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Interview: Terrence J Talks Being The New Face Of The 'Find Your Park' Campaign

Terrence J is encouragng all of us to visit our national parks in America's backyards.  

Terrence J has consistently proven to be a Jack-of-all-trades. From hosting 106 & Park, to E! News, to acting, book writing and all the credentials in between, the 32 year-old New York native has shown skilled versatility among a vast number of different arenas.

Nowm Mr. Jenkins is taking on another endeavor to add to his impressive resume. He’s recently become a Centennial Ambassador for the "Find Your Park" campaign in celebration of the National Park Services' 100th anniversary. But the bigger purpose for Terrence and those involved in the campaign, is to get people to find, visit and appreciate the national parks our country has to offer.

He says that finding Yosemite National Park has completely changed his outlook on the importance of nature.

“Taking that trip to Yosemite has completely transformed me," he told VIBE. "I definitely recommend going the full distance and stepping foot at one of the national parks that’s close to you—to really get that outdoors experience, where if you’re in any city you would appreciate it.”

And Terrence J is in good company. First Lady Michelle Obama and Mrs. Laura Bush will both serve as honorary co-chairs of the "Find Your Park" initiative to help spread the word for the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016.

“I look forward to celebrating the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary and encouraging people across the country to ‘Find Your Park,’ whether it's in your backyard, in your hometown, or in one of our beautiful national parks,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “I am thrilled to be serving as the honorary co-chair of the National Parks Centennial Celebration with First Lady Laura Bush. Since the launch of Let’s Move! Outside in 2010, the National Park Foundation has been encouraging kids and families to get active, get outside, and take advantage of America’s great outdoors."

Here, Terrence J dishes out on how the campaign will run, his experience visiting Yosemite National Park, and reveals who will be a part of the campaign. – Richy Rosario

VIBE: What spurred your interest in playing a role in this campaign?
Terrence J: Well, growing up I really didn’t have the opportunity to go to national parks as a kid. I didn’t really know much about it. And my mom didn’t know much about it. So as an adult, now that I’m learning more about them, it’s a really cool thing to do. I just went to Yosemite National Park and I put my phone down and just really enjoyed nature. I just had a fantastic time. Now, I’m just encouraging other people to go check out the national parks; they are amazing. They are all in our backyards so to speak and I just think it’s something really cool to do.

How did you find Yosemite?
I have a friend that works with me at E! and she said she had just come back [from Yosemite] with her family. And they went on a camping trip and she was talking about how beautiful it was, and just all the different landscapes that are there. And how fantastic it was. So I was like, ‘I’ve never done anything like it, I spend most of my time traveling back and forth from LA to New York to Miami and I’ve never taken the time to really enjoy nature like that.’ So it was just something I did. And when I went, I really understood why so many people go. The air just felt cleaner and clearer; the scenery was beautiful, the food tasted fresher, I had an amazing time. And it was just good to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. So I just had a really foreign experience.

Tell me about the type of campaigns you’ll be doing.
Well, you’ll see me talking about it on television, Instagram and Twitter. There is a contest actually, where we want to know about your park and how you found your park. So go to Findyourpark.com, and there is a cool contest for the centennial where you can talk about how you found your park. There are some really cool people involved with this campaign: Bella Thorne, Mary Lambert, Roselyn Sanchez and Bill Nye.

It’s all about telling people how cool they are, it’s just one of those resources we overlook and is so important for us to go out there and experience it. When I’m 100 years old, hopefully and I look back at life it’s not going to be the hustle and bustle and grind of jumping in and out of cabs; it’s also going to be about the beautiful things that you get to see in your lifetime and experience. And you don’t have to travel across the world to go do it, a lot of it is in your backyard and we don’t just don’t really appreciate it and enjoy it as much as we should. And that’s really what the campaign is about. It’s about utilizing something that we have at out disposal as Americans. And going out there finding our parks and enjoying them.

