April showers have impact and influence in the White House, in the media and in entrepreneurship


The following is an excerpt from this week’s newsletter For(bes) The Culture, dedicated to uplifting and empowering black and brown professionals. Sign up for the newsletter here.

“I am the slave’s dream and hope.” – Ketanji Brown Jackson, 116th 116th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

April is shaping up to be one of the history books.

On Friday, after the Senate confirmed her as the first black woman to serve on the Supreme Court, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson said, “I am the slave’s dream and hope”, a quote from Maya Angelou’s poem, Still I Rise. In the court’s 232-year history, every black woman, including Amalia Kearse, the first black woman to appear on a presidential list for a High Court vacancy – has been passed over. Jackson spoke of the significance of her nomination, saying, “It took 232 years and 115 prior nominations for a black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States,” Jackson said, “But we we have succeeded, we have succeeded, all of us.

Meanwhile, Tope Awotona, 40 year old man founder and CEO of Calendly, is now one of the richest people in America. Last week, the Nigerian tech founder made the Forbes Billionaire list for the first time. Awotona’s rise to wealth began nine years ago when he poured his $200,000 savings into his business, quitting his job as a software salesman for EMC. Last year, Calendly surpassed $100 million, doubling revenue from the previous year. And Calendly’s software is now valued at $3 billion, giving Awotona a net worth of $1.4 billion.

Billionaire investor and founder of Vista Equity Partners, Robert F. Smith, made headlines last week for his efforts to raise awareness of the risks of prostate cancer in black men. Following his multi-million dollar donation to the Milton and Carroll Petrie Department of Urology at Mount Sinai last February, Smith celebrated the launch of the Mount Sinai Robert F. Smith Mobile Prostate Cancer Screening Bus in Harlem on April 7.

Robert Smith explained how prostate cancer led to the loss of family members. “We continue to lose far too many people in our community, unnecessarily, due to unequal access to medical care and appropriate testing, as well as a lack of awareness of the disastrous effects of diseases such as prostate cancer,” Smith said. “Education, access, and representation are just the first steps to repairing the black community’s relationship with America’s health care system.”

Alongside Smith, celebrities Steve Harvey, Chris Tucker, Cedric the Entertainer and Charlamagne tha God attended the launch of this initiative. “Having these four men publicly stand with me, raise awareness in the community and advocate for proper testing not only makes this initiative accessible by attracting their fans and those who follow their work, but more importantly, it de-stigmatizes the process. “

Additionally, For(bes) The Culture covered actress and producer Taraji P. Henson joining President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ White House HBCU initiative as an adviser. The effort aims to address and alleviate educational disparities that affect Black Americans and provide more equity and educational opportunities for the Black community. Henson will work alongside 17 other community leaders and educators on the council.

Tope Awotona‘s Calendly” was built out of frustration. Now the scheduling app is worth $3 billion and is the subject of a heated argument on Twitter among Silicon Valley’s elite.

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Nneka Ogwumike, president of the WNBA Players Association, called for the safe return of Brittney Griner from Russia on hello america Tuesday, after commissioner Cathy Engelbert said Griner’s return was the league’s “top priority.”

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Selena Quintanilla Pérez was a cultural force to be reckoned with in the 1990s.

The late Tejano music star had radiant confidence and was a rage at the peak of his career, said Maria Garcia, host of the popular “Anything for Selena” podcast. With her big hoop earrings, crimson red lips and frizzy hair, the singer unabashedly embraced her Mexican-American heritage, says Garcia, a big reason why she still resonates culturally today.

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President Joe Biden has named actress and producer Taraji P. Henson to his Council of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

“I am delighted to announce that President Biden has nominated me to serve on his HBCU Advisory Board,” said Henson, a graduate of HBCU Howard University. “Since taking office, President and Vice President Harris have invested $5.8 billion in HBCUs and I look forward to working with them to continue efforts to support these important institutions.”

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