AONE - Robert F. Smith

Robert F. Smith Pledges to Pay Morehouse 2019 Graduates Student Debts

The generosity of Mr. Smith — the richest black man in America — highlighted the systematic problems of debt in American college education.

Over all, the majority of seniors at four-year colleges — about two-thirds — are carrying student loan debt. In 2017, that average was nearly $29,000, according to an analysis of federal data from the Institute for College Access and Success, a nonprofit advocating affordable higher education. Adjusted for inflation, that same average was about $13,000 in 1996.

“This generation of students is the most debt burdened ever, and it’s a huge problem for them,” said Mehrsa Baradaran, a law professor at the University of Georgia and author of “The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap.”

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Be Woke - Aone - Darrick Angelone - Webby Award

AONE Works Nominated for 2019 Webby Award

Darrick Angelone work on Be Woke Nominated for Webby Award

The 2019, 23rd annual Webby Award nominations were announced this morning, and the AONE work done on behalf of the Be Woke.Vote initiative was nominated for an award in the Social:News & Politics category and honored in the Podcast:Best Host category. Congratulations to all the people who made it possible. Without Mr. Robert Frederick Smith, none of this would have been possible.

Open voting for the people choice in each category ends April 18, 2019. Please vote for Be Woke.Vote in the Best Social:News&Politics category here: 👉🏼

Be Woke was Created by: Hyper Engine LLC. for Be Woke LLC..

Be Woke was Directed by: Deon Taylor & Omar Joseph

Be Woke was Produced by: Roxanne Avent, Heather Kritzer, Darrick Angelone, Omar Joseph

Be Woke Executive Producer: Robert F. Smith

Be Woke Creative Director: Darrick Angelone & AONE.

Darrick Angelone Nominated for WebbyGood morning,

Congratulations! On behalf of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, it is my pleasure to inform you that the following work has been recognized in the 23rd Annual Webby Awards:

Be Woke. Vote! is a Webby Nominee in Social: News & Politics (

BeWoke.Vote is a Webby Honoree in Podcasts: Best Host

This Is a Major Achievement: What Does It Mean to Be a Webby Nominee?
As a Webby Nominee, your work has been singled out as one of the five best in the world in its category (and among the top 10% of all work entered) and is competing for the Internet's two most coveted awards: The Webby Award and The Webby People's Voice Award. While The Webby Award is chosen by the Academy, The Webby People’s Voice Award is voted on by the public. Both Awards are a mark of international distinction for Internet excellence. Below you will find details on how to launch your Webby People's Voice campaign and promote your achievement to your organization, clients, and the public.

The Webby People's Voice Awards: Start Your Campaign Now
While the Academy selects its Webby Winner in each category, every Webby Nominee also contends for a Webby People's Voice Award as selected by the voting public. Winning either distinction is a mark of international Internet excellence and affords you the opportunity to attend the star-studded 23rd Annual Webby Awards in NYC in May. To maximize your chances of winning, we encourage you to launch a People's Voice campaign quickly to get your community to the polls. (We’ve assembled some tips on running a successful campaign.) During the voting campaign your work will be seen by a massive online audience: Last year, people cast over 3 million votes from 230+ countries and territories worldwide. Voting for People's Voice is open from today April 2nd to Thursday, April 18th, at 11:59 PM/PST. VOTE HERE:

Awarding and Next Steps
All Webby Winners will be announced on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, and honored at the 23rd Annual Webby Awards, hosted by actor/comedian Jenny Slate, at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City, on May 13, 2019.

This Is a Big Deal: What Does It Mean to Be a Webby Honoree?
Congratulations! Earning the distinction of Webby Honoree, as recognized by the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences is, too, a significant achievement—granted to only the top 20% of all work entered in the 23rd Annual Webby Awards.

On behalf of IADAS and The Webby Awards, congratulations on this outstanding accomplishment for you and your team!


Claire Graves
Executive Director

The Webby Awards | Int'l Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences |


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The Intruder Starring Dennis Quaid

Sony Set to Premiere 'The Intruder' May 3, 2019

The Hidden Empire Film Group production, starring Dennis Quaid, Meagan Good and Michael Ealy, which was picked up by Sony Screen Gems for distribution, will be released to theaters May 3, 2019.

Your house... his home! #theintrudermovie moving in May 3, 2019!

Time Magazine - Be Woke.Vote

Time Magazine Features Be Woke.Vote's Messy Truth with Van Jones

Comedian Jamie Foxx recently sat down with CNN commentator Van Jones for his “Be Woke.Vote” series to discuss the importance of voting and leading by example.

In the interview, Foxx discussed what it feels like being black in America during Donald Trump’s presidency and told Jones he feels disheartened that his children can’t look up to the President.

“The only thing that disheartens me is when it comes to my kids,” Foxx said. “When I see grown people talking that way in that position, it hurts the kids because being President, yeah it’s great, it makes you feel good, but the one thing you could count on was the moral compass. I could always look to the President to know he is going to say and do the right things.”

Foxx said he feels the President rips the nation apart instead of healing.

“Say the economy is doing a little better, but you rip us apart so we can’t even have a conversation right now, that’s the disheartening part,” he said. “That’s where I think, not only do we vote, but we put pressure on the people who are supposed to be doing it. What can you do to actually heal it a little bit?”

Foxx added that he wished the Democrats would come together.

“Democrats are like R&B singers, they gotta sing lead,” he said. “You never saw Obama with Clinton, they never came together if you think about it. You had all of these opportunities to come together. I remember when Obama won, I thought it would be great if Obama, Bill Clinton and all of the Democrats did a nice cover for TIME magazine. No. Republicans, they sing in a choir, they don’t necessarily sing in tune but they sing loud and they all know the words.”

Created by: Hyper Engine LLC.
Directed by: Deon Taylor & Omar Joseph
Produced by: Roxanne Avent, Heather Kritzer, Darrick Angelone, Omar Joseph
Executive Producer: Robert F. Smith
Creative Director: Darrick Angelone & AOne

Support Project Be Woke.Vote!

Revolt TV Picks Up Be Woke.Vote Series

Revolt TV Picks Up Be Woke.Vote Series

Revolt TV has announced they will broadcast to their 30+ million audience, the Hidden Empire Film Group produced 12 episode series of Be Woke.Vote featuring the Messy Truth with Van Jones.

The wide ranging interviews include:

  1. Jamie Foxx
  2. Bresha Webb
  3. Will I Am
  4. BJ the Chicago Kid
  5. Chelsea Handler
  6. Kim Kardashian
  7. HaHa Davis
  8. Michael Ealy
  9. Mike Colter
  10. Shameik Moore
  11. Sybrina Fulton
  12. Deon Taylor

The purpose of “Be Woke” is to push the needle forward by getting more young voters of color interested in politics and participating in the voting process. “Be Woke” was conceptualized by movie director Deon Taylor, producer Roxanne Avent and prominent philanthropist and investor Robert F. Smith, who are all partners in Hidden Empire Film Group. They are bringing the series to life with Taylor co-directing the episodes with Omar Joseph, and Avent and Smith producing alongside Heather Kritzer with Darrick Angelone and AOne Entertainment leading the creative direction.

Created by: Hyper Engine LLC.
Directed by: Deon Taylor & Omar Joseph
Produced by: Roxanne Avent, Heather Kritzer, Darrick Angelone, Omar Joseph
Executive Producer: Robert F. Smith
Creative Director: Darrick Angelone & AOne

Support Project Be Woke.Vote!

Robert F. Smith & AONE

Why Billionaire Investor Robert F. Smith Should be the First African American NFL Owner

By: N.Reid

With racial tensions flaring across America and the NFL embroiled in a bitter spat with the U.S. President over players protesting racial injustice during the national anthem, billionaire investor Robert F. Smith is on the verge of making history by becoming the first African-American NFL team owner. Smith’s sights are firmly set on the league at a time when it has also been criticized for a lack of diversity at various levels, from the quarterback position, to head coaches, and team owners.

As the first black NFL team owner, not only will Smith stand with players and fans when the National Anthem plays, but he’ll back up his actions by continuing to be a positive influence in the African American community by donating his time and resources to organizations and institutions that are focused on the betterment of black people. And focus and resources are something that Smith has plenty of, if his $2.5 billion fortune is anything to go by. He’s now the second wealthiest African-American behind Oprah Winfrey.

Is success ingrained in his DNA? It’s likely.

Smith was raised in a middle-class family in Denver – the son of Dr. William Robert Smith and Dr. Sylvia Myma Smith, both of whom were school teachers with PhDs. As a high school junior, Smith desperately tried to get his foot in the door to work an internship at the Colorado development company, Bell Labs. The position was tailored for college students but Smith had the drive and determination that even after being initially rejected, the bigwigs at Bell Labs hired him. He has come a long way since that first unpaid position.

Little was known about him for many years. He was never one to plaster his face on every magazine to boast about his accomplishments. In fact, the website for Vista Equity Partners doesn’t even include a picture of his face. He wanted to prove his abilities first before investors and executives could judge him for the color of his skin. His plan worked, and his firm has earned him billions.

A few African Americans have tried and failed to acquire NFL teams. However, there’s nothing stopping Smith from making his dream come to fruition. Owning an NFL franchise just may be his greatest investment to date. However, it won’t be the pinnacle of his career – Smith is just getting started. With his devotion to maintaining the glue that holds the African American community together, seeing Smith in a stadium’s owner’s box on a Sunday afternoon is something the league and America so desperately needs. It would be a sign that our nation, the land of freedom and opportunities, isn’t just reserved for those who have a certain shade of skin.

What sets Smith apart from other financial leaders across the globe is his penchant for helping others. In 2017, he was named one of the “Philanthropy 50” by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. And in May 2017, The Giving Pledge announced he had joined its ranks as the only African American philanthropist. When the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture was looking for donations, they were told to reach out to Smith. They had no clue who he was at the time, but now he’s known as the entrepreneur who gave them their second-largest donation worth $20 million.

His contributions continue year after year, including a $50 million donation to his alma mater, Cornell University. His unparalleled generosity prompted the college to have the Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering renamed in his honor.

Preserving the African-American experience is one of his main goals, and he’s able to hone in on that interest and several more; including entrepreneurship, the environment, and human rights as the founding director and President of the Fund II Foundation. The nonprofit makes grants to public charities that safeguard human dignity, improve environmental conservation, provide outdoor education, and sustain the American values of empowerment and innovation.

The time for a black NFL owner is now, and there’s no better prospect than Smith.