How do you think this generation can benefit from this?
I think this generation can benefit the most from this. I grew up in the '80s–and this was before a lot of technology–I don’t think there were really video games until I was maybe 8 or 9 years old. So I spent a lot of time outside riding my bike, and playing basketball in the park. When I would go down to North Carolina to visit my grandma, there were streams and we looked for crayfish and crawfish.

I was on a flight earlier and I was sitting next to a lady who had a baby on her lap, and the baby couldn’t have been more than two years old, and was swiping through an iPad faster than me. And so I thought: ‘At such a young age kids are exposed to technology.’ And when you see a group of friends hanging out, everybody in the group will be looking down at their phone or at their device. And I feel like a lot of times you miss so much of life, there’s so much to learn from nature. There is so much to connect to from mother nature, and I feel like if you spend all your time looking at screens, you’re missing out on a huge part of life.

And that’s why is so important for us all to find our parks. And look at the parks that are in your backyards and the big ones that you’ve always wanted to go to. And enjoy these parks because there is so much you’re missing out on.

Do you see any challenges with this project?
Just getting the word out, but I don’t necessarily see it as a challenge. Once you go and plan a trip with your crew or with your friends and all go hang out at the park, you’re going to be hooked just like I am and you’re going to want to go back.

Photo Credit: Instagram

       

 

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Netflix Pledges To Invest $100 Million Into Black Owned-Banks And Black Communities

As part of their “commitment to racial equality,” Netflix has pledged to invest $100 million into Black communities to help build economic opportunity.

"Going forward, Netflix is going to allocate two percent of our cash holdings - initially up to $100 million - into financial institutions and organizations that directly support Black communities in the U.S.,” Aaron Mitchell, director of talent and acquisition,  and Shannon Alwyn, treasury director, announced in a blog post on Tuesday (June 30).

The company will move $25 million into a newly established Black Economic Development Initiative managed by Local Initiative Support Corporation, a nonprofit community development financial organization that assists underserved communities. LISC will invest the money into “Black financial institutions serving low and moderate-income communities and Black community development corporations in the U.S.”

Additionally, Netflix plans to make a $10 million “transformational deposit” into Hope Credit Union to help boost “economic opportunity” in Black communities in the Deep South.

“This capital will fuel social mobility and opportunity in the low- and moderate-income communities these groups serve,” the company added. “We plan to redirect even more of our cash to Black-led and focused institutions as we grow, and we hope others will do the same.”

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August Alsina Stands By Comments About Jada Pinkett Smith

August Alsina isn’t done speaking up. The singer took to Instagram on Friday (July 3) to clarify a few things about his bombshell interview with Angela Yee.

“The journey to freedom is a deeply complex, tricky, and turbulent road to tow; yet very necessary,” begins the lengthy post.

The 27-year-old New Orleans native also spoke about oppression, and affirms his commitment to “transparency” and “truth,” no matter how hard things get. “Truth & Transparency makes us uncomfortable, yes, but I can’t apologize for that. A tower of truth can never fall, only a tower of lies can do that. My truth is MY truth, & [it's] mine to own. There is no right or wrong here, it simply just IS.”

Towards the end of the post, Alsina appears to directly address Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith. “My heart has no malice or hate toward anyone on this planet. I just simply want the chains off & I’m willing to DIE getting there. The gift of freedom is yours to have, God promises us that, but only if you’re willing & God is not a man that HE should lie.. & I’m His SON, so neither would I.

“With that being said,” he continued. “I should also say that, no one was side swiped by any conversation, everyone got courtesy calls time in advance. Wishing Everyone Big Love!”

The Smiths have denied Alsina’s claims that he had an affair with Jada with Will's permission. On Thursday (July 2), Jada announced that she will be booking herself on Red Table Talk, presumably to address the rumors.

Read Alsina's full Instagram post below.

