John Legend at the Stevie Wonder All-Star GRAMMY Tribute

John Legend Pens Op-Ed For CNN On Education Innovation

John Legend is known for being socially conscious. CNN published an op-ed from the singer-songwriter this morning (Feb 17), in which he expressed the importance of alternatives through education for children to discover their passions.

In the piece, the “All Of Me” singer revealed that he will be performing tonight at an event where partners from the entertainment and education fields will announce the inauguration of Reimagine Learning, a $30 million fund designed by the new philanthropic venture, New Profit – which provides help for educators, researchers and social entrepreneurs who are molding the future of teaching and learning.

“The goal is to create more student-centered environments that help young people not just do better in school but also discover what they love.” Legend wrote. “It's also why we need to break with the long-held expectation that schools exist to mold and manage kids.”

SEE ALSO: VIBE Race Project: John Legend Won't Hold His Tongue About America's Race And Power Problem

John also shared that when he first graduated college he followed the traditional path and did what he was “supposed to do” and got a job at a consulting firm. But his passion kept calling, so he decided to pursue it.

“While I enjoyed the experience and learned a great deal, I couldn't shake my passion for music. I had followed the somewhat predictable path of a college graduate, but I was obsessing over how to become an artist,” he wrote.

Legend also launched an initiative with the MacArthur Foundation and the National Writing Project back in 2014 called LRNG, which is designed to promote better learning in the world we live in today.

“We can't live lives of joy if we can't discover what we love doing with our lives,” he said. “Let every child's light shine.”

Read John Legend’s full op-ed piece for CNN here. –– Richy Rosario

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Trina Apologizes For Comments About Protestors After Receiving Backlash

After catching backlash for her controversial rant about protesters, Trina apologized and clarified her comments via her Trick 'N Trina Morning Show with Trick Daddy on Miami’s 99 Jamz on Thursday (June 4).

“I just want to say I apologize sincerely to everybody I offended by what I said. I spoke passionately about how I felt about people destroying our community here in Miami,” said Trina.

Trina takes full responsibility for her comments and apologizes on the #TrickAndTrinaMorningShow pic.twitter.com/qG9A5OVe0y

— Female Rap Room (@FemaleRapRoom) June 4, 2020

The Diamond Princess explained that her previous comments seemingly likening protestors to “animals,” weren't directed at Black people who are working to bring about change. “I'm not going to say ‘Black people are animals. But I didn't say ‘Hey all of my people I'm not talking to you.’”

The Miami native went on to reveal that she has educated herself on the goal of Black Lives Matter protests. “When we spoke to the commissioner, I said to Trick [Daddy], ‘I learned a lot more about what's really happening,’ because I'm trying to get what’s the solution, what is the answer to everything that is happening? It’s more than just people in the streets doing whatever, it’s the commissioners, it’s the governor, it’s the mayor, the chief of police, I had no idea of that and now I’m understanding that. These are the people that has to protect the cities. These are the people that you want answers from, you want change.”

Trina Apologizes After Controversial Comments: I Would Never Call Black People Animals Or Any Name pic.twitter.com/y3fMWw3OiH

— theJasmineBRAND (@thejasminebrand) June 4, 2020

On Tuesday, Trick and Trina were discussing the recent uprisings in Miami when she began ranting about looters. “They need to make the curfew at 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Keep everybody off the street, these animals off the streets, that are running around Miami-Dade County acting like they have escaped from a zoo. Lock them up at 5 p.m. so the streets can be nice and clean.”

Trina on radio calling on extending the curfew and to “keep everybody off the streets, these animals off the streets” pic.twitter.com/khdWunSNrE

— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) June 3, 2020

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Al Sharpton, Tiffany Haddish, T.I. And More Attend George Floyd Memorial Service

George Floyd was honored at a televised memorial attended by politicians, celebrities and family members. The Rev. Al Sharpton, Tiffany Haddish, Kevin Hart, Ludacris, T.I., Will Packer, and Tyrese were among hundreds who attended the ceremony at North Central University's Frank J. Lindquist Sanctuary in Minneapolis on Thursday (June 4).

During the ceremony Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, shared stories about growing up with him. “Everywhere you go, you see people how they cling to him. They wanted to be around him,” he said. “George was like a general. He walks outside and everyone wanted to greet him, wanted to have fun with him.”

Sharpton delivered a rousing eulogy at the memorial. “I want us to not sit here and act like we had a funeral on a schedule. George Floyd should not be among the deceased,” said Sharpton. “He did not die of common health conditions, he died of a common American criminal justice malfunction. He died because there has not been the corrective behavior that has taught that if you commit a crime it does not matter if you wear blue jeans or a blue uniform, you must pay for the crime you commit.”

Sharpton touched on the similarities between the murders of Floyd’s and Eric Garner, and the oppression that the Black community has endured for hundreds of years.

“George Floyd’s story has been the story of black folks. Because ever since 401 years ago the reason we could never be who we wanted and dreamed of being, is you kept your knee on our neck, We were smarter than the underfunded schools you put us in, but you had your knee on our neck, ” said Sharpton. “We could run corporations and not hustle in the street, but you had your knee on our neck. We had creative skills, we could do whatever anybody else could do, but we couldn’t get your knee off our neck. What happened to Floyd happens every day in this country, in education, in health services, and in every area of American life. It’s time for us to stand up in George’s name and say ‘Get your knee of our necks!’”

Others in attendance included Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, U.S., U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, Martin Luther King III, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Sharpton and Floyd’s family also announced that they will be holding a march on Washington D.C. in his honor in August.

Watch the full eulogy below.

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Lauren London Opens Up About Trauma And Gun Violence On ‘Red Table Talk’

Lauren London sat down for her first interview since the death of Nipsey Hussle. The 35-year-old actress opens up about losing her partner to gun violence in an episode of Jada Pinkett Smith's Red Table Talk titled, “How Gun Violence Affects Women.”

The episode, portions of which were filmed earlier in the year, features activist Erica Ford, founder of the violence prevention organization, Life Camp.

London spoke with Pinkett Smith about her earliest experiences with gun violence. “Just growing up in L.A. in the area that I was around,” she recalled. “In high school, a lot of the boys were in gangs. I just remember that a lot of our friends by summer time they were gone. They had transitioned from gun violence. So you kind of got a little bit, I don’t want to say numb, but used to hearing it.”

Pinkett Smith pointed out that growing up around constant gun violence is akin to living in a “war zone,” and becomes normalized.

“Even going to a party in high school…you always knew where the exit was because you knew at any time smoking can happen,” said London. “That’s traumatizing to be 16 years old and having to be on guard when you go to a party.”

London went on to spoke about healing through the trauma of losing Nipsey, the joy that she gets when people tell her the influence that he had on their lives, and raising  sons.

“What I instill in them is more about the police,” London said of her children. “How to handle yourself if you get pulled over. That’s more of my [education] protecting them being Black men in America.”

London has also found a tribe among other women who have lost loved ones to gun violence, and has been leaning into her friends and family for support.

“For me, what’s really been important is connecting with God. That’s been a struggle because something horrible happens in your eyes and you’re like ‘How God?’ And knowing that there is life after this life, it’s not easy. I don’t always wake up on the enlightened side of the bed, and the days I don’t, I let myself because I’m human. I’m gentle with myself. I’m finding things that matter, so I try to live with a purpose. When I’m having a bad day I mediate, I go within.

“I think it’s important for people that love you to remind you [of] who you are because trauma and violence and just life can make you feel down,” London explained. “To have people that love you, that remind you that you matter, that you’ll be okay and you can do this, that’s been very important for me.”

Watch the episode below.

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