Jhené Aiko to Appear on “See Us Unite for Change — The Asian American Foundation in Service of the AAPI Community” Special

Jhené Aiko is ready to unite…

The 33-year-old part-Spanish American R&B singer, who is part Japanese, will perform on a television special produced by The Asian American Foundation, the newly formed organization launched to improve AAPI advocacy.

Jhené Aiko

Entitled “See Us Unite for Change — The Asian American Foundation in Service of the AAPI Community,” the special will air on May 21 on a number of channels, including MTV, BET, VH1 and Comedy Central, as well as Facebook Watch.

Other performers include Sting and Saweetie.

TAAF’s launch comes as anti-AAPI hate and violence persist at alarming rates. Actor Ken Jeong will host the special, which will include appearances by Daniel Dae Kim and Lisa Ling and “will feature testimonials from leading Asian American public figures, as well as individuals working to enact change on the ground,” organizers said.

The TV special coincides with TAAF’s See Us Unite campaign, which launched Thursday and is designed to expand support for the AAPI community. The Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, The Henry Luce Foundation and the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation have partnered with TAAF for the campaign, and funds raised will benefit several grassroot-led efforts, including Stop AAPI Hate and Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

Aiko is one of R&B’s top stars and has achieved multi-platinum status with songs like “Sativa,” “While We’re Young” and “The Worst.”

Maluma to Take Part in Bill Nye the Science Guy’s Climate Change-Themed “Earth Day! The Musical” Special on Facebook Watch

Maluma is hoping to raise awareness about climate change

The 27-year-old Colombian singer/songwriter is joining forces with Bill Nye the Science Guy and fellow superstar musicians for an Earth Day-centered Facebook Watch special dedicated to protecting the planet.

Maluma, ELLE Magazine

Earth Day! The Musical, formed in partnership with Facebook Watch and EARTHDAY.org, follows Nye, the iconic TV science educator, as he teams up with Maluma and more to share with their fans what part they can play in restoring our Earth.

Nye will also pass the mic to young climate activists discussing what work they’ve been doing to help the planet, including Alexia Akbay, CEO and co-founder of Symbrosia, a Hawaii-based startup using seaweed to reduce livestock methane; Jerome Foster II, the youngest member of the Joe Biden White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council at age 18; and Xiye Bastida, a Mexican-Chilean climate activist and one of the lead organizers of the Fridays for Future youth climate strike movement in New York.

Other A-list musical guests who will be featured in the special include Justin BieberBen PlattCharli and Dixie D’AmelioCNCOCody SimpsonIdina MenzelJack HarlowSteve Aoki, and Tori KellyZac EfronDesus Nice and The Kid MeroJasmine Cephas Jones, Karamo Brown, Nick Kroll and more are also slated to appear.

On Monday (April 19), Maluma surprised fans with his freshly minted Earth Day anthem Rumba (Puro Oro Anthem) that he recorded in collaboration with Michelob Ultra Pure Gold to toast to its first-ever organic lager brewed with 100 percent renewable electricity from solar power.

During Earth Day! The Musical, Facebook will roll out its #RestoreOurEarthChallenge, which calls on international viewers to share pictures, videos and other social media posts about the steps they’re taking to combat climate change on Earth Day this year.

“Earth Day! The Musical” will air on Thursday at noon ET on Facebook Watch.

Fernando Meirelles Launching Slate of Environmental Films with UK Production Firm ‘Make Waves’

Fernando Meirelles is shining a spotlight on the environment…

The 65-year-old Brazilian Oscar-nominated film director, producer and screenwriter, best known for hit films The Two PopesThe Constant Gardener and City Of God, is launching a slate of environmental films in association with UK production firm Make Waves.

Fernando Meirelles

Four of the projects on the $20M documentary slate have already attracted talent and funding.

Meirelles himself will direct Soil, a feature-length documentary about the little-known microscopic world beneath our feet, which will reveal the revolutionary solutions that could help avert a planetary food crisis.

The “flagship” film on the slate is Blue Carbon, which will be directed by BAFTA and Emmy-winning filmmaker Nicolas Brown (Serengeti Rules). With 2021 Grammy-nominated DJ Jayda G as its protagonist, the feature will spotlight a movement to grow an ocean forest across the planet to help combat climate change. The film will weave together stories of ocean activists, scientists and frontline communities, and will feature music from Brazilian samba artist Seu Jorge (The Life Aquatic). The film’s development is being funded by HHMI/Tangled Bank Studios (The Serengeti Rules).

