2019 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple Of Hope Awards - Inside
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Billionaire Robert F. Smith Will Also Cover Parents’ Loans In Morehouse College-Debt Plan

Morehouse aims for the plan of action to be completed by 2020.

In May 2019, Morehouse College’s graduating class of 2019 not only received the gift of their degrees, but also a unique opportunity to enter society debt-free. During his commencement speech, billionaire and owner of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, Robert F. Smith announced his pledge to cover each student’s loans, and now their parents will be able to get in on the life-changing gesture.

According to Bloomberg, Smith will pay off the federal loans taken by the students’ parents, adding to a $34 million tab. Private student loans gifted by the college, and federal and state loans will be covered under Smith’s plan.

Morehouse's president, David Thomas, said this action will hopefully inspire the recipients to follow in Smith's footsteps. “It is our hope that our graduates will use their newfound financial freedom to pursue their career goals, to lead and serve the community, and to remember the spirit of the gift given to them by paying it forward to support the education of future classes of Morehouse Men.” The HBCU aims for the plan of action to be completed by 2020.

For Smith, with a reported net worth of $6 billion, his vision through this program aims to inspire other colleges and universities to take a charge against this country's student debt crisis and “to receive gifts from alumni and other supporters that can offset the burden of student loans and give students the freedom to pursue their dreams, the capital to invest in the economic growth of their families and the time that they can give back meaningfully to strengthening their communities.”

According to Forbes, U.S. federal student loan debt has totaled over $1.5 trillion.

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Rep. (D-MD) speaks to the media at the University of Baltimore, May 5, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Attorney General Loretta Lynch spoke with members of Congress and faith leaders on Tuesday during a private meeting at the University of Baltimore.
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Cory Booker, Al Sharpton And More Remember Rep. Elijah Cummings

Politicians in the Democratic and civil rights space have shared tributes on social media following the passing of Rep. Elijah Cummings.

Cummings died at the age of 68 on Thursday (Oct. 17) from "complications from longstanding health issues," his office told the Associated Press. Bipartisan through and through, Cummings served Maryland's 7th Congressional District from 1996 until his death.

He was remembered on social media by presidential candidates like Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Beto O' Rourke as well as Al Sharpton, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, New York Attorney General Letitia James and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Some shared personal stories about Cummings while others spread some of his most inspirational quotes.

See some of the tributes below.

Rest in Power, Elijah Cummings. pic.twitter.com/j9N9oIvH9O

— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) October 17, 2019

A devastating loss for our country.

Chairman Cummings was a giant: a universally respected leader who brought profound insight, commitment, and moral fortitude to Congress.

His guidance and vision was an enormous gift. I will forever cherish his example. May he rest in power. https://t.co/D0RsKsM5fh

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 17, 2019

Just logged on and saw that Elijah Cummings, has gone home to our ancestors.

This is a tremendous loss for his family and our country. We are eternally grateful for your service, Congressman. #RIPElijahCummings pic.twitter.com/cLqopK4Bfl

— Alecto AKA Sil Lai Abrams (@Sil_Lai) October 17, 2019

Our country has lost a giant.

Congressman Elijah Cummings was a true leader in our fight for a more fair and just society. A civil rights activist, a dedicated public servant, and a powerful force for good - he left his mark on our communities.

Rest in power, my friend.

— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) October 17, 2019

Our Chairman leaves behind a beautiful and powerful legacy. I am already feeling the impact of a little less grace in the world. Deep gratitude to have spent these early months in Congress guided by his wisdom. Rest in power @RepCummings pic.twitter.com/n4ekGvhAVx

— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) October 17, 2019

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Rep. Elijah Cummings' passing: "My heart is broken. For his family, for his community, for our country." pic.twitter.com/TFMcX3rUfg

— The Hill (@thehill) October 17, 2019

One of the great members of Congress in my lifetime passed away this morning — Elijah Cummings, Democrat of Maryland. He was a fighter for those who weren’t allowed a seat at the table. A strong, powerful voice for… https://t.co/ro40mf2p2A

— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) October 17, 2019

What a heavy, heavy heart I have waking to this incredibly sad news.

Today we lost a brave man who has continually stood up for those he served.

The American people will miss his honesty and integrity—and his fight for justice. #RestInPower, my friend https://t.co/3jhwBSQVjX

— Yvette D. Clarke (@RepYvetteClarke) October 17, 2019

My statement on the passing of Congressman Elijah Cummings: pic.twitter.com/uSAmKQkH7W

— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) October 17, 2019

We lost one of our best. A son of sharecroppers, who went on to represent one of our greatest cities; a fighter for justice, who always led with love—Rep. Elijah Cummings was everything right about America. He is already missed, but his legacy will be with us forever.

— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) October 17, 2019

Today our country lost a true leader. Congressman Elijah Cummings was a friend, a passionate fighter for justice, and a powerful voice of moral conscience in our government who served his country for decades with dignity and integrity. I’m blessed to have known him. #RIPElijah

— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) October 17, 2019

Saddened to hear of the passing of a great statesman that I truly admired, US Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland. May he rest in power. pic.twitter.com/FhmuPO7WWw

— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) October 17, 2019

My deepest condolences for Rep. Elijah Cummings’ family, friends, and community as they mourn his passing.

He was an honorable man with a deep commitment to our nation and an inspiration too many of us as he fought for what’s right.

May he Rest In Power.https://t.co/4jB76PjDTP

— Rep. Sylvia Garcia (@RepSylviaGarcia) October 17, 2019

@RepCummings will be so deeply missed. His example of courage, leadership and truth telling inspires us all. Rest in power. https://t.co/5Qj6CzZ0I2

— March For Our Lives (@AMarch4OurLives) October 17, 2019

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House Oversight ant Reform Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings speaks at the National Press Club August 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. Cummings addressed members of the organization during a luncheon and touched on a number of issues including ongoing investigations of U.S. President Donald Trump.
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Longtime Congressman Rep. Elijah Cummings Dies At 68

Champion of civil rights and longtime Congressman Elijah Cummings died early Thursday (Oct. 17), his office confirmed.

In a statement to the Associated Press,  his widow, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, chairwoman of Maryland’s Democratic Party, said “Congressman Cummings was an honorable man who proudly served his district and the nation with dignity, integrity, compassion and humility. He worked until his last breath because he believed our democracy was the highest and best expression of our collective humanity and that our nation’s diversity was our promise, not our problem.”

Cummings was born and raised in 1951 in Baltimore, Maryland to the parents of sharecroppers. One of six, Cummings also grew up in the days of segregation and was among the first children to integrate Riverside Park's swimming pool in 1962. In a feature with Baltimore Magazine, Cummings shared how he would often run home to listen to Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches on WWIN-AM radio and experiencing racism from police during the 1968 riots.

“I don’t live in the inner city. I live in the inner-inner city and there are not a lot of congressmen who grew up in the inner city, let alone still live there,” he said in 2014.  “It is an important voice to bring to Congress that needs to heard.”

With this in his heart, Cummings used his life experiences (and struggles in grade school) to fuel his dreams of becoming a lawyer. He attended Howard University and majored in Political Science and would later receive his law degree at the University of Maryland School of Law.

While practicing law for over 15 years, he also became a strong voice and supporter of civil rights and the Voting Rights Act. He would go on to serve Maryland’s House of Delegates and win his congressional seat, replacing Rep. Kweisi Mfume. He served Maryland’s 7th Congressional District from 1996 until his death.

“My mother, on her dying bed, the last thing she said to me was, ‘Do not let them take away our right to vote.’ And then she died," he told Baltimore Magazine about his will to fight for voting rights. "Why? Because she had seen the pain that people had gone through to get the vote, what it meant to see for her."

Cummings was also a chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee that led multiple investigations of President Donald Trump's actions in the White House.

Cummings’ office said the congressman died at 2:45 a.m. ET at his native Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was expected to return home after an unspecified medical procedure, AP reports. Cummings faced heart and knee issues in his later years.

Cummings was a strong and notable figure in the Democratic party, especially when it came to the rights of people of color. As a longtime member of Congress, Cummings provided strength and dignity to his position, even when he was met with criticism and racism.

“Even if it seems small, there’s usually something that you can do,” Cummings said in 2014. “And this refers to helping people in my neighborhood, to my constituents, and it should apply to Congress, too. Governing is not always rocket science. If you can do something to help someone—that you can agree on—do it. And I tell you where this comes from—this goes back to my father, too.”

Cummings is survived by widow Maya Rockeymoore Cummings and his three children.

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Dimitrios Kambouris

A$AP Rocky Says Beef With Travis Scott Is "Old" And "Played Out"

Harlem's A$AP Rocky hit the stage at the Rolling Loud festival this weekend. Between his set, the uptown-bred decided to unload a freestyle for his fans.

"Another victory be flawless like the skin on me, damn/Please don't compare him and me, you offendin' me," Rocky rapped. Many fans assumed that this was a line aimed at Travis Scott.

"This ain't a diss and we ain't enemies," Rockky continued. "They concerned with making hits, I'm more concerned with breaking history/The loudest n***a in the room the weakest/I guess them quiet dudes need better speakers."

Fans claim during ASAP Rocky’s set he dissed Travis Scott 👀 Do y’all agree or are they reaching? pic.twitter.com/L8CrTdjfIX

— The D.H. (@thedailyhood) October 16, 2019

Apparently fans didn't believe Flacko. He took to Twitter to further addressed the situation.


— LORD FLACKO JODYE II (@asvpxrocky) October 16, 2019

Over the years, A$AP Rocky has not been too happy about being compared to Travis Scott, however there has never been bad blood between the two rappers. Last year during an interview with Peter Rosenberg, Flacko praised the G.O.O.D Music artist.

"There's times when I feel like I pioneered a lot of shit, but don't get acknowledgement from certain people or artists. I think a lot of people see it too," Rocky said.

"I think Travis Scott... he makes cool music,"  he continued. "He just had a baby, I'm happy for that."

In other A$AP Rocky news, the "Purple Swag" MC opened up about his addiction to sex during an interview with Angie Martinez for her Untold Stories of Hip-Hop series on Wetv.

"I've been a sex addict for some time," he said. "I can't be embarrassed about it. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I don't do nothing that I'm not proud of speaking on."

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