Young African leaders Gorata Seleb, Adeboyega Adewolu and Angela Gichaga are participants in Morgan’s YALI program. AFRO Photo/Anderson R. WardTwenty-five young leaders from 18 African countries are on the campus of Morgan State University during June and July taking part in a multi-disciplinary learning experience. The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) comes to Morgan’s Public Management Institute to explore some of the key issues facing communities around the world including financial management, public health, the environment and policy analysis.Morgan’s Public Management Summer Program, which began on June 16 with an opening ceremony, runs through July 25 with activities planned daily. Program participants will tour several Baltimore and Maryland educational venues, complete a leadership training program, learn about environmental and cross-cultural issues and their impact on society, and effective communication skills. During the six-week program, the YALI leaders are expected to learn about key issues and best practices in public management that they can take back to their home countries.The public management program is part of Morgan State University’s Public Management Institute, with support from the School of Engineering and the MSU Institute for Urban Research.
By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, firstname.lastname@example.orgFor those who haven’t stumbled across her rants, raps, skits and famous “B. Simone tone” on Instagram, her improvisational comedy on “Wild ‘N Out” or her music, B. Simone is becoming a name to know and remember. The entertainer with 2.1 million followers on Instagram is now on a nationwide comedy tour that is making a stop in D.C. on Dec. 26, and she is inviting people to come learn more about her and have a fun night of laughs.“It’s about my life, my personal life. My comedy’s about my relationship, sex life, what I’ve been going through with men and it’s just super relatable. And I’ve turned tragedy and heartbreak into comedy,” B. Simone told the AFRO.Instagram and “Wild ‘N Out” star B. Simone will be in D.C. on Dec. 28 at City Winery in Northeast, D.C.The rising star has not always been a comedienne, but she has always been an entertainer.“I come from a background of girl groups and R&B pop singing. So I started off wanting to be a singer honestly. I’ve been in five girl groups. I moved to Atlanta from Dallas to pursue music and acting. And social media is what made me a comedienne,” she said.Even in the earlier days of social media, with sites such as MySpace, B. Simone was active.“I’ve been doing it a long time before Instagram. I’ve been on Instagram for almost four or five years. So it’s not like I just blew up overnight. It took me a while to get to this point, and it’s consistency and constantly putting out content,” she said.However, it has only been recently, through her Instagram fame, that she gained recognition and became a true comedienne.“I started doing ranting videos,” she told the AFRO. “I didn’t even know it was comedy, I was talking to the camera about relatable topics and my followers just thought I was funny. I was just being myself, so they made me a comedienne,” the millennial entertainer explained.This is B. Simone’s first time taking her comedy on the road.“I’ve been on stage with people who have been doing standup for 20, 15, 10 years. I’ve only been doing standup for 11 months. So I’m very new at it, but I have the privilege of growing with my fans,” she told the AFRO.Despite being a neophyte to the comedy game, from the looks of the sold out shows, her first tour is going well.“Almost every single show has been sold out, and it’s just an amazing, amazing experience,” B. Simone said.B. Simone (center) with “You’re My Boooyfriend Comedy Tour,” co-stars Darren Brand (left) and Desi Banks.Although she’s doing well on the road, the path to getting in the door was not easy.“We decided to put on the tour and my manager really fought for me,” she explained. These clubs are like, ‘Who is B. Simone?’… ‘Is it Bruce Bruce? Is it Kevin Hart? Is it DeRay Davis? How is she going to sell tickets?’ And they just had to have faith that my fans are going to come out and support.Simone, who is doing her own promo for the show, thanked Instagram and her followers for her success on and off the road. She isn’t fazed by the haters who question her trajectory, “just because she’s Instagram famous.”“It just shows that you can do anything you want to do. The world is different,” she said. “But I’m going to use my platform to make money. And the world is going to excel and move forward.“I’m going to use it and I’m going to move forward in a positive light. I don’t take any of it for granted. I say it all the time- Instagram put me in a different mindset of what I can really, really do. I’ve touched so many people,” she told the AFRO.“So I encourage young Black women to use it to your advantage. I don’t care if you’re a doctor, and you need more people in your doctor’s office, or if you’re an actress… That platform is needed for whatever occupation you’re in,” she said.The entertainer is also an entrepreneur. A licensed cosmetologist who practiced 15 years, B. Simone is launching an upcoming vegan, cruelty-free makeup line and encouraged her followers to stay tuned for when its released.In the meantime, the comedienne is grinding on the road with the “You’re My Boooyfriend Comedy Tour” featuring Desi Banks, with whom she famously collaborates on skits, and “Wild ‘N Out” co-star Darren Brand. The D.C. stop is on Dec. 26 at City Winery the Ivy City (1350 Okie St NE, Washington, DC 20002).“It’s going to be an amazing show.”Click here for tickets and for all things B. Simone, follow her at @thebimone2 on Instagram.