Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
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This Black History Month, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Is Gifting HBCUs Over $1.6 Million

The sorority gave over $1.6 million dollars to historically black colleges and universities.

Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) continue to make their way into conversation on the daily. At times, the conversation is linked to its prominent alumni, such as Howard University graduate and 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, who has the audible support of her Sorors from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (or AKA). Sometimes it's about prominent people who would like to or plan to become HBCU graduates, a la Nick Cannon, Ray J and Chance The Rapper.

However, it warms our hearts the most when it's about the gift of giving. Alpha Kappa Alpha (which was founded on the campus of Howard University) reportedly established the AKA-HBCU Endowment Fund in partnership with their Educational Advancement Foundation. During a time where some HBCUs are struggling with their financial footing, the fund aims to create a sense of stability by pledging to distribute $10 million in financial support to 96 accredited institutions.

And the icing on the cake? On Feb. 28, 2019, AKA will gift the first installment of the endowment, $50,000, to presidents from 32 of those participating HBCUs. That moment will take place at the sorority's international headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. The announcement came 15 days after the organizations Founders' Day.

“As an HBCU graduate and someone who has dedicated my life’s work to the HBCU community, I personally know that the financial challenges of many institutions have an impact on student enrollment, retention and graduation rates,” said Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. International President Dr. Glenda Glover. “Implementing an endowment fund is a critical need and has been a priority for my administration since I took office last year. Alpha Kappa Alpha’s 111-year history is deeply interwoven into the history of HBCUs, and therefore it is imperative that we continue to invest in these treasured institutions.”

What a great way to kick off Black History Month.

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New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Reportedly Charged For Soliciting Prostitution In Florida

Owner of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft, is reportedly being accused of two counts of soliciting prostitution in two separate instances at a Florida day spa, CNN reports.

In a recent press conference, Police Chief Daniel Kerr stated that Kraft’s charges stem from two separate visits he made to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Fla. However, a spokesperson for the NFL team denied all the charges against Kraft. "We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further," the organization said.

Local authorities still confirm that the accusation is in conjunction with recent events that have taken place at the establishment, which also accused 20 other people of the same crime. According to Kerr, there is video evidence. The authorities involved in the crackdown revealed they wore body cameras during the operation.

Additionally, the police were involved in constant surveillance of the location. Authorities said they're not planning to release any video footage or documented evidence as of yet.

Kraft has been the owner of the Patriots since 1994. Further details for this story are pending.

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Tidal Announces Tidal Unplugged Program For Upcoming Artists

The Jay-Z owned streaming service is launching Tidal Unplugged, a program geared toward rising artists. The program has been bestowed with a $1 million fund, courtesy of its donors, venture capitalists and philanthropists, Mark Lampert and Robert Nelsen. The goal of the program is to gather emerging artists and provide them with support and tools to advance their music careers.

The selected, local artists will begin the program in Detroit, where Lampert's grandfather started his music career and will receive a grant that can cover necessary equipment, time in the studio, as well as living expenses amongst other things. There are plans to expand Unplugged to other locations, but as of right now it's solely in the Motor City.

"Kicking it off in Detroit, we're giving artists the means and resources to pursue their passion," Tidal said about Unplugged. "This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity allows aspiring musicians to dedicate more time and energy to seeking a career as an artist."

Unplugged will also allow the artists to maintain complete ownership of their recording masters from the four songs they will record when they make it to the first stage of the program. Additionally, Tidal plans to help the musicians with the distribution and promotion of their music, as well as help the artists prepare for a TIDAL Unplugged showcase concert later this year in November.

 

Detroit, welcome to TIDAL Unplugged. Up-and-coming artists are getting the opportunity to give their all to their music with our new artist grant program. Submissions open March 1. https://t.co/krL3l8HHGg pic.twitter.com/w30fElrp6N

— TIDAL (@TIDAL) February 21, 2019

Tidal Unplugged is calling for musicians of all genres in the birthplace of Motown Records, however, the announcement states that all submissions must be a cappella or performed acoustically with minimal use of digital components.

Detroit-area artists can apply for the program on Tidal's official website or here, starting on March 1, 2019. Finalists will be announced in May 2019.

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R. Kelly Charged With 10 Counts Of Aggravated Criminal Sex Abuse

R. Kelly has reportedly been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse by the Cook County State's attorney on Friday (Feb. 22), The Chicago Sun-Times reports.

At least four out of the ten charges involve victims who were between the ages of 13 and 16 years old.

A grand jury convened nearly one week ago to investigate a VHS sex tape that was handed over to authorities. The tape allegedly showed Kelly having sex with a girl that appeared to be 14 years old.

Additionally, as many as a dozen sexual assault accusers came forward to testify in the case against the R&B singer, TMZ reports. Two women in particular confirmed that Kelly previously engaged in sexual acts with minors.

Kelly's years of alleged sexual misconduct gained nationwide attention after Lifetime aired Surviving R. Kelly in Jan. 2019. The explosive docuseries included commentary from Kelly's former employees, accusers, and some of their families, all discussing his past and present indiscretions. The series sparked the viral #MuteRKelly movement on social media and prompted him to part ways with his record label RCA.

A judge is expected to sign a warrant for his arrest later today. In the state of Illinois, aggravated criminal sexual abuse is considered a Class 2 felony. If convicted, Kelly could serve 3-7 years per charge. Kelly's court date is set for Mar. 8, 2019.

Story developing ...

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