04-26-2018  2:33 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Ballots Out For Delivery Today

USPS delivers ballots Wednesday, April 25 for the May 15 Primary Election ...

GFO Announces Upcoming Classes, Workshops & Special Interest Groups

Upcoming events include regional special interest groups, Cuban genealogy talk and a DNA workshop ...

Event: Going Beyond the Flint Water & Housing Crises

Recode invites speakers to discuss the Flint water crisis and its relationship to gentrification, displacement, and housing crises ...

Think & Drink with Rinku Sen and Mary Li

Event takes place Wednesday, May 16, at Alberta Rose Theater ...

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OPINION

The Skanner News Endorsements for May 2018 Elections

Read The Skanner News' endorsements for Oregon, Multnomah County, Portland City Council and more ...

Will HUD Secretary Ben Carson Enforce the Fair Housing Act?

Julianne Malveaux questions HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s ability to enforce the Fair Housing Act ...

Waiting While Black in Philadelphia Can Get You Arrested

Reggie Shuford on the daily indignities African-Americans face in Philadelphia and around the country ...

Black People Must Vote or Reap the Consequences

Jeffrey Boney on the importance of voting in the Black community ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Alan Duke CNN

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Smokey Robinson wants to use Twitter and Facebook to help solve some of the world's problems, such as the lack of water and food in developing countries.

His "Smoke Alarm" system should be "far more effective" than organizing a telethon or charity concert because it is so much faster than physically getting artists together to raise awareness, Robinson said Thursday.

"In this digital age we have the tools to level the playing field for those in need, so I'm calling on my friends and fans to lend their voices to mine, so we can collectively give voice to those who have none," Robinson said.

The singer and his celebrity friends are linking together to spread the word to hundreds of millions of people quickly when their help is needed.

The idea is simple. When an urgent need is identified, Robinson will send out a "Smoke Alarm" tweet that will be retweeted to the millions of Twitter followers of the celebrities who join his "Cause Swarm" group.

The alarm will be sounded no more than three times year for "shovel ready" projects, according to David Clark, who created the "Cause Swarm" Idea.

"The most effective way to defeat an opponent is to overwhelm or swarm them," Clark said.

Hundreds of millions of people around the world should quickly see the call for donations and other help, Robinson said.

"This way, all you've got to do is use Twitter and get people in who are their fans," Robinson said.

Actors James Franco, Eva Longoria and Hilary Duff, and musicians Elton John, Daryl Hall and Brandy Norwood are already signed up. While they represent a combined 7 million Twitter followers, celebs with much larger followings are expected to join soon, according to his publicist.

"I'm proud to lend my social media feed to Smokey so we can enable as many people as possible to help those in need," Franco said.

Longoria called Robinson "a force of nature."

"I'm proud to stand with him as he breaks new ground in philanthropy like he's done countless times in music," Longoria said. "What makes Smoke Alarm so powerful is the man and heart behind it."

The celebs who join the Smoke Alarm feed will also post the alerts on their Facebook pages.

Robinson announced his plan at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France Thursday. The first Smoke Alarm will be sent out near the end of this year, most likely targeted at helping raise money to bring clean water to communities in need, he said.

 

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