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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Flint Residents Will Reportedly Have The Ability To Sue Federal Government

On Thursday (April 18), Judge Linda Parker stated Flint, Mich., residents may have the power to sue the federal government over the officials' mishandling of the water supply system. Since 2014, residents have navigated life with non-consumable water that was tainted with lead when the city switched its water source.

The news arrives days after the city was approved to receive over $77 million in funds to assist with a new pipeline, water monitoring systems, and other water-based infrastructure needs. According to CNN, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan judge's memo stated the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mislead its residents when it failed to notify them of the lead-filled water.

"The impact on the health of the nearly 100,000 residents of the City of Flint remains untold. It is anticipated, however, the injury caused by the lead-contaminated public water supply system will affect the residents for years and likely generations to come," Parker said. Through campaigns spearheaded by Little Miss Flint and other activists, and initiatives conducted by artist Jaden Smith, the city's residents are steadily receiving assistance in adequate drinking water.

In January, an appeals court stated that federal civil lawsuits against the city of Flint would be permissible, The Hill notes.

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An Iowa Man Faces 20 Years After Gunpoint Break-In To Own A Domain Name Ends In A Shooting

The founder of a social media company faces 20 years in prison for orchestrating the home break-in and subsequent shooting of an Internet domain owner.

According to reports, Rossi Lorathio Adams II founded a social media company "State Snaps" in 2015. The company, which operates on Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, is described as containing violent, crude and often nude images of young people.

The catchphrase associated with uploaded videos is "do it for the state" and to capitalize off the growing followers, Adams, 26, tried to purchase the domain name from a Cedar Rapids resident. He couldn't make the final sale.

"Between 2015 and 2017, Adams repeatedly tried to obtain 'doitforstate.com,' but the owner of the domain would not sell it. Adams also threatened one of the domain owner's friends with gun emojis after the friend used the domain to promote concerts," court records show.

Growing tired of playing "nice," in June 2017, Adams reportedly told his cousin Sherman Hopkins Jr to break into the victim's home and force the sale. Hopkins wore pantyhose on his head, a hat and glasses to cover his eyes. He had a gun and a Taser when he broke into the home to demand the domain name.

After forcing the owner to the computer, Hopkins reportedly held the weapon to his head. "Fearing for his life, the victim quickly turned to move the gun away from his head. The victim then managed to gain control of the gun," court records show.

Hopkins was sentenced to 20 years in prison last year. Now, Adams faces a similar fate, with a 20-year maximum sentence, a $250,000 fine, and three years supervision.

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T.I. Bails 23 Nonviolent Offenders Out Of Jail For Easter

T.I. did a remarkable thing this Easter (April 21). In the true spirit of the holiday, T.I. bailed 23 nonviolent offenders out of the DeKalb County Jail in Georgia.

T.I., Love & Hip Hop's Scrapp Deleon, and the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga reportedly worked together to bail out seven women and 16 men who were locked up for first-time or nonviolent offenses. The deed was done as part of the church's "Bail Out" program.

"It's almost like finally meeting the good Samaritan – somebody who you don't know that you didn't see coming," senior Pastor Dr. Jamal Bryant said good deed. "They're appreciative to be able to press the refresh button."

The philanthropic work doesn't stop after the men and women are released, however. The "Bail Out" program also connects the newly-released citizens with a certified mentor for weekly check-ins. A portion of the donations received by the program will be used to establish college funds for former inmates with children.

According to Fox 5, New Birth Missionary launched the "Bail Out" program on Lent (Mar. 6). They pledged to raise $40,000 in order to bail inmates out of jail just in time for Easter Sunday. As soon as T.I. got involved, donations reportedly skyrocketed to $120,000.

We should take note of their courageous efforts.

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