Michelle Obama Launches When We All Vote

Michelle Obama has assembled an all-star team of celebrities to help register voters across the country.

Th initiative is called, When We All Vote and it’s a national, nonpartisan not-for-profit which, “brings together citizens, institutions, and organizations to spark a conversation about our rights and responsibilities in shaping our democracy. Namely, the responsibility of registering and voting.”

When We All Vote’s co-chairs are some big-name celebrities, including Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw.

According to a press release, When We All Vote will work to recruit and train volunteers to register new voters in communities across America. The organization will also host IRL events and make online efforts to reach and inspire unregistered voters, making it easy for them to register or request a voter registration form on-site.

Chrissy Teigen & John Legend Donate $288,000 to ACLU

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend found a unique way to celebrate President Trump’s 72nd birthday yesterday (June 14): they donated nearly $300,000 to the ACLU in the real estate mogul’s honor. The $72,000 gift in the name of each member of their family was intended as a loud and pointed protest to what Teigen said was the “inhumane” immigration policies by the Trump administration that have resulted in thousands of children being separated from their parents at the border.

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“John and I are outraged to see and hear the horror stories of immigrant families seeking asylum and refuge in America being ripped apart due to the inhumane policies of the Trump administration,” Teigen tweeted, a reference to the administration’s policy that has been separating children and parents at the southern U.S. border. “These actions are cruel, anti-family and go against everything we believe this country should represent.”

More than 1,300 children have reportedly been separated from their parents so far as part of the Trump White House’s “zero tolerance” border policy, an action that has drawn rebuke from a number of members of Congress and the religious community, and which inspired thousands of people to take to the streets in dozens of protests around the country to protest the actions in marches coordinated by Families Belong Together.

Teigen said she and Legend decided to make the sizable donation on behalf of themselves and children Luna and Miles because of the ACLU’s commitment to “defending the rights and humanity of these vulnerable families.”

 

 

Barack and Michelle Obama Sign On For Netflix

Netflix has secured a deal with former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama to produce series and movies for the streaming service. The former first couple will, according to an announcement Monday from the company, potentially work on scripted and unscripted series as well as docu-series, documentary films, and features under the multi-year deal.

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“One of the simple joys of our time in public service was getting to meet so many fascinating people from all walks of life, and to help them share their experiences with a wider audience,” said Barack Obama. “That’s why Michelle and I are so excited to partner with Netflix — we hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the entire world.”

It is unknown how much the Obamas’ Netflix agreement — which will see them produce through their newly formed company Higher Ground Productions — is worth. In March, Penguin Random House signed the couple to a joint book deal that pays them a reported $65 million for their respective memoirs.

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.

 

 

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 this offer, 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.

 

Lyft has been at the forefront when it comes to ridesharing apps that truly impact social good.

 

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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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