Tag: United Negro College Fund

Beyoncé Collaborates With Olivier Rousteing to Create Balmain x Beyoncé Collection to Benefit United Negro College Fund

Beyoncé Knowles.(Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

via vogue.com

Just before Coachella was rechristened Beychella, Beyoncé Knowles and Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing had an idea. It happened in a rehearsal, while Beyoncé and her dancers were practicing in their Balmain-made looks inspired by the marching band uniforms of America’s historically black colleges and universities. “When she saw all the dancers loving the outfit—and she was loving her own outfit—she realized that what we were creating on stage for her, for all the dancers, was something really impactful,” says Rousteing. It clicked: Why not make a Beyoncé x Balmain collaboration that could make those poignant graphics available to all of Bey’s fans clamoring for a piece of history?

On Friday, July 13, Balmain will launch a three-piece Balmain x Beyoncé collection in its Paris flagship, with the items going on sale on balmain.com and beyonce.com the following day. Comprised of the yellow and pink sweatshirts Beyoncé wore on stage at Coachella, the collection also includes a black tee with the same sorority-inspired graphic.

“I worked really long with her on the Beychella moments, and the fact that we can release this collaboration that is based on our creativity, Beyoncé and I, is really a big, big step for fashion and music together,” continues the designer. “Beyoncé, she’s such a perfectionist; she’s someone that is so strong and has such a great point of view. She’s about feminism, empowering women, and the idea of bringing that collaboration where we can share the same ideas, the same vision of music, the same vision of fashion, the same vision of what is going on in the world, it’s more than just clothes. It’s a strong message, and I’m really proud to be a part of that.”

He continues: “Sometimes, you create a moment, and it’s just one moment. With the clothes that we are creating now, it’s going to be a moment that keeps going and going and going. This is something really important. Everybody is always telling me about millennials or about the future—this is the future. This is making sure that these iconic moments talk to the young people. This is something important and this collaboration is talking to the new generation and saying you can get that piece, you can be a part of the history.”

The message, as Rousteing tells it, is to never stop dreaming. He relates Beyoncé’s global success, her message of standing against racism and standing for women, as something he wishes he had growing up in France. “This to me feels really emotional because, as you know, I’m of mixed race. I’m black and my parents are white. I grew up in France without having a real identification of being black and being an adult. I couldn’t see myself in the future, in a way, because there were not so many people in the ’80s or early ’90s that could show me a direction,” he says. “For me, working with Beyoncé, it’s more than only music. It’s about history, working with a woman that’s going to be part of the history and has made her own revolution, not only in music, not only in fashion. She is an icon to an entire generation and so many more generations can follow the steps of Beyoncé and say, ‘You give us hope, you make us dream.’ ”

Proceeds from the collaboration will benefit the United Negro College Fund, following Beyoncé’s $100,000 donation to four historically black colleges after her Coachella set. “The donation was the main goal of this collaboration,” says Rousteing. “We don’t forget where we come from. This is really, really important—I come from an orphanage, you know. I think there is something really emotional about our collaboration.”

Balmain x Beyoncé will be available on July 13 at Balmain’s Paris flagship and from July 14 online and at select retailers; tee, $290; sweatshirts, $550–$1,790

Read more: https://www.vogue.com/article/beyonce-x-balmain-coachella-collaboration

REVIEW: Jordan Peele Provokes Thought in His Comedy-Horror Masterpiece “Get Out”

“Get Out” written and directed by Jordan Peele (photo courtesy Universal)
by Flynn Richardson

Jordan Peele is the quiet superhero I’ve been waiting for. I say quiet because his movie “Get Out” sneaked up on me. Not that there wasn’t noise surrounding this film… there was… everyone was talking about it. It had a perfect positive review score on Rotten Tomatoes until one guy’s negative take ended the streak. What can I say… everyone’s a critic – including me.

To summarize, “Get Out” is about a young, black photographer named Chris who is dating a white girl named Rose, and the duo depart for the weekend to visit Rose’s family (the Armitages) at their sprawling, suburban estate. Chris has initial concerns about the trip because Rose never mentioned to her family that she was dating a black man; however, Rose assures Chris that her family is not racist, and he therefore should not have anything to worry about.

