Children’s Defense Fund Supports Jack and Jill of America, Inc. 2018 Children’s Crusade

On May 4-6, 2018, Jack and Jill of America, Inc. will partner with the Children’s Defense Fund to commemorate the 55th anniversary of the historic 1963 Children’s Crusade in Birmingham, Alabama. The event will honor one of the most inspiring and courageous acts of resistance and peaceful protest by children and will draw over 2,000 youths and families from across the country to the Birmingham Civil Rights District in the city that played a pivotal role in changing the course of history.

On May 2, 1963, thousands of students left their classrooms and gathered at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham to participate in a nonviolent protest against segregation, racism, and social injustices. The next day Birmingham police, led by infamous commissioner of public safety Bull Connor, brought out fire hoses and attack dogs and turned them on the children. It was a scene that caused headlines across the nation and around the world.

The three-day anniversary event will focus on experiential learning supported by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Young people will gain a better understanding of the similarities between events then and now, embracing their power to demand and lead social change through safe, social activism, especially in today’s racially charged climate.

Participants will listen to, learn from, and interact with courageous foot soldiers of the 1963 Children’s Crusade. Carole Robertson, one of the four girls murdered at Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church by bombs planted by White supremacists in September 1963, was a member of Jack and Jill, and this event will honor their memory during a special Power of Children Program with Children’s Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman and Yolanda Renee King.

“This Children’s Crusade is a new chance to remember, honor, and follow the example of the children who were the frontline soldiers and transforming catalysts in America’s greatest moral movement of the twentieth century – the movement for civil rights and equal justice. We owe those extraordinary children and youths a debt of responsibility and gratitude. It will also remind today’s children that they are not just citizens in waiting, but at this critical national time they have their own stake in freedom and justice and they too can be transforming agents for change. I’m so happy to see this new Children’s Crusade to end the violence of guns and poverty by nonviolent means. It’s way past time to protect children and not guns,” said Marian Wright Edelman.

Events begins Friday, May 4. See full agenda here:

30 CAIR Leaders to Attend Inauguration of Lynching Memorial in Alabama

On April 26, some 30 national leaders of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, will attend the inauguration of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Ala.

The facility is “the nation’s first memorial dedicated to the legacy of enslaved black people, people terrorized by lynching, African Americans humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and people of color burdened with contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence.”

SEE: This New Lynching Memorial Rewrites American History (CNN)
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice

“It is critically important that American Muslim leaders and activists learn about the legacy of those who suffered under brutal slavery and segregation for hundreds of years, who fought for basic dignity and human rights, and made the civil rights movement a reality,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad, who will attend the memorial’s inauguration.

He said CAIR national and chapter leaders will also visit Montgomery, Selma and Birmingham as part of a three-day civil rights educational tour.

The Washington-based civil rights organization said it has witnessed an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

Jason Taylor Foundation Host Its Fourth Annual Louder Than A Bomb Florida Poetry Festival from March 26 – April 21, 2018

For the fourth consecutive year, the Jason Taylor Foundation is giving the South Florida community the chance to witness the top youth poets in the state compete during a cutting edge event – the Louder Than A Bomb Florida Poetry Festival presented by Nova Southeastern University and UPS. This highly anticipated event takes place from March 26 – April 21, 2018.

Dubbed the “Super Bowl of poetry,” Louder Than A Bomb Florida (LTABFLA), a Jason Taylor Foundation arts and education project, features a friendly spoken-word competition between school-based poetry teams representing high schools from across the state. Funding from Nova Southeastern University, UPS and a host of other community partners has assisted the Jason Taylor Foundation support the schools’ efforts by providing year-round, in-class and after-school instruction, which will culminate in this 27-day festival.

For the first time in LTABFLA history, a Central Florida preliminary round has been added to the competition and will feature schools representing Brevard, Columbia, Duval, Hillsborough, Orange and St. Lucie counties, while the South Florida regional bracket will be comprised of more than 30 schools from Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

“This is without a doubt one of my favorite times of the year,” said Pro Football Hall of Famer, Jason Taylor. “Each and every day we are witness to the power of young voices and Louder Than A Bomb Florida showcases this power on dynamic stages and in spectacular venues. I love that our reach continues to expand and that LTABFLA can bring so many youth from different backgrounds together to celebrate their stories, strengthen their schools and transform communities.”

Since founding the bluapple Poetry Network with actor and poet Omari Hardwick in 2012, the Foundation has helped more than 65 schools activate this program, with more than 1,200 participants inspiring their communities with poetry.

