Posts Tagged ‘Alicia Keys’

Celebrities Gone Good

It’s that time of year when every form of publication and broadcast is doing round up pieces…the best of…the top ten…of the year gone by, or predictions for the year beginning. has, on their Celebs Gone Good pages, an article that points up the charitable work of the famous among us—it’s a list I love. It is the Top 20 celebrities and their charitable work throughout 2010. The usual suspects are here: Ellen (in addition to her commitment to ending hunger, shining a spotlight on bullying and the amazing work of The Trevor Project), Oprah ($40 million to charities), Matt Damon (, Alicia Keys (Keep a Child Alive)…and a few that really stepped up, perhaps for the first time, in the past year—Lady Gaga (Hands Up for Marriage Equality), Justin Bieber (Pencils of Promise), Sophia Bush (advocacy and awareness of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster), Nick Jonas (Change for the Children Foundation and his tireless work for diabetes treatment and awareness)…

And you! Celebrate the great work you did in 2010, and plan to ramp it up even more in 2011–our commitments to the world grow because we grow…and we grow because of our commitments.

Radio Silence: Celebs Logging Off for Charity

Alicia Keys BUY LIFE

If you’ve followed this blog, you know I am a huge Alicia Keys fan…her music is fantastic, and her charity work with Keep a Child Alive rocks your/my/our world. It’s also going to rock the Twitasphere and facebook universe on December 1, World AIDS Day.

On that day, an international day of remembrance, Alicia has persuaded several of her famous pals to forego any Twitter feed updates or facebook postings–to go digitally dark–until the charity has raised one million dollars. It may be hard for those addicted to telling their fans each time they eat a sandwich, but Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Ryan Seacrest, Willow and Jaden Smith, Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Jennifer Hudson, Katie Holmes, Usher, and Serena Williams have all signed on. It isn’t just staying away from the iPad, but many of the celebs are doing a public service campaign appearing in coffins, signifying their “digital death” and how they can only survive if you “buy life” to resurrect them. It is a bold and attention-grabbing parallel to the work being done by Keep a Child Alive and this December 1 BUY LIFE program.

Keep A Child Alive buys more than just the pills needed to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa and India. It buys the essential nutrition, shelter, support and education to help ensure those pills are taken properly and effectively. It buys the things we all take for granted, but that make all the difference. A bed. A roof. A ride. A book. A smile. KCA offers children, their families and entire communities a shoulder to lean on and a heart that beats for them. Because KCA believes we can do something far bigger and better than buy the ability to live. We can buy the dignity that is life. We can buy compassion. Buy love. Buy the cure. Buy life.

RFK Center Auction

You’ve got til the end of the month to bid on a whole bunch of celebrity experiences for charity in the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights Auction.

“Some men see things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” – Robert F. Kennedy paraphrasing George Bernard Shaw

The RFK Center Auction through includes such items on which to bids as: Meet Oprah backstage after 4 VIP tickets to taping of the final season of her show; spend a week at Vogue with Anna Wintour; 2 all access passes to the TriBeCa Film Festival and coffee with Robert DeNiro; one month internship with Diane Von Furstenberg; tix and backstage passes/meeting to Alicia Keys concert; meet Anderson Cooper on the set of 360; lemonade and cookies with Martha Stewart in her gardens; be Elton John’s guest at his famous post-Oscar party; and more from walk-on parts in major motion pictures to behind the scenes tours on TV show sets, the Statue of Liberty, and even playing football with Reggie Bush. All in support of justice and advancing human rights for all.

One of the most fascinating RFK Center projects is Speak Truth to Power (STTP) is a program dedicated to promoting awareness of human rights. Through the combined power of arts and education, STTP seeks to proactively engage the general public, bringing human rights activists and their work into contact with ever-increasing audiences.

Bid now–you’ll never regret supporting this work.

World AIDS Day

December 1 is World AIDS Day…each year…sadly, still this year.

While here in the United States, AIDS has become, largely, a treatable disease, in Africa and many developing nations, it is still a certain death sentence. Millions and millions die. Their deaths from AIDS-related disease can be prevented. Children could still have parents instead of being orphaned. Suffering could be alleviated. There is still no cure, but there is treatment—and the only barrier to getting that treatment to everyone, is money.

If you are unable to do anything the other 364 days a year, please, today, do something. There is a huge array of wonderfully effective HIV/AIDS organizations focusing on education, care, treatment, research, all elements of life LIVING with AIDS. One of them is calling to you. Listen. Find them. Make a difference.

