Former First Lady Michelle Obama Announces New Book

Former first lady Michelle Obama, whose memoir “Becoming” became a global bestseller, is releasing a new book.

 

The book, “The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Certain Times,” will include lessons the former first lady says she has learned on “change, challenge and power” and overcoming obstacles in uncertain times.

 

“Drawing from her experiences as a mother, daughter, spouse, friend, and First Lady, she shares the habits and principles she has developed to successfully adapt to change and overcome various obstacles—the earned wisdom that helps her continue to ‘become,'” the book’s publisher, Penguin Random House, said Thursday in a statement announcing the book.

 

“She details her most valuable practices, like ‘starting kind,’ ‘going high,’ and assembling a ‘kitchen table’ of trusted friends and mentors,” the statement continued. “With trademark humor, candor, and compassion, she also explores issues connected to race, gender, and visibility, encouraging readers to work through fear, find strength in community, and live with boldness.”

 

Obama’s book will be published on Nov. 15, 2022, in 14 languages and 27 countries around the world, according to Penguin Random House.

 

In her previous book, “Becoming,” Obama, a mother of two, detailed her journey from growing up on the South Side of Chicago to becoming First Lady of the United States.

 

The memoir sold more than 17 million copies around the globe, according to Penguin Random House, and its accompanying audiobook won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album.

 

“Becoming” also turned into not just a bestselling book but a world tour for Obama, whose book tour consisted of stops in major arenas around the globe during which the former first lady was interviewed by high-profile people including Sarah Jessica Parker, Reese Witherspoon, and Oprah Winfrey.

 

Credit ABC News//Good Morning America

Ashanti Joined “Good Morning America”

This morning, singer Ashanti joined “Good Morning America” to talk about rerecording her debut album to own her masters and her new children’s book.  In case you missed it, the performances included a special appearance from Ja Rule.

Ashanti performs a medley of hits on ‘GMA’ The Grammy-winning singer performs some of her most popular jams, including “Rock Wit U,” “Happy” and “Mesmerize,” and brings out a special guest.

Ashanti performs ‘Falling for You’ and ‘Foolish’ on ‘GMA’ The hit singer performs her brand-new song live for the first time along with one of her biggest hits.

Ashanti chats about new music and re-recording past hits The singer said she was inspired by Taylor Swift to re-record her debut album, which was released 20 years ago.

Credit: Good Morning America/ABC News

National Women’s Business Council Gains New Insight with a New Member

Selena Rodgers Dickerson secures another seat at the table. Business award-winning founder, President and CEO of SARCOR LLC and Selene LLC, is making her mark nationally through the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC)! Her appointment to this council will allow her to continue prioritizing the advancement of opportunities for women on a national scale as she speaks with Government officials including the President, U.S. Congress, and the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Rodgers Dickerson, a Birmingham native, has been leading discussions and taking control of the narrative by securing her spot on multiple local boards including the city of Birmingham’s Small Business Council, and through being a panel speaker at the Essence Fest in 2022. Her appointment to the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) last month is a huge achievement as it presents an opportunity to make real change across the nation for small, female-owned businesses.

“I am extremely honored to be on the National Women’s Business Council. This new opportunity allows me to take another step forward and continue to be a part of the conversation to make fundamental changes and promote real opportunities for women entrepreneurs and young professionals.” – Selena Rodgers Dickerson, President, SARCOR LLC

Her selection as a council member is based on her achievements through her businesses as well as the mark that she has made on her local community. Rodgers Dickerson started SARCOR with a single employee and grew the business into a team of engineers. The woman-owned business provides innovative solutions to the challenging projects of its private, corporate, and municipal clients. She also made history as the first African American sponsor of an iconic Vulcan statue as part of a community art project in which miniature replicas of Vulcan are displayed throughout the city of Birmingham.

Selena R. Dickerson is the president of SARCOR, LLC, located in Birmingham, Alabama. She strives to educate others on how to become successful business owners. Her mission is to utilize her expertise to leverage strategic solution-based diverse, equitable, and inclusive initiatives through business endeavors, philanthropy, integrity, and spirituality.

Mastercard Supports Black-Owned Businesses During World Games

Mastercard commemorates The World Games by supporting Black-owned small businesses in the Magic City! The initiative will kick off the high-level, diverse, and spectacular sports competition beginning July 7 through 17th.

Birmingham is proud to be one of seven cities participating in Mastercard’s In Solidarity initiative, a 500 million dollar commitment to closing Black Americans’ racial wealth and opportunity gap across America. In partnership with the Birmingham Business Resource Center (BBRC), Mastercard is launching the Birmingham Loyalty Campaign, offering a 20% rebate on qualifying purchases at Black-owned businesses during The World Games! Mastercard made the announcement at a press conference Thursday in Kelly Ingram Park with special guests Mayor Woodfin, Bob Dickerson of the BBRC, and Arian Simone, founder of The Fearless Fund, the first venture capital fund built by women of color. The conference celebrated Mastercard’s commitment to the city while highlighting two local, women-owned, Black-owned businesses, including one that will be featured at the Civil Rights District Marketplace. The five-day festival hosted by the BBRC, and in partnership with Mastercard, will showcase Black-owned businesses, entertainers, interactives, and artisans at Birmingham’s historic Kelly Ingram Park beginning July 8.

