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Boss Don Billionaire, Robert F. Smith Pledges $50 Million to Cornell Engineering School

Posted On: February 09, 2016

When it comes to making moves like a don, Robert F. Smith pedals like a brinks truck in financial affairs and business investments. Smith made history in 2015 when he became the wealthiest Black men in America with $2.5 billion in assets and joined the list of other Black billionaires across the world, with Aliko Dangote being the kings of all kings in assets of $15.7 billion.

Robert F. Smith begin his billionaire journey when he made an investment towards his education and acquired knowledge in computer science. Confidence being a key for him, led to Smith's ability to open doors of resources and network in founding his own corporation when Smith went into capital investments, and became the CEO and chairman of Vista Equity Partners. Smith's company manage to generate $14 billion in cumulative assets of capital investments and is one of the most successful investment corporations in the world.

In addition to all of his success, Robert F. Smith is gracious in being a philanthropist and recently pledged $50 million to Cornell University’s School Of Engineering. A school that smith attended, earned a degree in chemical engineering in 1985 and is an alma mater. Reciprocating Smith's philanthropic funding, the school is honoring him by changing their name to Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Cornell. 

During a press conference, Lance Collins who is the Joseph Silbert Dean of Cornell Engineering made the following statements in expressing gratitude for Smith's pledge.

"Robert’s generosity will not only elevate our School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, but it will ensure it becomes more accessible than ever."

"I believe an affordable educational path from engineering in Ithaca to Cornell Tech in New York City, for those who wouldn’t otherwise be offered such an opportunity, will produce some of the sharpest minds in engineering and technology. I’m thankful Robert shares this vision and is making it a reality."

Robert F. Smith's pledge will also fund the Robert Frederick Smith Tech Scholars Program and foster financial aid for mostly Black students to further their education.

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The Only Supermoon for 2017 - Gemini Full Moon

Posted On: December 02, 2017

Full Moon SuperMoon (Dec 3) in Gemini is prismatic with information, able to shapeshift into multiple expressions. Not an easy path to discern. Best not to get swept up with the tides of misinformation, instead ground into your own center and listen deeply to your Soul. With Mercury just having turned retrograde, there is much to reflect on. This a healing time as well as a time of self-mastery where we have an opportunity to cleanse our perceptions and open up to a new way. Time to upgrade our thinking and remember that we are free to perceive our experience in what ever way we choose. We are powerful beyond measure. Trust in your process and trust in your heart.

Pam Younghans says,

"Depending on which direction we choose to look we can feel profound inspiration and hope or great frustration and disillusionment. Since both Saturn and Mercury are at the same degree as the Galactic Center, this alignment indicates an opportunity for a major reset. This is a time when we can take significant steps in releasing old patterns that have blocked our progress.”

Leah Whitehorse says,

“This big bright supermoon occurs on a day supercharged with astrological activity..Fact and fiction are blended, shaken and stirred and served with a slice of sleight of hand.. Neptune’s confusing vibration can sometimes make us feel weak or defeated before we even start… If you feel confused, stand still, tune into your heart… Let the distraction of the world fall away until you can hear your own inner dialogue..No matter how strange these times are, remember you have a direct line to the cosmos.”

Divine Harmony shares,

"The last Full Moon of 2017 is going out with a bang! …bringing into the full Light of consciousness information, communication, ideas and thinking that needs to be seen for what it is...”

“It’s so important right now karmically to be honest, direct and clear- with ourselves and with others.” Jessica Shepherd says, it’s an “opportunity to catch our awareness mid-stream, to observe how we are deluding or deceiving our self through wrong stories, false perceptions. Astrologer Steven Forrest calls this Neptunian process ‘cleaning the windows’. By becoming aware of what’s obscuring our windows (wrong perceptions), we discover clarity, truth, oneness.”

For more insight and to read more about 2017's last full moon and only supermoon in Gemini, click on the link below.

Gemini Full Moon Insight

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Reference, art and source of article: Mystic Mamma


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Kid Cudi Delivers Empowering Speech In a TED Talk to His Former High School

Posted On: December 28, 2015

Kid Cudi recently visited his former high school in Ohio and participated in a TED Talk speech to inspire the present students at Shaker Heights.

Cudi took to the stage and began his speech reflecting on the last time he was at the high school and how much he matured not just in age but also, his perspectives on things.

