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FLY NEWS

Work, Work, Work: Rihanna Teams with Parsons and Donna Karan for Design of Merchandise Collection in Haiti

Rihanna has announced that she will work with The New School’s Parsons School of Design, one the world’s leading art and design schools, Donna Karan and her Urban Zen Foundation, and Haitian artisans to develop a merchandise line for the singer’s Clara Lionel Foundation in Haiti this summer.

Parsons design students will collaborate with local artisans at the Design, Organization, Training (D.O.T) Center, an artisan vocational training center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Co-founded by Karan, Parsons, and designer Paula Coles, the D.O.T Center is an incubator for Haiti’s artisan community, fostering innovation, providing resources and materials, and enabling artisans to scale their designs while preserving the wisdom and integrity of their unique culture.

The partnership — emerging from a relationship between Urban Zen Foundation and Clara Lionel Foundation, which have worked together on socially engaged projects in Haiti — embodies the collective mission of both organizations and Parsons to positively transform people’s lives.

“We are ecstatic that our students will have the opportunity to work with and develop a merchandise line for Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation, that, like Parsons, shares a strong commitment to creating positive social change,” says Alison Mears, director of the Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons who played an integral role in launching D.O.T. “Through this partnership with Donna Karan and Urban Zen, students will live Parsons’ mission, taking a multidisciplinary collaborative approach and utilizing local sustainable practices and healthier materials to create products that benefit Haiti and the Clara Lionel Foundation.”

Students will travel to and work in Haiti through Parsons Design Fellowship, a competitive program launched by Karan’s Urban Zen in 2015. Now in its third year, the program sends three Parsons students to Haiti for six to eight weeks beginning in early June.

Rihanna, who will be honored at Parsons Benefit, will announce the winners of the fellowship along with Karan at the event on May 22 in New York City. Karan was honored at the Benefit, a fundraiser for scholarships for Parsons students, last year.

Since its founding in 2015, the D.O.T Center has developed a training plan for educating local artisans — elevating local production practices, and helping artisans to develop their design expertise and create new products for market, as well as offering business services to a new generation of artisans. Parsons, through its Healthy Materials Lab, has advocated for the use of sustainable and local materials at the D.O.T Center.

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Entertainment FLY NEWS

Fly News: LIL WAYNE & KAREN CIVIL GIVES BACK TO HAITI FOR THE HOLIDAYS

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On Friday, December 18th, our dear friend and media maven, Karen Civil teamed up with Grammy Award winning artist, Lil Wayne, to brighten up the holiday season for over 500 students in Haiti. The Christmas celebration was a partnership with Live Civil and included sponsors Trukfit and Scholastic Corporation.

During the Live Civil Christmas Giveaway each child was gifted an outfit from Lil Wayne’s Trukfit clothing line and an exclusive Live Civil Thinking Cap from Karen Civil’s partnership with New Era. In addition to gifting the young thinkers with a few new clothing items to celebrate the holidays, Haitian-American professional boxer Andre Berto, surprised the kids by dressing up as Santa Claus and passing out toys! 

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Although the Christmas Giveaway excited the young children with new toys and clothes, it did not deter from the original message of the Live Civil playground and school remodeling; which emphasizes the importance of literacy, education and fun. The United States’ largest children’s publishing company, Scholastic Corporation, donated a book to each of the 500 children, while Karen Civil did a live reading of her new book, Be You & Live Civil.

“A lot of people tend to forget about those who are less fortunate during the holiday season, not many understand how receiving just one item could bring so much joy to a child’s life, especially if they don’t have the same everyday luxuries that the more fortunate tend to overlook. I’m just grateful to be able to give back to Haiti in any way possible,” said Lil Wayne.

Lil Wayne’s partnership with Karen Civil shouldn’t come as any surprise, as the two hip-hop figures have worked together in the past with the creation of Lil Wayne’s personal blog weezythanxyou.com. Karen was able to fund her Live Civil Playground in Pétionville within Port-au-Prince, Haiti with the help of various notable hip hop celebrities. Since then the Haitian-American entrepreneur has expanded the educational playground by remodeling the middle school located near her playground. As a first generation American, Karen has always felt obligated to go back to her parents’ home to give back.

The Live Civil initiative in Haiti is something that brings me joy! Being able to put a smile on the kids faces during the holidays is a gift within itself,” stated Karen.

With 2016 vastly approaching, Karen will continue to help expand the Live Civil brand through the United States and abroad. In addition, Karen Civil recently released her first book, Be You & Live Civil available now

Congrats to Karen and Weezy on a job well-done! 

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Entertainment FLY Interviews

From An Intern To A Boss: Karen Civil Stops By The Breakfast Club

Karen CivilKaren Civil’s story on how she rose from the intern ranks at Hot 97 to now being a “Cultural Artige'”is no doubt an inspirational one. While in NYC on her Live Civil College Tour she stopped by Power 105.1’s morning show The Breakfast Club.