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With His "My Potential" Campaign, John Legend Hopes To Change The Way We View Inmates

Grammy-winner reveals digital series as part of the #FreeAmerica initiative.

John Legend launched a new project as part of his #FreeAmerica initiative to end mass incarceration. On Monday (Aug. 22), Legend announced a digital storytelling campaign called "My Potential," which is aimed at changing the way we as a country think about those currently and formerly incarcerated.

“The aim is to highlight how all people — from crime survivors, to law enforcement, to children, to formerly incarcerated individuals — are impacted by mass incarceration,” Legend explained in Facebook Live post. “The goal of this series is to show a different side of incarceration. the human side.”

The series will feature narratives and stories of people affected by mass incarceration including inmates and families. Among those highlighted will be Norris, who served 27 years for a crime he didn’t commit, Tauheedah, whose father is currently locked up, and Tonie and Kiesha, two incarcerated mothers facing the daily challenges of trying to parent from prison.

For the last year, Legend has traveled the country to educate himself on the criminal justice system. With "My Potential,"  the 37-year-old singer hopes to help bring about systematic change and end the cycle of mass incarceration.

“One of the major rode blocks in elevating the conversation on this issue, is the false assumption that the incarcerated and formally incarcerated can only be defined by their mistakes,” Legend continued. “Too often when we think of the incarcerated we default to an image that is really ripped from the media and the headlines. But by creating a space for people to tell their own stories we hope to shine a light on the injustice of mass incarceration in America, and dispel the stereotypes and misconceptions about those most impacted.”

See more in the vide below.

 

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Shaquille O'Neal To Join Papa John's Board Of Directors

It looks like Shaquille O'Neal added a new title to his post-basketball resume. The Inside the NBA co-host has joined Papa John's board of directors, CNN reports. As an ambassador for the pizza chain, the former athlete will rake in $8.25 million in a three-year endorsement deal. O'Neal also invested in nine Papa John's stores in Atlanta, Georgia.

This isn't the 47-year-old's first dive in the food world. In 2016, the NBA Hall-of-Famer bought a Krispy Kreme located in Atlanta, he opened Big Chicken in Las Vegas, and recently, his self-titled restaurant debuted in Los Angeles.

"Shaquille has an excellent entrepreneurial background, including as a restaurant franchise owner, and is a natural creative marketer," Jeff Smith, Chairman of Papa John's Board of Directors, said in a statement.

O'Neal also expressed his enthusiasm with his latest partnership. "I have truly enjoyed the high-quality Papa John's product for years and am excited to be able to help Papa John's raise their game to new heights," he said. "This is a triple threat opportunity for me. I am excited to join the board and to help lead from the top, while also investing in nine stores in my home town [sic] of Atlanta and being an ambassador to the brand."

The father-of-six appears to be the saving grace for the company after a series of public scandals over the past year and a half; Papa John's founder was accused of using a racial slur. Since the announcement, the brand's stock has gone up five percent.

Time for a pizza party! I’m excited to join @PapaJohns as a member of the Board of Directors and investor in 9 stores in #Atlanta. Excited to work with Papa John’s team members and customers - more here: https://t.co/PRXG7ORtFk pic.twitter.com/c5uj5BRuQ1

— SHAQ (@SHAQ) March 22, 2019

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Cam Newton Says Practicing Celibacy Has Made His Mind Stronger

It might be the offseason for Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, but that doesn't mean the game is over just yet. Part of his time off includes engaging in self-made challenges and this month, the athlete has decided not to get down in the bedroom.

The fashionable athlete shared the details behind his challenges on The Late Late Show with James Corden. The 29-year-old broke down his twist on New Year's resolutions with his latest challenge possibly taking the cake for being the hardest thus far.

"Every month I try to challenge myself in many, different ways," the Atlanta native started. He pledged to veganism for the month of February and dedicated the third month of the year to nothing less than chastity. "And then March, I hope this is an adult crowd — it looks like it is — no climax."

Newton's revelation was met by exclaims from the crowd and of course from Corden himself. "It's challenging," the father of three responded. "For me, doing certain things that challenge me in the off-season that I can't necessarily do, so now when the season comes along it makes my mind stronger; I feel like if I go back and I say "I did those things," I'm mentally stronger."

Newton subtly teased the notion of celibacy on his Instagram account earlier this month with a photo of a flower.

Some of his challenges have stuck around longer than a month, like his journey with veganism. We can only wonder what challenges April will bring.

Check out the full interview up top.

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R. Kelly's Lawyers Request To Receive Copies Of Alleged Sex Tapes During Trial

R. Kelly's criminal sexual abuse trial is currently underway in Chicago. The embattled musician's lawyers are requesting to see the sex tapes their client is believed to have participated in with underage girls.

"Kelly's attorney, Steven Greenberg, tells TMZ ... prosecutors will begin handing over discovery materials during a court hearing Friday in Chicago," the gossip site writes. "He says there's no guarantee what they'll get right off the bat -- could be police reports, case material from Kelly's 2008 trial but, obviously, the items they're most anxious to see are the 2 tapes Michael Avenatti turned over to Cook County prosecutors."

According to TMZ, the two new alleged tapes will not be available for public viewing, and the possibility of Kelly's team getting copies of the tape is also still up in the air, as the judge is still making a decision.

In early-February, lawyer Michael Avenatti revealed that he received a 45-minute sex tape featuring a man believed to be R. Kelly and a 14-year-old girl. The girl in the video reportedly calls him "Daddy" several times, and they both refer to her genitalia as "14-year-old p***y." At the video's conclusion, the man in the video reportedly urinates on the girl.

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