Kid Cudi expressed what made him the man that he is today, the diversity in his community growing up and even observing/witnessing it today. How his mother has always been his number one fan, evolving out of his shell in conquering who he is and making his mark in this world. Cudi kept it honest about not givng his all into his academics while he was in high school but displayed strength by admitting it and knowing he still has a lot to learn. By acknowledging this, Cudi is basically letting the youth know to make education/academics their priority, regardless what they are naturally great at and what their passion are. Cudi also admitted how he didn't get a chance to make his mark in the world academically but thank God for music, he was able to turn up the volume and elevate himself in his goals and dreams. Although, the music thing was going into unknown territory but it gave him the freedom to believe in himself against all odds because unlike passing a test where he was not confident in; music gave him the leverage and platform to spread his wings and soar.

"We are all the commanders of our own destinty."

Cudi made the above statement and quote as one piece of advice he would give to people and also, for them to pay it forward. He elaborated the importance of surrounding one's self with people who are smarter and more intelligent than us, who are ambitious and people we can learn from, grow with and; able to provide information to execute goals, dreams and etc. Kid Cudi seemed to have some regrets and being on that stage gave him a way to vent, release and; make peace with his mistakes in life. And again, it exhibits the strength of a leader because when we learn from other people's mistakes, it teaches, guides and; prevents us from making the same mistakes as well.

He ended his speech with these inspirational and powerful words:

"I just want you to know that life will throw you a sh*t ton of curveballs. It’s scary. But if you believe, man. If you believe, and if you want it, and if you want to work hard enough for it, it can be so. Because there’s no difference from me and you. I just really wanted this sh*t. I wanted it bad, and I didn’t want to be a failure. And nobody’s a failure in this room, don’t ever think that. We can all win."

There's more, plug to the video and hopefully you'll learn something new or discover gems of wisdom to shine brighter! 

Hi_ I'm Scott _ Scott Mescudi _ TEDxSHHS from illSwanson on Vimeo.

Footage Source: illSwanson

 

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John Legend Launches "Free America" Campaign To Raise Awareness and End Mass Incarceration

Posted On: April 15, 2015

Is this our future president in the making? Hey, you never know.

John Legend has been using the platforms that he has to raise awareness about racism, political issues, the structure of family and etc. Legend's effectiveness when it comes to displaying the role of an activists, made his voice echo all over the world, when he gave an eloquent speech at the Academy Award about mass incarceration; in winning an Oscar for best original song with rapper Common for their song 'Glory.'

John Legend announced he will be spearheading a campaign and intiative called "Free America," to raise awareness and put an end to mass incarceration. Legend who is an Grammy/Academy Award singer and pianist, is confidently going forth in his role of leadership, to try and resolve some of the issues that are affecting America.

“We have a serious problem with incarceration in this country,” Legend said in an interview. “It’s destroying families, it’s destroying communities and we’re the most incarcerated country in the world, and when you look deeper and look at the reasons we got to this place, we as a society made some choices politically and legislatively, culturally to deal with poverty, deal with mental illness in a certain way and that way usually involves using incarceration.”

John Legend will kick off his campaign by visiting and performing at a correstional facility in Austin, Texas, where he will also hold a press conference with state legislators to talk about issues concerning Texas' criminal justice system and also, to brainstorm and develop any kind of solutions for them. From there, Legend will visit California's state prison and other correctional facilities across the nation. John will co-host a criminal justice event centering around his campaign Free America with politicans in Washington, D.C. in the upcoming weeks ahead. John Legend will also, link with other musicians like himself and other organizations whose purpose is to end mass incarceration.

“I’m just trying to create some more awareness to this issue and trying to make some real change legislatively,” he said. “And we’re not the only ones. There are senators that are looking at this, like Rand Paul and Cory Booker, there are other nonprofits that are looking at this, and I just wanted to add my voice to that.”

 

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Meet Esther Okade, 10 Year Old Math Genius Enrolled In College and Wants To Open Her Own Bank

Posted On: March 15, 2015

Yes, indeeed a 10 year old currently in college and wants to open her own bank. You go lil mama!!!

Who is she you might ask, well let us introduce: Esther Okade

Esther Okade is a Nigerian-Brittish math genius, who is making headlines all across the nation and the world. She is enrolled at the Open University in Walsall, UK. and studying math as in: theories, complex numbers, bookeeping, number systems and etc. Esther is at the top of her class at the university. She wants to get her Phd. in financial math and wants to apply that degree towards owning and starting a line of her banks. She wants to open her own banks in her country and other place across the world.

