Black Accessory Designers Alliance (BADA) presented the creations of accessory designers of color at recent New York Fashion Week Pop Up Soirée

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On Tuesday September 12, 2017, Black Accessory Designers Alliance™ (BADA) presented the creations of accessory designers of color at their semi-annual New York Fashion Week Pop Up Soirée.

The event, a celebration of talented, yet undiscovered artisans, took place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Unarthodox at 547 West 27 Street, Suite 300 in West Chelsea. Wilbur Pack, Jr., the co-founder of BADA, was among the designers showcasing the newest styles of his bag line SK WiLBUR. He says, “We are very proud to generate this opportunity for designers, like me, who would not normally be able to afford the cost of showing for New York Fashion Week. With BADA, we are able to pool our monies to reach the shared goal of shining a spotlight on each individual and our community as a whole.”

Ursallie Smith, the interior design dynamo behind Rococo Design Interiors and the mastermind behind Pillow Throw and Tuck™ decorative pillows, presented her home accessories line for the fourth time with BADA. “It’s gratifying to be a part of BADA sharing my aesthetic with a broad spectrum of people,” Smith admits. Velvet Lattimore, the owner of Vedazzling Accessories Boutique in DUMBO, Brooklyn and co-founder of BADA presented some of the special, one-of-a-kind, handcrafted accessory pieces that she’s collected as a retailer and champion of unsung designers. She says, “There is so much under-the-radar talent out here. With BADA and Vedazzling Accessories, I am able to introduce their work to the buying public and press, too.”

Joining BADA for NY Fashion Week for the first time was FULABA, a contemporary jewelry line of earrings and bracelets. Handcrafted and beautifully rendered in both silver and gold, these wearable works of art invoke the majesty of African queens. Haby Barry, the brand’s founder, is a Guinean American of Fulani descent who wants to share the traditions, nobility, and grace of her ancestors with the world. She is also empowering the people of Guinea by using her entrepreneurial endeavors to build economic opportunities for them. To shop her line, please visit www.fulaba.com.

Shavon Dorsey, the designer and CEO of her eponymous shoe brand, is ready to take her seat at the table with other shoe design sheroes like Charlotte Olympia, Tory Burch, and Tabitha Simmons. After years of gazing longingly at the shoe candy gracing the pages of magazines like Vogue and W, Shavon made the fearless move to create footwear that is easy on the pocketbooks of fashionistas like her and her girlfriends. Sandals, wedges, and pumps in bright, bold colors comprise the premier collection. Five head-turning styles that so deftly combine style with comfort are currently available for purchase on www.blueclosetboutique.com.

Sheryl Jones began her career in fine jewelry in 1999, after working for a decade in the entertainment industry as a film and television publicist and later as Vice President of Communications at MTV: Music Television. “I have always been passionate about fine gemstones’ transformative power and beauty,” she explains, “and dreamed of one day bringing music’s similar vitality to a fine jewelry collection of my own.” After working as an apprentice with one of Belgium’s finest diamond manufacturers, she struck out on her own with Sheryl Jones Designs in New York City’s Diamond District. Now this gem genius who has been dubbed “The Black Queen of Diamonds” is blazing her own trail as the only black woman operating her own brand of bling in The District. To check out some of her ogle-worthy pieces, visit www.sheryljonesjewels.com.

Tremaine Coates, the heartbeat of T’Da Couture, is a self taught bag and belt designer who picked up a needle and thread one day after work just a few short years ago and stitched up his first pristine leather bag. Now he’s weaving his innate talent into entrepreneurial gold with a collection of structured bags that are functional and beautifully rendered in luxurious leathers.The leather belts, in colors like cobalt and red, have a polished gold buckle featuring the company’s logo. They are perfect for both men and women. To place an order from the collection, please email tdacouturellc@gmail.com.

