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Black Woman Makes Political History In Virginia 

When former Virginia Delegate, Rosalyn Dance won her Senate race, her legislative aid Lashrecse Aird was elected to fill her position. At 29-years-old, Aird has made history as the youngest woman ever elected to represent the 63rd district in Virginia in the House of Delegates. The Buffalo, NY native was raised in Norfolk, VA following her father’s relocation for the navy. The Virginia State University alumnae says employment opportunities, education and healthcare initiatives will be the focus of the bills she hopes to pass in her new position, “…If I can execute on those priorities, that will definitely improve the quality of life for the citizens, the families and kids, not just for Petersburg but the entire district.” {Progress Index}

Kenyan Based Tech Company May Be Facebook’s Biggest Rival  

Many countries in Africa have limited high-speed internet access. Through Google’s Project Loon and Facebook’s Free Basics both companies have already attempted to resolve the problem by providing free access to a limited number of “essential” sites including AccuWeather,, Baby Center, Bing, and Wikipedia. A Kenyan-based company may eclipse Google and Facebook’s data and site restrictions. BRCK, is a rugged modem designed for harsh environments with limited connection and power. What makes the product special is it’s ability to access various types of connections such as Ethernet, Wi-Fi and 3G or 4G. Many African countries are susceptible to power outages and BRCK remarkably includes eight hours of battery. BRCK CEO Erik Hersman, has already secured $3 million in funding for his invention and which has already sold thousands of units. “A lot of this funding is earmarked to grow our footprint, distribution and team around BRCK Education across the continent and globally,” said Hersman.  {CNN}

Chipotle Temporarily Closing Over Health Concerns

Here’s your reminder to pack your lunch on February 8th because a burrito bowl from Chipotle won’t be an option. The immensely popular Mexican style fast food chain has taken a massive hit in the stock market and their public perception. Since fall 2015, there have been nearly 100 reports confirmed by the Center For Disease Control that strains of E.coli were present in various Chiptole restaurants throughout the nation. As a result, these customers had to seek medical attention after contracting food poisoning. The restaurants corporate headquarters will address the issue next month. For several hours on Monday, February 8th, restaurant employees of the companies nearly 2,000 locations will participate in food safety training. Regarding the temporary closures, the company’s corporate headquarters has since released a statement saying, “Chipotle is confident that steps being taken to tighten food safety will prevent future food poisoning outbreaks.” {Suntimes}

Black Lawyer Opens Beauty Shop In Harlem

Imagine all of your favorite black owned hair care products in one place. Oftentimes women of color find themselves shopping the aisles of Korean owned beauty supplies which seem to have a monopoly on the billion dollar hair care industry. Desiree Verdejo is helping women of color to feel empowered by where their spending their dollar. The corporate attorney quit her day job to fulfill her dreams of opening, Vivrant Beauty. The Harlem based storefront sales a plethora of hair, skincare and makeup products for women of color. The store also allows fairly new product lines the opportunity to be more than just a web-based business by having shelf space in her store. On reaching back to help other entrepreneurs thrive through Vivrant Beauty, the 33-year-old said, “I don’t think black women are always thought of when it comes to luxury goods…So anytime I come across [black beauty brands] I definitely want to consider them and try them. And if they’re done as well as others, then they’re a great fit for the shop.” {Huffington Post}

Former Felons Closer To Regaining Voting Rights 

The Democratic legislative chambers in Maryland are planning to override Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto regarding the law that says ex-convicts are barred from voting until he or she finishes their probation or parole. The revised legislation will allow the former felon voting rights immediately after he or she is released from prison. If the veto override succeeds, Maryland will join the 13 states, plus the District of Columbia, that allow all people with felony convictions who have left prison to vote in elections. Hogan believes voting is an incentive for Maryland residents who are re-entering society to have something to look forward to upon completion of their sentencing requirements. “[Delaying the right to vote] achieves the proper balance between repayment of obligations to society for a felony conviction and the restoration of the various restricted rights.” Many civil rights organizations in Maryland are supportive of the override including Maryland Working Families Director Charly Carter who said, “Democracy means every person deserves a voice.” {The Huffington Post}


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MORNING MINUTE: If You Matched At Least One Powerball Number, You’re Eligible For A Prize

For 2024’s iteration of MadameNoire and HelloBeautiful’s annual series Women to Know, we knew we wanted to celebrate the people who help make the joys of film and television possible. To create art is to create magic. This year, we spotlight Hollywood Executive’s changing the face of cinema.