Okade sets very high goals for herself and at just 10 years old, this little girl pushes herself to go above and beyond. She's tough on herself too, when it comes to potentials, bringing them forth and exceeding in them. Esther's love for math started when she was just four years old and since then, Esther has improved and became a success in math.

Esther is also applying her love for math to write a series of children's workbooks, which will enhance their skills and knowledge of math. The workbooks are called Yummy Yummy Algebra and will come in beginners to advance levels. In a recent interview with CNN International, the little genuis expressed how she wants to help other children like herself in math and wants them to know they are special too, when it comes to learning and their abilities. She stated how many different volumes of books she will write and put out on the market for children.

"It starts at a beginner level -- that's volume one. But then there will be volume two, and volume three, and then volume four. But I've only written the first one. ---- As long as you can add or subtract, you'll be able to do it. I want to show other children they are special."

Her parents are involved in doing philanthropic work and will be going back to Nigeria to complete a project of a school they are currently building. Esther is helping her parents out, the books she is writing will be supplied for the school. Esther's mother is very keen when it comes to education and the style of learning, which she states that every child learns differently. There's no one style of teaching or learning because children absorb and process information differently. And we agree. The main purpose of the school, Okade's mom, Efe expressed in the interview, is to give children the space they need to exhibit their own learning styles. She went on to state that teaching children should be based on their learning styles. And again, we agree!

"Some children learn very well with kinesthetics where they learn with their hands -- when they draw they remember things. Some children have extremely creative imaginations. Instead of trying to make children learn one way, you teach them based on their learning style."

Efe brings a very good point and it's an issue the schools in America really need to look into. But that's another article.
The school will be called Shakespeare's Academy and scholarships will be offered to local children in Nigeria, so they could attend. Esther and her mother hopes the school will also be beneficial in helping children discover their dreams and set goals at an early age. The school will house 2,000 to 2,500 students and will open in September.

Salute to Esther and Godspeed!

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Vince Staples Invest in a Summer Program from His Hometown, Sponsored by the YMCA

Posted On: June 17, 2016

Vince Staples recently made an investment into the future of tomorrow. Vince announced a summer program called Youth Institute which is sponsored by the YMCA, during a press conference. Assisting him with kicking off the project is Ninth District Councilman, Rex Richardson, who will be a part of the intiative to facilitate Youth Institute into Long Beach, California. 

The Youth Institute summer program will consist of various curriculum such as: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) training, creative arts studies in music and film production, product development, graphic designs and 3D printing. The program will also work with its youth in confidence building and their social skills, to help them frame a solid foundation within themselves towards achieving their goals and dreams. 

Youth Institute will be held at Hamilton Middle School, providing resources to eighth and ninth graders. Twenty students will be chosen to participate in the program. Long Beach Unified board member, Megan Kerr stated the importance of supporting Long Beach's youth and its leaders unifying to make a difference in their lives. 

"It’s important that we work together to support and educate our young people on being good citizens, as well as providing a safe space for them to thrive,"

The first expense of the program will be for $10,000 from the North Long Beach Education Fund, which was founded by Rex Richardson and Kerr. Vince Staples expressed how the Youth Institute program is designed to create environments for young people to succeed.

For more info, click on the following link: Youth Institute or call 562-570-6137 and log on to www.pacific-gateway.org.

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Article Reference: Press Telegram 

 

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#BlackGirlMagic: Lakatriona Brunson Makes History and Becomes Florida's First Woman Head Football Coach

Posted On: February 19, 2016

Lakatriona Brunson and the state of Florida made history earlier this month by electing their first ever woman head football coach and although, Florida has a history of racist antics and stereotype, Brunson happens to be an African-American. During the press conference, Lakatriona expressed to news reporters how she envisioned herself for the position by questioning herself in third person form. 

"Today is historic for not only Florida, but Miami Jackson,” Brunson said. “When [former coach Earl Little] stepped down, I took a look at [the job] like, ‘Why can’t I do it?’."

Brunson was featured in one of truTV series as Bernice in 2011 for their South Beach Tow episodes. Lakatriona Brunson depicted an assistant manager and driver for the potrayal of Tremont Towing. During the press conference, Brunson elaborated how her main emphasis was her accomplishments as a football head coach and refused to answer any questions pertaining to the tole she played on TV. 

"We’re here to talk about football only."