André Pierre’s passion for design was ignited at an early age when his maternal grandmother taught him his first stitch on fabric swatches. With determination and a focus on his studies at the New York Interior Design School and Atlanta Metropolitan Technical College, André soon became a sought after set decorator with over 75 Hollywood films to his credit including The Hunger Games series, Selma, and Baby Driver. André’s work can also be seen on the OWN cable series Greenleaf and several commercials for Samsung. Twelve years ago, this interior design dynamo established A Pierre Design, LLC decorating dozens of model homes and creating sought after home accessories. To see more about André, please visit his
website www.apierredesign.com.

ABOUT BADA
Black Accessory Designers Alliance, established in 2015, addresses a crippling divide in the fashion industry caused by a lack of meaningful opportunities for minority designers. We seek to elevate and increase the visibility of accessory businesses owned by designers of color by increasing opportunities for them to network with industry leaders and others. Our five main initiatives are:

The Bi-Annual New York Fashion Week Pop-Up Soiree
During NY Fashion Week, we present the work of emerging and established accessory designers of color and invite fashion industry leaders, traditional press, bloggers, and the public to become acquainted with them and their designs. The event and participating designers have been featured in respected publications, both online and print.

Panel Discussions and Networking Mixers
We host panel discussions and mixers throughout the year featuring up-and-coming designers and trailblazers who promote community development,collaboration,and cultivate networking opportunities. Handbag designer Monica Botkier, vintage style guru Jonathan Bodrick, celebrity wardrobe stylist Wouri Vice, and many others who are well-regarded in fashion have participated.

Internships and Mentoring
Because of the importance of demonstrating to young designers the viability of their art as a career, we offer internships to NYC-area high school and college students. We have fostered relationships with the High School of Fashion Industries, Harvey Milk School, Harlem School of the Arts, and Henry Street Settlement.

The Database of Accessory Designers of Color
As members of the community we serve, we often hear from potential consumers that they don’t know how to find products by designers of color. We are creating an online directory of designers in all accessory disciplines—including bags, contemporary jewelry, and millinery—that will be featured on our website www.badaunite.org.

The Store & E-Commerce Site
Items created by participating designers are sold at Vedazzling Accessories Boutique and on www.vedazzlingaccessories.com.

Cicely Tyson Becomes First Black Woman To Receive Honorary Oscar

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Cicely Tyson is finally bringing home the gold.

The 93-year-old actress was named this week as the recipient of an honorary Oscar, making her the first black woman to gain that distinction, according to Essence and People.

Tyson has won a Tony, two Emmys and a Presidential Medal of Freedom, but an Academy Award had escaped the performer in a legendary career. She lost the only time she was nominated for best actress, in 1973 for the sharecropper drama “Sounder.”

But she has won plenty of acclaim elsewhere, such as for TV productions like “Roots” and “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.”

Some of her notable big-screen credits include “The River Niger,” “Fried Green Tomatoes,” “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” “The Help,” “Alex Cross” and “Last Flag Flying.”

Tyson began as a model and stage actress and got her big feature-film break in 1968’s “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.”

Fifty years later, she is getting some overdue recognition by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Continue onto the Huffington Post to read the complete article.

Make the Most of Your National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) Certification

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Brenda and Carlton Oneal

Brenda H. Oneal and Carlton L. Oneal
Light Speed, LLC

eLearning and multimedia design, development and production

How has the NMSDC helped your business?
The NMSDC has helped our business by providing access to corporate personnel and information about business opportunities that we may not have gotten through any other mechanism.

In many cases, the people with whom I interact through the NMSDC at the National and Regional level are interested in doing business with minority suppliers based upon their knowledge of the responsiveness and innovation that many of our firms provide.

In what unique way did you win your last contract?
The service being provided as a result of the last contract we won is unique. At an NMSDC event, a discussion was being held about how supplier diversity personnel are training the employees in their corporation on the subject of supplier diversity. A client of ours was part of that conversation and recommended that her colleague seeking the service call our firm because we offer a unique eLearning course series on supplier diversity. The courses we provide are designed to teach employees, leaders and other stakeholders the overall business rationale for supplier diversity in addition to many other facts about the subject. Once the person seeking the service talked to two of her other trusted colleagues about the subject and they gave her the same response, “call Light Speed,” she told me she was convinced we were the ones to seek for the information we could provide.

