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Recipients Of Pharrell Williams' Student Loan Forgiveness Gift Launch A Nonprofit To Provide Financial Literacy And Support To HBCUs

Pharrell Williams’ action of clearing student debt has contributed to a good cause. As AFROTECH™ previously told you, the record producer and philanthropist surprised five NAACP student leaders with the news at the start of the Something In the Water Festival in Washington D.C. on June 17, 2022. Among the recipients at the time were Robyn Hughes, a junior at Southern University; Damarius Davis, an alumni of North Carolina A&T; Jamie Turner, an alumni of Norfolk State University; Channing Hill, a senior at Howard University; and Devan Vilfrard, a senior at Florida A&M University. Breaking: #SomethingInTheWater just announced they’re paying the student debt of all 6 panelists/NAACP members! #CancelStudentDebt — NAACP (@NAACP) June 17, 2022 “Throughout my 3 years at Howard University I had personally accumulated over $18,000 in student loan debt and that figure becomes multiplied when you add on the loans my parents have accumulated,” Hill wrote in her...

Mar 26, 2024

Teyana Taylor Says She Didn't Feel Protected While Signed To Pharrell Williams' Label At Age 15

For many people, their first introduction to Teyana Taylor was during her appearance on MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16″ in 2007. For nearly two decades since the episode’s release, the Harlem native has blossomed into one of today’s top multi-hyphenates as a singer, dancer, actress, creative director — you name it. Taylor has found great success in all of her endeavors. However, the early stage of her career as a teenager appears to have started off on rocky ground.

Apr 24, 2023

Pharrell Williams' Black Ambition Announces Its Third Annual Prize Competition To Award $1M

Back in 2022, Felecia Hatcher shared with AfroTech that the 2023 Black Ambition Prize was on its way. Now, she and Pharrell Williams’ nonprofit initiative has returned with not only the prize competition but also a new program for Black and brown entrepreneurs.

Mar 1, 2023

HBCU Alum Who Birthed Her Company In A Dorm Room Earns $25K From Pharrell’s Black Ambition

Pharrell’s Black Ambition has yet to cease supporting current and former HBCU students. In 2021, AfroTech reported on Spelman alumna Mya Havard and her co-founders being awarded $100,000 to help more people buy Black. Now, Black Ambition has backed another HBCU alumna, except this one is supporting student-parents.

Nov 2, 2022

Pharrell May Be Coming For StockX, The RealReal, And More With His New Online Auction Platform Joopiter

As an innovator of the culture as we know it today, Pharrell has racked up quite the collection over the years. Now, the 49-year-old entertainer says everything must go in an exclusive auction of some of his most personal valuables. “My business manager was like, ‘Hey, at this point, you have 11 different storage units,'” said Pharrell in an interview with Financial Times. He has keepsakes that include everything from a leather jacket featuring “Women’s Rights” across the front to a gold-plated Blackberry.

Sep 29, 2022

Pharrell's Black Ambition Invests In Content Creator Network Trend's $3M Pre-Seed Round

Pharrell Williams has added a new investment to his growing portfolio. The music mastermind’s nonprofit Black Ambition has invested in Trend — a curated content creator network — according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Jul 14, 2022

Pharrell's YELLOW Teams Up With Cisco For New Tuition-Free School To Provide Access To Technology

Pharrell is committed to exposing underserved youth to educational opportunities, especially in tech. The music vet’s education equity nonprofit YELLOW has teamed up with Cisco for YELLOWHAB — a microschool set to provide educational tools and technologies — Complex reports.

Jun 16, 2022

Pharrell Williams Speaks On The Potential Power Of Web3: 'It’s Unlocking Something That Is Scaring The System'

Pharrell Williams is taking a look at the bigger picture with the growth of blockchain technology. At VeeCon 2022 — the first-ever NFT -ticketed conference — the music mogul shared with attendees his belief that Web3 could possibly hold the power to create real global change, Decrypt reports.

May 26, 2022

How Producer-Turned-Entrepreneur Pharrell Williams Built An Estimated $250M Net Worth

In 2021, producer-turned-entrepreneur Pharrell made the news because of his decision to open up private schools for low-income students. The Virginia native has frequently spoken up for those without a voice and has given back to his community as well. “If the system is fixed and unfair, then it needs to be broken,” he said about his investment. “We don’t want lockstep learning where so many kids fall behind; we want bespoke learning designed for each child, where the things that make a child different are the same things that will make a child rise up and take flight.” Since that time, Pharrell and his vision continue to be impactful. According to WAVY-TV, other companies have helped take up his cause with the Virginia school system, as well. In February 2022, Virginia Natural Gas made a huge donation to the schools — to the tune of $100,000 — with the proceeds going to fund healthy food options as part of the “Nourish Youth” initiative. “We support programs that enrich the...

Pharrell Williams On The Current State Of The Music Industry — 'There's Not Enough Black Leadership'

Similar to fellow musicians, Pharrell Williams isn’t happy with the current state of the music industry. In an interview with Bloomberg TV, the music veteran was outspoken about how there are not enough leaders who look like him in the space calling the shots nor are there many who have ownership. “There’s not enough Black leadership. There’s not enough leadership from people of color,” he firmly stated. “There’s also not enough ownership — there just isn’t. As much as the music industry has given me, when you really love something or love someone you can be honest about the things that could be better. I gotta say that the ownership with people of color it’s just not been the same. And that’s something we’re working on now.” "There's not enough Black leadership. There's not enough leadership from people of color." Pharrell Williams on increasing Black ownership in the music industry — Bloomberg TV (@BloombergTV) March 22, 2022 The...

Mar 31, 2022

Pharrell Returns With Contest To Propel The Next Generation Of Coders With Amazon And Georgia Tech

Pharrell is back with his latest competition to help teach the next generation of coders. Earlier this year, AfroTech reported that the legendary producer and his education equity nonprofit YELLOW partnered with Amazon and Georgia Institute of Technology for “Your Voice is Power” — an educational coding program for K-12 students. Now, Amazon, Pharrell and Georgia Tech have launched the “Your Voice is Power” 2022 music remix competition, according to an Amazon blog post. Coming in on its second year, the competition is continuing to teach underserved youth about coding and racial equity. “Working with Amazon Future Engineer and Earsketch for ‘Your Voice Is Power’ 2022 helps us to continue to EVEN THE ODDS within education, especially when it comes to racial equity,” said Pharrell. “It’s amazing to see the students completely immerse themselves in the curriculum, and to watch their coding sequences come to life. The cross-collaboration that happens when students share ideas and...

Dec 1, 2021

Pharrell, Amazon, Georgia Tech Award Grants And Scholarships To Winners Of Music Coding Competition

Earlier this year, Pharrell Williams’ nonprofit YELLOW joined forces with Amazon Music and Georgia Institute of Technology to launch a new educational coding and music remix competition. After months of listening to over 1,500 student applicants across the U.S., five winners have been chosen. According to a blog post from Amazon, the “Your Voice is Power” program was created to encourage students to use their voices through music to amplify issues centered around social justice and equity while also learning how to code. The music competition instructed students to create their own remix to Pharrell and Jay-Z’s “Entrepreneur” song using music coding platform EarSketch. As a result of the contest, five grand prize winners from schools in Georgia, Illinois, Florida, Texas, California, and Ontario were awarded either a $5,000 scholarship or grant to start their own business. Five teachers were also awarded a $1,000 cash reward for going above and beyond in teaching the program to their...

Aug 30, 2021

Pharrell Launches Initiative to Help Black Entrepreneurs ‘Realize America’s Promise’

The last few weeks should make Pharrell fans very happy. The multi-hyphenate artist launched his Humanrace skincare line and released the gospel-music show “Voices of Fire” on Netflix, and now he is helping Black and Latinx entrepreneurs. According to ESSENCE, Williams announced Black Ambition, a non-profit initiative that will support underserved entrepreneurs who are launching tech, design, healthcare, and consumer products/services startups. In addition, part of the initiative will include two competitions for investments, The Black Ambition HBCU Prize and The Black Ambition Prize. “With Black Ambition, the goal is to help strengthen the pipeline of talented entrepreneurs and close the opportunity and wealth gaps derived from limited access to capital and resources,” Williams said in a statement. He added on Instagram, “We see a future where ideas flourish, ruinous risk is diminished, and Black and Latinx entrepreneurs are positioned to realize America’s promise.”   View this...

Dec 4, 2020

Age-Defying Pharrell Williams Finally Launches a Skincare Line Called Humanrace

After years of fielding questions about his age-defying skin, Pharrell Williams is finally entering the beauty business with his own skincare brand, Humanrace . Allure spoke with the superstar hitmaker and fashion designers for exclusive details on the forthcoming collection, which includes three products: rice powder cleanser ($32), lotus enzyme exfoliant ($46), and humidifying cream ($48). Consulted by dermatologist Dr. Elena Jones, the three-step system is designed to prepare, repair, and protect the skin. “You put on that humidifying cream,” he said. “You’re like, ‘Oh man, my skin is popping.’” Pharrell, whose youthful look receives constant praise online and IRL, credits his obsession with skincare to the many women he’s quizzed, including Naomi Campbell. “They’d talk to me about their skin and the things that they’d do. It varied between the different girls and campaigns that they had done and what they felt was...

Nov 12, 2020