Carmelo, LeBron, Dwayne and CP3 Put Their Money Where their Mouths Are

Last night’s 2016 ESPY Awards opened with Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade and Lebron James addressed the killings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and the 5 Dallas police officers.  They urged their fellow athletes to follow in the footsteps of great athletes like, Muhammad Ali, Jesse Owens, Arthur Ashe who served as a model for what athletes should stand for.  Lebron also encouraged them to “speak up, use our influence and renounce all violence and, most importantly, go back to our communities, invest our time, our resources, help rebuild them, help strengthen them, help change them. We all have to do better.”

Let’s take a look at what each of these phenomenal players is doing within their respective communities.

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We Are America ft. John Cena | Love Has No Labels

To love America is to love all Americans. John Cena takes a break between dropping body slams to drop some truth – that patriotism is more than pride of country, it’s love beyond labels.

While the vast majority of Americans consider themselves unprejudiced, many of us unintentionally make snap judgments about people based on what we see – whether it’s race, age, gender, religion, sexuality, or disability. The Love Has No Labels campaign challenges us to open our eyes to our implicit, or unconscious, bias and work to stop it in ourselves, our families, our friends, and our colleagues. Rethink your bias at www.lovehasnolabels.com.

Share your support for love and inclusion by creating your own #WeAreAmerica gif at www.lovehasnolabels.com.

She’s the Boss: Eudoxie Bridges, Unspoken Angels

biopicEudoxie Bridges, a native of the villages of Gabon in West Central Africa, came from humble beginnings and knows what it means to struggle. She was reared in impoverished circumstances, sometimes not even having enough to eat. Enduring various forms of verbal, mental and sexual abuses, Eudoxie prayed to be delivered from the environment that had become common place in the African culture. She was brought to America, only speaking three English words, yet managed to succeed in our educational systems. Read The Rest

The 2nd Annual Iconoclast Dinner Experience (PICS)

Photo Credit: Ken Goodman

Photo Credit: Ken Goodman

Eight food, wine and spirits trailblazers came together at the legendary James Beard House in New York City for the 2nd Annual Iconoclast Dinner Experience.  It was an intimate evening that celebrated the life and legacy of the late James Beard Award winning chef, Patrick Clark and honored an impressive roster of experts of color while guests took part in a gastronomic experience curated by the honorees.

The event also honored trailblazers in the culinary, wine and spirits fields while raising scholarship funds to benefit the Spelman College students from Jamaica and sub-Saharan African countries. Read The Rest

Beyond the Boroughs 2nd Annual Benefit Dinner (PICS)

Beyond the Boroughs 399On Monday, June 13, the Beyond the Boroughs National Scholarship Fund hosted their second Annual Benefit and Awards Dinner at the Dream Downtown hotel honoring Chef Richard Ingraham and Malik Yoba. 100 supporters attended the event to raise money for the scholarship fund. Guests enjoyed a cocktail hour, silent auction and dinner while listening to speeches from the honorees, members of the organization and student scholars.  Read The Rest

2016 Ailey Spirit Gala Benefit’s Star-Studded Party and Performance Launches Two-Week Lincoln Center Engagement

Ailey II with Ailey II Artistic Director Troy Powell. Photo by Pete Monsanto

Ailey II with Ailey II Artistic Director Troy Powell. Photo by Pete Monsanto

Led by Artistic Director Robert Battle, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 2016 Lincoln Center engagement kicked off with a star-studded Ailey Spirit Gala on Wednesday, June 8th. The one-night-only benefit performance and party, sponsored by FedEx, featured actor Anthony Anderson of black-ish and Barbershop: The Next Cut and journalist Roland S. Martin of TV One and the Tom Joyner Morning Show as Honorary Chairs. Gala Co-Chairs were Gina F. Adams, Lynne & Anthony M. Carvette, Leslie & Tom Maheras, Almaz & Marc S. Strachan and Daria L. & Eric J. Wallach, and Vice Chairs were Michele & Timothy Barakett, Dr. N. Anthony & Robyn Coles, Jaishri & Vikas Kapoor, and Pamela D. Zilly & John H. Schaefer. The evening helped raise over $1 million for Ailey’s extensive educational programs for young people, including AileyCamp and scholarships to The Ailey School. Read The Rest

Forbes Hosts Fifth Annual Forbes 400 Summit On Philanthropy – Ted Turner Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Forbes hosted its fifth annual Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy under the theme “Moonshots — Big Bets for Social Change.”  This exclusive brought together 200 of the world’s leading philanthropists, social entrepreneurs and business leaders for a critical discussion on how to apply wealth and resources to solve today’s most intractable problems.  Forbes turned the lens on the audacious thinkers, entrepreneurs, inventors and scholars who are proposing and initiating these radical ideas, creating philanthropic solutions to change our world.  Royal Bank of Canada was a presenting sponsor, and McKinsey & Company was the Knowledge Partner.

philanthropy

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amfAR RAISES $1.2 MILLION AT 7TH ANNUAL INSPIRATION GALA NEW YORK

Naomi Campbell honored at the amfAR Inspiration Gala

Naomi Campbell honored at the amfAR Inspiration Gala

Leonardo DiCaprio, Whoopi Goldberg, Jason Derulo, Zayn Malik, Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union, Zac Posen, Michel Sidibé, Kelly Osbourne, Victoria Justice, and amfAR Chairman of the Board Kenneth Cole were among those who gathered at Skylight at Moynihan Station last night to support amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, at the seventh annual Inspiration Gala New York. Naomi Campbell and Louis Vuitton Men’s Artistic Director, Kim Jones, were honored at the event for their longtime support of the fight against AIDS. Whoopi Goldberg hosted the black-tie benefit and celebration of men’s style, which raised $1.2 million for amfAR’s life-saving AIDS research initiatives and featured performances by Jason Derulo and Nico & Vinz.

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Other guests in attendance included Anna Cleveland, Josephine Skriver, Alina Baikova, Devon Windsor, Andreja Pejic, Valery Kaufman, Nyle DiMarco, Karrueche, Nicolay Sereba, Vincent Dery, Lindsay Ellingson, Catherine McNeil, Lexi Boling, Felipe Diniz, Alex Lundqvist, Brandon Maxwell, Stephanie Seymour, Harry Brant, Peter Brant, Brian Kelly, and John Demsey, among others.

Master of ceremonies and longtime amfAR supporter Whoopi Goldberg opened the evening and introduced Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. Sidibé spoke about UNAIDS’s support of amfAR’s efforts to find a cure for HIV by 2020 and thanked those who have supported amfAR’s Countdown to a Cure for AIDS initiative. amfAR Chairman of the Board Kenneth Cole, newly appointed International Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS, who stated that the cure for HIV has moved “from the realm of fantasy to the realm of possibility, and now, to the realm of probability in the foreseeable future.”

Zayn Malik presented the amfAR Award of Inspiration to his friend, Kim Jones, who continues Louis Vuitton’s legacy of support for the fight against AIDS.

Actress and iconic supermodel Naomi Campbell, who has been a devoted supporter of amfAR for 23 years, was then presented with the Award of Inspiration by her friend Wendy Williams. In her acceptance remarks, Campbell dedicated the award to everyone who has been affected by HIV/AIDS, and thanked amfAR “for bringing us to this much more hopeful point,” stressing that “we are nearly there and we are not going to give up.” Following Campbell’s speech, Honorary Chair Kate Moss appeared in a video to send her congratulations to friends Naomi and Kim.

The evening also featured two spectacular live performances, ending with an explosive performance by pop and R&B sensation Jason Derulo, who performed a set of his biggest hits including “Trumpets,” “Wiggle,” “Talk Dirty,” and “Want to Want Me.” Nico & Vinz, who earlier this week performed at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS, also performed their hit single “Am I Wrong.”

The evening’s live auction, conducted by Andrea Fiuczynski of Sotheby’s, featured an array of luxury items and exclusive experiences. Highlights included:

  • A private portrait sitting with one of today’s most influential photographers, Steven Klein.
  • A surprise package to attend the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation’s annual gala in St. Tropez.
  • A photograph by legendary photographer Herb Ritts, titled Backflip, Paradise Cove.
  • Donuts (Chocolate), a work by the world’s most famous and mysterious street artist, Banksy.
  • An opportunity to explore the stunning Tiger’s Nest Monastery, the most sacred monastery in Bhutan, with adventure explorer and world record holder Johan Ernst Nilson.
  • Exclusive Louis Vuitton scarves, donated by honoree Kim Jones.

The black-tie benefit, produced by Josh Wood Productions, also featured a full-scale menswear runway show. This year, the world’s top designers offered looks for a “Jet Set”-themed fashion show. Participating designers included Acne Studios, Alexander McQueen, Calvin Klein Collection, Diesel Black Gold, DSQUARED2, Givenchy, Helmut Lang, Kenneth Cole, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Missoni, Salvatore Ferragamo, Thom Browne, Todd Snyder, Valentino, and Versace, among others. The runway looks were styled by Benjamin Sturgill. Makeup was provided by M·A·C Cosmetics, and hair styling was provided by Rodney Cutler for Hairdressers Against AIDS. Runway Production and Casting were provided by Trew Productions. Décor was provided by Raul Avila, and music was provided by Honey Dijon.

amfAR Trustee R. Martin Chavez and Adam Norbury served as Event Hosts. Marc Jacobs, Quincy Jones, Michael Kors, Kate Moss, Zac Posen, Rihanna, Mario Testino, and Riccardo Tisci were Honorary Chairs. Event Chairs included Mert Alas, Jim Clerkin, amfAR Chairman of the Board Kenneth Cole, Fran Cutler, Alan Cumming, John Demsey, Paolo Diacci, amfAR Global Fundraising Chairman Milutin Gatsby, Bethann Hardison, Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, Nayla Hayek, Cheyenne Jackson, Brian C. Kelly, Shayne Oliver, Marcus Piggott, Vincent Roberti, and Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union.

Harry Winston, M·A·C Viva Glam, and The Points Guy were the Presenting Sponsors. Moët Hennessy and Windows were the event’s Signature Sponsors. Reca Group was the Fashion Show Sponsor.

Delta Air Lines is the Official Airline of amfAR. Moët Hennessy is amfAR’s Official Wine and Spirits Partner.

The Inspiration series was launched in 2010 by amfAR and Josh Wood Productions to celebrate men’s style and fashion while raising funds for the Foundation’s life-saving AIDS research programs. Inspiration galas have taken place in New York, Paris, Los Angeles, Toronto, Miami, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro, raising more than $26 million to date.

Beyoncé Fans, BeyGOOD Support Flint, Inspire Volunteers across North America

Parkwood Entertainment, the entertainment and management company founded by Beyoncé, presented United Way of Genesee County with a generous donation of $82,234. to support residents of Flint, as they continue to feel the impacts of the water crisis. Ivy McGregor, director of philanthropy and corporate relations, presented the check at an event at a high school in Detroit, where United Way for Southeastern Michigan is supporting an innovative high school turnaround initiative.

Parkwood Entertainment presents check on behalf of Beyoncé's fans to support the residents of Flint, as they continue to feel the impacts of the water crisis. From left to right: Ivy McGregor, Director of Philanthropy and Corporate Relations for Parkwood Entertainment; Jamie Gaskin, President & CEO of United Way of Genesee County; Stacey Stewart, U.S. President for United Way Worldwide; and Dr. Herman Gray, President & CEO of United Way for Southeastern Michigan.

Parkwood Entertainment presents check on behalf of Beyoncé’s fans to support the residents of Flint, as they continue to feel the impacts of the water crisis. From left to right: Ivy McGregor, Director of Philanthropy and Corporate Relations for Parkwood Entertainment; Jamie Gaskin, President & CEO of United Way of Genesee County; Stacey Stewart, U.S. President for United Way Worldwide; and Dr. Herman Gray, President & CEO of United Way for Southeastern Michigan.

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Apollo Throws Star-Studded Spring Gala Hosted by LL Cool J and Raise $1.7M (PICS)

Last night, the Apollo Theater celebrated its 11th Annual Spring Gala raising $1.7M for its year-round artistic and community programming initiatives. The concert portion of the evening was hosted by LL COOL J, and opened with the dynamic dancing duo Laurent & Larry Bourgeois of Les Twins. The concert also featured performances by legendary R&B group, The O’Jays including rousing version of Love Train, The Backstabbers, For the Love of Money and more. Rising star vocalist, Leon Bridges brought the crowd to its feet with a performance of Mustang Sally and vocalist Andra Day performed her hit song City Burns, followed by a touching performance of Unforgettable in tribute to legendary songstress Natalie Cole. Host LL COOL J also joined DJ D-Nice for a tribute to Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest – one of several iconic artists lost in 2016. The concert portion ended with a powerful Prince tribute which included legendary guitarist Vernon Reid and Cheryl Pepsii Riley, who sang an emotional version of Purple Rain.

Apollo 11th Annual Spring Gala: LL COOL J hosted the concert portion of the Apollo Spring Gala

Apollo 11th Annual Spring Gala: LL COOL J hosted the concert portion of the Apollo Spring Gala

Each year at the Spring Gala, the Apollo also recognizes a corporation for its outstanding philanthropy and community leadership. Last evening VIACOM Executive Chairman, President and CEO, Philippe Dauman accepted the Corporate Award in recognition of his company’s community leadership. Apollo Board Vice-Chairman, Charles Phillips presented the award.

The night culminated with a much buzzed about after party held in a stylish and spacious tent created by celebrity event planner and Apollo board member Bronson van Wyck. Key décor elements included a floral wall set behind the DJ stage and a large video ball suspended above the center of the tent which featured a variety of footage including excerpts from the Purple Rain movie. The after party featured a special Let’s Go Crazy Dance Tribute with DJ D-Nice spinning a dedicated set to the sounds of Prince’s diverse and extensive catalogue.

In a very special addition to the 2016 gala, the celebratory evening began with an afternoon ceremony to induct legendary recording artist Prince into the Apollo Walk of Fame. The induction ceremony took place just under the Apollo marquee and included performances and appearances by legendary saxophonist Maceo Parker, members of Prince’s renowned band The New Power Generation, Prince’s protégé and singer/musician Andy Allo, and R&B singer who sang her hit song Do Me Baby, which was written by Prince.

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Prince joins previous Apollo Walk of Fame inductees—all legendary musicians, artists, and entertainers whose paths to fame included the Apollo, including: Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Patti LaBelle, Smokey Robinson, James Brown, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Little Richard and Ella Fitzgerald. Inductees are honored with a plaque on the Apollo Walk of Fame, installed under the Theater’s iconic marquee on 125th Street.

Apollo Spring Gala Co-Chairs included: Anna Chapman and Ronald O. Perelman, James L. Dolan, Tom Dooley, Sonia and Paul Jones, Debra L. Lee, Carolyn and Mark Mason, Laura and Richard D. Parsons and Karen and Charles Phillips

Apollo Spring Gala Vice Chairs included: Frederick G. Loder, Racquel Oden, Dori Silverman, Christine Taylor and Stephen Volk

Apollo Spring Gala Committee members included: American Express, BNY Mellon, Jim Carter, Citi, Alberto Cribiore, Discovery Communications, Disney, Carol Sutton Lewis and William M. Lewis, Jr., National Basketball Players Association, New York Life, Tawana Tibbs and Bruce Gordon, Time Warner Inc., Bronson van Wyck and Janice Savin Williams and Christopher J. Williams

Apollo Spring Gala Sponsors included: MacAndrews and Forbes Incorporated; Viacom; Citi; The Coca-Cola Company; Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP; Infor; JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s; The Madison Square Garden Company and Merrill Lynch

The 2016 Apollo Spring Gala was made possible with generous support from American A

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