Jay-Z Pens Urges Fans to Fight For Social Justice

Jay-Z has published an essay addressing the importance of social justice titled “This Is Our Power.”

Written for The Hollywood Reporter, the essay begins with Jay-Z writing about Kalief Browder, the young black man who was wrongfully convicted of a crime he did not commit and served at Rikers Island for three years.

“The post-traumatic stress disorder he came out with led him to suicide two years ago, but not before he had the chance to talk about what happened to him,” Jay-Z writes. “…He’s just one example in a system that is broken. We need to be the ones who fix it.”

The rapper and entrepreneur then talks about the documentary series he made on Browder, Time: The Kalief Browder Story, and the importance of demanding change from the people we put into office.

“But social justice isn’t a political issue. It’s a human issue. It’s a story of empathy. When we are able to identify that we are all not perfect and have compassion for someone else, we can move forward as a society,” Jay-Z concludes. “Look around at what’s happening in your town and your city right now. Think small, and you can do much bigger things.”

Read more here.

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Will Tech Take Hollywood?

Technology is giving Hollywood a run for its money.

It’s happening fast. Recently:

  • Apple hired away from Sony Pictures Television a pair of executives to oversee its entertainment efforts;
  • Facebook made its first-ever long-form original-series orders;
  • Vice received a $450 million infusion from private-equity firm TPG to fuel its content efforts;
  • Musical.ly launched its first set of short-form original series from NBCUniversal and Viacom;
  • Snapchat added 10 more such series via a $100 million deal with Time Warner.

What could this all mean? Who knows. What’s certain is that media executives had better get up to speed quick, fast and in a hurry if they don’t want to be deemed the biggest losers.

Read more here.

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Rihanna Heads to Malawi

Rihanna keeps shining bright like a diamond.

What I love about Rih Rih is that she can go from good girl gone bad to bad girl gone good in a blink.

Recently the singer, along with former Australian Prime Minister and GPE Chairperson Julia Gillard and Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans, visited the Muzu Primary School just outside the capital of Malawi. The trio also spent time at the Lilongwe Girls Secondary School, where they sat in on math and biology classes, and watched a student debate on arranged marriage.

The footage is super sweet. Check it out:

Nicki Minaj Has Been Quietly Donating

A few weeks ago draws dropped when Nicki Minaj was promoting a fan contest, and a Twitter user asked for an unconventional prize: tuition assistance. Minaj agreed and promised funds to a host of high-achieving scholars who slid into her DMs. This isn’t the first time that Nicki has done good, though.

Recently, Nicki Minaj posted video and photos on IG from an unnamed village in India that she’s been donating money to for the past few years through her pastor Lydia Sloley. Minaj wrote that her donations have provided the village with “a Computer Center, a Tailoring Institute, a Reading Program and 2 WATER WELLS.” She promised to reveal more about the charity work she’s been doing over the past few years in case anyone would like to join her. She’s also reportedly planning to set up a charity to help students pay off their loans.

Go ahead, girl! Here are the posts:

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This Art Exhibition Is Raising Money for Women to Run for Office

The art exhibition “She Inspires,” which opened May 2 at the Untitled Space in New York, showcases artwork inspired by women who left their mark on history. The massive collection includes portraits of historical figures like Egyptian queen Nefertiti, Nina Simone, and Queen Elizabeth II, and contemporary icons including Michelle Obama and Alicia Keys. Ten percent of the show’s proceeds will go to She Should Run, an organization that encourages women to run for office.

Nineteen paintings from the show appear in the exhibit and each image is noted with the women who inspired the piece. Artist Rebecca Leveille explained choosing Michelle Obama for her portrait State of Grace: “What she represents in all her actions, in her very identity, the best things about what a powerful woman is and what they can do with the grace of their spirit — she inspires,” she said. Click the image below to preview the exhibit.

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Facebook Is Hiring 3,000 People to Monitor Content

According to AdWeek, Facebook is hiring 3,000 more people for its community operations team, which reviews sensitive material to keep violence, hate speech and child exploitation off the platform. The move brings the division up to 7,500 employees.

In response to a string of disturbing videos that have surfaced on the social network in recent weeks, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company is expanding its global community operations team.

Zuckerberg said employees will be tasked with reviewing the “millions of reports” the platform receives every week. He said reviewers will help the company more quickly remove content that violates Facebook policies while working with local law enforcement to respond when needed.

“Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen people hurting themselves and others on Facebook—either live or in video posted later,” Zuckerberg wrote. “It’s heartbreaking, and I’ve been reflecting on how we can do better for our community. If we’re going to build a safe community, we need to respond quickly. We’re working to make these videos easier to report so we can take the right action sooner—whether that’s responding quickly when someone needs help or taking a post down.”

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Last month, it announced it’s exploring the use of machine learning to prevent offensive videos from being shared.

“No one should be in this situation in the first place,” he wrote. “But if they are, then we should build a safe community that gets them the help they need.”

Today, community activists and civic leaders in Chicago met with Facebook officials Thursday to urge more aggressive action to curb violence on Live as the social media giant faces a backlash from users traumatized by grisly images of shootings, suicides and murders on the streaming service. The meeting came in response to a call from Rev. Jesse Jackson and Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin to shut down Live for 30 days following last month’s murder of Cleveland grandfather Robert Godwin Sr.

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Facebook and Rainbow Push Officials Meet. Credit: USA Today. 

Barack and Michelle Obama Give $2M to Summer Jobs Programs

Former President Barack Obama hosted a community event at the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago on Wednesday — and made some big announcements about the future plans for his center’s campus.

The 44th president announced he and his wife, Michelle Obama, will be donating $2 million to summer jobs programs in Chicago.

“One of the things that we will be starting this year is Michelle and I, personally, are going to donate $2 million to our summer jobs programs here in the community, so that right away young people can get to work, and we can start providing opportunities to all of them,” Obama said.

Check out some of the details here: