Chance The Rapper Is Creating an Awards Show to Honor Educators

Chance the Rapper (photo via DANIEL BOCZARSKI VIA GETTY IMAGES)

by Taryn Finlay via huffingtonpost.com

Chance the Rapper wants to give educators the recognition they rightfully deserve. The Chicago rapper is organizing the inaugural Twilight Awards, set to be held in June 2018. The ceremony, hosted by James Corden, will celebrate “teachers, parents, principals and students that convey leadership,” Chance said in his announcement Friday. The show will be held in his hometown and will feature guest performances.

He announced news of the show at the very end of a summit for his charity SocialWorks, during which he pledged a $2.2 million donation to 20 Chicago public schools. The summit was a Steve Jobs-inspired event where Chance gave an update on the nonprofit’s progress since he launched it a year ago. “Every contribution … brings this city and this nation closer to providing a well-rounded quality education for each and every child,” he said at the event. “Funding quality education for public [school] students is the most important investment a community can make.”

Chance is on a mission to make a positive impact on Chicago. In the past, the rapper has advocated for better opportunities for the city by meeting with the state governor, donated money and supplies to students, donated outerwear to the homeless and led a march to voting polls. The 24-year-old was honored by former First Lady Michelle Obama when he received BET’s Humanitarian Award in June. Hear his full remarks from the SocialWorks summit in the video below:

To read original article, go to: Chance The Rapper Is Creating An Award Show For Educators | HuffPost

Obamas Announce New Community-Based Endeavor via The Obama Foundation (VIDEO)

Michelle and Barack Obama (photo via Obama.org)

Michelle and Barack Obama (photo via Obama.org)

article by Ryan Reed via rollingstone.com

On the morning of Donald Trump‘s inauguration, outgoing President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled The Obama Foundation, (https://www.obama.org) their first major project upon exiting the White House. The Foundation will be based in the south side of Chicago and facilitate projects “all over the city, the country and the world.”

In a video, the Obamas ask viewers to help shape the Foundation by contributing suggestions via the site’s “Your Voice” section. “After eight years in the White House, Michelle and I now rejoin all of you as private citizens,” Obama said. “We want to thank you once again from the bottom of our hearts for giving us the incredible privilege of serving this country that we love.”  To watch it, click this link: https://youtu.be/ODVxuN6m6E8

Before they get to work on this massive endeavor, the former First Couple plan to enjoy a much-needed vacation. “First, we’re gonna take a little break,” Michelle Obama said. “We’re finally gonna get some sleep and take some to be with our family – and just be still for a little. So we might be online quite as much as you’re used to seeing us.”

To read more, go to: Watch Former President Obama, Michelle Obama Announce New Endeavor – Rolling Stone

West Virginia Mayor Resigns After Co-Signing on Racist FB Post About Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama (photo via essence.com)

A petition calling for Mayor Beverly Whaling’s termination has garnered over 24,000 signatures.

article by Rachaell Davis via essence.com

UPDATE (11/15/16): West Virginia Mayor Beverly Whaling has resigned. WSAZ News reportedly received confirmation that Whaling has submitted an official resignation letter, following the fallout from her comments on a racially offensive Facebook post, in which Clay County Corporation Director Pamela Ramsey Taylor referred to First Lady Michelle Obama as “an ape in heels.”

Previous Report:

As racial tensions continue to rise across the country in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential election victory, a disturbing incident out of West Virginia has thousands demanding action.

Clay County Development Corporation Executive Pamela Ramsey Taylor hurled words of blatant disrespect and disregard for First Lady Michelle Obama in a racist Facebook post, where she referred to FLOTUS as “an ape in heels.”

As if that wasn’t enough, Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling agreed with Taylor’s racially offensive statement, commenting on the original post, “Just made my day, Pam.”

To read full article, go to: West Virginia Mayor Criticized For Racist FB Post About Michelle Obama Essence.com

Michelle Obama Supports CNN Film “We Will Rise” on Global Education for Girls, Which Premieres Today

First Lady Michelle Obama "We Will Rise" (photo via education.microsoft.com)

First Lady Michelle Obama “We Will Rise” (photo via education.microsoft.com)

article by Michelle Obama via cnn.com

For me, education has never been simply a policy issue — it’s personal.

Neither of my parents and hardly anyone in the neighborhood where I grew up went to college. But thanks to a lot of hard work and plenty of financial aid, I had the opportunity to attend some of the finest universities in this country. That education opened so many doors and gave me the confidence to pursue my ambitions and have a voice in the world.

For me, education was power.

And a few years ago, when I had the honor of meeting Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head just for trying to go to school, this issue got really personal for me. I saw that the terrorists who nearly killed her were trying to silence her voice, snuff out her ambitions, and take away her power.

