Rihanna honored as ‘national hero’ of Barbados
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By Lisa Respers France, CNN

Rihanna’s homeland wants her to continue to “shine bright like a diamond.”

The singer was honored Monday in her native Barbados during its presidential inauguration, which served to mark the country becoming a republic.
Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley told the crowd, “On behalf of a grateful nation, but an even prouder people, we therefore present to you the designee for national hero of Barbados, Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty.”
“May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honor to your nation by your works, by your actions and to do credit wherever you shall go,” Mottley said.

The makeup and fashion mogul was appointed as an ambassador of Barbados in 2018.

According to a statement from the Barbados Government Information Office released at the time, the position gives the celeb “specific responsibility for promoting education, tourism and investment for the island.”

She also became one of the Caribbean island country’s cultural ambassadors in 2008, doing promotional work for its tourism ministry.

In a move that received a great deal of support in the country, Barbados formally cut ties with the British monarchy by becoming a republic almost 400 years after the first English ship arrived on the most easterly of the Caribbean islands.

Click here to read the full article on CNN.

Alicia Keys Lends Voice to Athleta With New Partnership, Product Line Promoting Women’s Well-Being
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Alicia Keys wearing a pink jumpsuit during sunset posed to the side with one hand over her head and one on her own shoulder

By Stephen Garner, Yahoo! Life

Alicia Keys is lending her powerful voice to a strong cause.

The 15-time Grammy Award winner has joined forces with Athleta to further their mutual commitment to women’s well-being.

As such, Keys has signed on to Athleta’s “Power of She Fund” grant program as a mentor and advisor. According to Athleta, Keys will also work with the brand to connect with women through “meaningful community conversations” in AthletaWell, the retailer’s digital community that supports women’s well-being.

And, on International Women’s Day, which is March 8, the duo will release the Athleta x Alicia Keys collection. Athleta, a division of Gap Inc., said the collection will have exclusive products co-created and co-designed by Keys, who worked alongside the brand’s all-female design team. Among the items, which will be available in sizes XXS-3X on athleta.com and at all Athleta retail locations, will be Keys’ favorite piece — a pink jumpsuit. More details of the collection will be released closer to the launch, according to Athleta.

“Alicia has made a powerful commitment to well-being and we are thrilled to welcome her to Athleta’s community of empowered women,” said Mary Beth Laughton, president and CEO of Athleta. “With a values-driven partnership like this one with Alicia, we are ideally positioned to continue to meet our customer’s needs in the well-being space and support her across all aspects of her life.”

“I was drawn to Athleta because we both want to encourage women to discover, accept and own their power,” added Keys. “We’re all about the uniqueness of women, body positivity and creating a lifestyle that showcases our immeasurable power within. It’s time to thrive – not just to survive – and my hope is that these offerings are another outlet for you to amplify your personal power, your possibility, and feel comfortable in your own skin.”

Keys joins a roster of powerful, like-minded partners, including Simone Biles and Allyson Felix.

Biles, a former Nike athlete and the country’s most-decorated gymnast, signed a long-term partnership with Athleta in April 2021. The deal includes a signature performance wear line designed with Athleta’s team and capsule collections for the company’s Athleta Girl sister brand.

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Life.

What Sarah Jessica Parker Eats in a Day to Stay Energized
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Sarah Jessica Parker

By Karla Walsh, Yahoo! News

Since hanging up her Manolos in 2004 at the conclusion of her groundbreaking role as Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City (SATC), Sarah Jessica Parker has shown no signs of slowing. The 56-year-old actress and mom of 3 has since starred in movies (The Family Stone, Failure to Launch), appeared in guest stints on TV shows (Glee) and produced (Here and Now). Oh yes, and she partnered with husband Matthew Broderick to raise money for the Actors Fund amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, designed fashion for SJP boutiques, represented Garnier and launched a wine brand Invivo X, SJP.

And this year, she’s back to reprise her role and keep writing her story as Bradshaw on HBO Max’s SATC reboot And Just Like That.

No wonder Parker admits in her vulnerable and revealing January 2021 Grub Street Diet, “there is not typically a lot of regularity to my days. This is an unusual time because I feel like I actually have a conventional schedule, something I’ve almost never had for my entire life.”

She does have a few regular habits, however, including plenty of activity. But we’re not talking about crazy spin classes or boot camps…During an interview with The Doctors co-host Dr. Travis Stork, Parker shares that one of her keys to staying healthy is “I walk a lot…and I also live in a house with four or five flights of stairs.” She aims to hit 10,000 steps per day on her FitBit (buy it: $99.95, Target), and during summer, she loves swimming and kayaking.

