My Brother’s Keeper: Celebrities Who Gave Back in 2008

Mary J. Blige Singer Mary J. Blige partnered with urban marketing specialist Steve Stout for the Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now. The organization focuses on women “from all walks of life to reach their individual potential.” FFAWN will provide grants to organizations and individuals; in addition it will open a center in Blige’s hometown of Yonkers. Visit the website for more information at Erykah Badu Erykah Badu, the forward thinking and outspoken songstress, provides an opportunity to make a social impact through her nonprofit B.L.I.N.D. (Beautiful Love Incorporated Non Profit Development). In 2008 the Dallas native and her organization raised money for The Historic Central Forest Theater in Dallas, Texas and she put herself up for auction to help raise funds for the African-American Museum in Dallas. Akon Akon, a Senegalese native has been using his stardom to help his homeland by supplying access to education and recreation for African youth through his organization Konfidence. The organization completed the reconstruction of Ecole Elementary and provides youth with over one thousand text books. Visit the website at Mya Singer Mya Harrison inspires youth through music and her organization, The Mya Arts and Technology Foundation. Based in Washington D.C., TMATF offers classes dance, photography, website design, and sound engineering for teens. With a goal of opening a “community center that is open 24 hours” Mya is on the path of improving the lives of many youths. Check out their website at Mario The R&B crooner Mario keeps kids on the right page with his ‘Do Right Foundation.’ He visited several Boys and Girls Clubs to serve as a role model for underprivileged youth whose parents suffer or suffered with substance abuse. The foundation offers home tutoring and computers for kids. Mario is a living example of how to overcome the ill effects of a drug abuse environment and reach the highest plateau. Kelly Rowland Kelly Rowland filmed ‘Diary’ for MTV (Staying Alive, Aids/HIV) to help bring awareness to the AIDS/HIV epidemic. The documentary filmed Ms. Rowland travels through Africa and the U.S. getting to know more about the disease and those that are plagued with it. Beverly Bond Model-turned DJ Beverly Bond formed Black Girls Rock originally as a t-shirt line which later turned into a mentoring program. Her program is designed to empower young black girls through the arts. This year Bond hosted ‘Fashion with Compassion’, a fashion show which helped raise money for the organization. In conjunction with the Scratch DJ Academy, Black Girls Rock offers beat-making courses for girls 12-17 who are currently enrolled in the mentoring program. For more information, please visit Usher Megastar Usher Raymond looked to empower youth and prepare them for tomorrow through his ‘New Look’ Program. Each year he holds a two-week summer camp for ages 12-17 which gives youth a chance to explore all aspects of the sports and entertainment industry. Presenters and instructors are industry leaders who share personal and business rights. ‘New Look’ also has missions to help youth and impact the lives of families and the homeless. The foundation will provide Christmas for 300 undeserved youths and grant families Christmas wishes this year. Visit the website at Trey Songz Hip hop/R&B crooner, Trey Songz launched Songz for Peace in Richmond, Virginia in response to the youth violence plaguing urban cities. In August, the initiative was officially launched in Chicago where youth were given back to school supplies and heard inspirational messages. Ne-Yo Singer/Songwriter Ne-Yo has launched the Compound Foundation to increase awareness about the status of children in the child welfare system in America. The foundation hosted several charitable events including a Mother’s Day brunch to serenade foster care parents and single mothers in Atlanta. Check out the website at


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