Black People Throughout the Diaspora Lead Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort

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Emerging Minds Magazine Get Involved September 2005: The philanthropy of Black people in the Diaspora is unmatched so far during the Hurricane Katrina crisis in AmericaÂ?s south. So far pledges to help raise funds have come from Serena Williams, Morgan Freeman, Ludacris, Usher, Alicia Keys, Master P, Russell Simmons, numerous Black churches, the NBA players union, and the nation of Jamica among others.

The website http://emergingminds.org operated by Emerging Minds Inc., has been keeping a watch on the trends of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort so far and one thing is becoming quite clear. The philanthropy of Black people in the Diaspora is unmatched so far during the Hurricane Katrina crisis in America's south. So far pledges to help raise funds have come from Serena Williams, Morgan Freeman, Ludacris, Usher, Alicia Keys, Master P, Russell Simmons, numerous Black churches, the NBA players union, and the nation of Jamaica among others.

Serena Williams, after a 6-2, 6-2 second-round win over Catalina Castano at the U.S. Open, told reporters that she'll donate $100 for every ace she hits the rest of the year to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman announced Wednesday that he has organized an online auction to raise funds for disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The auction, which also includes corporate-donated items, will open Friday on the Charity Folks Web site, an online auction venue, and run until Sept. 16.

Usher, Ludacris and Alicia Keys are among the artists who have signed on for a Hurricane Katrina relief concert that will span three cities, three television networks and several musical genres. Additional artists will be added to the lineup soon, and proceeds from the show will go to the American Red Cross.

Rap mogul Master P, a native of New Orleans by far the city hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina, has been busy trying to coordinate relief efforts to help citizens of his hometown. He spent part of Wednesday, in his Los Angeles home, on the phone with New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin as well as at the BET offices in hopes of organizing relief efforts. Master P's publicist, Donna Torrence, said he will be in New York today at the Red Cross' headquarters for a 12:30 PM press conference organized by BET, the Urban League, the Red Cross, Russell Simmons and the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network.

Black churches in the San Francisco Bay Area are also responding to the devastation Hurricane Katrina has wrought on predominantly Black communities. Congregants at San Francisco's Third Baptist Church as well as other African American churches throughout California are gathering donations and volunteers to provide relief for the region. Some groups plan to send aid directly to the disaster area. Others will funnel donations of money and clothing through organizations like the Red Cross.

The NBA Players Association said Tuesday it is launching an immediate effort to assist in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. "We are in the process of contacting every player in the league to solicit their support and ideas on how we can make a difference as quickly as possible," said union president Antonio Davis of the Chicago Bulls. The union will help deliver supplies to the areas hit hardest.

There was even support from Black nations who find themselves stricken with wide spread poverty to reach out and help the victims in the wealthy United States. Jamaica was among the nations offering what help they could. But the Kingston embassy, while stating its appreciation for the support, politely declined the offers, saying in a statement: "The United States Government is not yet requesting international assistance at this time."

These acts of kindness and philanthropy of Blacks throughout the disaster underscores how crisis seems to bring the best in people. If you are a person or organization wishing to help the Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort, visit the website of Emerging Minds, Inc. at the webpage http://emergingminds.org and visit the Get Involved page, or contact the coordinator of the recovery efforts, the US Federal Emergency Management Agency, http://www.fema.gov.

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Saadiq Mance
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