What advice can you give others?
Be very clear on the key products and services you provide. Once you are clear, be certain that you accept requests for work that will keep you in, or very closely tied to what you do extremely well. When companies start to stray from providing anything other than what will result in an excellent client experience, you are putting your reputation at risk.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned?
Develop as many relationships in an organization that you can. As you do this, seek to develop those relationships at different levels in the company. If you depend on a single relationship in a company, years of effort will be lost if that single contact person gets transferred out of the area of chooses to leave their company.

Ronald E. Damper

DAMRON CorporationRonald Damper
Tea supplier to McDonald’s, retail and food service

How has the NMSDC helped your business?    
The NMSDC offers the forum to meet key decision makers and establish mutually beneficial relationships. We have formed lasting relationships with organizations with whom we do business and hope to do business. The networking and referral opportunities are endless.

In what unique way did you win your last contract?
In the past, we experienced difficulty connecting with a particular decision maker. DAMRON exhibited at council trade fair with a booth directly behind the company of interest. This Supplier Diversity person represents an organization that contract feeds many corporations. Our line was long and our aromatic tea wafted in her direction. We shared a cup of tea with her, and she was hooked! We have since been invited, on her behalf, to several company specific vendor fairs and am now supplying organic tea to a major IT corporation with more to follow.

What advice can you give others?
Be impeccable with your word. Deliver what you say you will deliver and always give your best. Become the caliber supplier with whom you would like to do business. Attention to detail is key!

What is the biggest lesson you have learned:
Not right now does not mean no. Stay the course and do not become discouraged.  Continue to stay engaged. Your time is coming.

Learn more about the National Minority Supplier Development Council at nmsdc.org

Kobe Bryant and nine other athletes have been supersmart investors

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“What comes next? What is my next passion?”

Those are the two questions retired NBA star and Academy Award winner Kobe Bryant claims athletes have to ask themselves.

The answer — for Bryant, 40, and many other retired sports stars — is investing.

In mid-August, the news that Bryant’s 2014 investment of $6 million in sports drink BodyArmor had morphed into $200 million after Cola-Cola purchased the company garnered lots of attention. In 2016, the five-time NBA champion partnered with Jeff Stibel, former CEO of Web.com, to form the venture capital fund Bryant Stibel. Other investments under Bryant Stibel include online education platform VIPKid and restaurant booking company Reserve.

Bryant’s return on investment is a boon to the ideology of athletes’ soaring interests in technology investments and beyond. But he’s not the only player who has taken the savvy approach to declaring his or her next passion.

More than 30 years ago, NBA Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson, now the president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers, started Magic Johnson Enterprises and invested in technology staffing company Jopwell. For decades he has maintained ownership in movie theaters, Burger King, TGI Fridays and other franchises, teams and startups.

Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter invested in the video conference service Blue Jeans Network and the anti-bullying app StopIt. He also founded sports website The Players’ Tribune. NBA big man and Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal sat down with talk show host Ellen DeGeneres in June to discuss investing in Google. O’Neal has also invested in burger chain Five Guys, 24 Hour Fitness and Apple.

Here are nine superjocks who use their brainpower, access and finances to make their money work for them.

Serena Williams

The new mother and tennis champion took interest in the meal delivery service Daily Harvest. During a 2017 episode of talk series Kneading Dough, she also expressed to Maverick Carter some interest in investment properties.

“I have the weirdest one, it’s property,” Serena Williams said. “For me, investments are really important in terms of who are the other investors: What does their portfolio look like? Have they been successful? If they’re a new company, are they a good product? Is it something you believe in? I never do something if I don’t really believe in the product.”

Venus Williams

Venus Williams is an investor in Ellevest, a financial app that empowers women and provides tips on saving.

Kevin Durant

When the Golden State Warriors All-Star found himself leaving Oklahoma City for Silicon Valley, he’d already developed a portfolio that included stakes in delivery service PostmatesAcorns, an investment app geared to millennials; drone company Skydio; and scooter brand LimeBike. Kevin Durant usually prefers to make his investments at the early stages.

Maya Moore

Maya Moore’s desire to promote healthy eating habits encouraged her to become involved with the frozen-juice company Chloe’s Fruit and the plant-based protein meat substitute company Beyond Meat.

“I think from early on in my career, I wanted to be someone who promotes health and wellness and nutrition,” Moore told WCCO4 CBS Minnesota. “These two companies definitely fit all those things.”

Continue onto The Undefeated to read about the complete list of athletes.

John Legend is the youngest ever to achieve EGOT status

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John Legend has made history as the youngest person ever to achieve that sweet, sweet coveted EGOT status.

That’s someone who has received the big four, the holy grail of performance accolades: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards.

Legend, 39, completed the acronym at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, as did Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, all for producing best variety special winner Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.

He’s also the first black man to land EGOT status, making history in more ways than one.

Legend also played the role of Jesus in NBC’s production of the 1970 concept album-turned-Broadway musical, so he’s also up for the Emmy for outstanding actor in a limited series or movie, which will be revealed at the big primetime Emmy Awards on Monday.

“Before tonight, only 12 people had won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony in competitive categories,” wrote Legend on Instagram.

“Sirs Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice and I joined that group when we won an Emmy for our production of their legendary show Jesus Christ Superstar. So happy to be part of this team. So honored they trusted me to play Jesus Christ. So amazed to be in such rarefied air.”

There are actually a total of 14 other EGOT recipients, including Audrey Hepburn, Scott Rudin, Mel Brooks. Two of these, Whoopi Goldberg and songwriter Robert Lopez, have won a daytime Emmy.

Continue onto Mashable to read the complete article.

Netflix creates new executive position focused on inclusion and diversity

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Netflix is creating a new executive position that will focus on inclusion and diversity among employees of the streaming entertainment giant.


Vernā Myers has been appointed to the newly created role of vice president for inclusion strategy, Netflix announced Wednesday. The company said Myers will help devise and implement strategies that integrate cultural diversity, inclusion and equity into all aspects of Netflix’s operations worldwide.

Prior to joining Netflix, Myers worked as a consultant at the Vernā Myers Co., where she advised corporations and organizations on issues including race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation.

Her appointment comes two months after Netflix fired its chief communications officer after he used a racial slur on at least two occasions in the workplace. Jonathan Friedland, who had served as Netflix’s top spokesperson for the past seven years, acknowledged that he had spoken in an “insensitive” way.

“Leaders have to be beyond reproach in the example we set and unfortunately I fell short of that standard when I was insensitive in speaking to my team about words that offend in comedy,” he wrote on Twitter in June.

Earlier this week, Los Gatos, Calif.-based Netflix named Rachel Whetstone — a veteran of Facebook, Uber and Google — to succeed Friedland as chief communications officer.

Diversity executives have become increasingly common at major corporations. Silicon Valley in particular has become the focus of media scrutiny for what some workers have described as a lack of gender and racial diversity at technology and internet companies.

Myers has previously consulted for Netflix, the company said. “Having worked closely with Vernā as a consultant on a range of organizational issues, we are thrilled that she has agreed to bring her talents to this new and important role,” said Jessica Neal, Netflix’s chief talent officer.

Continue onto the Los Angles Times to read the complete article.

Kevin Hart giving back by handing out scholarships to HBCU students

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His Help From the Hart Charity Fund is partnering with the UNCF to award $600,000

Last week, actor and comedian Kevin Hart saluted LeBron James on the opening of his I Promise school for at-risk youth in James’ hometown of Akron, Ohio. Now, we have a reason to salute Hart.

In a partnership involving the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) and Hart’s own Help From the Hart Charity Fund, 18 KIPP students will have an opportunity to earn a college degree.

Through this partnership, a $600,000 scholarship will be established to provide funding in order to support KIPP students from eight different cities who are attending 11 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

“The Help From The Hart Charity Scholarship will not only support students but will also demonstrate support for HBCUs,” said UNCF CEO and president Michael L. Lomax. “Research shows that HBCUs matter, and that HBCU students are having a positive college experience, but they also have an unmet financial need. Together, Kevin and KIPP have made an investment that will have a significant impact. We can’t thank them enough for their support.”

Continue onto The Undefeated to read the complete article.

Sharon Caples McDougle is somewhat of a “hidden figure”

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Sharon McDougle with Mae Jamison

Everyone knows that Dr. Mae Jemison was the first African American woman to travel into space – but many don’t know that an African American woman “suited her up”. McDougle was Jemison’s suit tech for the historic mission STS-47 aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor September 12, 1992.

McDougle worked closely with her during her training leading up to launch, as well as actual launch day and landing of the space shuttle – taking care of all of her assigned crew escape equipment – her suit, helmet, writing utensils, even her diaper.

McDougle joined the NASA family through Boeing Aerospace Operations in 1990 where she worked as a Flight Equipment Processing Contract team member in the Space Shuttle Crew Escape Equipment (CEE) department. She began her career as a CEE Suit Technician and was responsible for processing the orange launch and entry suit (LES) assemblies worn by all NASA space shuttle astronauts. She was assigned to her first mission STS-37 within a year.  McDougle was one of only two women CEE Suit Technicians and the only African American technician when she began her career.

In 1994 McDougle was promoted to the position of Crew Chief making her the first female and first African American Crew Chief in CEE. In her new position she was responsible for leading a team of technicians to suit up astronaut crews. She was responsible for leading her team and ensuring the astronaut crews were provided with outstanding support during suited astronaut training, launch, and landing events. In 1998, United Space Alliance (USA) absorbed the Boeing Aerospace Operations contract and McDougle continued in her position as a CEE Crew Chief employed by USA.  She traveled to Kennedy Space Center quite often where she worked in support of many space shuttle launches.  As Crew Chief McDougle had the honor of leading the first and only all-female suit tech crew supporting space shuttle mission STS-78.

In 2004 McDougle became the first female and first African American promoted to the position of Manager of the CEE Processing department. In this position, she managed the team of 25+ employees responsible for processing the Advanced Crew Escape Suit (ACES) and related equipment worn by the astronaut crews aboard the space shuttle. Her team assisted the astronaut Sharon McDougle and Lt. Uhuracrews in donning/doffing the suit, testing the equipment, strapping the astronauts into the space shuttle before launch, and recovering the crew upon landing. She held this position until the Space Shuttle Program ended in 2011. Sharon continued working until 2012 to help close-out the program, ending an illustrious 22 year career with the space shuttle program.

Other notable African-American astronauts McDougle has suited up: Charles Bolden, Frederick Gregory, and Dr. Bernard Harris.

During her career she was recognized with the Astronaut “Silver Snoopy” Award, Space Flight Awareness Honoree Award, USA Employee of the Month Teamwork Award, USA Employee of the Month Community Service Award, and the coveted Women of Color in Flight Award from Dr. Mae Jemison recognizing her career as the first and only African American woman suit tech/crew chief in her field. She absolutely loved her job and is proud to have been a part of our nation’s historic Space Shuttle Program.

McDougle was recognized by her home state as a 2018 Mississippi Trailblazer at the 16th Annual Mississippi Trailblazers Awards Ceremony and Black Tie Gala where she received two awards: the Calvin “Buck” Buchanan “FIRST” Award named for Mississippi’s first United States Attorney for the Northern District – honoring a Mississippian who holds the distinction of being the “first” in their profession and the Dr. Cindy Ayers “Legacy” Award honoring a Trailblazer whose singular work and contributions will leave a legacy long after their life has ended.

Most recently, McDougle received the Lifetime Achievement award from the Moss Point Visionary Circle during their 6th Annual Living Legends Ball for her military service and NASA career.

McDougle is also a United States Air Force (USAF) veteran, which is where she began her aerospace career in 1982 after graduating from high school. She served proudly in the Strategic Air Command (SAC) as an Aerospace Physiology Specialist at Beale Air Force Base, CA (1982-1990), reaching the rank of Sergeant (E-4).

During her enlistment she was a member of the Physiological Support Division (PSD). McDougle was responsible for training the SR-71 and U-2/TR-1 (“spy planes”) reconnaissance aircraft pilots on high altitude operations. She performed hazardous duty as an inside observer chamber technician and as a chamber operations team member during hypobaric (altitude) and hyperbaric (dive) chamber operations. During the hypobaric chamber flights crewmembers learned firsthand how hypoxia affects their judgment while flying an aircraft. The crewmembers were taught and practiced how they would handle these types of situations and the importance of wearing all equipment correctly.

McDougle also inspected and maintained flight equipment used for the SR-71 and U-2/TR-1 missions. The equipment included full pressure suit ensembles (helmet, gloves, boots, etc.), harness assemblies, and survival equipment (seat kits and parachutes, and emergency oxygen systems). She sized and fitted crewmembers’ pressure suits, assisted crewmembers in donning and doffing their suits, and performed functional tests before takeoff.  She also loaded the survival seat kits and parachutes into the aircraft, strapped-in the crewmembers before take-off, and recovered the crew upon landing.

• 1982 – Graduated from Moss Point High School (Moss Point, MS)
• 1982-1990 – served in the United States Air Force as an Aerospace Physiology Specialist
• 1990 – Joined Boeing Aerospace Operations/Space Shuttle Crew Escape Equipment (CEE), becoming the first African American CEE Suit Technician
• 1992 – Suited up Dr. Mae Jemison, the first woman of color to travel into space (STS-47)
• 1994 – Promoted to Crew Chief, becoming first African American (male or female) CEE Crew Chief
• 1996 – Led the first and only all-female suit tech crew (STS-78)
• 2004 – First and only African American (male or female) promoted to the position of Manager of the CEE department

McDougle spent much of her enlistment on temporary assignment traveling abroad to Greece, Korea, Japan, and England, as well as stateside locations, in support of the SR-71 and U-2/TR-1 reconnaissance aircraft missions.  She separated from the Air Force in 1990 with an honorable discharge. During her enlistment she was awarded the Humanitarian Service Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (2 devices), Good Conduct Medal (1 oak leaf cluster), Training Ribbon, NCO Professional Military Education Ribbon, Longevity Service Award, and was also recognized as Airman of the Month.

NASA’s Katherine Johnson Honored With Statue, Scholarship On 100th Birthday

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Taraji P. Henson portrayed Johnson in 2016’s “Hidden Figures.”

West Virginia State University honored NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson’s 100th birthday with a statue and scholarship dedication over the weekend.

Hundreds of people ― including 75 of Johnson’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren ― attended the event honoring the woman who was portrayed by Taraji P. Henson in the 2016 film “Hidden Figures,” according to the West Virginia Gazette. The bronze statue of Johnson was unveiled Saturday, one day before she turned 100.

The scholarship in Johnson’s name was awarded to freshmen Jasiaha Daniels and Alexis Scudero, both of whom are studying in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.

“What makes Katherine so extraordinary is she not only prevailed while segregation failed, Dr. Johnson has continued to persevere and thrive with the gracious poise and clarity that defies mere words of explanation, let alone definition,” said Dr. Yvonne Cagle, the keynote speaker at the ceremony and the space and life sciences directorate at the Johnson Space Center.

Johnson started attending WSVU when she was 14 because she wasn’t able to receive further education in Greenbrier County. She graduated from the university in 1937 with degrees in both mathematics and French, then went on to pursue graduate studies at the institution.