Louder Than A Bomb Florida is a festival featuring poetry bouts, workshops, exhibits, and ultimately the crowning of Florida’s top youth poetry team. The most critical component, however, is the year-round, meaningful instruction inside the classroom and after-school clubs, with teachers and teaching artists who create and facilitate a safe space for individual and collective expression.

In addition to Nova Southeastern University and UPS, other supporters of Louder Than A Bomb Florida include 99 JAMZ, Arts Garage, ArtServe, BBX Capital Foundation, Best Buy of Davie, Broward Schools, Carnival Foundation, City of Miramar, City of Sunrise, Commissioner Keon Hardemon, DeBartolo Family Foundation, Ella Café, Florida Panthers Foundation, Goldman Properties, Heroes of Hip Hop, Hits 97.3, Hoffman’s Chocolates, Invicta Watch Group, Jax Youth Poetry Slam, LIME Fresh Mexican Grill, Little Haiti Cultural Complex, Miami Dolphins Foundation, Minuteman Press of Hollywood, Miramar Cultural Center, MOD Pizza, NBC-6, Pavlov’s

Ring The Bell Management, PlugIN Private Kareoke Rooms, Publix, Savor Cinema, Sonshine Communications, Sports & Activities Directory, StevenDouglas, The Fountains, The Performers Academy, Thunderous Genius Creative House, Ultimate Software, Urban Word, Wizard Creations, YoungArts Foundation, and Young Chicago Authors.

For more information, or to purchase tickets for Louder Than A Bomb Florida events, visit or call (954) 424-0799.

Black Women in Media Conference Returns This Month

Black Women In Media (BWIM), the renowned platform created for and by women of color in media and entertainment, has announced BETHer as a media sponsor for the 3rd Annual BWIM Awards & Conference. The empowering two-day event will take place on Wednesday, March 28th and Thursday, March 29th in New York City. Other sponsors include Microsoft one of the leading brands in digital and tech and Miss Jessie’s catering to Black women since 2004.

BETHER (formerly CENTRIC), is the premier network for African-American and specifically African-American woman audiences. Since inception, the network brand has successfully served its target audience with solid programming – becoming one of the leading destinations for the latest African-American entertainment and news for women of color. News of the partnership with BWIM brings great excitement to both parties involved. This partnership also presents a great opportunity to support an organization also seeking to empower and uplift people of color.

In two weeks, the 2018 BWIM Awards & Conference will kick off with a day-long conference following the highly anticipated awards ceremony the next day that celebrates and honors notable Black women making great professional strides within the media industry.

Additional honorees have been announced for the awards. Newly added honorees include Amber Payne, Executive Producer at Teen Vogue & THEM; Lori Stokes, Co-Host of Fox 5’s Good Day New York; Lauren Wesley Wilson, Founder of ColorComm; Flo Anthony, Award-Winning Journalist & Author; Dulcé Sloan, Comedian & Correspondent on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah; Crystal McCrary, Author, Filmmaker & Producer, and Codie Elaine Oliver, Co-Creator & Director of OWN Network’s Black Love docu-series. BET’s Chief Marketing & Communications Officer Jeanine Liburd and BET’s SVP & BETHER’s Head of Sales Michele Thornton Ghee also will be honored on Thursday, March 29th.

Guests will experience two encouraging, inspiring and uplifting days filled with Black Girl Magic at the 2018 BWIM Awards & Ceremony. CEO & Founder Judith Jacques and team are beyond excited to bring the event back to New York City for a third year in a row!

A limited amount of tickets are still available to purchase by visiting Use code: BWIMFriend for 20% off.

National Council of Churches Announces April 4th A.C.T. to End Racism Rally on National Mall

Today, the National Council of Churches (NCC) announced plans to hold a rally to end racism on the National Mall on April 4. The A.C.T. to End Racism Rally is the starting point of a multi-year effort, launched by NCC, to remove racism from the nation’s social fabric and bring the country together.

In remembrance of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who inspired and challenged America to confront and put an end to racism, the rally will take place on the day the nation marks 50 years since his assassination. “We have for too long lived under the scourge of racism in our society. To begin the process of healing our nation, we as Christians must join with people of all faiths in holding ourselves accountable for our complicity, and commit to righting the wrongs,” said Jim Winkler, president of NCC.

