children and LGBTQ Youth at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta

 

Filmmaker and entrepreneur Tyler Perry told Gayle King on CBS This Morning this week that his eponymous film studio in Atlanta will soon provide a safe haven for homeless women, displaced LGBTQ youth, and sex trafficking victims.

Perry is the first African American man to own a major movie studio, a 330-acre property that was once a Confederate Army base. But he is most excited about the aspect of helping those in need. “You know, the studio’s gonna be what it is,” Perry said.

“I’ll tell you what I’m most excited about next is pulling this next phase off, is building a compound for trafficked women, girls, homeless women, LGBTQ youth who are put out and displaced … somewhere on these 330 acres, where they’re trained in the business and they become self-sufficient.”

“They live in nice apartments. There’s day care. There’s all of these wonderful things that allows them to reenter society. And then pay it forward again,” Perry continued. “So that’s what I hope to do soon.”

The land for Tyler Perry Studios was acquired by Perry in 2015 and is located on the historic grounds of the former Fort McPherson army base in Atlanta, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“Think about the poetic justice in that,” Perry said. “The Confederate Army is fighting to keep Negroes enslaved in America, fighting, strategy, planning on this very ground. And now this very ground is owned by me.”

The major motion picture studio includes 40 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, 12 purpose-built sound stages named after African-American luminaries such as Oprah Winfrey, Diahann Carroll, and Harry Belafonte, 200 acres of green space, and a diverse backlot.

To read more: https://www.blackenterprise.com/tyler-perry-studios/

Lupita Nyong’o Authors Children’s Book “Sulwe” to Help Young Readers “See More Dark Skin in a Beautiful Light”

“Sulwe” by Lupita Nyong’o (image via amazon.com); Lupita Nyong’o (photo via commons.wikipedia.org)

According to popsugar.com, Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o is now a published author, and her children’s book Sulwe — which means “star” in the Luo language of her native Kenya — sends a powerful and much-needed message.

The 48-page book, to be released on October 15, focuses on the heartwarming, whimsical story of a young girl named Sulwe who goes on a journey to discover her own unique beauty.

“Sulwe has skin the color of midnight,” the summary reads. “She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything.”

In her October 1st Instagram post, Nyong’o shared a photo of her 5-year-old self and reflected on how she felt about herself:

View this post on Instagram

This is 5-year-old me. I reflected on this little girl's feelings and fantasies when I decided to write my children's book, #Sulwe. With this book, I wanted to hold up a mirror for her. Here's why: As a little girl reading, I had all of these windows into the lives of people who looked nothing like me, chances to look into their worlds, but I didn't have any mirrors. While windows help us develop empathy and an understanding of the wider world, mirrors help us develop our sense of self, and our understanding of our own world. They ground us in our body and our experiences. #Sulwe holds up a mirror for dark-skinned children especially, to see themselves reflected immediately, and it is a window for all the others to cherish peering into. Colorism, society's preference for lighter skin, is alive and well. It's not just a prejudice reserved for places with a largely white population. Throughout the world, even in Kenya, even today, there is a popular sentiment that lighter is brighter. I imagined what it would have been like for this little girl to turn the pages of her picture books and see more dark skin in a beautiful light. This book is my dream come true for kids like her today. #Sulwe arrives October 15. ✨ Link in bio to pre-order. #NationalBookMonth #BrightnessIsJustWhoYouAre

A post shared by Lupita Nyong'o (@lupitanyongo) on

Lupita went on to point out that, even at a young age, girls are taught that light skin is preferred over dark skin, and that books like Sulwe can help to encourage self-love for darker-skinned girls everywhere.

“Colorism, society’s preference for lighter skin, is alive and well. It’s not just a prejudice reserved for places with a largely white population. Throughout the world, even in Kenya, even today, there is a popular sentiment that lighter is brighter.”

