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ACLU honors Jermaine Dupri for his support of human rights and Ben Foster well on his way

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by Eunice Moseley, EURWeb

jermainedupriThe ACLU honored Jermaine Dupri at the 2008 Bill of Rights Awards

*Jermaine Dupri was recently honored by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for his work and support in areas close to its goal to defend and secure the rights of the people. Others who joined Dupri to be honored by the ACLU included Earvin “Magic” Johnson and David Linde who received the 2008 Bill of Rights Award also, and Betty and Stanley K. Sheinbaum received the 2008 Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award.

Jermaine was chosen for his work with the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) where he is a member of the Board of Directors. The organization fights for voter’s rights, fights against the mandatory minimum sentence; fights for racial justice, and holds youth summits. He was chosen also for his work with the Rockefeller Drug Laws enacted in 1973 and ended in 2005, the law targeted minorities and was opposed by both liberals and conservatives. It was said that it was the worst minimum sentence law in the country. Last, he was honored for his work with the House of Cartier which raises money and awareness for the Hurricane Relief Fund and for his work with Nu America which builds youth councils across the country with it sister organization, which focuses on education and research.

“I lend my voice,” producer extraordinaire Jermaine Dupri told me about his involvements. “People ask me to do things (to help)….I lend my voice, thoughts and how I feel.”

Dupri, who sited Quincy Jones, Teddy Riley and new president-elect Barack Obama as his inspirations, has – throughout all the interviews I’ve had with him since he started his label So So Def in 1992 because of his new acts Kriss Kross, Da Brat, Xscape, Bow Wow and Jagged Edge – always been about uplifting someone else’s career to unbelievable heights.

I can name many times in history when he has made that happen, but I will name tw his work with Usher’s “Confessions” (sold 9 million) which brought Usher back on top and to the forefront of the entertainment/music industry and his work with Mariah Carey’s “The Emancipation of Mimi” (sold 5 million) which also jump-started her career as well. These are prime examples of his skills as a producer/songwriter.

Jermaine has also served as president of Urban Music at Virgin Records and now serves as president of Island Records’ Urban Music. Reminiscent of his father, Michael Malden, who was the first black president of urban music in the country, at Columbia Records.

ACLU said that Dupri was honored with the 2008 Bill of Right Award because of his ability to use his powerful position and influence in the music industry “to empower and inspire the next generation.”
Young film director/producer Ben Foster is well on his way in Hollywood

I interviewed a 10-11 year old whose story impressed me so much because at that age he was an accomplished film maker with about five short films to his credit. Even then, young Ben Foster’s films reminded me of the initial films of Spike Lee.

Today, Ben Foster is a film director/producer and author from Delaware who currently resides in Los Angeles. He is currently promoting his tenth film, “The Casting Call,” an hour-long comedy about the “casting/auditioning circuit” of Hollywood.

“I was coming back from an audition and I was wondering what the producer was thinking,” Ben Foster said about where the concept for the very funny film came from.

So the next audition Ben went on he mentioned that he too was having an audition for his next film. The result is “The Casting Call.” The film is so real-to-life and funny you’d think it was a reality-show type film, but according to Foster they all were scripted and acting.

The growth I see in Ben Foster’s films involves not only a higher level of acting, but also the quality of the film. For his achievements, Ben has already been interviewed on The Montel Williams Show, ABC’s “Fast Forward,” CBS’s “Speak Up,” NBC’s “101 Show” and has been honored by Black Enterprise magazine and Culture magazine.

Ben has also been inducted into the African-American Hall of Fame and the Kids Hall of Fame for his achievements in the film industry. Foster was also awarded the Gold Metal from the NAACP ACTSO Competition in Philadelphia in filmmaking.

He is currently attending the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles and interning at BET Network’s west coast offices while still promoting his current film and planning on his next.

“Being young, a lot of people are going to look at you like ‘what are you doing, why are you here?’ so you have to promote yourself,” 15 years old Ben Foster said when asked to give advice to other young prodigy kids like himself. “Prove you can do it, or even better.”

Ben Foster Films web site www.benfosterfilms.com is adult/kid friendly and you can find a lot to do, such as watch his interviews, learn more on his first book “Kid Patrol,” and read some of his interviews from print mediums such as California Crusader News, Scoop USA, Philadelphia Tribune and The Sun Times.

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Written by Symphony

January 8, 2009 at 7:43 am

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