Johnson was a teacher for 15 years, then joined the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics, which later became NASA. She and three other women calculated rocket trajectories and orbits for some of the earliest American voyages into space, including helping astronaut John Glenn orbit the Earth three times.

Continue onto the Huffington Post to read the complete article.

Serena Williams Tops Forbes’ Highest-Paid Female Athletes Of 2018

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The tennis superstar worked just four months out of the period Forbes tracked after taking time off to have her daughter, Olympia.Serena Williams is back on top — of the payroll.

Forbes Magazine released its annual list of highest-paid female athletes on Tuesday and Serena Williams took the top spot. Williams earned a whopping $18.1 million between June 2017 and June 2018, the magazine estimates.

If that wasn’t impressive enough, Forbes reported that the tennis star only earned $62,000 in winnings during the 12-month period because she took time off to give birth to her daughter, Olympia. The tennis champ took a 14-month break to have her daughter starting in January 2017, which means she only worked for four months of the 12-month period Forbes analyzed.

Williams, 36, earned the rest of her million-dollar pay day through endorsement deals with Nike, Intel, Gatorade and Beats, along with her new fashion collection Serena. This is the third straight year Williams (who sits on the board of advisers to Oath, HuffPost’s parent company) has topped Forbes’ list of highest-paid female athletes.

Tennis player Caroline Wozniacki came in second on the list with total earnings of $13 million, $7 million of which came from prize money and $6 million from endorsements. The rest of the top five highest-paid athletes are all tennis players, including Sloane Stephens ($11.2 million), Garbine Muguruza ($11 million) and Maria Sharapova ($10.5 million). Serena Williams’ sister Venus Williams came in sixth on the list, earning $10.2 million.

Continue onto the Huffington Post to read the complete article.

John David Washington Outran His Father’s Long Shadow With A Football In Hand

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The star of HBO’s ‘Ballers’ and Spike Lee’s ‘BlacKkKlansman,’ former Morehouse star running back and NFL player does things his way

John David Washington’s master plan was not football. Football was the escape. He fell in love with acting when he was 5 years old. He was watching his father pace as he was running through lines from Richard III for a Shakespeare in the Parkperformance. “When we were walking the streets,” said Washington, 34, “sometimes he would recite his lines. … I loved the language … loved those words.” And he loved the man who was bringing those words to life.

His father is celebrated actor Denzel Washington, and the elder Washington had collected his first Oscar win earlier that year for his performance as Pvt. Silas Trip in 1989’s Glory, the story of one of the first all-black military units of what became known as the U.S. Colored Troops of the Union Army — minus the officers, of course. “I knew then,” said Washington, “that I wanted to do it.” And in case you’re wondering? Washington still knows every line of Glory, his all-time favorite film.

Washington is the eldest of Denzel and Pauletta Washington’s four children. His parents met in 1977 while on the set of Denzel Washington’s first television role as Wilma Rudolph’s high school sweetheart in 1977’s Wilma. Pauletta Pearson portrayed champion sprinter Mae Faggs. The couple got married 35 years ago and are easily one of Hollywood’s most beloved pairings, well-known for their performances and for their outstanding humanitarian efforts.

“My mom was a tremendous artist as well before she got with my father,” said Washington, “and she [told] her stories … all the sacrifices she had to make. She used to sit down and just play piano. All the classical numbers … without even needing to read the score!”

But as much as he loved narratives, and music, Washington moved away from it. And instead of fine arts, he found football. Football was a move away from his famous lineage. No one would compare him to his father on the football field. Denzel Washington’s stint as a college athlete is rarely talked about — the Oscar-winning actor played two years for Fordham’s basketball team before deciding that he was a player and not, well, a player. But his son was a baller. At Morehouse. And good at it. And on the field, no one would be able to say he got there because of nepotism.

Plus, football was therapy. “I was able to express a lot of my frustrations,” he said. “My anxieties, my resentment [about] how I was treated or looked at, because of who I was related to. I hated the word nepotism. … I knew that if I did well on the field, they can’t say that my father did it. In a way, I just got into character, deep character, in football.”

