Tag: Soledad O’Brien

John Legend Will Be Honored with President’s Award at This Year’s NAACP Image Awards

2015 Billboard Music Awards - Arrivals
John Legend (Source: Jeffrey Mayer / Getty)

John Legend‘s career transcends his success as an artist. Over the past decade, he’s established several philanthropic and social justice organizations where he uses his influence to make a difference in the lives of others.

The “Glory” singer will be presented with the NAACP President’s Award at this year’s NAACP Image Awards.

“His contributions to music and artistic creativity have been recognized by peers and fans worldwide, and he is greatly admired for his humanitarian efforts” said Cornell William Brooks,President and CEO, NAACP.

“Legend remains a true inspiration through his philanthropic work and I am truly proud to honor his altruistic efforts both domestically and internationally by bestowing upon him this year’s NAACP President’s Award” added Brooks.

Previous honorees include Kerry Washington, President Bill ClintonSoledad O’BrienMuhammad Ali and most recently, Spike Lee.

In 2007, Legend established “The Show Me Campaign” with the mission of providing students with a quality education as well as end the school-to-prison pipeline. Similarly, he recently launched, #FREEAMERICA, a multi-year culture change campaign focused on ending mass incarceration.

The nine-time Grammy award winner, Golden Globe and Oscar winner also has a successful production company, Get Lifted Film Co. that strives to provide TV and film content that’s inclusive and inspirational.

Legend, 37 and his wife, model Chrissy Teigen, 30, are expecting their first child this summer. 

Watch Legend accept the coveted honor when the NAACP Image Awards air live on TV One Friday, February 5th at 9pm.

article by Zon D’Amour via hellobeautiful.com

Alicia Keys, John Legend, Pharrell and Others Perform at “Shining A Light: Concert For Progress on Race in America” Airing Tonight on A+E Networks & Several Others

John Legend at "Shining A Light" Concert
John Legend at “Shining A Light” Concert

A+E Networks and iHeartMedia are simultaneously airing “Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America” on Friday, November 20 at 8PM ET/PT.  The sold-out concert was recorded at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA on Wednesday, November 18th, and the two-hour special event will air across the entire A+E Networks portfolio in more than 130 territories globally, including A&E, HISTORY, Lifetime, H2, LMN and FYI, as well as on more than 130 iHeartMedia broadcast radio stations nationwide and the iHeartRadio digital platform.  Additionally, AOL has joined in the simulcast making the historic special event available to anyone with internet access across the globe on AOL.com.

Artists Aloe Blacc, Andra Day, Nick Jonas, Tom Morello, Smokey Robinson and Big Sean join the previously announced performers including Zac Brown Band, Eric Church, Jamie Foxx, Rhiannon Giddens, Tori Kelly, John Legend, Miguel, Pink, Jill Scott, Ed Sheeran, Sia, Bruce Springsteen, Sting and Pharrell WilliamsLL Cool J, Marshall Faulk, Morgan Freeman, George Lopez, Mario Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Kurt Warner and Nick Young are among the presenters joining the telecast.

Alicia Keys has joined John Legend and Pharrell on extraordinary journeys to Baltimore, Ferguson and Charleston, where they met with a diverse group of residents in communities at the center of the national conversation on racial inequality and violence.  Joined by NPR’s Michele Norris with John Legend in Ferguson, award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien with Pharrell Williams in Charleston and ABC News’ Byron Pitts in Baltimore, these visits included intimate discussions and special private performances by each for those most effected.  These incredibly moving, heart wrenching and eye-opening moments will be featured throughout the two-hour concert, as well as in the one-hour special, “Shining a Light: Conversations on Race in America,” airing immediately following the concert on A&E Network and AOL.com at 10pm ET/PT.

To see Alicia Keys perform Donny Hathaway’s “Someday We Will All Be Free”, watch below:

The concert will kick off A+E Networks’ campaign to confront issues of race, and promote unity and progress on racial equity, inspired by the response of the Mother Emanuel family members in Charleston and others working for reconciliation and change around the country.

The concert and the ancillary programming will help raise money for the Fund for Progress on Race in America powered by United Way Worldwide (ShiningALightConcert.com).  The fund will provide grant funding to individuals and organizations fostering understanding, eliminating bias, as well as provide support to Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church and the broader A.M.E. denomination. The fund will support efforts to address racism and bias through public policy change, individual innovation, and community mobilization.

Tickets for the concert on November 18 sold out within 3 hours of the on-sale date raising more than $150,000 to benefit the Fund for Progress on Race in America powered by The United Way Worldwide.

