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.
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 Essenceand 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.
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
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
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.
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 is an investor in Ellevest, a financial app that empowers women and provides tips on saving.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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 DenzelWashington, 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.”
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.
Aretha Franklin, the self-taught piano prodigy, vocalist and songwriter who first conquered the charts in the late ’60s and never relinquished her throne, has died, multiple outlets report. She was 76.
The Queen of Soul had struggled with her health for years. A source told PEOPLE Monday that Franklin had taken a turn for the worse and that her death was “imminent.”
“She has been ill for a long time,” the longtime friend told PEOPLE. “She did not want people to know and she didn’t make it public.”
A musical phenomenon who crossed musical, racial and gender barriers, Franklin began her vocal career as a teenager, singing gospel hymns in her father’s Detroit church. From these humble beginnings she scaled to the very heights of stardom, scoring her first national chart topper in 1967 with a searing version of “Respect.”
Since then, the artist has notched 77 Hot 100 chart entries, and earned an astounding 18 Grammys out of 44 nominations. In 1987, two decades after her first No. 1, Franklin became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and was later named the Greatest Singer of All Time by Rolling Stone.
A source close to the singer spoke to the Associated Press on Monday to confirm that Franklin was “seriously ill,” although they did not provide any additional details as to the severity or the cause of the singer’s illness.
Showbiz 411 reporter Roger Friedman was first to report the singer was “gravely ill,” sharing that Franklin’s family were “asking for prayers and privacy.”
“I am so saddened to report that the Queen of Soul and my good friend, Aretha Franklin is gravely ill,” wrote Local 4 Detroit news anchor Evrod Cassimy on Twitter Sunday. “I spoke with her family members this evening. She is asking for your prayers at this time. I’ll have more details as I’m allowed to release.”
In February of 2017, the Queen of Soul told a Detroit TV station that she was retiring from music that year. “I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it,” she said, though Franklin admitted she would perform at “some select things.”
And yet, there it was Monday, alive and well and pulsing through the streets of the “Bottom,” a rough neighborhood on the north side of an already tough city.
LeBron James helped to turn a gray and grim area he knew all too well into an oasis of music, balloons, streamers and hope, not just for the afternoon but ideally for years to come. All thanks to that noble quality that the cynics like to say is dead.
“I remember these streets,” James said during and after the dedication of the I Promise School, a new entry in the Akron Public Schools for some of the city’s most disadvantaged students and their families.
James’ charitable entity, the LeBron James Family Foundation, conceived and built the school in conjunction with APS and a slew of private partners chipping in time, labor and ultimately millions of dollars as they strive for a new approach to urban education. The plan had been put in motion years ago, but the actual hands-on, physical transformation of the building came in the past seven weeks.
The curriculum will focus on science, technology, engineering and math [STEM] but the school will go well beyond, providing “wraparound services” for the families that include career, academic and emotional support.
Continue onto the NBA to read the complete article.
You may recognize RuPaul Charles from his global phenomenon hit show, RuPaul’s Drag Race, or as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.
RuPaul has been paving the runway and the world for tolerance and education of the LGBTQ+ community. He is a prominent figure and has supported LGBTQ+ rights and has fought for equality throughout his career.
Many members of the LGBTQ+ community credit RuPaul with bringing drag into the spotlight. In 2018, he was the first drag queen to earn a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. RuPaul paved the way as the first openly gay national television host on The RuPaul Show on VH1 in 1996. Currently, as the host of RuPaul’s Drag Race, he has helped launch the careers of more than 120 drag queens. He was also the first face of M.A.C. Cosmetics and, as its spokesperson, helped raise money for AIDs epidemic awareness. The fund has raised more than $400 million to date. While changing the world through tolerance and representation is one thing, it is all done while looking flawless and being true to himself, which makes RuPaul stand out even more.
RuPaul’s mantra for his entire career spanning more than 35 years has been to “love yourself.” During his sendoff at the end of each of episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, he addresses fans and contestants alike with the advice, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you going to love someone else?” He is an avid promoter of self-love. His fans are of all ages, races, genders, and sexualities, and these lessons and this encouragement to embrace and accept oneself are critical for the LGBTQ+ community that is often misunderstood and criticized.
Not only does RuPaul continue to empower the LGBTQ+ community through championing for rights on each of his platforms, but he has also created an environment of support and growth for those on his show. He recognizes the need for finding “your tribe”—as he calls it—a support group of others who share your passions and interests, which is why he has created other outlets for people to connect outside of his shows and podcast, RuPaul: What’s the Tee with Michelle Visage. Another outlet is RuPaul’s DragCon bringing people together in both Los Angeles and New York, where RuPaul says that many of his younger fans are able to attend, represent themselves, and find their community. At the Los Angeles 2018 event, RuPaul said, “All the queens here represent the American spirit of being an entrepreneur and following your dream—no matter what anyone else has to say about it.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race is helping both the contestants and the viewers understand how to love themselves more, which is why the show has become such a celebrated part of television. RuPaul coined the phrase, “You’re born naked and the rest is drag,” advocating that for all of us, our clothing is a means of expression, and everything else we put on our bodies is drag.
RuPaul’s Drag Race brings forward authenticity by showcasing what contestants create, and because of that, how drag is a part of themselves. “Drag can help you understand what you are, how amazing it is to have a human body, and what you can do with it,” he said in an interview with Oprah for the February 2018 issue of O Magazine. RuPaul highlights the beauty and art behind drag culture in his show, airing on VH1, which has drawn in millions of viewers.
RuPaul also says that drag is helping fight the patriarchy and the dangers of strict definitions of masculinity. Through drag, no one else has to adhere to one identity, which allows people of multiple races and orientations to fit in by standing out. By not being afraid to embrace who he is and share that with the world, RuPaul has given so many others a platform to also represent their non-conforming and beautiful selves. In addition to RuPaul’s Drag Race and RuPaul’s DragCon, he will be starring in the new Netflix scripted comedy series AJ and the Queen, his book GuRu will be released in the fall on Dey Street Books, and he will be releasing a cosmetic line with Mally Beauty in 2019. An ever-positive figure, RuPaul shows no signs of slowing down his success and support for self-expression and love.
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