Women's History Month: Vixens Who Give Back
Sometimes, women don't get the credit they deserve for the things that matter most. In celebration of Women's History Month, VIBE Vixen is putting the spotlight on five Vixens who give back to the world in a big way.
1. Alicia Keys
While balancing motherhood and music, Alicia Keys is also a maestro at charity work. In 2002, she co-founded and became the first Global Ambassador of Keep A Child Alive, a non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against AIDS. She has traveled to Africa on numerous occasions to provide life-saving treatment to children and their families afflicted with HIV/AIDs. She also hopes to raise a charitable child with husband/hit-producer Swizz Beatz to follow in their philanthropic ways.
This hip-shaking Latina is known for more than just her Spanish grooves. She was honored by the United Nations labor agency for her Barefoot Foundation, a non-profit aimed at making education universally available to every child who has been affected with violence and poverty. The organization supports several schools in Shakira's native Colombia, providing over 5,000 children with nutritious meals and classes. She is also a founding member of the ALAS foundation, which promotes public policies for children across Latina America and the Caribbean. Her international appeal not only made her a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador but helped launch a $300 million initiative with the World Bank and ALAS Foundation to expand development programs for children. She even powwowed with President Obama to discuss childhood development policies.
3. Gabrielle Union
Juggling a successful film career and her relationship with Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union is no stranger to giving back. In 2007, Union's best friend was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. Her fundraising efforts for the cause led her to be named Ambassador for the Susan G. Komen Foundation Circle of Promise program. The Think Like A Man star also devotes her time to helping the Young Survivor Coalition and the Rape Treatment Center at UCLA. The Nebraska native even helped found a program called "A Step for Success" which helps to raise money for the economically-challenged Kelso Elementary School located in Los Angeles.
While Beyoncé and hubby Jay-Z have kept themselves busy with family affairs and sold-out shows, she still makes time to donate. With thousands of gifts pouring in from fans for the birth of their first child Blue Ivy, she shared the presents with children's charities, which included goodies from A-list names like Oprah Winfrey, Diddy, Kanye West, Rihanna and Mariah Carey. Pre-mommyhood, Bey was still active in charity work, finding her own Cosmetology Center and The Survivor Foundation in 2010 to provide a vocational training center for cosmetology students to learn the theories and practical skills necessary to pass the NYS Cosmetology Licensure Exam.
5. Lady Gaga
Behind the wild costumes and shocking performances, Lady Gaga is a notable champion of human rights. With over 21 million followers on Twitter, Mother Monster was able to launch her Born This Way foundation this year to prevent bullying, but most importantly, to empower the youth and promote bravery. In her efforts to also promote unity, Gaga will bring a “Born Brave Bus” with her on tour that invites everyone to meet with others and discuss love, acceptance and kindness.