Former controversial 2 Live Crew member and Hip Hop artist, Luke Campbell who grew up with Brunson and expressed praise for her new position, will be joining her to lead Miami Jackson High as their defensive coordinator. Both of them have high aspirations of motivating and driving the school towards the roads of championship, a path they have not been on since 1952. 

"We’re just here to change the atmosphere at Miami Jackson and get some W’s on the board."

Campbell was pursuing for the head coach position himself but due to his lack of credentials as a Miami-Dade County certified teacher, he was not qualified. However, he has experieince as a football defensive coordinator at three different schools in Miami and was part of the staff to direct some of Miami-Dade's footaball defensive units. 

Due to her qualifications as a phyisical education teacher, Lakatriona Brunson was promoted as Miami Jackson High's football head coach. She brings other experiences to the table, being a football player herself who played for Miami Fury during the mid 2000's at the Independent Women’s Football League. Brunson was also a former basketball player and participated in track and filed. As far as her educational expertise, Lakatriona graduated at Miami Northwestern in 1995. One of her former coach, Carmen Jackson stated how Brunson always exhibited leadership skills. 

"She had all the attributes of being a great leader. I never envisioned her becoming a football coach, but I always knew she was a born leader and she was going to go on and do big things in the community."

Lakatriona Brunson also has great confidence in herself, prepared for any challenges and has a vision for her footbal team to magnify and bring into reality. 

"It’s a lot of people that probably applied for this position and look who is here,” Brunson said. “I’m ready for whatever comes my way. I’m ready to fight, ready to get these guys prepared and ready to win."

Check out footage from the press conference of Lakatriona Brunson's announcement as the first female head coach in the state of Florida. 

Congrats! 

 

 

 

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Dr. Carla Hayden Is Nominated By President Barack Obama To Become The First Black and Woman Librarian of Congress

Posted On: February 25, 2016

President Barack Obama presented his nomination for Dr. Carla Hayden to become the 14th Librarian of Congress. If the initial votes needed to fill the seat are reached, Dr. Hayden will make history and become the first Black person and woman to oversee the Library of Congress. 

Below is an excerpt of President's Obama's speech about Hayden.

"Michelle and I have known Dr. Carla Hayden for a long time, since her days working at the Chicago Public Library, and I am proud to nominate her to lead our nation’s oldest federal institution as our 14th Librarian of Congress. Dr. Hayden has devoted her career to modernizing libraries so that everyone can participate in today’s digital culture. She has the proven experience, dedication, and deep knowledge of our nation’s libraries to serve our country well and that’s why I look forward to working with her in the months ahead. If confirmed, Dr. Hayden would be the first woman and the first African American to hold the position – both of which are long overdue."

Dr. Carla has been nurturing the vision to make a difference. Ten years ago, Hayden took the position of presidency at the American Library Association. Recently, she maintained her leadership as chief executive for the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore and in her stance, kept the library opened admist tension of police brutality issues and its aftermath. 

Upon the announcement of being nominated, Dr. Carla Hayden made these following statement about society's outlook on libraries. 

"Being the first female and the first African-American really brings together two aspects of -- of course my life that make this even more significant in terms of how people view the future of libraries, and what a national library can be."

She also added it would be part of everybody's history. 

“It’s inclusive. It can be part of everyone’s story.”

The White House released a video detailing the expertise of Dr. Carla Hayden, how a library is a treasured chest for her, the work she has done as a librarian; and to familiarize the public with her. 

Check it out below. 

 

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First Lady, Michelle Obama Visits and Surprised School in Washington, D.C.

Posted On: March 06, 2016

As part of her initiative of getting people to adapt towards a more healthy and nutritous eating regime, and energectic lifestyle with her "Let's Move" campaign, First Lady, Michelle Obama visited and surprised two schools in Washington, D.C. 

In casual wear and with a bright smile, Michelle strolled into Watkins Elementary school and surprised their cooking class. The students learn how to make recipe and cook with the vegetables they grew in the school garden. During her interaction with the class, one of the students asked Michelle if she knew Joe Biden and while preparing tortillas, Mrs. Obama made a statement how she never cooked them that way before, and one of the children remarked he never seen her before. It's funny and comical. Michelle made the day and lesson extra special for those children who will remember the experience and for some, it will inspire them towards a goal and dream. 

