Tag: Estelle

OPINION: Why I’m Here For the Badass Black Women of San Diego Comic-Con 2018

by Maeve Richardson

As GBN’s resident biracial, millennial nerd, I place a lot of importance on diversity at Comic Con and in the entertainment industry.

Pop culture has the power to influence how people see the world around them, and, thankfully, there are people in the entertainment industry who understand this and work to make content that showcases the positive aspects of diversity and uniqueness.

A prime example of this content is Steven Universe, an out-of-this-world show that isn’t afraid to show just how diverse this planet really is.

On the surface, Steven Universe is a cartoon about a boy trying to save the world. But on a deeper level it’s a show about love and friendship, and a show that teaches kids lessons about healthy relationships, anxiety, and how important it is to be true to yourself. Estelle, who plays Garnet (the fierce leader of the Crystal gems and fusion of LGBTQ+ couple Ruby and Sapphire), killed it at the Superheroes of Body Positivity Panel this Comic Con.

Estelle, along with the rest of the Crewniverse (people who work on Steven Universe) recently participated in Dove’s Self Esteem Project. Rebecca Sugar, the creator of Steven Universe and Estelle joined Dove on the Panel to talk about body positivity and open up about their own experiences with body image. “My body works, it’s gorgeous. It gets me from point A to point B. If someone, doesn’t like my body, that’s too bad,” Estelle explained.

Another show featured at Comic-Con was Black Lightning, a badass superhero show that celebrates Black Americans. Series co-creator Mara Brock Akil took the stage to express that “celebrating our culture is important to remind us that we are also a part of the fabric of American culture. Tracking our history and our path is important.”

Amandla Stenberg (photo by Gage Skidmore)

Then there are the women of the Women Who Kick Ass Panel. Amandla Stenberg, who I’ve been a fan of since their portrayal of Rue in The Hunger Games, said “The topic of ‘strong female roles’ is tricky. There’s an awareness I have. I create representation because of the accessibility I have. When it comes to roles there is a give and take time. We continue to sacrifice in order to see the representation we want.” I will definitely be purchasing a ticket for their new movie The Darkest Minds.

And of course, there’s Regina King, who will be starring in HBO’s new Watchmen series. “There weren’t many like me kicking ass. I was a Lynda Carter fan. Even though Wonder Woman was wearing a skimpy outfit, she had ownership and confidence that exuded female strength,” Regina King explained about her own experiences with superheroes.

For me, cartoons and superheroes have shaped core aspects of my personality and morality, so it means a lot to me to see so many badass women of color involved in so many amazing projects share their experiences.

Estelle Teams Up with Face Forward Foundation to Sing Out Against Domestic Violence

estelle (at mic)

Grammy Award-winning artist Estelle will perform at Face Forward Foundation’s Fifth Annual Gala, “A Venetian Masquerade” September 13, at The Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.

When Estelle first burst onto the scene in 2008 with the #1, double-platinum hit song “American Boy” featuring Kanye West, she quickly became an R&B sweetheart. Now slated to release her highly anticipated fourth studio album, “True Romance” on November 4, the international singer teams up with Face Forward in their mission to spread awareness and mend the physical and emotional wounds of domestic violence.

Founded by Deborah Alessi, Face Forward Foundation provides pro-bono reconstructive surgery for victims of domestic violence. As its most important fundraising and awareness-building event of the year, The Fifth Annual Gala, “A Venetian Masquerade” will raise funds with a goal of $500,000 for 2015 to support their patients and celebrate the lives and accomplishments of survivors.

Alongside the special performance, the star-studded event will be masquerade-themed, with celebrity guests, a silent auction and an honorary awards ceremony dedicated to raising funds and awareness for this increasing epidemic. Face Forward Foundation will honor celebrity and community leaders for their inspirational work and on-going efforts to draw awareness to domestic violence. Confirmed guests include: Missy Piles (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Artist), Jennifer Coolidge (American PieLegally Blonde), Shohreh Aghdashloo (24)Bonnie Sommerville (Ugly Truth), Shaun Toub (Iron Man). To purchase tickets, visit http://faceforward.nbblticketing.com/

face forward

Since its creation in 2007, Face Forward has worked with advocates around the nation to identify victims of domestic violence who are working towards recovery, yet carry the physical evidence of past abuse. Face Forward does more than just provide pro bono reconstructive surgery to adults and children who have suffered from traumatic and physical abuse; they also create a welcoming and safe environment for the victims to start a new life and reclaim their confidence.

Deborah Alessi, Founder of Face Forward Foundation says “The work that we do turns our victims of abuse into victors in life and we have been fortunate to impact many lives with profoundly life changing results. Changing the outward appearance gives them the confidence to address the scars on the inside and move beyond their past to obtain fulfilling futures. ”

With domestic violence occurring every 15 seconds in the United States, Face Forward Foundation strives to alleviate the internal and external scars of victims and those affected. Ninety percent of all rape and abuse cases lead to physical disfigurement and Face Forward provides treatment to victims who are not able to afford medical assistance.

Read more at http://www.eurweb.com/2014/08/estelle-teams-up-with-face-forward-foundation-to-sing-out-against-domestic-violence/#G4Y6cLsiFPjUS7x5.99

Russell Simmons Raises 1.5 Million Dollars for the Arts at Annual Art For Life Benefit

Russell Simmons raises 1.5 million dollars for the arts at annual Art For Life Benefit
Russell Simmons raises 1.5 million dollars for the arts at annual Art For Life Benefit. Michael Strahan, Nicole Murphy, Anthony Anderson, among others, were in attendance (photo by Nia Hamm)

Celebrities, activists, artists and media descended upon Bridgehampton, New York last Saturday July 28 to help raise more than $1.5 million — and counting — for Danny and Russell Simmons’ fourteenth annual Art For Life Benefit.  The event, held at Russell Simmons’ Fairview Farms East Hampton estate, helped to raise money for the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, which provides arts education opportunities for inner-city youth.

“It’s very important that kids get a chance to practice and appreciate art,” Russell Simmons said of his inspiration for the benefit and organization, because, “it informs everything that we do. Nothing happens without creativity.”  Guests included Michael Strahan, Nicole Murphy, Anthony Anderson, Rev. Al Sharpton, Star Jones, Angela Simmons and more. Youthful new faces such as Skylar Diggins, Olivia Culpo, Nana Meriwether, Melanie Fiona and Tahira Jose were also seen on the scene to bring attention to the importance of promoting culture among our youth.

Soledad O’Brien hosted the gala, while special performances included Estelle, Rick Ross and Maxwell. There was even a surprise performance by Doug E. Fresh.  This year’s theme, ‘A Field of Dreams,’ highlighted the creativity of New York City youth and honored individuals in the community for their contributions, career achievements and philanthropic work.

Honorees included Samuel Englebardt and William D. Johnson of Demarest Films, writer Walter Mosley, Ann Pasternak of Creative Time and filmmaker Tyler Perry.  Attendees agreed that the arts are an integral part of any child’s upbringing. “As a parent I want them to be able to read. I want them to be able to write and do mathematics. That’s all really important. But they also, to be human beings, have to understand how to express themselves,” Soledad O’Brien said.  The final amount raised by the Art For Life Benefit the will be announced when the online auction, hosted by Charitybuzz, closes on August 7.

article by Nia Hamm via thegrio.com