He loved the sport. He did. But he loved what the sport gave him, more so than what he gave to it. “Because of my father’s ascension, and what was happening after Malcolm X, our life was changing. … People started treating us differently … and it could have gone a negative way … a whole other elitist brat way. I didn’t believe in that, because of my upbringing and my family. … They wouldn’t have that. ‘Where can I put this stuff?’ I put it in football,” he said. “And then I … started getting success on the field, and I saw how I was being treated. As an individual. And that I was like a drug. I needed hit after hit. I needed that validation of independence.”

Continue onto The Undefeated to read the complete article.

Tech Has A Huge Diversity Problem. This Woman Is Determined To Fix It.

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Valeisha Butterfield-Jones is a political advisor-turned-tech exec, with a goal to change Google.

“I want to create something that will outlive me,” says Google’s Valeisha Butterfield-Jones. “I want to leave behind a legacy. I’m not sure what it is yet, but I want to build something that can empower a community, and I know it’s going to be centered around women.”

If Butterfield-Jones makes fulfilling sky-high ambitions sound deceptively easy, perhaps it’s because of the heights she has already achieved. A former senior-level Obama campaign consultant, she was hired by Google in 2016 for a newly created position: Global Head of Women and Black Community Engagement.

It’s well-known that tech has a gender and a racial diversity problem. As of 2016, the most recent year for which figures are available, Google’s workforce was only 2% black and 31% female. Butterfield-Jones has been tasked with helping the company better reflect the diverse world it works in. “It’s trying to disrupt the status quo,” she says, with a smile that belies her determination.

Butterfield-Jones grew up in small-town North Carolina. Her parents are both prominent politicians: her father, G.K. Butterfield, is a member of congress, and up until recently was the head of the Congressional Black Caucus. Her mother, Jean Farmer-Butterfield, is a North Carolina state legislator. When Butterfield-Jones was in high school, her father was a judge. “I remember going to public school and seeing some of my friends actually have to go in front of my dad in court,” she says. “It was just this serious, I would say, awakening for me. I realized that if you don’t have the right people in leadership positions, then sometimes the right thing doesn’t always happen.”

When it comes to increasing diversity in tech, Butterfield-Jones thinks the greatest challenge is “decoding what the real barriers to entry are, for people of color and for women.” To that end, as one of her first projects at Google, she organized an event called Decoding Race, which took place at nine of the company’s offices around the world. Van Jones spoke with Google’s chief legal officer David Drummond, and over 15,000 employees took part in facilitated discussions about race, gender, access, and equality. She has also founded a program that connects talented students at historically black colleges and universities with Google internships.

“I’m proud to work for a company that really wants to get it right and figure it out,” Butterfield-Jones says. She thinks tech’s diversity problem is a legacy of the conditions under which the industry’s leading companies were founded. “I really don’t believe that as an industry, it’s coming from a place of hate at all,” she says. “I really don’t. I think these companies were just set up by friends of friends of friends, who hired their friends. They scaled and grew so fast that now we’re trying to fix a problem that started at the core of the foundation.”

Continue onto Harper’s Bazaar to read the complete article.

Simone Biles Is Still Making History, Is 1st Woman to Win 5 U.S. All-Around Championships

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It’s still Simone Biles season, and the American gymnast is still kicking ass and taking names, which culminated in yet another historic career achievement at this year’s United States Gymnastics Championships on Sunday.

The U.S. Olympic team declared that Biles is the first woman to ever win five U.S. Gymnastics all-around titles (h/t Bleacher Report.)

The 21-year-old has wowed crowds ever since taking the stage at the 2013 U.S. Gymnastics Championships. As Bleacher Report notes, she has walked out with the gold in the all-around in each of her five appearances at the competition and has won 16 gold medals across every discipline.

The only time Biles has shown a hint of slowing down was when she took 2017 off from competition. However, the gymnastics superstar started training once more last October, with her eyes set for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

Continue onto The Root to read the complete article.

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