So how does SJP stay so energetic to cover all of those steps in such style?

What Sarah Jessica Parker Eats in a Day to Stay Energized
Parker is not one for restrictive diets or detoxes, but she does have some very clear preferences. During Vogue’s “73 Questions with Sarah Jessica Parker,” the actress shared some hot takes about her favorite food (“Barbuto’s roast chicken”), least favorite food (“parsley”), what she loves on her pizza (“sausage, peppers, onions”), favorite drink (“Coca-Cola”), favorite dessert (“my sister’s brownies”) and dark or milk chocolate (“milk chocolate”).

The one food she needs to have every day? “I’m crazy for almond milk. I love it and can’t figure out if it’s thin and refreshing or thick like a milkshake. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving,” Parker tells Stork. (ICYMI, here are the 7 healthiest milks you can buy, according to dietitians.)

Her kitchen is always stocked with salami, artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, Finn Crisps original crackers (buy it: $35.54 for nine 7-ounce boxes, Amazon) and avocados (which her daughters especially adore).

“I would prefer to have salty things if I have to than sweet, but we also always have tootsie rolls and york peppermint patties,” Parker adds to Stork.

Read on for more about her (spoiler alert!) absolutely delicious daily menu.

Breakfast
“I don’t usually eat breakfast unless I’m shooting, and when I’m shooting, I have a full, massive, crazy breakfast. When I’m home and going to work on my own, I’ll get up really early and just have coffee,” Parker admits in her Grub Street Diet.

When she does eat an A.M. meal, it might be a bagel from her neighborhood bakery Bagel Buffet slathered with Kerrygold butter, mustard and salami with a banana, or a soft-boiled egg with salt and pepper plus some mango, avocado and cottage cheese on the side.

“I love Breakstone’s 2-percent-fat cottage cheese. Love. I don’t like nonfat, because I think, What’s the point? It breaks my heart,” she tells Grub Street.

Lunch
For lunch, Parker prefers a spicy tuna sandwich (tuna, jalapenos, hot sauce and pesto, between bread) and a power shake (banana, strawberries, vanilla milk and ice) from nearby cafe Joe & the Juice. She also occasionally enjoys leftovers from a dinner made earlier in the week.

This might include a soup, stir-fry or anything simmered up in her now Instagram-famous orange Le Creuset Dutch ovens (buy it: $370, Le Creuset).

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! News.

How Jennifer Hudson and ‘Respect’ Could Set a Record for Black Women at the Oscars
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Jennifer Hudson in the movie 'Respect'

By Clayton Davis, Variety

Jennifer Hudson’s name is already written in the Academy Awards history books. At 25, she became the youngest Black woman to ever win an acting Oscar for her turn as Effie White in “Dreamgirls” (2006). She’s also the first to do it for a debut role. Her work in the Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect” has her contending for two possible Oscar nominations: lead actress and original song, for the track “Here I Am (Singing My Way Home),” co-written by Carole King and Jamie Alexander Hartman. Already a Tony Award away from EGOT status, she could break another record if she lands those two coveted noms.

Hudson would be the first Black woman to be nominated in three individual categories if she snags both nods. Only three Black women have been recognized in two individual categories: Viola Davis, Whoopi Goldberg (actress and supporting actress) and Oprah Winfrey (supporting actress and best picture). For comparison, Warren Beatty and George Clooney have been nominated in six. When it comes to Black men, Spike Lee has been acknowledged in five, winning in adapted screenplay for “BlacKkKlansman” (2018).

Dual noms for Hudson would also mark the third time a Black woman has received multiple nominations in the same year. The first two were Mary J. Blige (nominated for supporting actress and for the song “Mighty River” from “Mudbound”) and Cynthia Erivo (nominated for lead actress and for the song “Stand Up” from “Harriet”). They’re not only the first Black women to achieve this feat, but also the first by anyone in Academy history.

Hudson’s possible recognition isn’t significant merely for herself; a nod in best actress would represent a historical accomplishment for her “Respect” director Liesl Tommy. Tommy would be only the second Black woman to direct a Black leading actor or actress to a nomination (behind Erivo by Lemmons). Noteworthy, when you add Leslie Odom Jr.’s double noms for the song “Speak Now” and supporting actor for his turn in “One Night in Miami” from Regina King last year, the three talents recognized for acting and song, have all been directed by Black women.