That’s why I decided to work on global girls’ education as first lady: because right now, there are tens of millions of girls like Malala in every corner of the globe who are not in school — girls who are so bright, hardworking and hungry to learn. And that’s really the mission of the Let Girls Learn initiative we launched last year: It’s a global effort to give these girls the education they need to fulfill their potential and lift up their families, communities and countries.

Now, as first lady, I have no budget of my own for programs, and I have no authority to make or pass laws. That’s why, when we first launched Let Girls Learn, many folks doubted that we could make a real impact on this global issue.  But over the past year and a half, we’ve established partnerships with some of the world’s largest companies and organizations that are committing money, resources and expertise. We’re collaborating with countries like Canada, Mexico and the Nordic countries on girls’ education efforts. Countries like Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom have collectively pledged nearly $600 million.

The United States is investing over a billion dollars through new and ongoing efforts and running Let Girls Learn programs in more than 50 countries. The World Bank Group will be investing $2.5 billion over the next five years. And through social media campaigns, Let Girls Learn has rallied people across America and across the globe to step up and be champions for girls worldwide.

All this is happening because time and again, whether it’s a head of state, a corporate CEO, or a 15-year-old girl here in the United States, when people hear the stories of girls who aren’t in school, they want to help.   That’s why CNN’s new film on global girls’ education, “We Will Rise,” airing for the first time this week, is so critically important — because it tells these girls’ stories.

This powerful film chronicles the lives of some of the girls I visited this past summer in Liberia and Morocco, two countries in Africa where many girls struggle to get an education. I was joined in my travels by the actors and activists Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto, who are also passionate about girls’ education, as well as CNN anchor Isha Sesay.

Together, we sat down with girls in both countries to discuss the barriers they face and the dreams they hold for their futures. Like so many girls around the world, many of these girls come from families struggling with poverty. Some endure dangerous commutes to and from school each day. Others face cultural pressures to drop out, marry young and start having children of their own.

But these girls have big plans for their lives. They want to attend college and become doctors, teachers, engineers, entrepreneurs; and day after day, they do whatever it takes to get the education they need to fulfill their dreams. They get up before dawn, and spend hours harvesting crops, cooking for their families and tending to their younger siblings before heading to class. After school, they work as maids and in factories, and they study for hours late into the night.

I hope you will be as moved by their stories as I was — and I hope you’ll visit LetGirlsLearn.gov to learn more about how you can take action to help girls like them worldwide go to school.  Unlike so many girls around the world, we have a voice. That’s why, particularly on this year’s International Day of the Girl, I ask that you use yours to help these girls get the education they deserve. They’re counting on us, and I have no intention of letting them down. I plan to keep working on their behalf, not just for the rest of my time as first lady, but for the rest of my life. I hope you will join me.

First Daughter Malia Obama Chooses to Attend Harvard

Malia Obama chooses Harvard (photo via above average.com)

Malia Obama chooses Harvard (photo via above average.com)

article by Angela Bronner Helm via theroot.com
After much speculation, Malia Obama, the eldest daughter of the President and First Lady has announced her plans to attend Harvard University, but not until 2017.

The White House announced her plans on Sunday, as well as her intention to take a “gap year” so that when she begins, her father will be out of office.

Malia is continuing the tradition of the Obamas who were both Ivy League graduates. Harvard is where both of her parents attended law school, and President Obama graduated from Columbia undergrad and Michelle Obama attended Princeton.

Malia will join a long list of presidential children who have attended the Ivy League school, including John Quincy Adams and his son, John Adams II; Abraham Lincoln’s son Robert; the sons of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt; Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of John F. Kennedy; and George W. Bush, who went to business school there.

The New York Times reports that Malia visited Harvard and a handful of other Ivy League and liberal arts schools last March on the East Coast, but because she accompanied her father to California last month, many believed Stanford was at the top of her list. Apparently Crimson won her heart.

Read more at the New York Times.

The Obamas Return From Cuba in Time to Celebrate Easter Sunday in Historic Virginia Church

ALEXANDRIA, VA — President Obama and his family are celebrating Easter Sunday morning at Alfred Street Baptist Church in Old Town Alexandria, according to TIME magazine and other media reports.  It’s the second year in a row the first family has worshiped at the church on Easter Sunday.

Source: Obamas Celebrate Easter Sunday in Old Town Alexandria…

Watch: 107-Year-Old Virginia McLaurin Entertains with the Harlem Globetrotters

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Virginia McLaurin and the Harlem Globetrotters (YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT)

article by Yesha Callahan via theroot.com

Virginia McLaurin, the 107-year-old woman who danced with President Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama last month, is now hanging out with the Harlem Globetrotters.

On Tuesday, while volunteering at the Roots Public Charter School in Washington, D.C., McLaurin had a chance to meet Moose Weekes and Zeus McClurkin and show them her ball handling and dancing skills. On top of that, McLaurin was also presented with her own jersey with No. 107 on the back. The basketball players also donated 107 tickets to the school so the students can attend an upcoming game.

Take a look at the charming video of McLaurin and the Harlem Globetrotters: