Category: Philanthropy

Entertainers Tyrese, Da Brat and Ricky Smiley Vow to Buy Car for Corey Patrick, Alabama Teen Who Took Bus to His Graduation

Alabama Teen Corey Patrick (photo via ebony.com)

by Jessica Bennett via ebony.com

An Alabama teen was determined to obtain his high school diploma, despite the fact that his family doesn’t have a car. Images of Birmingham, AL teen Corey Patrick walking and taking the bus to his graduation have gone viral, with a few stars promising to buy the determined student new wheels for all of his hard work and dedication to his education.

Speaking to WBRC, Patrick revealed that his mom suggested he take the bus to his commencement since she had no way to get him there. “I told Corey, well the best thing to do is just get on the bus and we will work from there,” said Felicia White, Corey’s mother.

Patrick proceeded to pound the pavement and caught the bus in his graduation cap and gown, with the bus driver snapping photos of the young man that eventually spread all over the internet. His family eventually found a ride and met him at the school. “I had to do what was necessary for me to walk this year,” Patrick said.

His mother revealed that Corey was determined to graduate with his friends after moving to a new neighborhood. “Corey was getting up at 4:30 in the morning and had to be at the bus stop at 5:41 in the morning for the last year. Even when he would get out of school he couldn’t get from that side of town until 5:19 when the bus runs back over there. So he doesn’t make it back this way until about 6:30 or 7 o’clock.”

The Shade Room is now reporting Da Brat, Tyrese and Rickey Smiley have committed to buying the young man a new ride so he’ll never have to worry about making it to an important event again.

TSR Staff: Kyle Anfernee Instagram: @Kyle.Anfernee #TSRPositiveImages: Earlier, we posted about a young man who was photographed walking to a bus stop to get to his graduation. The photo was posted online, and has since gone viral across the nation. ___________________________________ A lot of people, including myself, wanted to know who this amazing young man in the photo was, and after a couple thousand shares, he has been identified as Corey Patrick, a 2018 graduate from Tarrant High School. ___________________________________ “I was happy on that day,” Corey said. ___________________________________ Corey spoke with Fox 6 News and said that his family didn’t have the transportation to get him there, but he wasn’t going to let that stop him. ___________________________________ “I told Corey, well the best thing to do is just get on the bus and we will work from there,” Corey’s mother Felicia White said. ___________________________________ His family was able to eventually find a ride to his graduation. ___________________________________ “He’s a great young man. He’s very quiet, reserved, humble and he gets a little hardheaded sometimes, but he’s a very obedient child and I’m proud of Corey,” Felicia said . What makes this story even more powerful is the fact Corey has—Read More At TheShadeRoom.com

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‘Black-ish’ Creator Donates $1 Million to Clark Atlanta University for Kenya and Rainbow Barris Annual Scholarship Fund

Kenya Barris and Dr. Rainbow Barris (photo via @tharealrainbow Instagram)

via blackamericaweb.com

It is always nice to see celebrities reach back once they have “made it”.

This time around it is super producer and writer, Black-ish creator Kenya Barris, and his wife Dr. Rainbow Barris, who have awarded Clark Atlanta University (CAU) $1 million dollars.

The gift, which has been named the Kenya and Rainbow Barris Annual Scholarship Award, will go towards supporting students with a biology major and $500k dedicated to supporting mass media arts majors.

In addition to awarding this amazing gift, Barris received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters during CAU’s Commencement on May 21, 2018.

Samaria Rice to Open Tamir Rice Cultural Center in Cleveland in 2019

Samaria Rice, mother of Tamir Rice (photo via ohio.com)

by Angela Helm via theroot.com

Samaria Rice, mother of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old who was gunned down on a playground by an erratic “officer of the law” in 2014, is mending her heartbreak by opening a cultural center in the name of her son.

The Tamir Rice Afrocentric Cultural Center will honor Tamir’s legacy by operating as a place of refuge for black children in Cleveland, a space where they can participate in visual art, drama, music, as well as teaching them civics as well. “Nobody is talking about Tamir anymore in Cleveland,” said Samaria. “And that’s sad.”

