Tag: philanthropy

NoVo Foundation to Invest $90,000,000 in Young Women of Color in the US

A Long Walk Home, a Chicago-based non-profit that uses art to educate young people, is one of the NoVo Foundation’s grantees. (Image credit: A Long Walk Home)
A Long Walk Home, a Chicago-based non-profit that uses art to educate young people, is one of the NoVo Foundation’s grantees. (Image credit: A Long Walk Home)

article by Breanna Edwards via theroot.com

The NoVo Foundation, which supports initiatives that focus on girls and women, announced Wednesday that it will be making a seven-year, $90 million commitment in order to combat the systemic and institutional inequalities that young women and girls of color face in the United States.

The foundation, which was created by Warren Buffett‘s son Peter Buffett and daughter-in-law Jennifer Buffett, signaled that the funds will support grassroots programming and advocacy, “as well as national-level policy and culture change efforts, that are girl-led, girl-driven and designed to address the systemic and institutional challenges faced by girls and young women of color across the country,” a press release notes.

“Inherently, girls and young women of color already hold incredible power and potential. This work is about dismantling the barriers that prevent them from realizing that potential and leading us toward a truly transformative movement for change,” Jennifer Buffett said, according to the release.

“Our goal is to create the conditions for change by advancing the work of the real experts in this movement: girls and young women of color and the advocates working with them,” Peter Buffett added.

The foundation intends to launch a series of regional learning sessions across the country in order to hear directly from girls and young women of color themselves, as well as from their advocates.

“This announcement is made possible because of decadeslong leadership and activism by women of color,” NoVo Executive Director Pamela Shifman told Forbes. “This is a breakthrough moment, and we want to make sure it translates into lasting and meaningful change.”

Read more at the NoVo Foundation and Forbes.

Virginia McLaurin, the 106-Year-Old Who Danced With Obama, Receives Donations and Support From Community

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama with Virginia McLaurin, 106 (photo via newsone.com)

article via newsone.com

Centenarian Virginia McLaurin may have made our hearts melt when she met President Obama last month during a Black History Month event, but now it’s the 106-year-old’s Washington D.C. community making her smile.

McLaurin, who went viral after dancing joyfully with the President and First Lady Michelle Obama, may appear full of spunk, but friend and neighbor Deborah Menkart told the Huffington Post that it’s a bit difficult for her to climb the stairs to her apartment.

Menkart, who also conducts oral interviews with McLaurin, decided to start a crowdfunding campaign to assist her friend, who she said is set on maintaining her own independence.

From ABC News:

“She wants to maintain her independence and be close to her church,” McLaurin’s friend and neighbor Deborah Menkart told ABC News today. “In order for her to stay close to her church and have a place that’s accessible to a person of her age, she needs to raise funds. We’ve been getting an outpouring from people that said they want to help.”


“This donations page was created so that we can all help her have the resources she needs to live comfortably and to continue her active role in the community,” according to the page titled, “Support for Ms. Virginia McLaurin” on YouCaring.com.

And active she is. McLaurin is a volunteer in an early childhood classroom, serving as a foster grandmother, and is also an advocate of the tenants’ rights organization, Latino Economic Development Center.

So far, the community has donated more than $18,000 to the YouCaring fund. Menkart hopes to reach $50,000 for “core necessities like health care” and comfortable, wheelchair accessible housing, she told ABC News.

You can show your support for McLaurin here.  To see her meet the Obamas if you haven’t, watch below:

Anonymous Donor Pays Homeless Chicago Family’s Rent For a Year For Christmas

For those who may have wondered if there’s any good left in the world, just turn to Chicago woman LaToya Ellis as proof there are still people with kind hearts.

The mother of three fell on hard times when she was laid off from her managerial position at the fast-food sandwich chain Jimmy Johnsand later evicted from her apartment. Ellis stayed with friends and family for a while, but eventually moved into a homeless shelter.

Ellis’ story was then covered by local TV Station ABC 7, which quickly went viral with many wondering how they could lend a helping hand. Ellis, who is also an advocate for the homeless, was overwhelmed by the support, but quickly received the best Christmas present when a donor called Ellis and said he’d cover a year’s worth of rent in the neighborhood of her choice.

“It’s indescribable. I didn’t know how to process it,” Ellis said, recalling her reaction when she received the phone call. “No one has ever done anything like that for me.”

Her new home now allows for her children to have their own rooms, and since the gracious gift from the anonymous donor, good samaritans have also offered basic needs such as household supplies, gifts for the children and job services.

Ellis plans to use her year wisely by saving money to open a catering business and eventually finish up her bachelor’s degree. She also intends to spread the goodwill.

“Most of all, I just want to pay it forward,” she said. “I’m going to continue advocating, I’m going to continue volunteering — it’s not just about my family.”

article by Shenequa Golding via vibe.com

Idris Elba Joins Cast Of “Star Trek Beyond” and Charity Initiative Omaze.com (VIDEO)

In the video above, Idris Elba joins “Star Trek” cast members Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, and John Cho telling viewers to support the cast’s charity initiative at omaze.com for a chance to win a walk-on role in the next movie by entering with a donation of 10$ that will go to support one of nine global philanthropic organizations.

