Thursday, November 14, 2019

Decal Patrick announces 2020 presidential run

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) announced early Thursday that he will run for president, entering a crowded and fluid race for the Democratic nomination. Watch his announcement below.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Colin Kaepernick to audition for NFL teams on Saturday

Colin Kaepernick plans to audition for NFL teams on Saturday in a private workout arranged by the league to be held in Atlanta.

A person familiar with the plans told The Associated Press the league's decision to invite all 32 teams to watch Kaepernick "came out of the blue with no prior communication." The person said Kaepernick's team was given a 2-hour window to accept the invitation and was denied a request to schedule the tryout on a Tuesday or another Saturday.

Kaepernick's representatives have asked the league to provide a rolling list of teams that plan to attend the workout to ensure it's a "legitimate process," according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because details haven't been made public.

Kaepernick hasn't played since 2016 with the San Francisco 49ers.


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings will run for Elijah Cummings seat in Congress

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings announces that she will run for her late husband Elijah Cummings' 7th District Congressional seat.

Maryland Democratic Party Chairwoman Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, the widow of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, is running for her husband’s seat, arguing Monday she is the best option to carry out his legacy and continue his vision.

“I am, of course, devastated at the loss of my spouse, but his spirit is with me,” Rockeymoore Cummings, 48, said in an interview with The Baltimore Sun. “I’m going to run this race and I’m going to run it hard, as if he’s still right here by my side.”

Cummings, who had cancer, died Oct. 17 after serving more than two decades in Congress. He left a record of fighting for the needy and battling the administration of Republican President Donald Trump.

Rockeymoore Cummings, a public policy consultant who is founder of the Washington consulting firm Global Policy Solutions LLC and a former 2018 candidate for governor, said her husband told her months before he died he would like for her to succeed him.

“That was a discussion we had some months ago,” she said. “In the end, he was conflicted about whether he should resign or stay in office. We thought there might be a turnaround. It didn’t happen.”

Rockeymoore Cummings plans to kick off her campaign Tuesday at her home office in Baltimore’s Madison Park neighborhood. She said she will focus on issues important to the late congressman, such as battling the opioid crisis and “fighting for the soul of our democracy” against the Trump administration, but also on her areas of expertise, which include health and education policy.

Candidates must file by Nov. 20 to run in a special Feb. 4 primary for Cummings’ 7th District seat, which includes parts of the city of Baltimore and areas of Baltimore and Howard counties. The special election will be April 28, the same day as a regular primary for all of Maryland’s U.S. House seats. Candidates who want to fill Cummings’ seat through the rest of his term, until January 2021, and win the seat for the next two years after that, must run in both the special and regular elections.


Monday, November 11, 2019

Ally financial donates $1 million to National Museum of African American History & Culture

Ally Financial announced a $1 million donation to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture on Wednesday, Oct. 16, with a check presentation by Ally Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey J. Brown to interim director of the museum, Spencer Crew. The museum, located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is the nation's largest museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history and culture, and its impact on the world today.

This donation supports Ally's commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion through education, understanding and action.

"Championing diversity and inclusion is a cornerstone of our culture at Ally and at the foundation of what it means to do it right," said Brown. "An important part of this includes education and an understanding of the rich fabric of diversity. The National Museum of African American History and Culture tells the story of America through the lens of black history and culture, and we are proud to be able to help support them in that mission."

Brown was joined for the check presentation by 24 students from historically black colleges and universities who were invited by Ally to tour the museum. Prior to the museum tour the students participated in a learning session on the topic of design thinking that was led by Ally.

The students are in Washington, D.C. for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) 18th Annual Leadership Institute. TMCF is the nation's largest organization exclusively representing the black college community. Brown has been named CEO of the Year by TMCF and will be honored at the 32nd Anniversary Awards Gala on Saturday, Oct. 19.

About Ally Financial Inc.

Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY) is a leading digital financial-services company with $180.4 billion in assets as of June 30, 2019. As a customer-centric company with passionate customer service and innovative financial solutions, we are relentlessly focused on "Doing It Right" and being a trusted financial-services provider to our consumer, commercial, and corporate customers. We are one of the largest full-service automotive-finance operations in the country and offer a wide range of financial services and insurance products to automotive dealerships and consumers. Our award-winning online bank (Ally Bank, Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender) offers mortgage-lending services and a variety of deposit and other banking products, including savings, money-market, and checking accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Additionally, we offer securities-brokerage and investment-advisory services through Ally Invest. Our robust corporate finance business offers capital for equity sponsors and middle-market companies.

ESSENCE Announces New Orleans Will Remain the Home of the ESSENCE Festival for the Next 5 Years

NEW ORLEANS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Today, ESSENCE Communications Inc., the leading media, technology and commerce company serving Black women, announced an extended five-year partnership agreement with the City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana to host its signature ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ through 2024. A platform to advance global Black culture, economic ownership and inclusion, and community development, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture has contributed more than $4 billion to the local economy since its inception. Now the world’s largest cultural, music, entertainment and empowerment experience and the global epicenter of Black culture, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture has created a home for Black communities around the world and routinely attracts more than half a million international attendees over July 4th weekend – annually contributing more than a quarter billion dollars in economic impact to the City of New Orleans and State of Louisiana.

To celebrate ESSENCE’s 50th Anniversary, the 2020 ESSENCE Festival of Culture presented by Coca-Cola will be extended to five days for the first time ever and will run from July 1-5. The additional days will be curated with experiences and activations throughout New Orleans and Louisiana focused on advancing economic development, education and entrepreneurship.

Our decision to remain in New Orleans, Louisiana was ultimately rooted in the landmark partnership that we have developed with the City and the State over the past 25 years and in our collective intentionality to bring even more depth to that relationship,” said Michelle Ebanks, CEO of ESSENCE Communications. “This includes working together more closely to perpetuate a stronger cycle of Community Commerce that will equip Black and women-owned businesses with the access, expertise and financial resources to transform their local communities and economies today – and elevate their global influence and opportunity tomorrow. This is the purpose and power of the nearly 50-year old ESSENCE brand and the 25-year-old ESSENCE Festival of Culture as much more than a magical moment each summer, but as a movement in continuous service to Black women and Black communities in New Orleans, in Louisiana, across the nation and around the world.”

The Festival continues to be the only-of-its-kind merging epic entertainment experiences with extensive daytime programming that intersect key cultural pillars including Arts, Entertainment, Music, Beauty, Fashion, Technology, Film, Food, Wellness, Advocacy, Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment.

“It is always great to be in the City of New Orleans with our Essence family as we cannot accomplish what we do alone, and it takes great leadership to bring about change and elevation," said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. "This commitment was made possible by all of our partners, and we are excited to sign our new contract for another five years. It really is a privilege to be the Mayor of the City of New Orleans. We made history with electing the first female Mayor of the City and of course marking the 25th year of the Essence Festival of Culture. It has always been a part of me as a woman, and as an African American woman, something to be particularly proud of.”

In 2019, in response to its identification of a critical void of Black professionals prepared to bid on large-scale live events and technical production, ESSENCE partnered with the City of New Orleans and the Urban League of Louisiana to launch “The Pipeline: An Economic Inclusion Initiative” in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport and Monroe. This ground-breaking effort – designed to increase the pool of women and Black professionals pursuing entrepreneurial business opportunities and careers in live events and technical production – will also create opportunities to connect existing production entrepreneurs to service contracts in the industry at both the corporate and governmental levels and give them access to networking, capital raising and opportunities for training and skills development. It also includes an internship program for youth seeking careers in media, live production and more.

“I am excited to welcome ESSENCE back to New Orleans through 2024 and am proud for the state of Louisiana to continue its partnership with this iconic event,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “New Orleans is a place like no other in the entire world, making it the best backdrop for the unique experience of the ESSENCE Festival of Culture. This is an economic opportunity not just for the state and the city, but also for the entrepreneurs, business leaders and others who will broaden their networks and connections through the many events associated with the ESSENCE Festival of Culture.”

In 2019, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture launched several new curated daytime-and-nighttime experiences across Louisiana in more than 40 venues, including the ESSENCE Global Black Economic Forum™, ESSENCE Fashion House™, ESSENCE Wellness House™, and ESSENCE After Dark™. In addition, more than 80 artists performed at the Louisiana Superdome – headlined by Forever First Lady Michelle Obama – including Mary J. Blige, Nas, Missy Elliott, H.E.R., Big Freedia, Pharrell Williams and more.

The ESSENCE Festival of Culture is supported by a host committee comprised of the City of New Orleans; New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation; New Orleans & Company; Greater New Orleans Hotel and Lodging Association; New Orleans Multi-Cultural Tourism Network, Inc.; the Mercedes-Benz Superdome; the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center; and the State of Louisiana.

Sponsors for the 2020 ESSENCE Festival of Culture include Coca-Cola and State Farm. The ESSENCE Festival of Culture is produced by ESSENCE Communications, Inc.

About Essence Communications, Inc.

Essence Communications, Inc. is the number one media, technology and commerce company dedicated to Black women and inspires a global audience of more than 20 million through diverse storytelling and immersive original content. With a multi-platform presence in publishing, experiential and online, ESSENCE encompasses its signature magazine; digital, video and social platforms; television specials; books; and live events, including Black Women in Music™, Black Women in Hollywood™, Beauty Carnival™ and the ESSENCE Festival of Culture™. Essence Communications is owned by Essence Ventures, an independent Black-owned, consumer technology company merging content, community and commerce to meet the evolving cultural and lifestyle needs of people of color.