Through the Tamir Rice Foundation, Samaria has already purchased a building for the center, and, in addition to serving the children’s artistic ambitions (Tamir, she said, loved to draw cartoons and make pottery), the young people who come through its doors will be mentored on how to “dissect and participate in political systems,” something the 41-year-old mother of three says she had to learn, after her son was killed as he played.

Rice has already faced opposition to opening the center, a baffling notion, given what she has been through, but according to a recent profile by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, someone recently put superglue in all of the locks on the 3,500-square-foot former newspaper building.

“I don’t pay no attention to them,” she said. “They can’t beat me for the simple fact that their child wasn’t killed by the state. I’m going to do it through the grace of God and I’m going to do it because the city of Cleveland gave me no choice but to do it as far as building my son’s legacy and keeping his legacy alive.”

Next month, Rice is throwing a “Sweet Sixteen” party for the birthday Tamir will never see. She seeks to raise $21,000 to help renovate the space, including new windows, and a stage for performances. She purchased the building in March for $162,680, using part of the $6 million settlement of the wrongful death suit she’d filed against the city and the two officers involved (none of whom faced a day in jail). The Plain Dealer reports that after lawyer’s fees and costs and payments to other relatives, Tamir’s estate was left with about $1.8 million.

Samaria Rice hopes to complete work and open the center in 2019.

Tickets for June 14 fundraiser at the Cleveland Museum of Art are $55  and contributions to the renovation are also being collected online.

To read full article, go to: https://www.theroot.com/samaria-rice-to-open-tamir-rice-cultural-center-for-cle-1826177821

Waffle House Hero James Shaw, Jr. Has Scholarship Named in His Honor at His Alma Mater, Tennessee State University

James Shaw, Jr. with TSU President Glover; mother, Karen Shaw, and father, James Shaw, Sr. (photo via tntribune.com)

by Clare Bratten via tntribune.com

NASHVILLE, TN — Just in time for Mother’s Day week, James Shaw Jr. was honored in the presence of his parents Karen and James Sr. with a reception on Monday at Tennessee State University, his alma mater.

Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover, who helped honor Shaw with a scholarship in his name, said in a statement. “The TSU family is extremely proud of alumnus James Shaw, Jr. for his bravery and courage. His actions saved the lives of many others.”

Karen Shaw’s reaction to the public accolades from politicians, community leaders and media at even the national level was one of “amazement.” 

“I spent some time just thinking about this in conversations with friends and my husband –  what it is about this terrible event that caused this reaction – being in the news nationally and even internationally? My son’s life was spared and for that I am completely grateful. I believe with all of the ugliness going on in the world people just needed something good to hang onto,” said Karen Shaw.

“Whether your beliefs are spiritually based – that James was covered and protected by God, which is my belief, or that he has a higher calling – this has really brought our community, the state of Tennessee, maybe even the U.S. or globally – where people gather around one message – helping others to survive.”

But as a mother to James, she also has concerns along with her appreciation of the outpouring of support. That outpouring has included $240,000 in donations to a GoFundMe campaign James started to help the families of the victims of the shooting, and appearances on national cable TV news. Shaw was honored at a Nashville Predators game, and, appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show where he met his sports hero Dwyane Wade who donated $20,000 to the GoFundMe Campaign and received another $20,000 from the show’s sponsor Shutterfly. The Steve Harvey Show announced it planned to send him on a trip to Barbados.

In the world of politics, James Shaw Jr. was honored with a resolution at the state capitol by Tennessee legislators the day after the shooting calling him a hero “twice over” and Vice President Pence called him a ‘national hero.’

Still Karen Shaw shows the steady focus of a mother for the long term health and well being of her son after the trauma of the initial event. “We are very appreciative of the attention and the opportunities that have come to James and are being offered to James. But at the end of the day, what I want is for my son’s emotional and mental health to be the same as it was on April 21st [the day before the Waffle House shooting].”

“When I saw him on CNN, I could see that he was re-living the event in his mind as he was talking about it. It is just unfair a stranger can come and ruin the lives of so many people and damage the lives of others who just happen to have been there. Not just for James but for anyone who was present.”   