Upon arrival the family seems normal enough; they are progressive, nice, and even border on entertaining. But as the plot furthers and their racism becomes increasingly revealed, the movie transforms from a fish-out-of- water “meet the parents” story into a spine-chilling thriller involving blood, murder, and hypnotic enslavement.

Among the film’s numerous allusions to racism – the policeman’s unwarranted request for Chris’s ID; the family’s employment of only black help; Rose’s brother’s assessment of Chris’s inherent athletic abilities – one quotation that particularly piqued my interest was the ending line of the official trailer: “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste.”

This slogan, coined in 1972 by Arthur Fletcher, head of the United Negro College Fund, was important for two reasons: 1) it was created to promote the funding of scholarships for underprivileged black youth who would otherwise be unable to afford college and 2) it acknowledged that the potential of a mind does not hinge upon the race of its host, and that every mind should thereby be entitled to further cultivation.

What I find most interesting about Peele’s inclusion of this slogan (and its periodic repetition throughout the film and trailer) is that it perfectly echoes the commentary Peele makes about racism through this movie. Minds of black people are literally wasted as they are hypnotically enveloped within “The Sunken Place” – a darkness in which the mind is deprived of control over the body, and this imposed deprivation is largely representative of the systemic racism that plagues our society.

Although the capability of a mind is not dictated by race, the system has nonetheless created the illusion of white superiority by marginalizing black people and casting them into a void of shadows. And, while an occasional glimmer of reality (in this case, provided by the flash from Chris’s camera) may motivate black people to sometimes fight against it, the system ultimately triumphs in restoring its prejudiced order.

Speaking from my perspective – a bi-racial, brown-skinned teenager living in Los Angeles – I have been fortunate enough to not have personally experienced the same degree of marginalization as other members of the black community, or even within my own family. But this movie nonetheless still displays several facets of my experience. I attend a school of predominantly white students, and I can attribute many of my own feelings of being “other” to a feeling of being overshadowed by my white peers. I say many, and not all, because the alternative is a feeling of scrutinization that stems from being the only black kid in the room. Peele illustrates this aspect extremely well through the Armitages’ fixation on Chris. What I think therefore is so special about this film is that it weaves together these (and so many other) different dimensions of discrimination, and pretty much anyone of color can find some identification with Chris’s experience.

For those who still have not seen this movie, the purchase of that ticket would undoubtedly be money well-spent. If thought-provoking and intelligently constructed films intrigue you, watch “Get Out.” If films that tackle racism move you, watch “Get Out.” Even if you are merely into the horror genre, watch “Get Out.” From its amazing acting – Chris (Daniel Kaluyaa), Rose (Allison Williams), the brilliantly hilarious TSA agent Rod (Lil Rel Howery), etc. – to its perfect pacing, “Get Out” merits its commercial and critical success for its unique, alluring, and thoughtful portrayal of the underlying horrors that constitute being black in America.

Note: If my antistrophe in the last paragraph was not enough to persuade you (did I mention I’m a college-bound high school senior? Words like “antistrophe” live in my brain daily, so I can’t pass up a chance to use one in context), hopefully the trailer linked below will be:

New UNCF Grant Program Funded by Lilly Endowment Helps Black College Graduates Prepare for Careers

article via jbhe.com

The United Negro College Fund’s Career Pathways Initiative has announced that 24 historically Black or predominantly Black colleges and universities will receive five-year grants totaling $35.3 million to better prepare their students for careers after college. The grants are made possible through funds from the Lilly Endowment.

UNCF CEO Dr. Michael Lomax (photo via AABE)
UNCF CEO Michael L. Lomax (photo via AABE)

The 24 colleges and universities will receive funds for programs to strengthen career advising and mentoring, enhance curriculum focused on career readiness, and to support integrated co-curricular engagement activities. The HBCUs will used the funds to develop a range of academic programs, student internships, industry partnerships, specialty certification programs, and faculty development initiatives.

Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of the UNCF, said that “these colleges and universities show promise in significantly addressing the urgent challenges facing African American college students and graduates. The Career Pathways Initiative will help ensure our graduates are prepared for and are hired into high-paying 21st-century jobs.”