NCC and its coalition of over 50 partners recognize that the faith community and those of moral conscience have a specific responsibility to address and eliminate racism, but also unique gifts that enable them to do so. “As we look at our society today, it is painfully evident that the soul of our nation needs healing. We must not only pray, but take concrete action to realize and achieve racial and social justice, and we cannot possibly put an end to racism unless we commit to change at all levels — including within the faith community,” said  Bishop W. Darin Moore, chair of the Governing Board for NCC.

“Christian churches, present in every town and community across the country, are both part of the problem and the solution. NCC and our partners are committed to addressing the systemic evil that many Christians and church institutions have yet to fully acknowledge,” said Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, Director of the Truth and Racial Justice Initiative for NCC.

Buses will bring rally-goers from across the country for the three-day event that will see thousands convene on the National Mall. Special guests at the rally include Grammy Award-winning artist Yolanda Adams, Marvin Sapp, Bishop Vashti McKenzie, DeRay Mckesson, Y‘Anna Crawley, Grammy Award-winning artist Rev. Julian DeShazier (J.Kwest), Dr. Jennifer Harvey, Dr. Jim Wallis, Lou Gossett, Jr., Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Dr. Raphael Warnock, Naeem Baig, and Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. Additional names will be announced in the coming weeks.

The schedule of events is as follows:

  • April 3: 6:00 p.m. ET: Orthodox Christian Bridegroom Service of Holy Tuesday;
    8:00 p.m. ET: Then and Now: An Ecumenical Gathering to End Racism
  • April 4: Silent March (starting near the MLK Jr. Memorial), Interfaith Service, and A.C.T. to End Racism Rally on the National Mall, 7:00 a.m.3:30 p.m. ET
  • April 5: National Day of Advocacy & Action

National Museum of African American History and Culture Offers Special Women’s History Month Programming

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will celebrate Women’s History Month with four public programs, including two special programs exploring the stories of pioneers Harriet Tubman and Recy Taylor. All events are free and will take place in the museum’s Oprah Winfrey Theater.

Using the #HiddenHerstory hashtag, the museum’s social media will honor women who have shaped American history through a commitment to ending discrimination. The social media campaign will feature the stories of local women, artists, activists and educators who persisted despite the many intersecting forms of discrimination.

On Friday, March 16, from 7 to 9:30 p.m., the museum will present Cinema + Conversation: The Rape of Recy Taylor. The film tells the story of 24-year-old Taylor who was gang raped by six white boys in 1944 Alabama. After Taylor bravely identified her rapists, the NAACP sent its chief rape investigator Rosa Parks, who rallied support for Taylor and triggered an unprecedented outcry for justice. The film exposes a legacy of physical abuse against black women and reveals Parks’ intimate role in Taylor’s story. Registration is strongly encouraged at

Harriet’s Daughters: An Evening of Conversation and Celebration concludes Women’s History Month celebration, Thursday, March 29, from 6:45 to 9:45 p.m. Featured panelists Barbara Arnwine, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh and Samantha Masters will explore Harriet Tubman’s legacy extending far beyond Tubman’s role in the Civil War and The Underground Railroad. A century after her death, Tubman’s refusal to adhere to the limits placed on her race and gender by society has implications for women today. “Harriet’s Daughters” includes a keynote talk by Kimberle Crenshaw. Known for the introduction and development of intersectional theory, Crenshaw is professor at the UCLA School of Law and Columbia Law School and founder of Columbia Law School’s Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies and the African American Policy Forum. Registration is strongly encouraged at

Tavis Smiley To Premiere 2-Hour Special Report “MLK50: A Call To Conscience” On The Word Network

Award-winning broadcaster, Tavis Smiley, the New York Times best-selling author of “Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Final Year,” will premiere a 2-hour tribute to King on The Word Network, Wednesday, April 4, 2018.

Starting with a deep dive into the most courageous and controversial speech King ever delivered, the 2-hour broadcast will feature The Word Network premiere of Smiley’s documentary “MLK: A Call to Conscience”, which delves into “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” delivered on April 4, 1967, at Riverside Church in New York City, exactly one year to the day before his assassination in Memphis, Tennessee. According to Dr. Vincent Harding, who helped King write the speech, King’s strong words about the triple threat facing American democracy – racism, poverty and militarism – put a target on King’s back.

The second hour of “MLK50: A Call to Conscience” will feature rare interviews with the people who knew him best and loved him most.  The tribute includes Smiley’s conversations over the years with King’s immediate family, including Coretta Scott King’s last national interview, and a host of other friends, confidantes, scholars and admirers including Maya Angelou, Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, Taylor Branch, Michael Eric Dyson, Marian Wright Edelman, John Lewis, Barack Obama, Cornel West, Andrew Young and many more.