To order Sulwe on Amazon, go to: https://amzn.to/2ozcMLQ

Crown Act Law Makes California 1st State in U.S. to Ban Discrimination Based on Natural Hairstyles

According to cnn.com, this past Wednesday, California became the first state in the United States to ban employers and school officials from discriminating against people based on their natural hair.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the Crown Act (aka CA Senate Bill No. 188) into law, making it illegal to enforce dress code or grooming policies against hairstyles such as afros, braids, twists, and locks.

To quote CNN’s article:

Los Angeles Democrat Sen. Holly Mitchell, who introduced the bill earlier this year, said the law is about “inclusion, pride and choice.” “This law protects the right of Black Californians to choose to wear their hair in its natural form, without pressure to conform to Eurocentric norms,” Mitchell said in a statement Wednesday. “I am so excited to see the culture change that will ensue from the law.”

Newsom said the law was “long-overdue” but many Americans only became aware of the issue last December when a referee at a wrestling tournament in New Jersey ordered a black high school wrestler to cut off his dreadlocks or forfeit his match.

The student had to choose whether “to lose an athletic competition or lose his identity,” Newsom said.

“That’s played out in workplaces, it’s played out in schools — not just in athletic competitions and settings — every single day all across America in ways that are subtle, in ways overt,” Newsom said during a bill-signing ceremony.

The new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2020, addresses policies against natural hair that are unfair toward women and people of color, the governor’s office said. “Workplace dress code and grooming policies that prohibit natural hair, including afros, braids, twists, and locks, have a disparate impact on black individuals as these policies are more likely to deter black applicants and burden or punish black employees than any other group,” according to the law.

Mitchell said that until recently an image search for “unprofessional hairstyles” only showed black women with natural hair, braids or twists. “I believe that any law, policy or practice that sanctions a job description that immediately excludes me from a profession — not because of my capacity or my capabilities or my experience but because of my hairstyle choice — is long overdue for reform,” said Mitchell, who observed that she wears her hair in a natural style.

Mitchell said that similar state and federal laws protect against discrimination due to religious hairstyles and head coverings.

Below are highlights from the text of the Crown Act: Continue reading “Crown Act Law Makes California 1st State in U.S. to Ban Discrimination Based on Natural Hairstyles”

10 Books Besides ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ That Tackle Racial Injustice | PBS NewsHour

When the PBS NewsHour asked educators from different parts of the country to share their picks for some alternatives, they offered books that shift the perspective from a white girl’s point of view to people of color. The stories, many of them more contemporary than “To Kill A Mockingbird,” tackle the multitude of ways racism affects different marginalized groups in the U.S.

“Our most popular books are ‘Dear Martin,’ ‘I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter,’ ‘The Book of Unknown Americans,’ and ‘The Hate U Give,’” wrote in Cicely Lewis, a library media specialist in Georgia who created a list of books she calls #ReadWoke. “They all have characters who look like my students and face issues plaguing our society. There’s a waiting list for these titles.”

In their own words, educators select 12 books, including a popular nonfiction pick, that are great reads and help continue the discussion around racial injustice in school and in life.

The overall top pick: Angie Thomas novels

“The Hate U Give” is one of the most important books I’ve ever read. It takes up issues of racial injustice and identity, both of which resonate with many students — and it feels particularly timely in the wake of countless police shootings of unarmed black men and women. One of my students said she thinks this is a book everyone should read, and I agree. It also models for students how they can stand up and speak out against injustice.

— Adison Godfrey, English teacher in Pennsylvania

I would like to nominate Angie Thomas’ book, On the Come Up.” The main character Brianna faces an unjust suspension when a rogue white officer body slams her to the floor in retaliation to a search and seizure shake-down upon entering the metal detectors at her school. This mimics incidents that made national news about white officers body-slamming girls in class.

It sheds light on the skewed suspension of more students of color. More importantly, it shows the youthful response to the archaic mindset of prejudice that keeps black Americans stuck in a post-slavery, Jim-Crow America. Using social media to spur on the injustice of treatment — the same way television was used during the 1960s civil rights movement when white and black freedom riders were beaten.

— Jean Darnell, high school librarian in Houston @awakenlibrarian on Twitter

Read more via 10 books besides ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ that tackle racial injustice | PBS NewsHour