A list of the colleges and universities receiving grants is available here.

To read full article, go to: Major New Grant Program Will Help Prepare Black College Graduates for Careers : The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education

HBCUs Morehouse, Spelman and Clark Atlanta Receive Millions in Grants from Lilly Endowment

HBCU graduates (photo via thegrio.com)

article via thegrio.com

Spelman College, Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University are among the colleges and universities receiving grants as part of the Lilly Endowment.

Spelman will receive $1.2 million, Morehouse will receive $1.2 million, and CAU will receive $1.5 million, according to the United Negro College Fund.

To read more, go to: Morehouse, Spelman and Clark Atlanta receive millions in grants | theGrio

UNCF Teams with Fund II Foundation to Offer New $48 Million Scholarship Program for African Americans in STEM Fields

Now the Fund II Foundation has teamed up with the United Negro College Fund to establish a new scholarship program to help African American students seeking careers in STEM fields. Over the next five years, The Fund II Foundation UNCF STEM Scholars Program will identify 500 African American high school students who are determined to pursue careers in STEM fields. These students will receive scholarships, internships, mentoring, and other tools to help them reach their goals. The Fund II Foundation is contributing $48 million for the STEM Scholars Program. Continue reading “UNCF Teams with Fund II Foundation to Offer New $48 Million Scholarship Program for African Americans in STEM Fields”

Teach For America Marks 25th Anniversary With A Commitment To Recruit More Teachers Of Color

World History teacher Derrick Sanders on Thursday, January 7, 2016. Mr. Sanders, whom graduated from Howard University, is in his first year of being a teacher with the Teach For America program in Dallas. (photo: Brandon Thibodeaux for Education Week)
World History teacher Derrick Sanders on Thursday, January 7, 2016. Mr. Sanders, whom graduated from Howard University, is in his first year of being a teacher with the Teach For America program in Dallas. (photo: Brandon Thibodeaux for Education Week)

article by Nigel Roberts via newsone.com

Some 15,000 guests joined Teach For America at its Washington, D.C. gathering in February to celebrate the organization’s quarter-century anniversary. On this milestone, the group’s army of teachers, alumni, and allies – now numbering 50,000 – commemorated the past, but fixed their eyes on the future.

At the top of TFA’s agenda going forward is recruiting teachers of color to meet the needs of the nation’s exploding Latino student population and African-American pupils who are struggling to close the academic achievement gap.

The ballooning growth of Latinos and the simultaneous decline of the White population have resulted in a significant demographic shift among students. The 2014 – 2015 academic year marked the first time that minority schoolchildren—Latino, African-American, and Asian—outnumbered their White counterparts, Education Week reported.

However, the teaching force has failed to keep pace with this major shift. According to U.S. News, only 17 percent of educators are people of color.

The problem, according to numerous studies, is that minority students perform academically better under the guidance of teachers of their own race or ethnicity.

A study reported by the Washington Post states:

“We find that the performance gap in terms of class dropout and pass rates between white and minority students falls by roughly half when taught by a minority instructor. In models that allow for a full set of ethnic and racial interactions between students and instructors, we find African-American students perform particularly better when taught by African-American instructors.”

Why do minority students tend to perform better with teachers who look like them? The study reported in U.S. News says teachers of color are often better motivated to teach in racially segregated, poor schools. What’s more, they typically have higher academic expectations of their pupils and better understand their culture.

Continue reading “Teach For America Marks 25th Anniversary With A Commitment To Recruit More Teachers Of Color”

Tuskegee University Receives Four Paintings by Benny Andrews

Artist Benny Andrews
Artist Benny Andrews

Tuskegee University in Alabama received a donation of four paintings by the late artist Benny Andrews from the United Negro College Fund. The paintings have a value of more than $100,000.

Andrews is known as an abstract expressionist. Many of his works are images from his childhood in Georgia. Andrews died in 2001.

Grandmother's-Favorite3Brian L. Johnson, president of Tuskegee University, stated that the university “thanks both the UNCF and the Berry Andrews Foundation for this wonderful gift that will further enhance the university’s aesthetic, artistic, and cultural appeal to both students and visitors worldwide. I was Benny Andrews’ wish to share his artworks and legacy to inspire African American artists, art enthusiasts, and students around the country.”