Although we see improvements in representation for POC in the Academy, the showing for Black women is among its most notable shortcomings. There have been just over 3,100 Oscar statuettes handed out in 93 years. Of that, only 17 were awarded to Black women. Again, for comparison, one man, Walt Disney, was rewarded with 26 Oscars from 1932 to 1969, nine more than the total number of Black women from 1929 to 2021. Additionally, two Black women have been granted honorary statuettes (Winfrey and Cicely Tyson). Disney himself was given four (even one that had seven miniature Oscars on it for “Snow White”).

Hudson’s turn as the Queen of Soul has many devoted fans among awards groups. However, recency bias and mixed reviews have created significant hurdles for “Respect’s” awards prospects. Opening in mid-August, three weeks before Venice and Telluride, the positive buzz for the movie was swallowed up by premieres of more prominent titles. And with the releases of fellow MGM/United Artists Releasing counterparts “House of Gucci” and “Licorice Pizza,” both of which had better reviews and box office, “Respect” seemed to have become an awards season afterthought.

Click here to read the full article on Variety.

Eva Longoria on loving her Latina roots and challenging Hollywood’s expectations: ‘Being Mexican is who I am’
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Eva Longoria s creating new molds in Hollywood for Latino voices. (Photo: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

By David Artavia, Yahoo! Entertainment

The star power of Eva Longoria should never be underestimated. A proud Mexican-American from Corpus Christi, Texas, the multihyphenate powerhouse has won the hearts of television viewers since her breakout role in ABC’s Desperate Housewives.

Now, the icon is all smiles in an interview with Yahoo Entertainment when speaking about how her Mexican heritage, specifically Tejana culture, inspires her perspective on life — from daily activities to the way she runs her businesses, which include several restaurants and a production company, UnbeliEVAble Entertainment.

“Being Mexican is who I am,” Longoria says. “For me, it exudes in everything that I do every day from how I style my hair, to putting on my lip liner, to putting on my hoops, to what I make for breakfast, how I have my café con leche, how I drive. It seeps into every aspect of my life.” (Longoria prefers to make her Cuban café con leche using a cafetera, in case you were wondering.)

A staunch activist for gender equality, she’s also used her platform to shine a light on issues impacting Latino communities, specifically Latino visibility on and off-screen, something she says is vital in preserving the wellbeing of Hispanic communities.

“The problem is when you don’t have a person of color within your community, if your neighbors aren’t Latino, the only reference you have of us is the news. And that doesn’t do a very good job of portraying who we are,” Longoria explains. “And so, representation in TV, in film, in music, in art, it matters because it educates the community about who we are.”

The concern is warranted. According to UCLA’s 2021 Hollywood Diversity Report, Latinos accounted for only 5.7 percent of all film roles in 2020 — up slightly from 2019 when it was 4.6 percent. While the uptick is promising, she says it’s not enough.

Longoria also stresses the importance of having Latinos behind the camera and in other positions of power. After all, “that’s why I became a producer and that’s why I became a director,” she says. “It was to make sure that our stories are told because it’s important. It educates people about who we are. It educates our community about who we are, and that is even more important. If I am a Latino watching, literally, the erasure of my culture, then I think, ‘Oh OK, I am not worthy. My stories don’t matter.’ And that’s way more dangerous. We need to make sure that we share our own community, our worth — and celebrate it.”

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Entertainment.

Maya Angelou becomes first Black woman featured on U.S. quarter
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Maya Angelou

A new U.S. quarter featuring legendary poet, writer and activist Maya Angelou went into circulation on Monday (Jan. 10), making her the first Black woman to be featured on the coin.

In a statement, the U.S. Mint announced the new coin, which is the first of five designs in its American Women Quarters Program. Other quarters in the series, which celebrates important women in American history, will continue to be rolled out later this year and through 2025.

“Each time we redesign our currency, we have the chance to say something about our country — what we value and how we’ve progressed as a society,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a release. “I’m very proud that these coins celebrate the contributions of some of America’s most remarkable women, including Maya Angelou.

The quarter still features Former President George Washington’s profile on the “heads” side, while the “tails” side pictures Angelou in front of a bird and rising sun — a nod to her 1969 debut memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and a symbol “of the way she lived.”

The push for the American Women Quarters Program began in 2017 with support from California Rep. Barbara Lee, whose Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act passed last year.

U.S. quarter featuring Maya Angelou“As a leader in the Civil Rights Movement, poet laureate, college professor, Broadway actress, dancer and the first female African American cable car conductor in San Francisco, Maya Angelou’s brilliance and artistry inspired generations of Americans,” Lee said in a statement on Monday. “If you find yourself holding a Maya Angelou quarter, may you be reminded of her words, ‘Be certain that you do not die without having done something wonderful for humanity.’”

In a tweet, she added, “The phenomenal women who shaped American history have gone unrecognized for too long — especially women of color. Proud to have led this bill to honor their legacies.”

Besides the civil rights icon, the U.S. Mint’s quarters program will also distribute coins featuring Sally Ride, an astronaut and the first American woman to travel to space; Anna May Wong, considered to be the first Chinese-American Hollywood movie star; Wilma Mankiller, activist and the Cherokee Nation’s first female principal chief; and Adelina Otero-Warren, a woman’s suffragist and the first Latina to run for Congress.

Read the original article posted on Revolt TV.

Warriors Name Jennifer Vasquez As Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
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Jennifer Vasquez headshot

The Golden State Warriors have named Jennifer Vasquez (she/her) as the team’s Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, it was recently announced. Vasquez brings over 15 years of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work experience to the franchise. She will play a central role in the continuation of the team’s internal and external DEI strategy, including oversight of the design, management and measurement of the team’s DEI strategy.

Vasquez will be responsible for the company’s DEI trainings and collaborate on strategic recruiting and hiring practices through a DEI lens. Additionally, she will lead the franchise’s established Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, which launched several years ago, and the ecosystem of employee resource groups (ERGs). Vasquez will report to Warriors Senior Vice President of People Operations and Culture, Erin Dangerfield.

“Jennifer has a proven track record driving strategies around corporate diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Warriors President & Chief Operating Officer Brandon Schneider. “In the creation of this role at the Warriors, we envision a dynamic leader to drive the success of our DEI initiatives, including organization-wide accountability and facilitation of our ERG network. We are thrilled that Jennifer is joining the team and look forward to more meaningful inclusionary practices that will continue to enhance the experiences we create for all of Dub Nation.”

Most recently, Vasquez led Amgen’s Global Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging efforts, integrating a DEI lens to the employee experience and organizational design. She was instrumental in launching the first unconscious bias training and learning journey focused on key behaviors in creating an inclusive culture. She served as the global lead for developing strategy for ERG engagement and established a strong ecosystem with over 11 ERGs globally, representing 40% of employees in over 100 countries. Through the ERG global network, she was able to lay a foundation for cross-pollination and collaboration, launching a cross-ERG Inclusiveness Series focused on intersectionality in social justice.

With over 15 years of experience in both the private and public sectors, her successful initiatives have focused on bringing fundamental and transformative changes to organizations to embed equity and inclusionary practices in corporate and political structures. She led the development of a think-tank framework to deepen engagement with government, industry and academia to diversify the STEM workforce. She has driven a variety of human capital management initiatives, including performance management process; wrap-around support and benefits; employee relations; recruiting efforts and talent development. Her experience, ranging from grassroots level to large global matrix organizations, brings a unique educational and data-driven lens to building communities of practice for equitable solutions to this space.

Golden State Warriors logoVasquez earned a dual Bachelors of Arts in International Relations and Government from George Mason University. She holds her Masters of Science in Intercultural Studies with a concentration in Education & Development and Masters of Business Administration from Florida International University. Vasquez also holds a Diversity and Inclusion Certification from Cornell University.

Vasquez was recently recognized as a Diversity Global Top 15 Diversity Champion, a DEI Advocate of the Year for California in 2021 from National Diversity Council and was featured as a DiversityComm 2021 Wonder Woman. She has published articles for Guerrero Media, DiversityComm, and Hispanic Network Magazine and has been a speaker at over 20 conferences nationally and globally.

For more information on the Golden State Warriors’ 2021-22 season, presented by Kaiser Permanente, please visit warriors.com

Michelle Obama’s guest appearance on ‘Black-ish’ excites fans while also serving a purpose
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Michelle Obama Smiling at the camera in a white sweater and blue jean pants

By Kyle Moss, Yahoo! Entertainment

On the eighth and final season premiere of Black-ish Tuesday, Michelle Obama made a guest appearance after the show’s main characters attended an event for When We All Vote, an organization that Obama founded to help register and turn out voters across the country.

What began as Andre (Anthony Anderson) and Rainbow Johnson (Tracee Ellis Ross)’s chance encounter with the former first lady turned into a casual dinner at the Johnson house.