The Civil Rights District Marketplace is in collaboration with the World Of Opportunity Vendor Program, a division of The World Games 2022 Birmingham. “Where do I begin. I am so excited that Mastercard has intentionally found a way to support our local minority businesses and their cardholders through the Loyalty Program. In both the Merchant Market and The Civil Rights District Market, a win-win opportunity has been designed for the business and consumer. Not every company will really be as bold or as courageous as they are being to encourage people to buy from Black businesses. It means a lot when you can see that someone believes in you. Mastercard is showing they believe in Black businesses and in Birmingham”, said Kathy Boswell, Executive Vice President of Community and Volunteer Engagement at The World Games 2022 Birmingham.

“As I’ve said before, these businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and they deserve the support of the city they make investments in,” said Mayor Woodfin. “That’s why I’m proud of this genuine partnership with Mastercard. This effort encourages Birmingham residents and visitors to support our Black-owned businesses by shopping local.”

“We have been able to have a 3rd marketplace for The World Games in the Civil Rights District, right here on this hallowed ground! That’s important because, as the mayor talked about, supporting Black-owned businesses means paving a way and opening a door for opportunities,” said Salah Goss with Mastercard. Goss says the marketplace provided a space for businesses who couldn’t get into The World Games marketplace to benefit from the economic windfall.

In addition to the 20% cashback initiative Mastercard has issued, the company partnered with The Fearless Fund to present a check of $10,000 to Bernadine Birdsong, owner of Michael’s Steak and Seafood in Birmingham.

“Over 50% of Black businesses had to close their doors during the pandemic,” said Arian Simone, CEO & Founder of The Fearless Fund. “Now, we are facing the global, macro-economic climate of high-interest rates, inflation at an all-time high, and supply chain issues, where now people of color are being hit again. So, it is an honor to stand here today to present a $10,000 grant to Bernadine Birdsong of Michael’s Steak and Seafood! This is our way of saying we see you, we honor you, and keep going!”

Birdsong accepted the check with tears of joy in her eyes, thanking Mastercard and the Fearless Fund for this opportunity to overcome what Birdsong considers a dark time in the world for the restaurant industry.

To see a list of participating businesses in Mastercard’s Loyalty Program, along with the terms and conditions, please visit: mastercard.com/birmingham.

Birmingham Business Resource Center assists entrepreneurs in every stage of business development. Through an array of technical assistance activities, including one-on-one coaching, the BBRC focuses on helping businesses scale for growth. Services include providing resources to build capacity, attain new customers, and access capital. Emphasis is placed on economic empowerment and supporting historically underserved businesses through diverse supplier opportunities.

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart, and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships, and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments, and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.

 

Hulu’s ‘ESSENCE FEST PRIMETIME’ Line-Up Announced, Includes Janet Jackson, New Edition, Nicki Minaj, and More

As previously announced, Hulu will serve as the official streaming destination of the 2022 ESSENCE Festival, which will take place in person in New Orleans, and virtually, from June 30 – July 3, 2022.  This marks the first time ever that ESSENCE has made programming from its iconic Festival available on a streaming platform. Select daytime programming including panel discussions and evening musical performances will be available exclusively to Hulu SVOD subscribers to livestream at no additional cost*.  The “ESSENCE FEST PRIMETIME” livestream will run on the platform July 1 – 3 from 7:00pm – 11:59pm CT.

In addition to live celebrity interviews with host Angela Yee and highlights from daytime programming, “ESSENCE FEST PRIMETIME” will include the following musical performances (all times CTsubject to change):

FRIDAY, JULY 1

7:30PM – Mickey Guyton

8:10PM – Kes The Band

9:10PM – Machel Montano

10:05PM – Wyclef & Friends

10:55PM – Nas

11:45PM – Nicki Minaj

SATURDAY, JULY 2

7:20PM – Lucky Daye

7:50PM – Chloe x Halle

8:05PM – D-Nice & Friends

9:30PM – Summer Walker

10:00PM – Jazmine Sullivan

10:35PM – Patti LaBelle

11:35PM – Janet Jackson

SUNDAY, JULY 3

7:20PM – City Girls

8:00PM – Lil Kim

8:35PM – The Roots & Friends

9:45PM – Isley Brothers

10:30PM – Wizkid

11:25PM – New Edition

Hulu will also have a special presence on-site at the Festival, providing guests with an immersive experience at “The Rink @ The Hulu Motel,” a roller skating rink filled with interactive touchpoints, giveaways, and content-themed bites and drinks. Skaters will also be treated to live performances by DJ OHSO and DJ DIAMOND KUTS.  The three-day activation will be open July 1-3 from Noon – 7:00pm to guests 21+ at the New Orleans Civic Theatre.

*Requires Hulu or Hulu (No Ads) base plan subscription. Live content access available 7/1/22 through 7/3/22 from 7:00 p.m. – 11:59 p.m. CT only.