(Photo courtesy omaze.com)
(Photo courtesy omaze.com)

Elba pops up toward the end of the video and adds a little fun flavor with some unexpected dance moves.

There still isn’t any specific information about his role in the film, but it’s Idris Elba, so it should be good. Star Trek Beyond is set for release on July 8, 2016.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)



Usher Partners with Yoobi to Offer Back-To-School Collection at Target, Donates to Classrooms in Need for Each Product Sold

HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 09:  Musician Usher attends Yoobi X Usher VIP Launch Event at Siren Studios on July 9, 2015 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Yoobi)
HOLLYWOOD, CA – JULY 09: Musician Usher attends Yoobi X Usher VIP Launch Event at Siren Studios on July 9, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Yoobi)

According to Billboard.com, Usher was in Hollywood on Thursday evening to celebrate the launch of the Grammy Award-winning singer’s collaboration with year-old Los Angeles-based school supplies company Yoobi, co-founded by CEO Ido Leffler.

480162630“Mixing street smarts with school smarts” is the slogan for Yoobi X Usher, a new back-to-school collection being sold at Target exclusively and on Yoobi.com. Curated by Usher and designed by artist Jonni Cheatwood, the collection features folders, pencil cases, composition books and binders splattered with vibrant slashes of pink, yellow-green, black and gray. For every product purchased, one product will be donated to a classroom in need. “So it’s philanthropic in addition to culturally just being cool,” says Usher.

When asked why he partnered with Yoobi, Usher said, “Preparing future leaders through my New Look Foundation has always been about having the proper tools to succeed in life. If they don’t have the tools, young men and women from underserved communities can’t even begin to understand the idea of having a new or different perspective. So that’s where this collaboration came together: giving young people the tools and supplying them with hope.”

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

Wells Fargo Donates $250,000 to the Urban League for Save Our Sons Training Program

Urban League Save Our Sons
Urban League Save Our Sons

ST. LOUIS — The Urban League announced a $250,000 grant from Wells Fargo & Co., parent company of St. Louis-based Wells Fargo Advisors, to support the Save Our Sons workforce training program for African Americans and other men aged 21 and over residing in Ferguson and surrounding North St. Louis County communities.

“We are very grateful to Wells Fargo for joining the Urban League in partnership to help young African American men and others find viable jobs in the St. Louis area,” said Michael P. McMillan, President and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc.

The Urban League’s Save Our Sons initiative is a workforce and job training program that will serve up to 500 men in St. Louis County over the next two years.

“Wells Fargo is committed to the communities in which our customers and team members live and work,” said Mary T. Mack, President of Wells Fargo Advisors. “By providing resources and support to the Urban League and the ‘Save our Sons’ program, we can help the North County community begin to create long-term economic growth and quality of life for the families who live there.”

Save Our Sons is an extension of the Urban League’s Workforce Investment Act program (WIA), a federally funded initiative that has reached 6,000 St. Louis high school students. Training sessions will include everything from public speaking and team-building to emergency financial preparation and health care and will be held across North St. Louis County.

To enroll in Save Our Sons, please contact Herta Shikapwashya, Urban League Vice President, at (314) 679-3500.

The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis is a social service and advocacy organization that works to fulfill its mission of Empowering Communities and Changing Lives. Programs are offered in the areas of Economic Empowerment, Meeting Families Basic Needs, Educational Quality and Equality and Civic Engagement and Social Justice.

Source: Business Wire

article via gbmnews.com

Celebrities Support The “Powered By Breakfast NYC” and “No Kid Hungry” Campaign – You Can Too!

Government Assistance Programs Aid Underprivileged Communities In New York State

All children in America deserve a good breakfast. It’s hard to argue with that idea, right? Well, 1 in 5 children in New York City alone struggles with hunger. Thankfully, according to act.mtv.com, the No Kid Hungry campaign is pulling in some big-name supporters for “Powered by Breakfast NYC.”

Watch how NYC children are affected by this issue:

The “Powered by Breakfast NYC” campaign hopes to pressure Mayor de Blasio to make breakfast part of the school day for all New York Public School students, which would essentially allow an additional 825,000 kids in the city to start the day with a healthy, nutritious meal.

Some Hollywood celebrities got involved: Jeff BridgesAmanda SeyfriedDax ShepardKristen Bell, and Sarah Hyland all sent tweets to the mayor to ask him to support the “Powered by Breakfast NYC” campaign, and Bridges starred in a PSA to support the cause.

Although free breakfast is available in NYC right now, less than 25 percent of kids are actually eating the meal because it’s served in the cafeteria before the bell rings – when so many children are in transit to school.

And it’s not just their stomachs that will be affected by eating breakfast. Children who eat breakfast reportedly score “17.5% higher on math tests, attend 1.5 more days of school each year and are 20% more likely to graduate high school.”

So what changes can be made to make sure kids are getting the most important meal of the day? If breakfast is served when students get to class, as it is in the pilot program mentioned in the video above, it could service all students present. Schools could also look into getting a “grab-n-go” type of breakfast, which will allow students to grab the food from the cafeteria and eat it on the way to and in class, right after the bell rings.

You can learn more about the campaign here. To sign the petition to support the campaign, click here.  To donate or learn about other ways raise funds for NYC or your own local schools, click here.

article by Claire Biggs (additions by Lori Lakin Hutcherson)