Janet Jackson’s “Unbreakable World Tour” has broken down several times. On Christmas Eve, Jackson took to Twitter to announce that she would postpone the tour until the spring to undergo a special surgical procedure. “Please pray for me, my family and our entire company during this difficult time,” she tweeted. After rescheduling tour dates, Jackson canceled several stops in Europe because of “scheduling difficulties.” Now, the singer has announced that she will postpone the tour indefinitely to focus on starting a family with her 41-year-old husband Wissam Al Mana. She posted a video on Twitter to share the news with her fans. “Please, if you can, try to understand that it’s important that I do this now,” she said in the video. “I have to rest up — doctor’s orders. But I have not forgotten about you.” Read more.
Michelle Obama’s Last Commencement Speech As First Lady
As the Obamas’ time in the White House winds down, First Lady Michelle Obama will make her rounds in April to deliver commencement addresses at high schools, colleges, and universities across the country. FLOTUS is slated to speak at Jackson State University in Mississippi on April 23, Santa Fe Indian School in New Mexico on May 26, and the City College of New York on June 3. While in office, she has used her platform to advocate for education. Michelle has launched various initiatives, including Reach Higher, Let Girls Learn, and the #62MillionGirls campaign. During President Obama’s time in office, she has given several commencement speeches at different institutions. In 2011, she delivered a memorable keynote address at Spelman College. “As you climb those career ladders, just remember to reach down and pull others up behind you,” she said. Read more.
Gap Inc. Apologizes for Racist Ad
A recent Gap Inc. ad forced the international company to come out and issue an apology. The ad in question features four young girls who are all a part of the Le Petit Cirque traveling company. The part of the ad that rubbed people the wrong way is the image of a short African-American girl standing next to a taller White girl who is resting her arm on the Black girl’s head. Many people perceived that the Black girl was being used as an “arm rest” and took to Twitter to express their outrage. “As a brand with a proud 46 year history of championing diversity and inclusivity, we appreciate the conversation that has taken place and are sorry to anyone we’ve offended,” Gap spokeswoman Debbie Felix said in a statement. The company said they would remove the image; however they plan on maintaining the same theme for the campaign. Read more.
San Francisco Approves Fully Paid Leave for New Parents
San Francisco hit a major milestone for work-life balance on Tuesday, when the city passed a law that would require businesses to offer fully paid leave for new parents. Parents with newborn children will now have the opportunity to have six weeks of fully paid time off. “Paid parental leave increases the probability that employees will return to work, be more productive, and earn higher wages,” Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council said in a statement. “That is good for business and for families.” Although it seems like a victory for most people, small businesses said the new measure isn’t beneficial for them. “They don’t necessarily have the resources, they can’t absorb the increases in cost, and they feel like it’s kind of relentless, it’s one thing after the next,” said Dee Dee Workman, vice president of public policy at the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. Businesses who have 35 to 49 employees must implement the rule by July 2017. Businesses with 20 to 34 employees will have until January 2018. Read more.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty