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Tavis Smiley Foundation, summer meals program and Oprah Winfrey

Tavis Smiley (13400)


The Tavis Smiley Foundation is accepting applications for the 2013 Leadership Institute, Teens: Too Important to Fail, scheduled for July 26-29 on the UCLA campus. The four-day program for teens, ages 13-18, includes leadership training workshops, a community-service project and sessions on youth advocacy, education and civic engagement. The cost is $400 (early bird registration) before June 30 and includes housing, meals and workshops. Late registration is $450. The deadline is July 20. To register, visit To date more than 4,000 youth have participated in the Leadership Institute. Alumni include young people like Detroit native Victor Marsh, a deputy political chief for the U.S. Department of State, assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Cyprus, and Philadelphia native Jordan Harris whose election in 2012 made him one of the youngest ever elected officials serving as a Pennsylvania state representative for the 186th District in Philadelphia.

Officials from the Food Services Division of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) announced its summer meal services program. More than 520,000 students in LAUSD qualify for free or reduced-price meals during the school year, but many do not get enough to eat when school is out. The program ensures that low-income children continue to grow and learn through good nutrition during the months when school closes. Rendered by the Food Services Division, Beyond the Bell Branch, Extended School Year and Credit Recovery Groups, the program will operate at select schools and serve students between the ages of 1 and 18, whether or not they participate in academic or recreational activities. For most participating schools, the summer meal program will run through Aug. 1. The program may be extended at select schools. For a list of participating schools visit

Oprah Winfrey (13401)

District of Columbia

Oprah Winfrey has given $12 million to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, now under construction on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian announced the gift, which is the largest donation the museum has received. In recognition, the museum’s 350-seat theater, intended to be a showcase for demonstrating how African American culture has shaped the country and the world, will be named after her.

The National Bar Association’s affiliate chapter, the J.L. Turner Legal Association, has filed a complaint against 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Edith Jones challenging the jurist’s remarks given at The Federalist Society at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Law in February. In her speech, Judge Jones expressed her thoughts as it relates to race, crime and the death penalty. Judge Jones stated that “racial groups like African Americans and Hispanics are predisposed to crime,” and that these groups are “prone to commit acts of violence.” Additionally, Judge Jones stated, that claims of racism, innocence, arbitrariness, and international standards are simply “red herrings” used by opponents of capital punishments. NBA President John E. Page stated, “The National Bar Association supports our affiliate chapter, the J.L. Turner Legal Association, in their efforts to demand that Judge Jones be held accountable for her remarks, which are unacceptable.” The J.L. Turner Legal Association is among many civil rights groups that have filed a complaint against Judge Jones who has been mentioned as being on the list of potential nominees to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Urban Prep Academies (13402)


The seniors at Urban Prep’s Englewood campus and the inaugural graduating class from its West campus, all African American males, have repeated an accomplishment that some thought would be impossible. For the fourth consecutive year 100 percent of its graduating class were accepted to a four-year college or university. The seniors recently walked across the stage to receive their high school diplomas during Urban Prep’s Fourth-Annual Commencement ceremony. The members of the Urban Prep 2013 graduating classes have been accepted to more than 130 different four-year colleges and universities, including Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Georgetown University, Howard University, Kenyon College, Morehouse College, the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, the University of Notre Dame and the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, these young men have received more than $8 million in college scholarships and grants.


NAACP Executive Vice President and Chief of Programs Steven W. Hawkins has been selected to take the helm of Amnesty International USA as its executive director. Hawkins has been a part of the senior leadership team that led the NAACP through a five-year period of financial growth and political prominence. Hawkins began his career as an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, where for nearly six years he represented African American men facing the death penalty throughout the South. As executive director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, Hawkins developed several initiatives that addressed racial disparities in capital sentencing, including a campaign that ultimately led to eradication of the death penalty for juvenile crimes. Hawkins begins his new post in September.

New York

The Open Society Foundations in partnership with Echoing Green awarded the Black Male Achievement Fellowship to eleven social entrepreneurs dedicated to advancing the lives of Black men and boys in the United States. The entrepreneurs will receive $70,000 in seed funding for their innovative nonprofits. The BMA Fellows’ nonprofits employ visionary strategies for building lasting and positive change. Some of the organizations’ activities include providing entrepreneurship training for men in prison, making career day an everyday experience at school, creating pathways in technology, and leveraging condom sales to decrease teen pregnancy and HIV/AIDS rates. For a list of the awardees and their proposals visit


After delivering a passionate plea for adoption of his legislation to stop school districts from “passing the trash”—teachers suspected of sexual misconduct—the state Senate unanimously adopted Sen. Anthony Williams’ SESAME bill. Senate Bill 46 now moves to the House for its consideration. SB 46, also known as the “Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct, and Exploitation Act,” is designed to close the loophole that now allows school districts to hire employees with a history of investigations and dismissals for abuse or sexual misconduct. After the vote, Williams said he was pleased with the unanimous vote, but said work remains to make sure SB 46 makes it to the governor’s desk.


The Minority Access Internship Program provides students with the opportunity to merge academic theory with practical application in the workplace through full- and part-time internships. The program allows talented college students to experience the full scope and diversity of career opportunities available in the management, professional and technical domains of participating entities. Applications are accepted from full- time undergraduate and graduate students. Priority is given to students with a minimum 3.0 or better grade point average. Students must be U.S. citizens. All internships are paid positions. In addition, Minority Access Inc. provides bi-weekly stipends, round-trip travel expenses, employment benefits, daily commuting subsidies, and assistance in locating housing. For more details, visit