“We have some supports in place and we are doing our best to be sure he has the appropriate means and support. That’s the best Mother’s Day I can have – making sure he comes out of it as a healthy human being mentally and emotionally.”

To read more: http://tntribune.com/community/local/nashville/james-shaw-jr-hero-to-his-mother-his-alma-mater-his-community/

Maryland College Student Tre Williams Saves 80-Year-Old From Burning House

by Yesha Callahan via theroot.com

Not all heroes wear capes. Some happen to wear book bags and are on their way home from class, when they come across someone who needs saving. In Tre Williams’ case, it was an 80-year-old Glen Burnie, Md. woman who couldn’t get out of her burning house.

On Wednesday, Williams saw Gail Johnson’s home engulfed in flames; but with the commotion and noise of the fire trucks, Williams was the one who heard Johnson’s cry for help.

“I yelled to the fire department, ‘Somebody’s in the house,’” Williams told WJZ. “But it was loud, like the sirens, and there was a lot of cars driving by.”

“So at that time, that’s when I jumped over the fence and went in and opened the door for her. She was struggling to get the door open,” Williams said.

Johnson’s family believes it was an act of God that Williams happened to be in the right place at the right time, and he’s being called a hero.

But Williams said he’s no hero, he was just following the values instilled in him by his mom.

“I keep telling everybody, I don’t think I’m a hero or anything,” he said. “It’s just, I did something I wish anybody else would have done.”

Source: https://www.theroot.com/maryland-college-student-saves-80-year-old-from-burning-1825797137

Wrongfully Arrested Starbucks Patrons Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson Settle with Philadelphia for $2 in Exchange for $200,000 Fund for Young Entrepreneurs

Image: Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson
Rashon Nelson, left, and Donte Robinson, right, sit on their attorney’s sofa as they pose for a portrait following an interview on April 18, 2018. (Jacqueline Larma / AP file) 

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

According to nbcnews.com, Rashon Nelson, 23, and Donte Robinson, 23, the two men whose arrest at a Starbucks last month set off a wave of protests against the coffee corporation for discrimination have reached a settlement with the city of Philadelphia, the Mayor’s Office stated today.They will each be paid a symbolic $1 and release the city and employees of all claims in exchange for the creation of a $200,000 fund that, through the help of a nonprofit organization, will assist young entrepreneurs in Philadelphia. Robinson and Nelson are to serve on the committee that will establish and award the grant, which will focus on starting a pilot curriculum for public high school students to attain the skills to become business owners.

The mayor’s office stated that Nelson, Robinson and their attorneys will not receive any payment from the grant funds. The money will come from the budget of the city’s Finance Department.

“I am pleased to have resolved the potential claims against the City in this productive manner,” Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement. “This was an incident that evoked a lot of pain in our City, pain that would’ve resurfaced over and over again in protracted litigation, which presents significant legal risks and high financial and emotional costs for everyone involved.” He added that Robinson and Nelson themselves approached the city with the grant fund idea “in an attempt to make something positive come of this.”

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson in a statement Thursday said a confidential financial settlement between Nelson, Robinson and Starbucks has been reached and thanked the men for their “willingness to reconcile.”

“I welcome the opportunity to begin a relationship with them to share learnings and experiences,” he said.

The coffee chain on May 29 plans to close more than 8,000 U.S. stores for an afternoon to train nearly 175,000 workers in “racial-bias education.”

Robinson, who said he’s been a Starbucks customer since he was 15, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the agreement with the city of Philadelphia was the right decision. “We thought long and hard about it and we feel like this is the best way to see that change that we want to see,” he said. “It’s not a right-now thing that’s good for right now, but I feel like we will see the true change over time.”

NYC 1st Lady Chirlane McCray Promotes Mental Health in Black Communities with Launch of “Brothers Thrive”

First Lady Chirlane McCray (photo via twitter.com)

via newsone.com

The City of New York is aiming to push conversations surrounding mental health in the Black community forward. First lady Chirlane McCray announced the launch of a new program to help African American men cope with mental health issues, the Manhattan Times reported.

