Kerry Washington Stars in “Purple Purse” PSA to Help Victims of Domestic and Financial Abuse (VIDEO)

Women In Film 2014 Crystal + Lucy Awards Presented By MaxMara, BMW, Perrier-Jouet And South Coast Plaza - Show

Olivia Pope may strike fear in the hearts of corrupt politicians in D.C., but it’s Kerry Washington who is the gladiator in real life. This week, she’s bringing attention to the important issue of financial abuse.

What’s financial abuse, you ask? As Love is Respect explains, it is a form of dating abuse and domestic violence that can often be very subtle. This, however, is what you really need to know: “At no point does someone you are dating have the right to use money or [dictate] how you spend it to control you.”

In her PSA for the initiative, Washington notes how “one in four women will be a victim of domestic violence.” She goes on to explain how finances are often “a weapon of choice.” This can include taking away access to cash or destroying someone’s credit.

As an Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Ambassador, Washington designed a bag for the “Purple Purse” initiative. Why purple? It’s the color often associated with domestic violence awareness. And why design a purse? Washington said the purse is symbolic because that’s where you keep everything that is important to you.

According to the Purple Purse website, Washington says she is “extremely proud to wear it (her purse) and to know that it will increase awareness and create conversations around this important issue.”

So how can you help Kerry and her cause? When you donate at least $10 to any organization in the Purple Purse Challenge, you’ll have a chance at winning one of the purses Washington designed.

article by Claire Biggs via act.mtv.com

NBA Star Dwyane Wade Promotes ‘This Is Fatherhood’ Challenge

this is fatherhood challenge
In an effort to promote fatherhood, award-winning filmmaker Art Hooker and former director of President Barack Obama’s Office Of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships Joshua DuBois have teamed up to create the “This Is Fatherhood” challenge.

Launched on May 1st, the challenge targets young Fathers who may need encouragement and support to become better parents. Contestants can submit videos, songs, and essays about fatherhood through June 10th. The winners will receive cash prizes and a trip to Washington, D.C., for a ceremony on Father’s Day.

Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade (pictured) has signed on to promote the challenge. As a Father with primary custody of his two sons, Wade says he is honored by the opportunity. “When I was first [approached to become] involved with the initiative, I was humbled,” Wade said. He noted the President’s fatherhood speeches as further inspiration. “More than that, I was moved by the fact that one of the reasons President Obama was so passionate about this issue is that he grew up without his dad. He, too, has recognized that being a Father is his most-important role.”

Obama’s Chicago speech in February helped inspire the challenge. In it, the President noted how “there are entire neighborhoods where young people, they don’t see an example of somebody succeeding. And for a lot of young boys and young men, in particular, they don’t see an example of Fathers or grandfathers, uncles, who are in a position to support families and be held up and respected.”

Wade appears along with Obama and Jay-Z in a public service announcement promoting “This Is Fatherhood.” Eugene Schneeberg, current director of  the Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, worked with predecessor DuBois to support Obama’s fatherhood program. He is also one of the challenge’s judges.

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“After Earth” Star Jaden Smith Does Canopy Project PSA to Help Save Trees (VIDEO)

Jaden SmithAs part of its mission to protect natural lands and preserve the environment for all people, Earth Day Network developed The Canopy Project. Rather than focusing on large scale forestry, The Canopy Project plants trees that help communities – especially the world’s impoverished communities – sustain themselves and their local economies. Trees reverse the impacts of land degradation and provide food, energy and income, helping communities to achieve long-term economic and environmental sustainability. Trees also filter the air and help stave off the effects of climate change.  

With the reality of increasingly unpredictable weather patterns and more frequent and violent storms and floods, tree cover to prevent devastating soil erosion has never been more important. That’s why, earlier this the year, Earth Day Network made a commitment with the Global Poverty Project to plant 10 million trees over the next five years in impoverished areas of the world. Please join us to help make this commitment a reality.

Accomplishments:  
Over the past three years, The Canopy Project, has planted over 1.5 million trees in 18 countries. In the US, projects to restore urban canopies have been completed in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland, Flint, and Chicago.  In Haiti alone, where earthquakes caused landslides on deforested hillsides, leading to horrific devastation, Earth Day Network planted 500,000 trees. And in three high-poverty districts in central Uganda, we planted 350,000 trees to provide local farmers with food, fuel, fencing, and soil stability.

Our tree plantings are supported by sponsors and individual donations and carried out in partnership with nonprofit tree planting organizations throughout the world. We work in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme’s Billion Trees Campaign. Each tree planted is counted toward A Billion Acts of Green®.

Help Earth Day Network grow the Earth’s canopy by planting trees where they are needed most

Quincy and Rashida Jones Raise Awareness for Prostate Cancer [VIDEO]

Rashida Jones and Quincy JonesThe clip, entitled “Cherishing Life’s Special Moments,” seeks to raise awareness about the importance of speaking with your doctor about prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death for men in the United States, affecting one in six men, according to PCF. In the U.S. alone, 2.5 million American men and their families are currently living with prostate cancer.

“As a father, I cherish the special moments in life and understand how they can fly by in an instant,” said Quincy Jones. “Prostate cancer has affected dear friends and family of mine, so I am honored to be part of this campaign with Stand Up To Cancer and the Prostate Cancer Foundation to reinforce how incredibly important it is for men to talk to their doctors about prostate cancer.”

“I was excited to shoot this PSA with my father,” said Rashida Jones. “We have to protect the men we cherish, so please talk to your fathers, your grandfathers, husbands, brothers and sons and make sure they speak to their doctors about this disease and how to reduce their risk.”

“Men are 40 percent less likely than women to have visited a healthcare provider in the past year…But talking to one’s doctor about prostate cancer is critically important,” said Stand Up To Cancer President & CEO Sung Poblete, PhD, RN.  “We are thrilled to have the father and daughter pair of Quincy and Rashida Jones spread that message through this PSA, and hope it empowers men to speak with their doctors about prostate cancer and when screening is right for them so they can make informed decisions.”

To learn more, visit StandUp2Cancer.org or PCF.org.

article via thegrio.com