Beyoncé is Helping Young Women Get in Formation

By way of her  website, Queen B has announced she is awarding four college students with scholarships under her recently launched “Formation Scholars” program. In celebration of the one-year anniversary of her award-winning album Lemonade, this scholarship was formed to “encourage and support young women who are unafraid to think outside the box and are bold, creative, conscious and confident.”

The college and universities selected for participation are Berklee College of Music, Howard University, Parson School of Design and Spelman College.

The scholarship will be awarded to one female student, incoming, current or graduate, pursuing studies in creative arts, music, literature, or African-American studies during the 2017-2018 academic year.

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Speaking of Lemonade, It’s been a little more than a year since B’s album by the same name had its surprise release on April 23, 2016, following an HBO special that featured videos for every track on the record. The album was actually the world’s best selling in 2016. To celebrate, the Queen has assembled “The How to Make Lemonade Box Set,” described as a “momentous tome and comprehensive look” at her “’Lemonade’ journey.”

Selling for $299.99 in a limited edition of 2,500 copies, the set will offer “unprecedented insight” into the making of the album, with a numbered, collector’s, 600-page coffee table book, a first pressing of the double-vinyl LP, and assorted audio and visual album downloads.  The vinyl discs come in a lemon color, of course.

The Return of TRL

Get your pink, crystal-studded Razr phone out and text a friend: TRL is coming back.

The show originally ran from 1998 to 2008, and it was an MTV masterpiece. As well showcasing the 10 most requested music videos of the day, TRL featured a plethora of celebrity guest stars and aired from the network’s studio in Times Square. So news that TRL is coming back to MTV is a major cause for celebration.

According to Adweek, the show will be returning in June, rebranded as MTV Live (or at least that’s the tentative title). The resurrection is the brainchild of MTV’s newest president, Chris McCarthy, who told Adweek, “That ability to be live, in culture — not responding to it but driving it — is where we belong.” His passion for the magic of TRL is something ’90s kids will be able to relate to, especially if it means seeing all of our favorite stars on MTV on a daily basis, live from Manhattan.

Apparently, MTV’s Times Square studio space has also been renovated, so it is now double the size and could broadcast as much as “three or four hours live from the studio each day.”

As an MTV alum, this gives me all the feels. I’ll be watching!

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Destiny’s Child with Carson Daley at TRL

United Airlines Forgets Rule #1

It’s bad enough that airline passengers have to deal with middle seats, cramped overhead bins and stale pretzels. Now they might be subjected to an ass whooping too.

On Sunday, several videos were posted to social media which showed a man being violently dragged off a United Airlines plane out of Chicago after the company said they needed his seat for its crew. The clips show the man screaming as security personnel pry him out of his chair, causing his head to bash against an armrest. He’s then dragged down the aisle on his back as horrified witnesses film on their phones and scream out in disgust.

After the flight boarded, staff announced that they needed four people to volunteer to give up seats so that United employees who needed to be in Louisville Monday could take them. The amount was increased to $800, she said, and passengers were told the plane wouldn’t leave until four people volunteered.When nobody offered, staff announced a computer would select four people. One couple cooperated and left. The man in the video was also selected.

In a statement, the airline apologized for what they initially claimed was an “overbook situation.” But then on Tuesday United reported that they were not actually overbooked, but needed the seats for crew members. The company CEO, Oscar Munoz released a statement on Twitter apologizing for having to “re-accommodate these customers.” Then he released a staff memo which blamed the victim: Munoz called the passenger “disruptive and belligerent” after they “politely” asked him to “deplane.” Ultimately, the crew was “left with no choice but to call Chicago Aviation Security Officers to assist in removing the customer from the flight.”

Well at least we know they are loyal to their employees!

And then….

United wiped about $255 million off its market capitalization. In language we can all understand, that means rich investors such as Warren Buffett lost millions. 

Oh and celebrities dragged the airline

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Then came the competition

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And the internets….

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And FINALLY a proper apology

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It may be too late though. To add insult to injury (*smiles*) the incident also comes just two weeks after the company found itself in hot water for refusing to allow three girls to board a flight because they were wearing leggings.