During her second visit to Burroughs Elementary School, upon arrival to their classroom, one of the kids could not contain his excitement and joy of seeing Michelle Obama and he ran into her arms and gave her a hug. Which was really sweet and she had a motherly reaction to him. Watching those faces and seeing the reaction of those little Black girls, the twinkle in their eyes, it's like a beam of light for them and beacon of hope as in: "you can become the First Lady one day too." Little Black girls need to see more of that, more positive and nurturing role models and not negative images society have been portraying about Black women. You don't have to fight with one another, fight over men, lack in self respect and mannerism, low self-esteem, uneducated, lack in ambition, golddiggers, sisterwives nonsense (Michelle Obama is not sharing Barack Obama (he's not a pimp but a president) nor does he put her in a position to do so) and etc. like some of these reality show project about Black women. That's another topic and article to be covered. 

But anyhow, lets focus on this article. 

While at Burroughs elementary school, First Lady, Michelle Obama took part in the lesson of the class with its students and picked out earthworms with them.

"You guys have this amazing garden, and I’m so proud of you. And I want the world to see all the great things you are doing and all the great things you are learning so much from your garden and from your school," Mrs. Obama expressed.

Michelle was attentive to the children who were teaching her about composte, gardening and etc. 

 

It didn't stop there, Michelle surprised Eriks Brolis and Linda Bilsens at their home & family garden during an interview. Mrs. Obama complimented both of them for their roles as leaders, their efforts in motivating and teaching their community to garden and eat more fruits and vegetables. 


Michelle Obama will continue to visit and surprised schools and home gardens throughtout the spring season as part of her Let's Move campaign: Garden Tour Intitiative.  

 

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Grammy Nominated Singer, Alvin Garrett Makes a Student's Dream Come True From Alabama and Performs With Him

Posted On: March 04, 2016

Jaedan Henderson is a seventh grader at Phillips middle school in Alabama who loves to sing and based one the news' report interview, his mother revealed he was singing before he started talking as a baby. Jaedan's biggest inspiration and icon in music is Grammy nominated singer, Alvin Garrett.

For his school Black History Month show and program, Jaedan Henderson performed Garrett's powerful and enriching song, 'By Myself' which is about believing in yourself and maintaining that belief, even when others don't. Alvin who is from Alabama caught wind of Henderson's performance and how he shook his school down singing the song. Alvin Garrett surprised Jaedan when he showed up at his school and performed with him. 

The experience affirmed how the stage is mighty platform for Alvin Garrett who was encouraged and decided to become Henderson's mentor, and take him under his wings to teach him about songwriting and school him in music. Of course, Jaedan was elated and you could see it all in his smile during the news report of it below. 

WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL - WBRC.com

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Cambridge University Will Host United Kingdom's First Ever Hip Hop Conference

Posted On: March 01, 2016

Cambridge University has been noted for being institutionally racist and lacking in educational programs in modifying diversity. Well this year will be different and the university will be holding its first ever Hip Hop conference in the United Kingdom.

The conference is titled, "It Ain’t Where You’re From, It’s Where You’re At" and will consist of scholars from across the world to debate and discuss their analyst of the genre. Also give their interpretation of creatives in Hip Hop and their work from Rakim to Future and how it has evolved. 

The event will be held in June, hosted by by Cambridge musicologist James Butterworth, with topics examining all aspects of Hip Hop from linguistics, gender roles, musicology and more.

Below are some of the questions the panels of scholars are reuired to answer: 

"How can an emphasis on ‘where you’re at’ help us to understand the ethics and aesthetics of Hip Hop?"

"What relevance does the privileging of orientation have to the development of Hip Hop studies as an interdisciplinary field?"

"What is the role of negation in the construction of Hip Hop’s various histories, its cultural politics, and its re-territorialisation?"

The conference is facing some controversy since most of the panel will be White, who have to examine lyrics with the words 'n*gga.'

Organizers are concern and will try to make the panel more diverse but also expressed the need for the conference at the school and how there's been courses about the subject of Hip Hop at Cambridge and other universities in UK. 

“You may be surprised that many music faculties at UK universities offer courses in Hip Hop,” Butterworth revealed to Times Education. “Cambridge has a course in Hip Hop, and I have taught a course at the University of Oxford on hip hop that is a compulsory module for all first-year music students.”

Things that make you raise an eyebrow. The panel should consist of those who have knowledge, experience, wisdom and etc. in Hip Hop and because it is a mutli-diverse culture, the panel should be as such. 

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