It’s been nearly 12 years since Tamron Hall lost her sister Renate to an act of domestic violence. Found beaten and floating face down in a pool in Houston, Hall has since devoted her time to advocating for domestic violence victims and speaking out of the issue.
To honor Renate and take help others dealing with the same issue, the Today co-host decided to partner with non-profit Safe Horizon, launching “The Tamron ♥ Renate Fund” in October, which is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Aimed at providing support for victims, the fund educates their friends and family members so they can learn how to become a strong support system.
In addition to the fund offering educational courses and offering resources like shelter and legal expenses for victims, families can call Safe Horizon’s 24-hour hotline (1-800-621-HOPE (4673)) as another alternative to learning how they can help victims.
A 10-year-old girl from Queens, NY was constantly being bullied about her weight, and decided to put her sewing machine to work and designed a plus-size clothing line that debuted at New York Fashion Week.
Egypt Ufele, Ify for short, says she was inspired to start designing clothes after she was bullied at school. Ify told the Today Show that she wanted to turn the “negative attention into positive attention,” by embracing her style and creativity to start her own fashion line for people of all shapes and sizes.
Ify’s Instagram account is aptly called bullychasers, and she named her line “Chubiiline” to not only embrace herself, but also to make the world realize, chubby isn’t negative. To see video of Ufele and her story, click here:
Tracy Morgan has been on the mend from last year’s accident — and will be ready to return to TV this fall.
The actor/comedian will host “Saturday Night Live” on October 17, marking his first major appearance since suffering extensive injuries in a deadly accident — involving a Walmart truck and a limousine-bus — that killed his good friend, comic James McNair.
“SNL” announced this exciting news on Monday in a tweet. In June, Morgan, a former “SNL” cast member, told NBC’s “Today” show that he hoped to return to work as soon as he could, saying, “When I’m there, you’ll know it. I’ll get back to making you laugh. I promise you.”
Looks like he’s keeping his promise.
Hopefully before or soon after his “SNL” appearance, Morgan will accept his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – an honor that was announced this June. Recipients of Walk of Fame awards have two years to schedule star ceremonies from the date of selection before they expire. Upcoming star ceremonies are normally announced ten days prior to dedication on the official website www.walkoffame.com.
article by Lauren Morass via cbsnews.com; additions by Lori Lakin Hutcherson
Only Al Roker could make 34 hours of live uninterrupted weather completely entertaining and inspiring. The Today Show’s meteorologist set out to break the Guinness Book World Record to earn money through his Crowdrise campaign for the United Service Organizations (USO). Roker started his #Rokerthon on Thursday, November 13 and finished just this morning, earning over $70,000 in donations.
Keeping the momentum going seemed to come pretty easily to Roker as he reported the weather all over the world. Several celebrities including actors Alan Alda, Candice Bergen, fellow weatherman Sam Champion, singer Nick Lachey and writer/producer Aaron Sorkin stopped by to lend their support.
Once it was over, the ever-energetic Roker said, “I don’t feel that tired.” He even managed to stick around for some of the Today show taping after his segment wrapped – a trouper (for the troops!) through and through.
Academy Award-Winner Lupita Nyong’o, whose speech on beauty went viral a few months ago, graces this week’s cover of People Magazine, which celebrates the “50 Most Beautiful” People of 2014.
England’s Duchess Kate Middleton and fellow Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence were also considered for the honor, but Nyong’o was named Most Beautiful, as was revealed this morning on the Today Show(click link to see video).
Nyong’o says of the cover: “It was exciting and just a major, major compliment…I was happy for all the girls who would see me on [it] and feel a little more seen.”
The 31-year-old actress, whose powerful portrayal of Patsey in 12 Years A Slave had Hollywood buzzing, became the 2014 red carpet season’s “It” girl. And, although she was recently named the latest Lancome ambassador, Nyong’o prefers “when I have been called beautiful without one drop of makeup on.”
Homeless for three years, Ressurrection Graves vividly remembers the week she slept in her car, waiting for beds to become available at a Washington, D.C., homeless shelter. It was the week of Aug. 23, 2011, when a 5.8 earthquake shook the Virginia area and Hurricane Irene battered the East Coast with wind and rain. “I prayed and was asking God how this could end,” she told TODAY.com. “It was like, ‘Make it stop!’”
When beds finally became available at the shelter, Ressurrection checked in. And there she met Deven Graves, the “kind” man with whom she would leave homelessness behind and start an organization that is helping people caught in a cycle of poverty, including more than 75 homeless individuals so far this year.
“I had this guy staring at me,” Ressurrection recalled of her first encounter with Deven. “It felt like he was looking into my soul. It’s certainly not what you’re expecting in the environment I was in.”
In an interview with TODAY’s Lester Holt on Saturday, Graves added to the story and said she “certainly did not go to a shelter to look for a man,” but the pair had an instant connection that she called “magical.” Deven, a veteran, had a difficult time making the transition from military to civilian life. That and the death of a family member left him feeling “a little bit lost,” Ressurrection said. He was living at the shelter while working construction jobs and looking for something more permanent.
Deven wooed her over a game of chess, and asked if she would edit his resume. As an entrepreneurial-minded mother who owned her own massage business before she fell on hard times, Ressurrection was impressed. But she didn’t want to get serious until they were out of the shelter. It didn’t take long. After a month, Ressurrection and Deven saved up enough money from their jobs to move out. Their first date was “romantic and affordable,” a picnic at a park near the water.
Five months later, Deven proposed. They decided to hold a wedding ceremony on a day of special significance: the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech.
So on Aug. 28, 2013, two years to the date after Ressurrection and Deven played their first game of chess, the couple exchanged vows on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial as they heard President Obama‘s voice echoing across the water during his speech at the Lincoln Memorial.
“I felt nothing but peace and joy,” Deven said. “It was a blessing.”
NBC News’ Tamron Hall has joined Today as an official co-host for the morning show. Hall’s new gig was announced on the telecast Monday morning. She will join Al Roker, Natalie Morales and Willie Geist for morning show’s 9 a.m. hour. Hall, a longtime MSNBC anchor and regular fill-in on the show, recently interviewed Hugh Jackman and Mariah Carey and has spent time in the Today social network-themed Orange Room.
“We’re really excited to officially welcome Tamron into the Today family,” said Don Nash, Executive Producer in a statement. “She brings wit, enthusiasm and a keen sensibility to an all-around fantastic team, and I think Tamron, Al, Natalie and Willie will have a lot of fun together hosting the third hour.”