Pepsi…Matters.

It didn’t take long for Pepsi’s recent attempt to heal matters of unrest via carbonated beverage to fail. In fact, it took less than a day. Unless you are living under a rock, you couldn’t have missed the release of Pepsi’s latest ad. It’s a two-and-a-half minute spot from its in-house creative team, Creators League Studio, featuring Kendall Jenner as a model who leaves work to join a protest.

The spot is part of a new campaign, “Live for Now,” which is about celebrating life’s “Live for Now” moments, according to a press release.

Reception to it has not been tragic, as many see a major corporation co-opting a political movement against the current administration, and co-opting Black Lives Matter, to sell soda.

At first, the company stood by the spot, arguing, “This is a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony, and we think that’s an important message to convey.”

This morning, they changed their minds.

“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding,” the brand said in a statement. “Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are removing the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”

Um…ya think?!

So, what went wrong, exactly? How could a company such as Pepsi fail so miserably in this day and age? This article explains the horror beautifully, stating, “This is what happens when you don’t have enough people in leadership that reflect the cultures that you represent,”

Um…ya think?!

The spot continues to live online. If you haven’t see it as yet, and care to be annoyed, have a looksee:

UPDATE:

Kendall is reportedly very upset that she was part of making everyone upset and SNL did an amazing job spoofing the commercial!

 

Chicago Students Thank Chance the Rapper

Mere days after a vague sit-down with Illinois governor Bruce Rauner, Chance the Rapper pledged $1 million to Chicago Public Schools. “I’m not a politician, I’m here because I’m a dad,” the Grammy Award-winning artist said of his efforts to push for a funding increase in his native city. “I’m an after-school teacher, I care about the kids.”

Lil Chano’s commitment to education hasn’t gone unnoticed. Today three CPS 10th graders publicly thanked the Coloring Book emcee for his good deed via an open letter on Billboard.

“First and foremost, we as Chicago Public School students would like to thank you for the supportive donation to our schools. As we all know, CPS has been struggling financially, and your donation has really given us a push to get to where we need to be and possibly motivate others to give back to the community as well. This is only one of the many things that you have done to improve our Chicago,” Alex Rojas, Alondra Cerros and Annelisse Betancourt began.

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Photo by: Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/TNS

The Lake View High School students went on to applaud Chance for his humility as a celebrity, who hasn’t turned a blind eye to his community in the midst of his success. “We just want to thank you for not forgetting where you came from and helping the city of Chicago in more ways than just being an inspirational rapper. You’re using your fame for good and not just to look good. You gave $1 million dollars of your personal money to Chicago schools and that’s something no one has done for us.”

Chance not only reciprocated the appreciation, but he also promised there’s more to look forward to. “Huge things to come over the next 2weeks,” he tweeted.

 

Michael Bennett Invests In Inner Cities

Seattle Seahawks’ defenseman Michael Bennett has announced that he will be donating all endorsement money he gets in 2017 to causes that are aimed at communities of color around the nation.

Following the lead of Chance The Rapper, who recently donated $1 million to Chicago Public Schools, Bennett says that not only would he give his financial support to communities in need, but encouraged other pro athletes to do the same.

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Source: Getty

“The system is failing our kids, and it will be up to the community and our leaders to help keep the hope alive by focusing on improving our education system and the future of our kids,” Bennett said in the statement. “Any company that decides to invest in me, just know that you’ll be investing in opportunities and providing inspiration for these families — many who feel unnoticed or go unmentioned.”

The money Bennett is donating will go to help minority communities through STEAM educational programs and initiatives targeted at women of color.

In addition to the endorsement money donations, Bennett said he would donate half of his jersey sale proceeds to inner city garden projects to encourage good nutrition and healthy living.

Bennett is known for having a socially active voice. Earlier this week, he came out in support of the women’s strike for International Women’s Day and last month, he pulled out of a trip to Israeli government-sponsored trip to that nation in which he was scheduled to travel with a group of NFL players, due to human rights concerns in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine.