Beychella. That’s All.

If you missed Beyonces’s two-hour set at Coachella this past weekend, shame on you. The Queen Bee made history.

She is the first African American woman to headline the festival (and made a comment on that point). She was accompanied by 150-plus performers, most if not all of whom were people of color; many of those performers were part of a marching band, majorettes and drumline styled on those from black colleges and universities, and she and her performers often wore collegiate-type outfits bearing the Greek letters beta delta and kappa, her initials with the delta referencing her favored number, four; and the set was loaded with references and quotes from the likes of Malcolm X and Nina Simone.

Today, she took it one step further.

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Yonce revealed that the set’s collegiate theme was pointing to a scholarship program: Through her BeyGOOD initiative, the singer announced the four schools to receive the newly established Homecoming Scholars Award Program for the 2018-2019 academic year. The Universities, Xavier, Wilberforce, Tuskegee and Bethune-Cookman, are all Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

One winner from each school will receive $25K for the 2018-2019 academic year for study in various fields. This is the second year for a scholars program created by the singer: The Formation Scholars Awards Program, a merit scholarship program was established in April 2017 in celebration of the one-year anniversary of Beyonce’s 2016 album “Lemonade.” The awards encouraged and supported “young women who are bold, creative, conscious, confident and unafraid to think outside of the box.”

The Homecoming Scholars Award Program for 2018-2019 will expand to all qualifying students at the four universities, regardless of gender. The disciplines will include literature, creative arts, African-American studies, science, education, business, communications, social sciences, computer science and engineering. All applicants must maintain a 3.5 GPA or above. All finalists and winners will be selected by the universities. Winners will be announced in the summer.

 

 

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Black Panther: Highest-Grossing US Superhero Film – EVER.

Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther is about to reach another milestone when it surpasses The Avengers‘ North American gross to become the highest-grossing superhero movie in the U.S.

To date, Panther has earned $618.6 million domestically ($1.2 billion worldwide), just short of The Avengers‘ $623.4 million. By the end of the weekend, Black Panther will surpass that number, according to estimates.

Black Panther has enjoyed five straight weeks atop the box office charts that kicked off with a record-breaking opening weekend for the month of February.  Word of mouth, critical praise and all-star performances from the likes of  Chadwick Boseman, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, and Letitia Wright continued to boost the film’s presence in theaters.

Wakanda will also have a lasting impact on the storytelling of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – a sequel has already been confirmed.

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Lyft Gives Lifts to March for Our Lives Participants

Lyft is up to good, yet again. The ride-hailing service will offer free rides to those attending the March for Our Lives rallies this weekend.

The company has teamed up with march organizers in 50 US cities to offer the service. It said it’s committing as much as $1.5 million for the rides.
To take advantage of it, a rally attendee will have to reserve a ride to his or her city’s march and receive a code. Earlier this month, Lyft co-founders John Zimmer and Logan Green wrote a letter to the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the catalyst behind the rallies after a deadly shooting at their school.
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Apple Proposes New Emojis With Disabilities

Emojis with wheelchairs, white canes, and various other disabilities may soon be coming to your iPhone: Apple has proposed a suite of 13 new emojis “to better represent individuals with disabilities.”

“Diversifying the options available helps fill a significant gap and provides a more inclusive experience for all,” Apple wrote in its proposal to the Unicode Consortium, which governs the of new emojis.

In its proposal, Apple also noted that the emoji was developed with input from American Council of the Blind, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, and the National Association of the Deaf.

Anyone can propose new emojis. Each proposal wends its way through layers of committees before making it to your phone, and not all proposals are approved. Apple’s has been accepted by the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee and will now move on to the next step, discussion and review by the Unicode Technical Committee. The UTC’s next meeting is slated for April 3–5.

Here are some of the proposed emojis:

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Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and First Round Capital Invest $3 million in Bail Reform Startup

Nationwide, 62 percent of the jail population accounts for people who can’t afford bail, according to the Vera Institute of Justice. A lot of these incarcerated individuals are behind bars because they allegedly committed crimes at the misdemeanor level or lower. This is a significant statistic from a human rights perspective, as well as an economic one. It costs about $38 million a day to keep these largely nonviolent people behind bars, according to the Pretrial Justice Institute.

This is where Promise, a de-carceration startup that just raised over $3 million in a round led by First Round Capital with participation from Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, 8VC and Kapor Capital, comes in. Last Father’s Day, Jay-Z penned an op-ed about the bail industry and pre-trial incarceration. He noted how every year, $9 billion is wasted incarcerating people who have not been convicted of crimes.

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Promise, which is part of Y Combinator’s  current batch of startups, offers counties and local governments an alternative to holding low-risk people behind bars simply because they can’t afford bail.

For each participant, Promise provides counties with a comprehensive intake procedure and then sets up each participant with a care plan specific to them. Promise will then monitor and support participants by helping them ensure they know when they’re supposed to appear in court, and remind them of obligations like drug testing or substance abuse treatment needed. The app also helps participants access job training, housing, counseling and referrals.

Instead of a county paying to incarcerate someone simply because they can’t afford to post bail, they can use Promise to monitor compliance with court orders and better keep tabs on people via the app and, if needed, GPS monitoring devices. Counties, courts, case managers and other stakeholders can also access progress reports of individuals to monitor compliance.

Already, Promise is onboarding one county this week and is in talks with another three counties. Instead of a county jail paying $190 per day per person, Promise charges some counties just $17 per person per day. In some cases, Promise charges even less per person.

 

Lacoste adopts temporary logo to help endangered species

Lacoste temporarily replaced its polo shirts’ crocodile logo with the images of 10 endangered species to help counter the threat of extinction.

The shirts, which are part of a limited run supporting the “Save Our Species” campaign that launched during Paris Fashion Week on March 1, have sold out.
Replacing the crocodile above the left breast of the shirt are the Gulf of California porpoise, the Burmese roofed turtle, Sumatran tiger, the Anegada ground iguana and the northern sportive lemur, among others.
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The French clothing company calibrated the number of shirts produced for each series to the population of the remaining animals in the wild. Of the 1,775 shirts available, the Gulf of California porpoise had the smallest print run, with just 30 shirts available.
The Anegada iguana, by contrast, was the most available, with 450 editions. Proceeds went to International Union for Conservation of Nature, an international advocacy organization working to protect nature that sponsored the campaign.
The US Fish & Wildlife Service has placed 1,459 animals on its threatened and endangered list. Lacoste’s crocodile logo was introduced in 1936, and the company has never before sold shirts featuring other animals.

Ad Love: Lexus for Black Panther

Brands roll the dice when they affiliate with movies since it’s anyone’s guess what will be a blockbuster.

Lexus chose correctly when it signed on 18 months ago to play an integral part of Disney’s “Black Panther,” where the main character drives a Lexus LC 500.

The movie, which opened in theaters Feb. 16, is smashing box office records. Global ticket sales by Monday will total an estimated $387 million, according to comScore. Disney said on Sunday that ticket sales for the film in North America alone will total roughly $218 million between Friday and Monday.

The partnership includes a website with a series of online comics featuring the vehicle. A 30-second spot “Long Live The King” ran during the third quarter of the Super Bowl. The 60-second version of the spot has already garnered more than 5 million views on YouTube.

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