Obama’s main scene mostly consisted of the rest of Dre and Bow’s family interrupting with attempts to try and impress her. And there were also a few moments of conversation among Obama, Dre and Bow about what it’s like having teenage kids.

“When our girls were that age, you should have seen how they rolled their eyes, especially at their father,” Obama said during the episode.

But clearly the cameo for Obama, who was personally asked to appear on the show by Ross herself, was all about getting the word out about voter registration. And while it was subtle within the episode, Obama reiterated the objective with a tweet after the show aired, reminding people to get themselves and others registered.

Meanwhile, viewers on Twitter celebrated Obama’s appearance on the hit series with plenty of praise and even a few requests like, “Please decide to be president in 2024” and “I too would like to invite you over for dinner.”

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Entertainment.

BETTY WHITE HOMETOWN HONORS HER WITH OWN DAY … On Her Birthday
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betty white next to a logo of oak park

By TMZ

Betty White’s life and career won’t just be celebrated in one corner of Illinois — the village where she was born is creating a full-on holiday to honor the late actress … TMZ has learned.

“Betty White Day” will be recognized in Betty’s hometown on January 17, which would have been her 100th birthday.

The president of the Village of Oak Park, Vicki Scaman, tells TMZ … despite moving to California as an infant, OP residents have been grateful that over the course of her life Betty spoke very highly of Oak Park. She continued to visit relatives there years after heading west.

We’re told that since she passed away, folks in Oak Park have been vocal about wanting to honor Betty, and that surely will be happening now. A few days before Betty’s birthday, Village Prez Scaman will read a proclamation for “Betty White Day” during a memorial for community members in Oak Park.

For Betty’s special day, the Oak Park small business community is banding together to offer discounts to customers and “Betty White specials.” For example, Mickey’s Restaurant will be offering a special consisting of a hotdog, fries, and diet coke — one of Betty’s favorite meals, and Turano Bakery is planning to make a giant birthday cake. Scaman tells us cutouts of Betty will cover walls in the downtown area.

The celebration will continue with a Betty White mural contest, in which the winning mural will be painted downtown. And, there’s a bonus … most everyone in town will already be off from work as BWD happens to fall on a national holiday — MLK Jr. Day — this year.

Click here to read the full article on TMZ.

Betty White’s Agent Says He Always Told Her How Beloved She Was By Fans: ‘She Knew It’
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By Liz McNeil and Nicholas Rice, People

Even in her final days, Betty White knew she was beloved by her fans, according to her agent at APA and longtime friend Jeff Witjas.

While speaking with PEOPLE after her death at age 99 on Friday, Witjas opened up about the late star and their years-long relationship, as well as how White appreciated the kindness she received from the world over.

“She knew it, but I would tell her often,” Witjas says. “Even when she wasn’t working, I said, ‘Betty, millions of people out there are still asking for you. You’re getting your fan letters, I’m getting offers for you.’ ”

“I don’t know if she ever embraced it, [or] really, really felt it. The extent of it. I really don’t,” he continues. “I would always reinforce it with her because I always felt she should know that. I never wanted her to think while she was sitting at home, that the world has passed her by. It never did.”

“Betty lived a great life and she lived a life that she chose. She was happy,” Witjas adds. “Every time I told her, ‘Betty, you’re loved,’ she would look at me with a wry smile and say, ‘Really?’ I hope she knew. I think she did. It was something beyond love.”

Witjas — who previously confirmed to PEOPLE that the actress “died peacefully in her sleep” — had a close bond with the Golden Girls star, who he considered to be not only a work colleague, but a dear friend.

Click here to read the full article on People.

THE WALTONS’ HOMECOMING
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The Waltons' Homecoming promo poster

Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the TV movie that launched the long-running series, THE WALTONS’ HOMECOMING is set in the Depression Era and told through the eyes of John Boy Walton (Logan Shroyer – This Is Us).

The series also stars Prodigal Son’s Bellamy Young and Richard Thomas, who starred in the original series.

#TheWaltonsHomecoming

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    January 19, 2022 - November 4, 2022
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    March 17, 2022 - March 19, 2022

Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fair
    January 19, 2022 - November 4, 2022
  2. NAWBO Leadership Academy – Winter 2022
    January 31, 2022
  3. NAWBO LEADERSHIP ACADEMY 2022
    January 31, 2022
  4. From Day One
    February 9, 2022
  5. The Small Business Expo–Multiple Event Dates
    February 17, 2022 - December 1, 2022