The initiative, dubbed Brothers Thrive, is a part of a larger effort launched by the city called ThriveNYC, the news outlet writes. McCray’s own experiences growing up inspired her to create Brothers Thrive. She witnessed her own father battle with depression during her childhood. “As a child, I didn’t understand why, even on Christmas Day, there just wasn’t much joy in our home,” she said. “My family story is a common one. We are all touched by mental illness and addiction, each and every one of us.”

The initiative will extend support and services to Black men battling mental health issues and will also provide free Mental Health First Aid training for Black men. The program aims to directly address the stigma around seeking help. A group of organizations that includes the 100 Black Men, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity,  Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., have partnered with the city on this initiative.

“People often feel more comfortable talking about these topics when they’re among people who look like them, people who they feel some kinship or affinity with,” said McCray. “It’s just easier to relax and know that their words will have meaning and validity and credibility.” Brothers Thrive is aiming to train 3,000 New Yorkers in Mental Health First Aid over the next year.

Many programs have been created to address mental health issues in the Black community. Last year, Nikki Webber Allen created a non-profit called I Live For as an avenue to break the cultural barrier surrounding mental illness.

Source: https://newsone.com/3795795/brothers-thrive-black-men-mental-illness-chirlane-mccray/

Spelman College Student Deanna Hayden Works to Raise Literacy Rates with “House of Knowledge” Project

by Robin White Goode via blackenterprise.com

It’s National Library Week, and at Spelman College a student is changing lives by improving a community’s literacy. Deanna Hayden, a junior Comparative Women’s Studies major, volunteers in an impoverished neighborhood in Atlanta, the West End community.

“I grew up in rural Mississippi,” Hayden said, “where there was an overwhelming lack of educational resources. When I started volunteering at Paul Laurence Dunbar Elementary School in the West End, I noticed parallels between the education system here and in Mississippi.”

BOOKS TRUMP POVERTY

Hayden relayed there are students with low reading scores, ironically in a school named after a literary giant. “I sat in on third-grade classes and could see that there is a need to improve their literacy,” she says.

Hayden had noticed that in wealthy communities there are what she calls “free libraries”—not library buildings from which books can be borrowed, but small, house-shaped structures full of books that can be taken for keeps, or added to. (Hayden was most likely referring to the Little Free Library book exchange.)

Regular reading is critical to raising literacy and reading levels, but book ownership also makes a huge difference. According to a 2014 study cited in a New York Times article, the number of books in a home is “the most important predictor of reading performance” after gross national product. “The greatest effect was seen in libraries of about 100 books, which resulted in approximately 1.5 extra years of grade-level reading performance.”

Astonishingly, a home library appears to matter more than the family budget. The Times article goes on: “… in the United States, with the size of libraries being equal, students coming from the top 10% of wealthiest families performed at just one extra grade level over students from the poorest 10%.”

THE HOUSE OF KNOWLEDGE

Spelman
(Courtesy of Spelman College)

Similar to both the Little Free Library and Barbershop Shops, which sets up books targeting black boys from age 4 to 8 in barbershops, the House of Knowledge is a literacy initiative that Hayden developed in response to the struggling readers she encountered.

There are now seven Houses of Knowledge throughout the West End community “in places frequented by children, such as churches, recreation centers, and doctor’s offices,” Hayden told me. Each holds 25 books targeting readers in kindergarten to eighth grade.

“Each House of Knowledge has its own theme,” Hayden says. “Some offer books on science and technology—others are all about black women.” Each box has a sponsor which is responsible for monitoring the box to make sure there is always a selection of books inside. The sponsor—organizations like the NAACP, the National Council of Negro Women, and others on the Spelman campus—determines what books will be offered.

Hayden, who graduates next year and plans to study public health and educational policy in graduate school, still has plans for the House of Knowledge project. “I’d like the kids to do surveys and quizzes on the books,” she says. “Eventually I’d like to develop an after school component as well.”

In the meantime, she’s also hoping for a grant that will make the program more sustainable.

To learn more, visit the House of Knowledge website.