Nene Humphrey, the artist’s widow and president of the Andrews Humphrey Family Foundation said “the placement of these artworks will enhance Benny Andrews’ legacy and provide an opportunity to educate new audiences about this work.”

article via jbhe.com

United Negro College Fund Announces New Michael Jackson and Ray Charles Scholarships

michael-jacksonr-ray-charles
Musical legends Michael Jackson and Ray Charles (photo via eurweb.com)

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is putting the icon status of Michael Jackson and Ray Charles towards a great cause with the establishment of two new scholarship programs.

A press release reveals the Michael Jackson scholarship will provide financial assistance to communication arts and social science students attending a UNCF college/university during the upcoming academic year.

To qualify for the scholarship, high school seniors must plan on enrolling at a UNCF member school in the fall. Proof of acceptance at the UNCF college/university must be submitted. Depending on the financial need of the student as verified by the attending University or College, the scholarship will provide an award totaling up $5,000.

In addition to the Michael Jackson scholarship, the release detailed the intent of the Ray Charles Endowed Scholarship, which is set up to help African-American students with high academic promise that have significant financial need.

Endowment scholarships, which are renewable for up to one year, will be awarded to students who meet the recommended eligibility criteria. Criteria includes students being an African-American junior enrolled full-time at a UNCF member HBCU and having a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. In addition, students must have a demonstrated unmet financial need that is verified by their college or university.

For more details on the Michael Jackson UNCF Scholarship, click here. More information on the Ray Charles Endowment Scholarship can be found here.

article by Qwest7 via eurweb.com

Kevin Hart Awards $50,000 Scholarships to Four Philly High School Seniors

Comedian Kevin Hart has teamed up with the United Negro College Fund to award four Philadelphia high school seniors $50,000 scholarships for their stellar academic performance.

Hart selected the students himself as a way to reward them for their high GPA’s and to alleviate some of the financial stress that a college education can cause.

“This is me stepping up to the plate and saying what you’re doing is dope,” Philly.com reports Hart saying. “You’re dope. You’ve got the opportunity to be the dopest of all dopetivity.”

The Philadelphia native posted a message on his Instagram Saturday congratulating the young scholars saying, “I love my city and I will continue to put on for my city…Congrats to the 4 seniors that I chose. Now go be great!!!!”

This isn’t the first time Hart has used his celebrity wealth and platform to give back to the next generation of young leaders. Last year, the funnyman donated $50,000 to Texas Southern University’s band after hearing that the Tom Joyner Foundation was raising money to help the band see TSU alumnus Michael Strahan inducted into the Football Hall of Fame.

The four winners of Hart’s scholarship will also be flown to Atlanta for the UNCF’s “An Evening of Stars” event hosted by Black-ish star Anthony Anderson. The show will air on BET April 26.

article by Courtney Connley via blackenterprise.com

Disney Pledges $1 Million to United Negro College Fund

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 12.19.10 PMThe Walt Disney Company recently announced a $1 million commitment to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).

The UNCF, one of the leading minority scholarship organizations, will use the money to provide scholarships to outstanding African American students in underserved communities across the country, while expanding educational and career resources for them.  The UNCF traditionally serves low-income youth who are the first in their families to go to college, with more than 50 percent coming from families whose incomes are less than $30,000 per year.

The Walt Disney Company UNCF Corporate Scholars will be selected based on a competitive application process administered by UNCF. To be considered, applicants must be enrolled full-time at a four-year college or university, demonstrate financial need, have a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale, and have an interest in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry.

The application process opens March 16 and closes May 15. Preference will be given to students attending a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) to ensure 50% of each group are derived from these schools.

“UNCF works to ensure our future leaders have the opportunity to obtain the college degrees they need, and our nation needs them to have,” UNCF president and CEO Michael L. Lomax said. “The Walt Disney Company UNCF Corporate Scholars Program expands their academic training into practical experiences, to create a diverse pipeline of college educated professionals poised to assume fulfilling careers in the entertainment industry. The investment we are making in better futures for them now will pay dividends in years to come when they become our next generation of leaders.”

article by Joe Otterson via thewrap.com