Oprah Winfrey visits the Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bar in New York to try the new Teavana Oprah Chai Latte. As part of this new core offering, Starbucks will make a donation for each Oprah Chai Tea product sold in Starbucks and Teavana stores to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation to benefit educational opportunities for youth.
Tatyana Ali is a Broadway-trained actress, singer, producer, activist and graduate of Harvard University. Known to millions worldwide from her role as “Ashley Banks” on the iconic television series “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” Ali can soon be seen as sharp-witted personal assistant “Maya” in the highly anticipated BET comedy “Second Generation Wayans” about the young members of the famous Hollywood family. She also continues her recurring role as “Roxanne” on the long-running CBS soap opera “The Young and the Restless.”
She and sister Anastasia Ali helm HazraH Entertainment, a production company dedicated to creating quality content for underserved communities. The company was a production partner on the Martin Lawrence executive-produced sitcom “Love That Girl!,” the first original scripted program on the TV One Network, and recently produced the acclaimed web series “Buppies” for BET.com.
The three-time NAACP Image Award winner, named one of most beautiful women in the world by People Magazine in 2011, has appeared in numerous films including Kiss the Girls, Jawbreaker, The Brothers, Glory Road, Mother and Child, and the upcoming independent film Home Again.
As a recording artist, she holds a gold record from her 1998 debut album Kiss the Sky, which included the hit singles “Daydreamin’” and “Boy You Knock Me Out. The success of the album allowed her the opportunity to join both *NSYNC and The Backstreet Boys on their world tours. In 1999, her recording of “Precious Wings” for The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland soundtrack won a Grammy Award for “Best Musical Album for Children”.
Ali is a fierce advocate for youth and education. During the 2008 presidential campaign, she traveled to college campuses across the United States speaking to young people about the importance of voting. She has been a spokesperson for the Millennium Momentum Foundation and is actively involved in the Step Up Women’s Network, two organizations dedicated to educating and professionally developing young people for leadership roles that will impact their communities. Recently, as the host of the United Negro College Fund’s “Empower Me” Tour, she has traveled the country inspiring students to take control of their academic, personal and professional destinies. In fall of 2011, BET and the Black Girls Rock organization honored Ali as their “Young, Gifted and Black” woman of the year for her longstanding record of youth advocacy work.
After playing the girlfriend of Martin Lawrence in “A Thin Line Between Love and Hate” (1996), she moved on to a breakout role as the wife of Cuba Gooding, Jr. in Cameron Crowe’s smash hit “Jerry Maguire,” which mesmerized critics and moviegoers and put King squarely on the map after giving a hilarious, over-the-top performance. She went on to appear as Will Smith’s wife in the action thriller “Enemy of the State” (1998), then took roles in “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” (1998) and “Mighty Joe Young” (1998). On television, she appeared in the TV movies “Where the Truth Lies” (Lifetime, 1999) and “If These Walls Could Talk 2” (HBO, 2000), before landing a regular role on the short-lived sitcom, “Leap of Faith” (NBC, 2002).
King continued her steady climb up the Hollywood food chain move with a series of supporting roles in blockbusters such as “Daddy Day Care,” (2003) playing the wife of star Eddie Murphy, and in “Legally Blonde 2: Red White and Blonde,” (2003) in the part of Grace, the whip-smart chief of staff to Congresswoman Sally Field and arch rival of bubbly, pink-loving law school grad, Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon). King next had a memorable comedic turn as a feisty FBI agent in the surprise hit sequel, “Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Dangerous” (2005), opposite Sandra Bullock. The two took pride in performing many of their own stunts, though King suffered a twisted ankle during a climactic fight scene after tripping over her own wig.
It was during the shooting of “Miss Congeniality” that King heard the news that she won the role of Margie Hendricks, mistress and backup singer for Ray Charles (Jaime Foxx), in Taylor Hackford’s biopic, “Ray.” Excited by the meaty role, which she insisted upon playing over the role of Charles’ wife, Della Bea Robinson (Kerry Washington), King set out to learn as much as she could about the real-life “Raelette,” who only appeared in a handful of film clips and photographs. King relied heavily on word-of-mouth accounts and information director Taylor Hackford gleaned from Charles himself before his passing just prior to the movie’s release. King was recognized for her stellar performance with Image and BET awards.
With her star on the rise, King put her voice to work in the animated film, “The Ant Bully” (2006), joining a cast that included Julia Roberts, Nicholas Cage and Meryl Streep. Continuing work in animation, she voiced dual characters Riley and Huey Freeman in the groundbreaking animated series “The Boondocks,” (Cartoon Network, 2005- ), based on the comic strip of the same name, and one of the first animated series since “Fat Albert” to feature a predominantly African-American cast. Back in live action, King played Layla, friend and confidant of a woman (Molly Shannon) grieving over her deceased dog in the quirky indie comedy “Year of the Dog” (2007). King’s next television venture was on the high-octane TV hit, “24,” (Fox, 2000-2010), playing the strong-willed advocacy lawyer Sandra Palmer, sister of President Wayne Palmer (D.B. Woodside). Following a supporting turn as a fashion designer and breast cancer survivor in “Living Proof” (Lifetime Television, 2008), King was one of the stars on the critically acclaimed cop drama, “Southland” (NBC/TNT, 2009- ), on which she played Det. Lydia Adams, who struggles to balance her gritty work with her home life. Meanwhile, she continued acting on the big screen in supporting roles for the romantic comedy “Our Family Wedding” (2010) and the romantic fantasy “Beastly” (2011).
Thulisile Madonsela was born in 1962 in Soweto. Her parents, Nomasonto and Bafana were both traders. She obtained a bachelor of Law from the University of Swaziland in 1987 and three years later, an LLB at Wits University. She then started working as an assistant teacher and taught from 1980 to 1983. In 1984 she entered the legal profession as a legal and education officer at the Paper Printing Wood & Allied Workers Union where she would work from 1984 to 1987.
Since 1987, Madonsela has worked in several government departments and civil society including, law lecturer at Wits University, presiding officer at the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), deputy director at the Justice Department and managing director at the Office of the Status of Women in the Presidency. Madonsela currently holds three positions; chairperson for the Centre for Reconciliation and Equality Studies, member of the South African Law Reform Commission and the public protector of South Africa.
Madonsela was appointed Public Protector by President Jacob Zuma in 2009 after being recommended by parliament. She got a hundred percent vote by all parties in parliament. She was the only full-time commissioner in the South African law Reform Commission at the time. Of all her achievements and high profile positions that she has held, it is the public protector position that has put her in the public eye. Since her appointment, she has investigated several high profile cases and has received praise for her efficiency and professionalism.
An advocate for Gender equality and the advancement of women, Madonsela is a member of South African Women Lawyers Association (SAWLA) and Business Women’s Association of South Africa (BWASA). In 2012, she was honoured with South Africa’s most Influential Women Award. She has authored and co authored several publications including books, chapter, journals and handbooks on gender management and gender mainstreaming. Madonsela was one of the drafters of South Africa’s current constitution in 1994.