Source: http://www.blackenterprise.com/spelman-student-raising-literacy-skills/

Denzel Washington Paid for ‘Black Panther’ star Chadwick Boseman to Study at Oxford

"Black Panther" star Chadwick Boseman
“Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman (Albert L. Ortega | Getty Images)

by  via cnbc.com

Chadwick Boseman, the 41-year-old star of Black Panther, may have Oscar-winner and 2018 nominee Denzel Washington to thank for some of his success. While studying at Howard University in the late ’90s, Boseman and some of his peers applied to a prestigious summer theater program at The University of Oxford. The group of students got in, but they couldn’t afford to go.

One of their acting teachers at Howard, actress Phylicia Rashad from The Cosby Show, “pushed for us,” Boseman told Rolling Stone. “She essentially got some celebrity friends to pay for us to go.” It wasn’t until after the program when he got a beneficiary letter and found out who funded the program: “Denzel paid for me. I’m sure he has no idea. … I’ve been waiting to meet him, so I can tell him.”

Boseman wrote Washington a thank-you letter, but he didn’t tell anyone else about it for two decades. “I’ve basically been holding this secret my whole career,” he told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, explaining that he didn’t want Washington to feel like he owed him anything else.

Boseman wanted to meet Washington in person before saying anything. He hadn’t met him before the Rolling Stone interview but, after 20 years, he figured it was OK to reveal the detail. As Boseman told Fallon: “I think I’ve made it to the point where he’s not going to think I’m trying to get something from him by saying it.”

Coincidentally, just before the Rolling Stone feature came out, Boseman got to meet his benefactor. Washington came to the New York premiere of “Black Panther,” and, “I met him, before the article came out,” Boseman told Fallon. “So I actually lived up to what I originally wanted to do. It was amazing.”

When Fallon asked how the introduction went, Boseman recalled how he thanked him for paying for Oxford a while back, to which Washington jokingly replied: “Oh, so that’s why I’m here. You owe me money! I came to collect!”

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/02/denzel-washington-paid-for-chadwick-boseman-to-study-at-oxford.html

Matt Barnes Launches Scholarship Fund For Stephon Clark’s Sons

Matt Barnes (image via huffingtonpost.com)

by Jenna Amatulli via huffingtonpost.com

Ex-NBA player Matt Barnes announced that he will be launching a scholarship fund for Stephon Clark’s two sons to ensure that they can afford to go to college.

Barnes, whose lengthy basketball career included stints with the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors, made an impassioned speech at a rally in Sacramento on Saturday while holding one of Clark’s children. He spoke about the fraught relationship between police officers and black America, and the need for reform.

“We fear what we don’t know. We don’t know these cops, so we fear them. They don’t know us, so they fear us,” Barnes said. “When you get out and know someone on a first-name basis, when you are called to the situation, next time you may be able to defuse the situation.”

Clark, 22, was killed on March 18 when Sacramento police officers shot him eight times in his grandparents’ backyard. The two officers, responding to reports of car break-ins in the neighborhood, said they believed Clark to be armed, though he was found with only his cellphone in hand.

Since Clark’s death, protests have roiled Sacramento and led to yet another uprising by a community imploring the government to do more in investigating deadly police shootings and prevent them.

Saturday’s march was organized by the Sacramento Black Lives Matter chapter. Barnes was involved in the rally because he heard of Clark’s death from one of his two 9-year-old sons. The child apparently asked his father if police were “bad” for what they did to Clark.

“I had to pause for a second because the emotion of me wanted to say yes, but at the same time cops aren’t bad, one cop doesn’t make every one bad,” Barnes said.

“But one black man doesn’t make everybody guilty. It’s more than color. It comes down to wrong and right.”

Barnes said of his sones, “I fear for them. I fear for the streets and now I’ve got to fear for the cops. How do we explain to our kids that because of the color of your skin people aren’t going to like you? That’s not fair, but that’s what we have to explain to our kids every day.”

He added: “This isn’t a Sacramento problem, this is a nationwide problem.”

Source: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/matt-barnes-launches-scholarship-fund-for-stephon-clarks-sons_us_5ac23676e4b0a47437ac86ea