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Author Archives: WSS News

CA State Assembly Recognizes Kiss & Tell Networks for Diligent Work in the LGBTQ Community

b3LOS ANGELES, CA- Last weekend Kiss & Tell Networks celebrated two years of “advocacy with style” in the LGBTQ community. Launched in 2015, the team of movers and shakers has successfully hosted seven live panel discussion events creating candid conversation around topics from pop culture, politics, sexual health, and social stigmas surrounding same sex relationships. Ranging from drag queens to political activists, all of racially diverse of color, the event opens the door to publicly address current issues and ways to solve and unite the society. The California State Assembly awarded the trailblazers of Kiss & Tell Jazmyn Simone, Gabriel Maldonado, Michelle Michaels, “Amber Closet” and Shar Jossell with official state sealed Certificates of Recognition. Leo Jimenez, a thriving product of foster care, was always given the Youth Award for his involvement in the community. 

Following live music from Los Angeles singer AJ Calloway, guests celebrated at the “Lovers Ball” Champagne Reception at Redline DTLA powered my In The Meantime, Men’s Group.

Organically meant to be a single Valentine’s Day event, Kiss & Tell Networks has expanded to shows across the country including New York City, Las Vegas, and introducing Puerto Rico in junction with Xscape Music & Arts Festival Memorial Day Weekend 2017.

Kiss & Tell Networks fans enjoy the biweekly comedic yet informative podcast Kiss & Tell Radio with creator Jayce Baron and media junkies Shar Jossell and Kendall Wright. Kiss & Tell Networks has collaborated with the Los Angeles LGBT Center for “Models of Pride”, the largest national LGBTQ youth conference, is now signed on with REVRY to co-produce upcoming “queerrated” digital content, among other accolades achieved since the first show in Downtown Los Angeles. 

Kiss & Tell Live was Sponsored by In The Meantime, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and Jack’d 


Former President Bill Clinton and Sectary Hillary Clinton Receive Plaque of Dr. Maya Angelou’s Poem


n  February 16, at a special preview event for the new documentary “American Masters — Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise” at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (New York, NY), Dr. Maya Angelou’s grandson Colin Johnson (right), Co-Founder and Principal of Caged Bird Legacy, LLC, presented Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton (left) and President Bill Clinton (center) with a plaque of Dr. Maya Angelou’s inauguration poem, “On The Pulse of Morning,” that flew on the Orion Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) December 5, 2014.


Actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell Chats on Activism, Underground, Colorism in Hollywood

Jurnee Smollett-Bell

Jurnee Smollett-Bell

Don’t let her enchanting smile and innocent beauty fool you, Jurnee Smollett-Bell isn’t just another pretty Hollywood face. As the star of WGN America’s hit series UNDERGROUND,the30-year-old actress represents for our enslaved ancestors who never stopped fighting for freedom and fairness.

EBONY goes one-on-one with the actress and activist to learn more about colorism in Hollywood,the second season of Underground and the importance of activism, especially now.  While many celebrities are just now finding their voice on social justice issues, Smollett-Bell was “woke” before it became a popular term. One of the topics she tackles is the reality of bias toward lighter skinned women in Hollywood and beyond.

“There are obstacles and challenges that my dark-skinned sisters face that I will never know,” Smollett-Bell acknowledges. “How they are perceived when they walk in a room of strangers is something I will never truly know. I would be ignorant to say colorism doesn’t exist, it’s gross and disgusting.” Speaking of standing for your sistas in the struggle, the 2017 women’s issue is devoted to uplifting Black women.

“It is no exaggeration when we talk about Black Girl Magic,” says EBONY Editor-in-Chief and Senior Vice President, Head of Digital Editorial Kyra Kyles. “Black women truly hold our community together. It is an honor to be able to celebrate ‘us’ in this issue.”

Issue highlights include:

  • EBONY Beauty Innovation Awards—In our annual and acclaimed “it” list, EBONY highlights the latest game-changing products and tools you’ll want to try
  • A Silent War: The battle between Black women and fibroids
  • Women’s Work: Movers, shakers, waymakers—Call it the takeover by 20 brilliant enterprising women who are industry leaders and gamechangers, which include U.S. SenatorKamala Harris, newswoman Soledad O’Brien, White House Champion for Change awardee Kathryn FinneyESPN’s Jemele Hill.
  • ‘In Our Cities’: EBONY’s original new multimedia seriesheads west to the City of Angels for some California love—the cinematic shoot-outs of gang wars of the ’90s are a thing of the past. Today,Los Angelesis considered one of the safest cities in the United States and we give a nuanced and real view of the Black folks who make it great
  • Culinary Queens—These kitchen warriors are reclaiming the game for the sisters

Elsewhere in the issue we take a look at Jordan Peele’s latest film GET OUT, Jermaine Dupri welcomes EBONY to Atlanta and innovative Apple exec Bozoma Saint John provides tips on how to be a game changer at work. For more, pick up the March 2017 issue of EBONY, which is coming to a newsstand near you. And to get more Smollett-Bell, watch behind-the-scenes video on Ebony.com. Read and join the conversation on social media using #FantasticJurnee