To see a clip of John Legend’s performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” from the event, watch below:

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

#GirlsCan: Soledad O’Brien Teams Up With Covergirl To Empower Young Women To Break Barriers (VIDEO)

Soledad O'Brien Partners with #GirlsCan for Cover Girl (photo via hollywoodreporter.com)
Soledad O’Brien Partners with #GirlsCan for Covergirl (photo via hollywoodreporter.com)

Covergirl has recently launched the second year of their #GirlsCan movement and celebrated it with a video series, produced by journalist and documentarian, Soledad O’Brien. This Covergirl program is a movement with a mission to empower young women to overcome barriers, break boundaries and be the next generation to rock the world!

“Women today are out there breaking barriers and setting records in all sectors of their lives but are still facing challenges that many people wouldn’t expect in the new millennium,” said Soledad O’ Brien. “We are so excited to work with Covergirl and share our series on how these courageous women are changing society. Their struggles are all real and relatable while their stories are inspiring.”

At a time when girls are preparing to go back to school and they, along with their mothers and fathers, are thinking about the future, Covergirl aims to inspire more women and girls to strive to make strides in areas where women are currently underrepresented, from technology and engineering, to media and sports, to entrepreneurship and beyond.

In the first year of #GirlsCan, as part of the $5 million-over-five-years donation, Covergirl collaborated with two non-profit partners to help impact change including Girls Who Code and Soledad O’Brien + Brad Raymond Starfish Foundation.

O’Brien’s Covergirl video series features powerful stories of four women who have faced challenges, forged ahead and defied the odds to achieve their dreams, setting an example for many other women to follow. The pioneering women featured in the series include:

Covergirl Becky G, an inspiring young Latina rap star, who has broken through on the charts in a male-dominated industry.

Geena Rocero, a transgender woman who has not only graced the cover of top magazines and ads for fashion brands, but is also an entrepreneur with her own production company.

Tina Garnanez, a former female military veteran coping with PTSD, who fought for years in the military, where women make up just 15 percent of the population.

Rochelle Ballantyne, college student, and currently the closest female in the United States to achieving the chess title of “Master” —there are only 50 female masters out of 846 in the US!

The series is available to view on the COVERGIRL YouTube channel.

article by Danielle Young via hellobeautiful.com

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Announces a Month-Long Celebration Honoring Civil Rights Legends

Oprah Winfrey and

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network recently announced a month-long celebration in January honoring civil rights legends who paved the way as we approach the 50th anniversary of the historic Selma to Montgomery marches led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The network will air the star-studded television event Oprah Winfrey Presents: Legends Who Paved The Way (Sunday, January 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT) where Oprah Winfrey hosts a gala of events honoring some of the legendary men and extraordinary women of the civil rights movement, the arts and entertainment who made history and redefined what was possible for us all. Honorees include Ambassador Andrew Young, Berry Gordy, Rev. C.T. Vivian, Diane Nash, Dick Gregory, Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., Congressman John Lewis, Rev. Joseph Lowery, Juanita Jones Abernathy, Julian Bond, Marian Wright Edelman, Myrlie Evers-Williams, Quincy Jones, Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte.

On January 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, Oprah sits down for a special episode of her popular series Oprah Prime celebrating the life of Dr. King and the Selma marches 50 years later. The episode features an in-depth conversation with the star of the upcoming film Selma, acclaimed actor David Oyelowo who portrays Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., along with the film’s award-winning director Ava DuVernay. The episode will also feature stories of those who were impacted by the march and their reflections today on that time in American history.

The month of special programming begins on New Year’s Day as NBC News correspondent Tamron Hall hosts Race on The Oprah Winfrey Show with Tamron Hall (Thursday, January 1 at 10 p.m. ET/PT) which highlights those trailblazing Oprah show episodes that elicited shocking audience responses and sparked opportunities for growth towards greater connection, empathy and healing.

Other special programming airing throughout the month include special episodes of Oprah: Where Are They Now? (Thursday, January 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT) which spotlights memorable civil rights newsmakers and Oprah’s Master Class (Sunday, January 4 at 10 p.m. ET/PT) featuring powerful firsthand accounts from iconic “masters” such as Berry Gordy, Cicely Tyson, Dr. Maya Angelou, Diahann Carroll and many more.

In addition, the world television premiere of the OWN original documentary Light Girls will air on Monday, January 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT featuring an in-depth look into colorism and the untold stories of lighter-skinned women around the globe. The documentary features interviews with notable celebrities including Russell Simmons, Soledad O’Brien, Diahann Carroll, india.arie, Iyanla Vanzant, Michaela Angela Davis, Kym Whitley, Salli Richardson-Whitfield and more.

Continue reading “Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Announces a Month-Long Celebration Honoring Civil Rights Legends”

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.”

Continue reading “Lisa Price, Angela Yee, MC Lyte and More Honored at WEEN Awards”

Soledad O’Brien’s New “Black in America: Black and Blue” Documentary on Aggressive Police Tactics to Air 11/18 on CNN

Soledad-O’BrienSoledad O’Brien‘s new documentary “Black in America: Black & Blue” premieres Tuesday, November 18 at 9 PM ET on CNN. The new installment of her “Black in America” series touches a hot button issue, in the wake of the Ferguson, MO shooting and riots. The documentary will portray the personal stories of the men affected by aggressive policing tactics, many of whom were able to document the confrontations in shocking videos.

Among the stunning statistics that O’Brien points out, the NYPD reported made more than 5 million stops between 2002 and 2013.  80 percent of those stops were African American or Latino, and 88 percent of the stops did not result in arrests, summons, or evidence of any crime.

“What is so shocking is that this police practice was used around the country – and in some places still is – with the theory that police were stopping criminals,” said O’Brien. “It’s shocking that the city where this was popularized was stopping so many innocent people.”

See the full press release below:

Continue reading “Soledad O’Brien’s New “Black in America: Black and Blue” Documentary on Aggressive Police Tactics to Air 11/18 on CNN”

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

Soledad O’Brien Joining HBO’s ‘Real Sports’

Broadcast journalist Soledad O'Brien attends Chaka Khan's Birthday Party on March 26, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
Broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien attends Chaka Khan’s Birthday Party on March 26, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — Soledad O’Brien is joining her former “Today” show colleague Bryant Gumbel at HBO’s “Real Sports.” HBO said Wednesday that O’Brien will be a reporter on the monthly magazine show. Her first story, due later this month, is about war veterans who use martial arts to help them cope with post-traumatic stress disorder.

O’Brien most recently was a morning show host on CNN, but the news network has given the program an overhaul that will debut next week. HBO also agreed to a deal with O’Brien’s production company, Starfish Media Group. O’Brien played college rugby, but her experience covering sports is limited.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press

article via thegrio.com

Soledad O’Brien Gives Harvard Speech, Tells Grads Don’t Take Advice, Listen to Your Heart

SEVERAL YEARS AGO when a women’s magazine asked CNN special correspondent and 2013 Harvard Class Day speaker Soledad O’Brien ’88 about the best advice she ever received, she recalled what her tough Cuban mother once told her: “Most people are idiots.”

The words were a bit too harsh to make it into the magazine, but O’Brien said the advice has stuck with her because it rang true: Most people are idiots, she said, because instead of building you up, they will tell you why you will fail.

“Do not listen to others people’s take on the life you should lead,” O’Brien told the audience of seniors, families, and friends gathered in Tercentenary Theatre today for the Class Day ceremony. “By not listening, you can figure out what your heart is telling you to do.”

O’Brien called her own parents excellent role models in not listening. Her Cuban mother and Australian father were a couple in Maryland in 1958, when it was illegal to be in an interracial relationship. As they walked down the street together, they were regularly spit on and called names. When O’Brien—one of six children who all graduated from Harvard—asked her mother how she dealt with such racism, her mother replied that she knew America “was better than that,” and wanted to be part of the change.

Continue reading “Soledad O’Brien Gives Harvard Speech, Tells Grads Don’t Take Advice, Listen to Your Heart”

Soledad O’Brien Named Harvard Distinguished Visiting Fellow

soledad o brien

Soledad O’Brien is going back to her alma mater.  The former anchor of CNN’s now-cancelled morning show “Starting Point” was named a distinguished visiting fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, reports the Huffington Post.

Harvard said O’Brien would spend the 2013-2014 year delving into topics related to public education in America.

“On Appian Way, in the heart of the Ed School campus, a banner reads, ‘Education Is a Civil Right.’ I believe this passionately and look forward to ensuring that right is a reality by working with the students, faculty, and staff at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the rest of the Harvard University community,” O’Brien said. “This appointment is both honor and opportunity.”

O’Brien left CNN’s earlier this year, after network president Jeff Zucker announced his plans for a new program with co-hosts Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan. Although O’Brien left her daily hosting gig, she said she would continue to work with the network by producing documentaries independently with her own production company.

article via eurweb.com