This week, I stumbled upon some great work being done in our community by Black celebs. Below are a few stories that are sure to warm your heart up before we end this week.
Basketball player Kevin Durant recently opened a new afterschool center called the Durant Center in his hometown of Prince George’s County, Maryland. His foundation, Thirty-Five Ventures partnered up with PG County Public Schools and College Track to open the afterschool center. It will offer “various academic, financial and social-emotional resources to aid college and career development.” Additionally, Durant is also committed to investing $10 million dollars over the course of 10 years. This money will go towards “scholarships, tutoring, counseling and study space to an inaugural class of 69 students, mostly from low-income families.” One of the reasons why Durant decided to open the center was because he had so many coaches and teachers invest in him growing up and believes “that’s where it starts. Just older folks that believe and trust in your potential, whether it’s coaches, teachers or guidance counselors. You need someone with more experience who believe in you.”
In other news, Chance The Rapper is teaming up with PostMates to do some good through his nonprofit SocialWorks. SocialWorks aims to “empower youth through the arts, education, and civic engagement while fostering leadership, accessibility, and positivity within Chicago.” PostMates is a delivery service app. “Between January 29 and February 1, $1 will be donated to the organization from every order placed from a list of “Chance’s Chicago Favorites.” Here is the official list of Chance’s favorite places to eat in Chicago. The money raised during these four days will go towards supporting the youth of Chicago through Chance The Rapper's nonprofit organization, SocialWorks. They are aiming to raise at least $10,000 dollars.
Lastly, Jay-Z and Meek Mill teamed up together to form an organization called REFORM Alliance. The mission of the organization is to overhaul “the probation and parole system with the goal of freeing at least 1 million people caught up in the system within the next five years.” The organization is also partnering with other people and businesses to accomplish this goal. Check out the full list here. Together they are pledging $50 million dollars to launch this organization and have also hired news commentator and author, Van Jones as the CEO of REFORM Alliance.
Several events inspired the founding of this organization. You’ll recall that back in 2017, Meek Mill was arrested for violating his probation after popping wheelies on a dirt bike. He was sentenced to two to four years and only served five months because of the #FreeMeekMillMovement. Back in 2017, Jay-Z executive produced the documentary “Time: The Kalief Browder Story.” Kalief Browder was a young 22-year-old Black man who wrongly served three years for a crime that he did not commit, stealing a backpack. Two of those years were in solitary confinement and tragically shortly after his release, he committed suicide. Both Meek Mill and Jay-Z have been very vocal about their views on prison reform. Ultimately, Jay-Z stated “if someone commits a crime, they should go to jail. But these things are just disproportionate and the whole world knows it.” I look forward to seeing what good all of these organization do. What are other great things happening in our community? Share in the comments section below!