 

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God said, We may grow weary and tired fighting in the fire, but we shall NOT be burned! The journey to freedom is a deeply complex, tricky, and turbulent road to tow; yet very necessary. Oppression comes in so many forms these days, beginning w/ physical slavery and bondage to the white man, then passed down generational programming that manifest into mental enslavement. Slaves to an idea, slaves to an image, slaves to a code of conduct, slaves to a picture you’ve created in your mind.. even if it contains many falsities.. & anything that differentiates from your “idea” & “image” feels like an attack. & I get it; not only do i get it but I’m also sorry you feel that way, BUT, The only attack here is against the invisible walls of silent societal construct and “code” we place upon each other & upon ourselves hidden behind the desires of others approval & acceptance; another form of slavery & bondage that blocks one’s truest self from showing & spirit flow. Be blocked and stuck for what? Live silent, pressed down crippled in fear for who ? Adversary is but a gift given to you to flourish. We are surround by so much disharmony in this external world, so it is my forever job to do whatever’s necessary to reach the gift of harmony within myself. Truth & Transparency makes us uncomfortable, yes, but i can’t apologize for that. A tower of truth can never fall, only a tower of lies can do that. My truth is MY truth, & its mine to own. There is no right or wrong here, it simply just IS. & I make room and have acceptance for your thoughts and opinions, regardless if I agree or not, you have that freedom to feel WHATEVER it is u feel because when you’re at TRUE peace, all of the noise and chatter becomes that of a whisper. My heart has no malice or hate toward anyone on this planet. I just simply want the chains off & I’m willing to DIE getting there. The gift of freedom is yours to have, God promises us that, but only if you’re willing. &God is not a man that HE should lie.. & I’m His SON, so neither would I. 🙏🏽 W/ that being said i should also say that, no one was side swiped by any conversation, everyone got courtesy calls time in advance. Wishing Everyone Big Love!

A post shared by Yungin' (@augustalsina) on Jul 3, 2020 at 1:12pm PDT

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Jay Z’s Team Roc Demands Arrest Of Milwaukee Cop Who Killed 3 People

Team Roc, the social justice sector under Jay Z’s Roc Nation imprint, is demanding the arrest and prosecution of a Milwaukee cop who shot and killed three people of color, including a Black teenage boy, over the last five years.

The organization took out a full-page ad in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Thursday (July 2), calling for the arrest of Officer Joseph Mensah. “Let us start off with a simple question,” reads the letter addressed to Milwaukee County D.A. John Chisolm.“How many more people must die at the hands of Officer Joseph Mensah? Since joining the Wauwatosa Police Department in 2015, Mensah has shot and killed three men of color — Alvin Cole, Antonio Gonzales and Jay Anderson — with an excessive total of NINETEEN fired shots. His actions demonstrate an utter disregard for the lives of these young men.”

The letter goes on to state that the police department’s failure to enforce body cameras, and “failure to preserve video evidence” has impeded numerous investigations. “We are calling for your office to prosecute Mensah to ensure that he never kills anyone again, and to immediately outfit all of our police officers with body cameras. It is your responsibility to do the right thing, hold Mensah accountable for his actions and protect Wauwatosa citizens from further tragedy.”

Cole, the youngest of the shooting victims, was killed in February. Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber claims that the 17 year old fired a gun at officers “before the police officer fired theirs.”

Gonzales, 29, was killed in July 2015, because he refused to drop a sword. At the time, police were responding to a 911 call placed by a homeowner who claimed Gonzales was intoxicated and behaving erratically.

Anderson, a 25-year-old father, was shot and killed while sitting in his car at about 3 a.m. on June 23, 2016. Mensah claimed that Anderson reached for a gun as he approached the vehicle. Prosecutors decided that Mensah acted in self defense, but have since agreed to review the case.

“I would like to see him do some time for the killings he has done,” Anderson's mother said of Mensah. “It is not norma to kill three people. He is a murderer."

Read Team Roc's full letter below.

JAY-Z's Team Roc calls for the prosecution of police officer who has killed 3 men of color

The social justice sector of Roc Nation wrote an open letter in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to Milwaukee DA @DAJohnChisholm,calling for the firing & prosecution of officer Joseph Mensah pic.twitter.com/RvDfh7jSCV

— JAY-Z Daily (@JAY_Z_Daily) July 2, 2020

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