“I have long believed that Dr. King is the greatest American we have ever produced. He is one of America’s founding fathers, and most certainly, our greatest prophet. The implications of his words, work and witness must be reckoned with 50 years later,” said Smiley.

“We strive daily in our programming to advance the unarmed truth and unconditional love to which Dr. King dedicated his life. We are grateful for our new partnership with Tavis’s media production company, and we are delighted to premiere this special tribute to Dr. King on this sacred and historic anniversary,” stated Kevin Adell, CEO and Founder of The Word Network.

“MLK50: A Call to Conscience” will premiere on The Word Network, Wednesday, April 4, 2018, at 9pm Eastern, 8pm Central, and 6pm Pacific.  An encore performance will air at 11pm Eastern that same evening.

Opportunity Hub Returns To SXSW To Unlock Access To Opportunities In Tech, Entrepreneurship And Investment For Minority Students

Opportunity Hub (OHUB) is set to return to South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festival for the third consecutive year with its flagship HBCU@SXSW program. The early exposure and recruitment initiative for African American and LatinX college students will take place March 9-12 in Austin, Texas. This year, the lineup of events has increased to include more than 50 speakers across three venues, six official SX panels, nine dedicated student recruitment events, the 4th Annual Innovators and Investors VIP Reception & Dinner, and #OHUBHouse—the first-ever inclusive tech, startup and blockchain house at SXSW.

“By 2053, the average net worth of an African American family is projected to be zero,” said Rodney Sampson, CEO of OHUB. “We can and must work to disrupt these statistics at scale by ensuring that minorities from socially disadvantaged communities are exposed, educated, trained and provided access with definitive opportunities to build a high demand career in tech, launch and grow a high growth startup company, and create multi-generational wealth.”

With over one thousand applicants from more than 200 schools, OHUB selected 125 students to attend this official SXSW event. The program aims to provide students with access to unknown spaces and firm recruitment opportunities through a fully immersive experience with the interactive technology on display at SXSW, leading tech companies, investors and influencers. In 2017, 90 percent of the students who attended HBCU@SXSW received paid summer internships, apprenticeships, or full-time positions.

Speakers over the weekend, include Celia Edwards Karam (Capital One), Timnit Gebru (Microsoft), Brian Bracken (Kairos), Janice Bryant Howroyd (ACT-1 Global), Rodney Williams (Lisnr), Kei Henderson (21 Savage), Rodney Bullard (Chick-fil-A), Sheena Allen (CapWay) and many other top experts and influencers from across different industries that are directly engaged in the innovation economy. Official SX panels will cover topics from hacking racial bias in artificial intelligence, to creating safe work spaces for millennials of color, and mining, trading and building blockchain companies.

Headliners performing in the #OHUBhouse include DJ Scream of Hoodrich Entertainment and Young Guru, best known for his work with Jay-Z.

In line with its commitment to improve inclusion and diversity in the tech sector, MailChimp has partnered with OHUB as the lead sponsor this year.

“MailChimp is thrilled to partner with Opportunity Hub through its HBCU@SXSW program to promote diversity in tech at SXSW,” said Chimére Faison Barnard, Diversity and Inclusion Talent Scout at MailChimp. “We recently collaborated with Opportunity Hub to launch #ATLTechRiseUp to attract and retain more diverse talent for tech jobs in Atlanta. HBCU@SXSW is one of the best opportunities for us to cultivate these meaningful relationships by sharing access to MailChimp and the tech community with talent in untapped minority demographics. In 2017, at HBCU@SXSW we were able to connect with some of the brightest and most driven talent from across the country, and we can’t wait to engage at a more prominent level this year.”

Other national sponsors include Comcast, Capital One, Chick-fil-A, Spotify, Facebook, Oculus, Spotify, Deloitte, Snapchat, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Microsoft, Twitter, Kauffman Foundation and CannaSOS.
“As part of our continued commitment to diversity at all stages of the pipeline, Capital One is proud to sponsor HBCU@SXSW to help expose more students to career opportunities in tech,” said Mark Mathewson, Managing Vice President, International and Small Business Technology at Capital One. “In addition to supporting their overall experience at SXSW, we’re excited to connect directly with HBCU students at the #CapitalOneHouse for several events, including our ‘Elevating Blacks in Tech’ panel discussion on March 10.”