One of my favorite charitable organizations in the world is Keep a Child Alive. For just a dollar a day, you can do exactly that. As co-founder and Global Ambassador Alicia Keys says, “We have a human family, a global family, and we have to pay attention.” Keep a Child Alive: ”

It starts and ends with the actions of people
We are witnessing the complete annihilation of entire communities of people. Human beings like you and and me, infected with the deadliest virus known to man: AIDS. Spreading uncontrollably from person to person, the virus has led to the deaths of millions of fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. The most affected are children. This devastating disease has created over 13 million orphans in Africa alone. This has become a race against time, not just for Africa but for the entire human race…

and yet the virus can be stopped
by donating as little as a dollar a day, we can provide life-saving medication, support and orphan care to keep these children and families alive. 100% of your donation will go directly to this cause.

Clinton Global Initiative-Day 3

Alicia Keys-Keep a Child Alive

Alicia Keys-Keep a Child Alive

Usher-Powered by Service

Usher-Powered by Service


Today, Day 3—Thursday, seems to be celeb day, even more than the past two. I was in a press conference with Usher (who just donated a million dollars and is launching a new youth service program, “Powered by Service” Really Usher, you’re chewing gum for this? The new project aims to mobilize 5 million young people in initiating projects to serve their communities. He is partnered with several other organizations, including Philippe Cousteau and his focus on Oceans of the World with the “Waterplanet Challenge.” I bumped into, literally, James Brolin who was standing with Barbra Streisand—ended up dashing for the exit with them at the end of the night when we were ducking out a bit early.

Ricky Martin opened a session about human trafficking—his focus with the Ricky Martin Foundation ( He’s looking very buttoned up in his black suit and gray tie. He gets choked up as he says, “I’m here because there are so many kids who didn’t make it,” we lost them, he tells us, to slavery, sexual slavery, and human trafficking.

This is also the focus of Mira Sorvino and Julia Ormond, who are here. There’s Bono being called up on the stage, next to Jessica Alba. Eve Ensler, Jesse Jackson….and this is before the evening awards ceremony with Demi & Ashton, Alicia Keys performing, Ben Stiller as MC, Lisa Ling presenting an award, and Quincy Jones giving a super-long speech. The carpet is blue throughout this hotel, but today it seems it ought to be red.

Queen Rania of Jordan—the most stunning ruler in the world—is one of the panelists on the dais for “Building Human Capital—Creating Jobs and Strong Communities.” She gets a big reaction when she tells us, “It would cost $11 billion dollars to put every child in the world into primary education. That is the money Americans spend on their pets every three months.”

Devastating statistics again float out: On average, paternally-led families that earn one dollar a day spend, on average, 2 cents on education and 20 cents on alcohol, sugar drinks, prostitution, and gambling. When mothers are given the money to make family decisions, almost 95 cents gets re-invested into their families.

Brad Pitt, with his pointy, Green Arrow-looking beard, gets the hallways buzzing—he is a featured panelist in the Town Hall meeting, “Building a Better Future—A Progress Report on Make it Right, New Orleans.” Make it Right was born from this conference three years ago, and will, by this time next year, have built 150 houses in the Lower Ninth Ward that are green, aesthetically designed, sustainable, and affordable. Many families are already back home from their paradigm-shifting work. Bill Clinton wonders why, if we can do it in New Orleans for no more money than traditional, wasteful architecture—why would we ever build the old way, anywhere, again?

After truly dense days of emotionally and intellectually challenging forums large and small, the evening awards are a nice relief. The ballroom has gone through a mild transition—tables have dark tablecloths instead of white, more elegant chairs have been swapped in, the crowd arrives more dressed up with lots of cocktail dresses, suits, and an array of beautiful native fabrics from cultures around the world. Juanes, the most popular Latin recording star, does a couple of great numbers, and Alicia Keys, a CGI member with her outstanding fight against AIDS (, closes out with her hits, including “Superwoman,” particularly poignant considering the day’s insights.

To have been present this week to such profound commitment and the energy to make change, it felt like the people in these rooms had the drive and determination to solve all the problems in the world. How can we not, every one of us, want to be part of that?

Philippe Cousteau-Waterplanet Challenge

Philippe Cousteau-Waterplanet Challenge

Ricky Martin-Ricky Martin Foundation

Ricky Martin-Ricky Martin Foundation