Common Will Host Imagine Justice Concert to Advocate for Criminal Justice Reform

Common is hosting a star-studded community concert in Sacramento to advocate for criminal justice reform!

The concert, called Imagine Justice, will be held on August 21 and will feature performances from J. Cole, Goapele, Los Rakas, Syncopated Ladies,  and Common himself! Van Jones, DeVon Franklin and Bryonn Bain are also set to speak.Imagine Justice is a free concert for the community, with over 30,000 people registered to attend!  It sounds like it’s going to be an amazing time, and will also continue to spark discussion and action towards criminal justice.

The day after, Common will join several organizations in the State Capitol to meet with the governor, caucuses, and other legislators to discuss upcoming bills. Then he’s going to head to Folsom State Prison to perform for the men there, along with Goapele and Mike Epps. So he’s definitely busy trying, and has been for quite some time, to evoke changes specifically when it comes to mass incarceration and reform bills.

The criminal justice system in America is definitely broken, and events like this continue the dialogue and education that need to happen. It’s awesome that Common uses his platform to speak out on criminal and social justice and is making change across this country!

 

Words of Wisdom: “Be Stronger Than Your Inner Critic”-Aja Naomi King

Aja Naomi King is a force to be reckoned with as Michaela Pratt on ABC‘s How to Get Away with Murder. With such an amazing breakout role and other great moments in her blossoming career, it’s hard to believe that Aja would sometimes battle her own inner critic. But even the strongest people struggle with self-doubt.

Honored earlier this year at ESSENCE’s 10th Annual Black Women in Hollywood event, Aja admitted that she felt that she didn’t deserve the award and battles with self-doubt about her abilities and achievements regularly.“I don’t know why I’m so eager to undermine my own talents. I guess because it feels easier to reduce my abilities than to step into the greatness of my purpose,” she revealed. However, she stated boldly that while her inner critic is strong, she is STRONGER. “In order for me to survive in this industry and in this world, in order for me to thrive, I have to stop believing that the root of my talent is a tree growing inside of someone else’s yard,” she said.

Watch the moving speech below!

Lawd, if this isn’t my story! I’ve admitted that I struggle with my own self-doubt, and how it’s kept me not only from being proud of my achievements, but kept me from going after new opportunities. That feeling of not being good enough always comes up for me. How many of you can relate? Often times, we are our own worst critic. After watching this speech, I realized that that inner critic may not ever completely go away, but I can make up in my mind that I’m going to press forward anyway!

Regardless of any self-doubt, I’m stepping into the greatness of my purpose, believing that even more amazing things are coming for me. Do you believe that for yourself?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments! 

Imperfectly,

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Bruno Mars to Donate $1 Million to Flint Water Crisis

Bruno Mars is making a huge donation towards the Flint water crisis!

The singer said at his Detroit show on Aug. 12 that he would be donating $1 million from the concert to aid those affected by Flint. Along with tour promoter Live Nation, the funds will go directly to The Community Foundation of Greater Flint.

“I’m very thankful to the Michigan audience for joining me in supporting this cause,” Bruno said in a statement. “Ongoing challenges remain years later for Flint residents, and it’s important that we don’t forget our brothers and sisters affected by this disaster.”

It’s so terrible that this crisis continues in Flint even years later, but good that people have still not forgotten about this city and its people. Kudos to Bruno for making this donation to continue to assist them!

 

Rihanna Collabs with Bike Sharing Program Ofo to Give Bikes, Scholarships to Malawi

Rihanna is big on the importance of education, even meeting with French president Emmanuel Macron recently to discuss the subject. Now the singer, collaborating with bike-sharing program Ofo through her own Clara Lionel Foundation, has created a five-year partnership to provide bikes and scholarships to students in Malawi!

The scholarships will help to pay for schooling beyond high school. The bikes will assist on cutting down on the long walks these students, especially the young ladies, have to make just to get to school. Some students, and teachers as well, have already been provided with some bikes to help get to class on time.

As a global ambassador for the Global Partnership for Education, Rihanna went to Malawi this year, where advancement in school is very low (only 8% of kids go on to secondary school). So it’s clear that she has a heart for these people, and wants to see them have more opportunities, especially the children. 

In addition to helping Malawi, Ofo is working with the CLF to give scholarships to students in China, Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, and Rihanna’s own native land, Barbados, who have been accepted to colleges in the States.

It’s really cool to me just how much Rihanna has been able to do charity wise since starting the CLF in 2012. Her foundation has done quite a bit specifically in education and healthcare, causes near and dear to her, and I love reading about it. I look forward to what else she and her team contributes to making this world a better place!

George and Amal Clooney Commit To Helping Syrian Refugee Kids Get Their Education

George and Amal Clooney have committed to helping Syrian refugee children get their education in Lebanon!

The couple’s foundation, The Clooney Foundation for Justice , is collaborating with Google and HP to support UNICEF, and the Lebanese ministry of education to open seven “second shift” schools for these kids (afternoon classes). With a collective $3.25 million donation from the three organizations, this project will help to pay for transportation, school supplies, computers, content, curriculum and teacher training for 3,000 currently out-of-school refugee students! These classes will be exclusive to Syrian kids to help them not only get up to speed with the other Lebanese children, but also to help them deal with their internal turmoil from their trauma.syrian refugee children

“Thousands of young Syrian refugees are at risk — the risk of never being a productive part of society. Formal education can help change that,” George and Amal said in a statement. “That’s our goal with this initiative. We don’t want to lose an entire generation because they had the bad luck of being born in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Currently, over 200,000 Syrian refugee children in Lebanon are out of school. This program will thankfully help a small portion of them, but hopefully more is done to help these children pursue education from other organizations and companies. Kudos to George, Amal and their foundation for lending a hand!

 

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