Howard University Hospital Kicks-Off 25th Year at NBC4 Health and Fitness Expo

Howard University Hospital (HUH) invites the local community to join its team of healthcare experts at the 2018 NBC4 Health and Fitness EXPO this Saturday, March 10, 2018, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The hospital will kick-off its 25th year of participation at the EXPO and is one of a few healthcare organizations that have attended the event since its inception.

 “The NBC4 Health & Fitness EXPO provides a unique opportunity to connect and engage with local residents on a personal level, regarding their health and wellness in a conducive environment,” says HUH Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shelly McDonald-Pinkett. “With more than two decades of participation at this event, we remain steadfast in our longstanding commitment to provide area residents with exceptional healthcare service.”

Spanning two days (March 10 & 11), the EXPO features more than 85,000 attendees and over 200 healthcare organizations. HUH will offer EXPO attendees the chance to take part in a multitude of free health screenings, seek expert medical advice, schedule real-time appointments and discuss (“Ask a Doctor”) anything related to their individual health and wellness. HUH’s Health and Wellness Information Stations will also be on hand to provide attendees with one-on-one access to a wide array of specialty services and medical knowledge.

“The importance of getting a routine health screening is a critical component to managing your health,” says Dr. McDonald-Pinkett.  “In most cases, an early detection means the availability of more treatment options and also lowers the risk of serious complications, which may result in better outcomes for the patient..”

Join HUH’s expert physicians and trained specialists at booth number 8113. Free Health Screenings and access to HUH Information Stations will begin on Saturday, March 10, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and on Sunday, March 11, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

List of Free Health Screenings: Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Dental, Glucose, HIV & HCV (Hepatitis C), Memory & Mental Health, Prostate Cancer, Sickle Cell, and Vision.

List of Health and Wellness Information Stations: Ask the Doctor, Ask the Nutritionist, Ask the Pharmacist, HUH Cancer Center Van, Neurology, OBGYN, HUH Sleep Center, Stress Relief Zone.

Don’t miss the chance to network on-site with physicians and other healthcare professionals and learn more about HUH’s history and culture as one of the most comprehensive healthcare facilities in the Washington Metropolitan Area. HUH is in its 156 year and is the only teaching hospital associated with an HBCU. The HU Medical School and hospital have served as a training ground for many of the nation’s top African-American physicians.

NFL Announced as Presenting Sponsor for the 2018 HBCU Battle of the Brains™


The HBCU Battle of the Brains, LLC in partnership with the National Black MBA Association – Austin Chapter is pleased to announce the National Football League (NFL) as its presenting sponsor for the 2nd Annual HBCU Battle of the Brains (HBCUBOTBrains) competition to be held Friday, March 9 – Saturday, March 10, 2018.

Several dozen teams of the top STEM and Business students of Historically Black University and Colleges (HBCUs) will come to Austin this spring to spar for college scholarships and bragging rights in the HBCUBOTBrains hackathon-style event. These teams will take a business case and in 24-hours, provide a panel of industry leaders comprehensive strategies, go-to-market plans and technology solutions for a chance to win some of the $50,000+ in college scholarships.

“The NFL is honored to serve as the presenting sponsor of the 2018 HBCU ‘Battle of the Brains’ hackathon,” said Brian Lockhart, NFL Media Vice President and Senior Coordinating Producer of Original Content. “Events like these that work to encourage and inspire young minds have a lasting impact on not only the participants, but also any company that strives to find the best and brightest talent for their brand.”

The NFL sponsorship helps with college scholarship awards, travel stipends for several teams and provides partnering in the competition business case development and judging. The 2018 HBCU Battle of the Brains Team Registration is open through 11:59 p.m. Central Time on Sunday, February 18, 2018.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to follow up on our participation at the NBMBAA’s 2017 Annual Conference with the ‘Battle of the Brains’ hackathon sponsorship,” Robert Gulliver, NFL Executive Vice President of Human Resources added. “Leveraging our partnership with NBMBAA members at events like this works to deepen our pool of talented candidates for future roles with the NFL.”

In 2017, the inaugural competition drew seven teams from HBCUs across the country and crowned Paul Quinn College as the HBCUBOTBrains first winner. “We are proud to have the NFL onboard as our presenting sponsor to engage with HBCU students,” said Gregory Gibson Jr., Founder and Executive Director, HBCU Battle of the Brains. “The HBCUBOTBrains competition brings some of the best and brightest among HBCU students with employers around the global icons convergence of the South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference & Festival.”