Tag: Lynn Richardson

MC Lyte Joins Board of Trustees at Dillard University, Helps Promote #EducateOurMen Initiative

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Dillard University Board of Trustees Member MC Lyte (photo via eurweb.com)

Philanthropist, rapper and hip-hop pioneer MC Lyte has taken her community involvement to new heights, as she now sits on the board of trustees for Dillard University in New Orleans.

Through her Hip Hop Sisters Foundation, Lyte had previously provided college scholarships to four young women, and this time around, sought to take on a different mission, encouraging black men to pursue their education through the organizations signature initiative, “Educate Our Men,” (#EducateOurMen) born within Dillard.

“More than just a necessity, given the percentages of men to women at Dillard, immediately we just thought how can we raise the awareness of the education to be had at an HBCU [which] is like none other,” said Lyte.

According to Dr. Walter Kimbrough, President of Dillard University, what began a simple meeting of the minds turned into a full fledged opportunity for Lyte to leverage her renowned platform, and implement change on Dillard’s campus.

Dr. Kimbrough passionately shares how he and Lyte’s partnership began.

“Last April MC Lyte’s foundation president, Lynn Richardson, reached out and said MC Lyte wanted to meet with me. I told her okay, let me know what her schedule looks like and I will come out. She said no, we’re coming to you. So they came and indicated that MC Lyte wanted to do something with HBCUs, and has done a scholarship in the past (U. of Wisconsin). So, the idea was to do scholarships for young men to attend Dillard, explains Dr. Kimbrough, “A pleasant surprise. But we kept talking and they wanted to be more involved in Dillard. So we ended up talking about doing a course- I Cram to Understand: Hip Hop, Sex, Gender and Ethical Behavior. It was already on the books at Dillard (minus hip hop) so we just refreshed it. She came and did an open lecture for the campus plus a special session for the class.”

Lyte lectured the course at no costs to the university and stayed in touch with Dr. Kimbrough after the lecture to further discuss the schools needs and how she and her platform may be of assistance.

“Because of her sincere interest, we thought it would be great to have her be part of the board of trustees, said Kimbrough, “ It will be a new experience for her, and I think a good one to learn more about higher education, and she has a platform that can benefit Dillard.”

Lyte speaks highly of Dr. Kimbrough’s sincere passion as well, and both seem excited for the fruits of their blossoming partnership.

“He’s [Dr. Kimbrough’s] always had a really great relationship with hip hop in general, with the culture and a mass amount of respect for what it is that we do, said Lyte,“It feels like a natural collaboration.”

Through this particular initiative with Dillard, the two, are seeking to bring male enrollment numbers up and improve learning outcomes.  Lyte believes Dr. Kimbrough’s moxie and dynamic understanding for the #EducateOurMen cause, makes Dillard the perfect inaugural home for the initiative.

MC Lyte and Denzel Washington at Dillard University (photo via eurweb.com)
MC Lyte and Denzel Washington at Dillard University (photo via eurweb.com)

“For me, there is no other school to do it with but, Dillard,” said Lyte, “Education gives one opportunity, gives an outlook and allows someone to dream of something better– of making their circumstances better, of providing for their families and providing for their children.”

Lyte explained her reason for becoming an artist was always to inspire others and to use any influence gained along the way to shine light on issues that deserved acknowledgment– and hopefully with the help of Dr. Kimbrough, and Dillard University, they will do just that, for a community of people, who Lyte believes, have been overlooked.

Recently, she oversaw the 2015 graduation where acclaimed actor Denzel Washington was the commencement speaker and received an honorary degree.

article by Brittany Dandy via blackenterprise.com (additions via eurweb.com)

Lisa Price, Angela Yee, MC Lyte and More Honored at WEEN Awards

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The 4th annual Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network Awards were held yesterday at New York’s Helen Mills Theater, bringing together a who’s who of powerful women in entertainment to celebrate one another. Honorees included Carol’s Daughter founder Lisa Price, radio personality Angela Yee, hip-hop veteran MC Lyte, financial literacy expert Lynn Richardson, fitness motivator Jeanette Jenkins, and singer Sevyn Streeter.

With past honorees like actresses Vivica A. Fox and Nia Long, radio personality Angie Martinez, and broadcaster Soledad O’Brien, the goal of WEEN is to lift up women who aspire to work in the entertainment business, while awarding those who have made great strides. WEEN’s co-founder and chair, Valeisha Butterfield-Jones, remembers the first moment when she felt she simply had no choice but to empower women.

“Russell Simmons, Common, Dr. Ben Chavis, and Kevin Liles were guests on Oprah in 2006. There was an audience of women and from satellite they brought in women from Spelman talking about the misogyny in the entertainment biz and the Nelly “Tip Drill” video,” she says. “I felt like I had this huge responsibility to do something. I didn’t know what ‘do something’ meant. But I knew I was too close and too involved to be silent.”

Butterfield-Jones set out to make a difference. Inviting 40 women of power to a rooftop in New York to discuss issues pertaining to women in the business, the turnout more than doubled expectations: 121 women showed up to support, collaborate, and speak up. The success continued. “At the first major WEEN event at the Hammerstein Ballroom, I was super nervous. And when I arrived I saw a line of girls, thousands down 34th Street. And it was another aha moment,” says Butterfield, who served in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2011 as deputy director of public affairs for International Trade. “Cause this wasn’t just something we thought could work and thought was needed. The evidence was here. Young women were crying for support and mentorship.”

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