The Shackleton Solution will look at what iconic explorer Ernest Shackleton can teach the world about how to save a continent facing a catastrophe. It will draw parallels between Shackleton’s epic Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1914-1917) and a planet on the cusp of imminent environmental emergency.

Also on the slate is Law Of The Land from filmmaker Coral Brown, which asks the fundamental question: what if nature, like corporations, had the same legal rights as you and me? The feature doc will follow grassroots lawyers and Indigenous communities as they take the battle for the Rights of Nature movement into the courtrooms and onto the streets.

The slate has been co-created by Meirelles, former UN environment diplomat/producer Alexander and Irish author Don Mullan, and BAFTA-winning producer Sarah Macdonald and former Director of BBC World News Sian Kevill, all of whom will serve as EPs on the slate. Two additional films are due to be added to the lineup later in 2021.

Meirelles, a passionate environmentalist, most recently teamed up with Make Waves, Asen and Mullan on green documentary The Great Green Wall, which debuted at the Venice Film Festival two years ago.

“There is nothing more urgent than the climate crisis,” says Meirelles. “Information is what can turn the tide. Our goal is to make films that not only inform, but that enchant and engage. For my grandchildren and the grandchildren of others, that will be the theme of my work until the day I die.”

Former BBC journalist Macdonald heads investigations and documentary specialist Make Waves with former BBC journalist and executive Kevill.

Becky G Joins United Nations Human Rights “We All Rise” Campaign on International Women’s Day

Becky G is commemorating International Women’s Day in a big way…

The 24-year-old Mexican American bilingual rapper/singer has joined the United Nations Human Rights on International Women’s Day (March 8) for the “We All Rise” campaign for gender equality during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Becky G

Becky G appears in the campaign alongside Celine Dion, Cher, Cyndi Lauper and many most stars.

The artists — joined by activist/tennis legend Billie Jean King, TV personality Padma Lakshmi, actors Renée Elise Goldsberry and Terry Crews, WNBA champ Sue Bird and singer/songwriter Amanda Shires — have partnered with the UN to select the 2021 We All Rise female empowerment anthem “Together We Are Stronger.”

The soaring song features KT Tunstall, Lolo, Devyn Lorea and Nikki Vianna, and was written by written by Morgan Dorr, Greg Hansen and Lorea, with production by the Highland Park Collective.

We All Rise aims to reach more than 150 million with its first effort, described in a release as a “celebrity-driven social media campaign promoting gender equality as a fundamental human right essential to achieving a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.” The coalition of celebrities and advocates participating in the effort also includes LeAnn Rimes, Dionne Warwick, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Liv Warfield, Blair Underwood, Gloria Estefan, Naomi Campbell, Bridget Moynihan, and Debbie Allen.

“Gender equality is one of the fundamental values of the United Nations and lies at the very heart of human rights,” said Veronica Birga, chief of the Women’s Rights and Gender Section of United Nations Human Rights in a statement. “That is why we are the global partner of WE ALL RISE, an exciting new initiative committed to promoting, protecting, and advancing the human rights of all women and girls around the world. Because gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, it is essential to achieving a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.”

The effort is one of many across the music world on Monday to celebrate International Women’s Day, including a playlist curated by BLACKPINK‘s Rosé and a remake of “I’m Every Woman” by Chaka Khan and Idina Menzel, among other efforts.

“Gender equality and the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women are fundamental human rights and core values of the United Nations,” added Trish Golden, president of We All Rise. “Together with our Global Partner, United Nations Human Rights, We All Rise is dedicated to promoting gender equality around the world and the human rights of women and girls, in all their diversity. When we support women’s rights, We All Rise together.”

The video for the inspiring “Together We Are Stronger” features images of women from around the world marching for equality and securing a future for girls and young women where they can achieve their goals.

Rita Moreno to Take Part in Paley Center’s International Women’s Day Panel Discussion “Choosing to Challenge”

Rita Moreno is leading the way…

To commemorate International Women’s DayThe Paley Center for Media will host a quarterly series of conversations exploring the media’s role in providing a diverse and inclusive platform for women, with the 89-year-old Puerto Rican legendary actress among the women set to take part.

Rita Moreno

The series will kick off with its inaugural event on International Women’s Day, Monday, March 8 at 10:00 am ET/7:00 am PT on the Paley Center’s dedicated channel on Verizon Media’s Yahoo Entertainment.

Choosing to Challenge: How Women Are Leading the Way, will focus on women’s roles as leaders in our society and address some of the most significant issues facing all women, according to the organization.

In addition to Moreno, the panel will include Misty Copeland, ballerina, author, and philanthropist; Hon. Val Demings, U.S. Representative (FL-10); Cynthia Erivo, Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award-winning actress, singer, and producer; Julie Foudy, espnW writer and soccer commentator, ESPN; Rita Moreno, actor and activist; Norah O’Donnell, anchor and managing editor, CBS Evening News; Phylicia Rashad, actor and director; and moderator Alicia Menendez, anchor, MSNBC’s American Voices with Alicia Menendez.

The series is made possible by support from John H. Josephson and Carolina F. Zapf.

“The Paley Center for Media is thrilled to present the first of a series of programs with influential women, who will share their experiences and raise awareness about the significant role the media can play in equality, opportunity, and representation to help create a more inclusive world,” said Maureen J. Reidy, the Paley Center’s President & CEO. “We are grateful to John H. Josephson and Carolina F. Zapf for their most generous support of this in-depth series, as well as Verizon’s continued commitment to providing a platform for diverse voices.”

“This PaleyImpact series will convene prominent women to discuss the media’s influence in amplifying women’s voices and the role it plays in helping to create a more gender equal world,” said Josephson and Zapf. “We are proud to support the Paley Center and we look forward to hearing the perspectives of the many distinguished women joining for this important series and to celebrate their numerous achievements and contributions to society.”

The quarterly series is part of The Paley Center for Media’s commitment to promoting diverse voices in media and entertainment. Similar programs have included the Paley Center’s series addressing antisemitism, racial justice and social equality, COVID-19, and celebrations of Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, and the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Volunteers at Houston Food Bank After Raising Nearly $5 Million for Texas Winter Storm Relief

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn’t just fundraising to help winter storm-battered Texans, she’s also giving her time…

A fundraising effort spearheaded by the 31-year-old Bronx-born Puerto Rican politician, currently serving as the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, to help people in the Lone Star State affected by this week’s winter storms has raised nearly $5 million in just a few days.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

And, on Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez visited the state to celebrate the success of the fundraising effort, which will go to local organizations providing Texans food assistance, homelessness relief and elder care.

She was joined by Democratic Texas Reps. Sylvia Garcia and Sheila Jackson Lee, all of whom helped fill boxes at the Houston Food Bank.

“When disaster strikes, this is not just an issue for Texans; this is an issue for our entire country,” Ocasio-Cortez told reporters. “And our whole country needs to come and rally together behind the needs of Texans all across this state.”

She added: “That’s the New York spirit, that’s the Texas spirit, and that’s the American spirit.”

Winter storms across Texas left dozens dead, knocked out power for millions for several days and many still don’t have safe drinking water.

Garcia said the fundraising idea was spurred by Ocasio-Cortez, who sent her a text saying she wanted to help. “You know, we’re from Texas right?” Garcia told reporters. “Who does things with New York? We always kind of make fun of New York. But this time we love New York.”

Ocasio-Cortez announced the fundraising Thursday afternoon on Twitter. Within two hours, the effort had pulled in $325,000 in donations. By Friday morning, the total was up to $2 million. As of Saturday afternoon, $4 million, according to Ocasio-Cortez. And, by Sunday, that amount was at nearly $5 million.

The money will go toward several organizations, including the Houston Food Bank, Family Eldercare, Feeding Texas and the Bridge Homeless Recovery Center. But charity itself, while helpful, doesn’t replace the need for policies that prevent power grids from failing in the future, Ocasio-Cortez said.

“We need to make sure that we make short- and long-term policy decisions to that this devastation — preventable devastation — never happens again,” she said.

A number of factors contributed to the massive power failures in Texas, which relies on its own electricity grid.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Helps Raise $2 Million for Winter Storm-Ravaged Texans

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has stepped up to help Texans dealing with the aftermath of deadly winter storms…

The 31-year-old Bronx-born Puerto Rican politician, currently serving as the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, has helped raise more than $2 million in less than 24 hours to help bring relief to the state of Texas.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

On Thursday evening, AOC announced she was partnering with several Texas charities and encouraged her millions of Twitter followers to donate money to help residents in Texas reeling from widespread power outages, water shortages and freezing temperatures.

“Team AOC is launching relief efforts for Texas starting today,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Thursday evening. “Our first effort is a partnership w/5 Texas orgs getting on-the-ground relief to Texans ASAP. If you’re able, please donate here – it’ll split your contribution to all 5.”

By Thursday night, more than $1 million had been raised, and by Friday morning, the charities raked in more than $2 million.

The funds are being split between The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, Ending Community Homeless Coalition, Family Eldercare, Houston Food Bank, Feeding Texas and several other charities.

Dozens of people have died in hard-hit Texas since Sunday as massive winter storms hit the region.

Millions of homes and businesses in the state went without electricity for days as single-digit temperatures increased the demand for heat while freezing most of the state’s energy infrastructure.

While most of the power in the state has been restored, many are still experiencing a lack of safe drinking water due to damaged pipes that carry the water supply.

https://twitter.com/AOC/status/1362809024480243714?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1362809024480243714%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fthehill.com%2Fchanging-america%2Fresilience%2Fnatural-disasters%2F539664-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-raises-2-million-in

Camila Cabello Teams Up with Movement Voter Fund to Launch the Healing Justice Project, Offering Mental Health Support to Frontline Activists

Camila Cabello is spreading healing justice to frontline activists

The 23-year-old Mexican & Cuban singer is partnering with Movement Voter Fund, a charitable nonprofit that connects donors to grassroots organizations, to launch the Healing Justice Project, which will focus on giving frontline activists access to mental health support.

Camila Cabello

Cabello, who will star in Sony’s upcoming Cinderella, donated the seed money for the project and has matched all the funds raised for it to date. The first grant round totals nearly $250,000, and Cabello also has pledged to continue to donate and raise funds for future grant rounds.

The initial cohort of 10 organizations will receive grants to cover six months’ worth of mental healthcare for their activist workers. Each nonprofit has the discretion to spend the money on resources that address its individual needs and are “culturally competent,” meaning that providers are knowledgeable about the anti-racist framework to understand racial trauma. (A May 2018 American Psychological Association report revealed that just 5 percent of active psychologists are Hispanic and 4 percent are Black.)

The Healing Justice Project was inspired in part by conversations Cabello has had with California surgeon general Nadine Burke Harris about the toll of “toxic stress” (prolonged activation of the body’s stress response systems), and with such activists as Latinx Racial Equity Project founder Ana Perez and Jerry Tello, founder of the racial equity group National Compadres Network, about racial reconciliation. Cabello has been interested in both subjects ever since social media posts of hers from 2012 and 2013 featuring racist memes and racial slurs resurfaced in December 2019; the singer said she was “deeply sorry and ashamed” for her use of “horrible and hurtful language” and pledged to use her platform “to speak out about injustice and inequality.”

Cabello reflected further on what she’s learned in a conversation with Tello this week for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s fifth annual National Day of Racial Healing.

“I’ve spent a lot of time over the last couple of years, and especially this past year home during the pandemic, in constant reflection, learning and exploring the ways I have contributed to systems and beliefs that actively oppress others,” Cabello tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I’ve realized there’s so much more I can and must do to support others who are doing the work to heal our communities…. Grassroots organizers are faced with the exhaustion, emotional burden and trauma that comes with fighting against inequitable systems. Our hope is to offer access to the necessary support they may need as they continue their critical work advocating for social justice.”

In addition to amplifying each of the 10 grant recipients through virtual engagements and on her social media accounts over the next few months, Cabello also will work to raise general awareness among the public about the psychological and emotional burnout that activists face, and to normalize mental healing and wellness practices. Prolonged exposure to racial and social injustice has been linked to higher incidences of poor mental health among affected demographics. Last summer a U.S. Census Bureau survey revealed spikes in anxiety and depression among Black and Asian Americans in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and COVID-19-related hate crimes, and a 2018 New York Times story detailed the traumatic burden shouldered by Black Lives Matter activists, two of whom lost their lives by suicide and one by heart attack.

“In the past year, a global pandemic, an overt rise in white nationalist attacks and a deeply fractious presidential election have placed challenges on organizers and activists in ways that will be felt for the long haul,” says MVF senior director Syd Yang. “Unfortunately, they often don’t get adequate support. Our partnership with Camila Cabello on the Healing Justice Project will help fill that gap and allow us to expand our support of BIPOC organizers and raise awareness about the care that is needed to drive sustainable and just social change.”

Cabello worked with MVF to identify the Healing Justice Project’s 10 recipient groups, chosen in part because they are located in regions that have recently been at the epicenters of major racial, social or electoral justice activism, and therefore have elevated levels of exhaustion, trauma and need for mental restoration. They are:

Black Leaders Organizing Communities: BLOC coordinates and harnesses the power of collective political action to represent the needs, concerns and values of local Black communities and businesses in Milwaukee and throughout the state of Wisconsin. “We simply cannot do community engagement and organizing without being mindful of our own traumas and having conversations that allow us to center our wellness,” says BLOC founder and executive director Angela Lang. “We have to take care of ourselves before we can empower anyone else.”

Faith for Justice: The St. Louis-based coalition of Christian activists, who believe that the Bible calls Christians to serve and empower the poor and challenge oppressive systems, supports Black-led organizations and liberation campaigns and helps connect churches to them.

Freedom, Inc.: Based in Madison, the self-described Black and Southeast Asian (Hmong Americans are the largest Asian ethnic group in Wisconsin) nonprofit provides direct services, leadership development and community organizing to achieve social justice among low- to no-income communities of color in Dane County.

Living United for Change in Arizona: LUCHA has worked to improve life for working families through everything from immigration services to policy change, such as its successful 2016 campaign to pass Proposition 206, which provided up to five days of paid sick leave for all employees and raised the minimum wage to $12 in 2020. “This work is difficult and often carries a heavy emotional weight,” says LUCHA co-executive director Alejandra Gomez. “It is so important that we have the practices and resources available to sustain ourselves so we can continue fighting for a better future.”

PETA Declares Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty Its Favorite Vegan Makeup Line

Selena Gomez’s pawsitive efforts to push animal rights forward are being recognized.

PETA‘s 15th annual Libby Awards have been announced, with the 28-year-old singer, actress and entrepreneur taking home one of the prizes.

Selena Gomez

Gomez’s cosmetics line Rare Beauty won favorite vegan makeup line for being animal-test-free and cruelty-free as certified by PETA, joining more than 48,000 other companies in the organization’s Global Beauty Without Bunnies database.

Lizzo won favorite vegan cooking videos for whipping up green chile enchiladas with jackfruit with a jackfruit margarita and a Thanksgiving dinner that turned out to be 100% plant-based.

“These compassionate celebrities didn’t let the pandemic stop them from walking the walk when it comes to kindness to animals,” Marta Holmberg, PETA senior director of youth programs, says in a press statement. “PETA is honoring the superstars who are leading by example and proving that helping animals can be as simple as whipping up jackfruit enchiladas or buying a vegan lipstick.”

Lily Collins not only scored her new best friend Redford from an animal shelter during quarantine, but also the honor for most pawsitive quarantine story. And during the early stages of quarantine when every A-lister began binge watching Netflix‘s Tiger KingRiverdale star Madelaine Petsch spoke up on her Instagram Story about how “these animals belong in the wild they aren’t meant to be domesticated and put in cages.” Her declaration took home the award for favorite post for animals.

To find all the winners and more information about the PETA Libby Awards, head to PETA.org.

Jennifer Lopez to Take Part in Revry’s QueerX Live! Special

Jennifer Lopez is bringing the star power to this year’s QueerX Live! special.

Revry and Pride Media will kick off the fifth annual music, film, and industry festival QueerX! with a special awards show, featuring the 51-year-old Puerto Rican superstar, on Sunday, October 11.

This year, the LGBTQ+ virtual cable TV network is celebrating National Coming Out Day with a star-studded award show that will include screenings of the category winners from the competition, musical performances, celebrity coming out stories, and the presentation of the 5th Annual Revery Visibility Awards, which honors public figures on the front lines of queer advocacy this year.

In addition to J.Lo, QueerX Live! will feature Angelica Ross, Carmen Carrera, Isiah Thomas, and more. It will premiere across 250+ millions households & devices on the Revry apps, which are available in all major app stores, and on its 11 live TV channels on mainstream platforms like Samsung TV Plus, The Roku Channel, Comcast, and more.

The show will also screen at a pandemic-safe, drive-in screening event, QueerX @ the Drive-In, a pop-up Drive-In in Downtown Los Angeles benefiting the community-focused non-profit, DTLA Proud, and featuring DJs, food and drink, as well as surprise guest performances.

QueerX Live! will also screen the three winners of the QueerX short film festival and will showcase performances by VINCINTROB.B., and the House of Balmain (the winners of season one of HBO Max‘s Legendary).

Other events include QueerX’s annual Powerhouse Industry Pitchfest, presented by Final Draft. On October 17, Revry is giving any creator the rare opportunity to pitch a project face-to-face with top industry producers and decision makers. Only 20 pitch slots are available with top pitches receiving the Final Draft product as prizes.

Then, on October 15, 22, and 29, each Thursday evening from 5pm to 7pm PST / 8pm to 10pm EST, enjoy a free Virtual Happy Hour and connect with fellow festival attendees, filmmakers, and industry professionals.

Stream the event tomorrow night, October 11, by clicking here.