Tag: Willow Smith

Former White House Staffer Lauren Christine Mims is Turning Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” into Curriculum for Black Girls

Lauren Christine Mims is a former assistant director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans and a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Psychology at the University of Virginia. She’s also one of the many women inspired by Michelle Obama’s Becoming, a New York Times best-selling book that sold more than 1.4 million copies within the first seven days of its release. Now, Mims is turning Obama’s book into a curriculum for black girls to further their learning and development.

“Reading Becoming was like sitting on the couch with your best friend and having one of those soulful conversations about life,” said Mims.

“Reading about how Michelle Obama felt unchallenged in elementary school, teased for the way she spoke, and noticed a difference in how she was perceived during adolescence was affirming.”

Mims hopes the Becoming curriculum will make space for black girls to thrive in a world that often seems to try and deny their humanity. As part of her doctoral research at the University of Virginia, Mims explores what it means to be a young, gifted, black girl in school.

“I disrupt the traditional practice of talking about black girls in pejorative ways and center them and their unique experiences to study how we can support them. For example, my research highlights what ‘Black Girl Magic’ means to black girls; the role teachers play in supporting or stopping the success of black girls; and more about what they are learning and how it makes them feel.”

“If you follow Jada Pinkett Smith, Adrienne Norris, and Willow Smith, think about my interviews as Red Table Talks where black girls are supported in discussing challenges and designing solutions.”

Lauren Christine Mims (photo via blackenterprise.com)

As part of the curriculum, students read Becoming, and watch films featuring black girls in leading roles. Additionally, “we will have important conversations, like about what it means to feel like your presence is a threat or that you do not belong. We will discuss Maddie Whitsett and McKenzie Nicole Adams; two 9-year-old black girls who died by suicide after being subjected to bullying. At the end of the course, students will apply their knowledge to draft new research proposals, policies, and practices,” says Mims.

Beyond the walls of the classroom, Mims says there are four things we can all do to support black girls:

  • Create supportive, affirming, and loving environments by listening to their needs and centering their unique experiences of Becoming;
  • Advocate for, adopt, and enforce school policies and accountability practices that recognize the brilliance of black girls and ensure they are not being pushed out of school.
  • Address the bullying, harassment, and discrimination of black girls and ensure that all students have access to mental healthcare;
  • Care for your own mental health and well-being.

Ultimately, Mims wants girls to know that they are enough. As Michelle Obama writes, “Becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim,” yet there is so much pressure in college to define your identity and pick a career path. It can take a toll on you. Know that you are brilliant and never “underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”

Source: https://www.blackenterprise.com/michelle-obama-becoming-curriculum-black-girls/

Willow Smith and Jaden Smith Join #NODAPL Protesters in North Dakota

willow-smith-protest
Willow Smith at #NODAPL protest (photo via thegrio.com)

article via thegrio.com

Jaden Smith and Willow Smith are the latest in the long list of celebrities to join the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in North Dakota.

Both were seen in protests last week, with Willow posting about their activism under the hashtag #NODAPL and sharing their protests on Instagram. They are both standing in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Indian tribe in protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, a $3.7 billion project which, if finished, plans to start moving 470,000 barrels of crude oil per day through four different states.

The protests stem from the tribe’s desire for the pipeline not to disrupt their reservation.

To see more, go to: http://thegrio.com/2016/10/31/jaden-and-willow-smith-join-nodapl-protesters/

LIFESTYLE: GBN Picks for September 2015

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by Lesa Lakin GBN Lifestyle Editor
Lesa Lakin, GBN Lifestyle

I’ve always had this sort of love/hate relationship with the month of September. Part of me feels like September is just a pushy month with attitude. It represents the end of summer fun with a blaring nudge toward back to business, back to school… back to get up and get stuff done!

But if I’m going to keep it positive, September also represents the beginning of beautiful, new and exciting things… and hopefully if you’re in a hot state – some cooler weather. Here are few fun, interesting things happening this month.  Enjoy!

CINEMA

the-perfect-guy

THE PERFECT GUY
September 14; PG-13
Sanaa Lathan, Michael Ealy & Morris Chestnut star in “The Perfect Guy”

Picking the right partner is tough and when a budding relationship ends the “perfect guy” becomes enraged with the woman that ended it – setting his sights on the perfect revenge.
Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CikoxQ4ytI4

Captive

THE CAPTIVE
September 18; PG-13
David Oyelowo and Kate Mara star in “The Captive” based on an inspiring true story.

A hostage (Kate Mara) uses Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life” to convince her desperate captor (David Oyelowo) to put his life on the path to redemption. Watch the trailer here: http://www.captivethemovie.com

MUSIC/PERFORMANCES/EVENTS

audra-950

AUDRA MCDONALD & AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE
September 1 & September 3
Hollywood Bowl
Los Angeles, CA

http://www.hollywoodbowl.com/tickets/american-classics-audra-mcdonald- american-ballet-theatre/2015-09-03

44180-homepage-109444

KEVIN HART
September 17
Honda Center, Anaheim , CA

September 18
L.A. Forum, Inglewood, CA

Check here for more cities and dates available: http://www.ticketmaster.com/Kevin-Hart-tickets/artist/1057637

lenny-kravitz

LENNY KRAVITZ
September 11
Los Angeles, CA
Greek Theater
For more tour dates and cities check here: http://www.lennykravitz.com/tour/

Queen Latifah’s Talk Show Scores Highest Daytime TV Premiere Of The Year

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Queen Latifah’s return to daytime TV kicked off with a bang on Monday.  According to reports, the premiere episode of “The Queen Latifah Show” delivered the biggest debut of the season with a 1.7 rating among households.  “‘Latifah’ pulled at 0.9/5 in the key daytime demo of women 25-54, which marked an 80% spike over its time period averages in that demo last year,” Variety reports, making it “the highest-rated daytime syndie talker premiere since “Dr. Oz” in 2009.”

“It’s incredibly exciting to see such a positive response to the show we’ve been crafting for the past year,” executive producer Corin Nelson said in a press release. “And it’s just the beginning of how we plan to showcase all of Latifah’s talents and the quality of guests and entertainment this show will give viewers every day.”  During a previous interview with the Associated Press, Queen Latifah said she’s more concerned about her show’s content than its ratings.

“I’m not trying to throw myself out there to get ratings,” she said. “I’m really more interested in building something that’s entertaining to people.”  “I learned I really have to be true to myself,” she added. “I want to go out there and do something that feels like me every day and is something I’m comfortable with and excited about.”

The  season premiere  of ”The Queen Latifah Show” featured an appearance by John Travolta and performance by Willow Smith. Jamie Foxx, Sharon Stone, Will Smith and Jake Gyllenhaal are scheduled to appear on upcoming episodes.

article by Myeisha Essex via hellobeautiful.com

Angela Davis Documentary Brings Life Of Revolutionary To Big Screen

 

Willow Smith, Jaden Smith, producer Sidra Smith, director Shola Lynch, actors Will Smith, Angela Davis and Jada Pinkett Smith attend the 'Free Angela & All Political Prisoners' premiere during the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival at Roy Thomson Hall on September 9, 2012 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

From Ebony.com: Free Angela and All Political Prisoners, a new film by Shola Lynch, in which Angela Davis, 68, speaks openly for the first time in forty years about the tumultuous events of her twenties, debuted at this week’s Toronto International Film Festival. Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, who introduced the doc at the festival, just announced that their Overbrook Entertainment have partnered with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation as executive producers of the documentary about the scholar who came to embody Black power and Black radical feminism. Continue reading “Angela Davis Documentary Brings Life Of Revolutionary To Big Screen”

Jada Pinkett Smith Speaks Against Human Trafficking To Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — Actress and activist Jada Pinkett Smith urged Congress on Tuesday to step up the fight against human trafficking in the U.S. and abroad.  The actress testified during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing that she plans to launch a campaign to raise awareness and spur action against human trafficking and slavery. She said the “old monster” of slavery “is still with us,” almost 150 years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation that freed slaves in the U.S.

“Fighting slavery doesn’t cost a lot of money. The costs of allowing it to exist in our nation and abroad are much higher,” the actress said. “It robs us of the thing we value most, our freedom.”  She said the issue was brought to her attention by her daughter Willow, 11, who sat nearby with actor Will Smith, Pinkett Smith’s husband and Willow’s father. The Smiths all wore blazers over T-shirts that read, “Free Slaves.” The hearing room was filled mostly with young people, some trying to take photos of the famous family.

With her father’s arm around her, Willow remained attentive to her mother’s testimony and often whispered to her father. At least 30 minutes into the hearing, Will wrapped his gray blazer around Willow.  The actress called for an extension of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which provides funding to combat trafficking and help trafficking victims. The act also created a task force, chaired by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, which coordinates among federal agencies to implement policies against human trafficking.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., pledged to try to gather bipartisan congressional support to further fund the act.

The State Department estimates that at least 14,500 people are trafficked to the U.S. annually.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.