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Celebrities visit Spelman to discuss financial literacy, social justice

Carlile said that when she wrote “A Beautiful Noise” with Keys and a team of songwriters, she thought of Stacey Abrams, the Spelman graduate and Democratic candidate for governor of Georgia.

“Georgia is really important to us,” Carlile said, referring to the 2020 election and the importance of the midterms. “You changed the world. You can change the whole country right here, right now. The whole world can learn from Georgia.”

Keys, who has become as significant in her work for social justice as she is with her music, told students that women “have the power of our voices and shouldn’t forget and underestimate them.”

Photo credit: Natrice Miller / [email protected]

Photo credit: Natrice Miller / [email protected]

“We have to make sure we have a plan, and part of the plan is not allowing apathy to be loaded into what we’re feeling,” Keys said. “Sometimes you feel discouraged. Often our reaction is apathy and that is the worst thing we can do. Kick in the doors, and the way we kick in the doors is that we honor who we are.”

For the students, the words were appropriate.

“When it comes to voting and making plans to vote, it can be daunting,” said Nutall, who moderated a conversation with Abrams last week. “So if you have spaces where women can come and emphasize the importance of our voices being heard, that’s very important. They remind us that we have a voice and that we can use it.”

At the end of their speeches on Friday, Keys and Carlile waded into the crowd of Spelman students taking selfies and shaking hands. Carlile modeled a Spelman t-shirt which was presented to her by new President Helene Gayle.

“You are activists and you are fighting,” Carlile said. “If you come in the door, take your sisters with you.”

On Thursday, comedian and entertainment mogul Kevin Hart played to another full house at the Sisters Chapel to take the stage with college student Naya Weicher to chat about financial education, wealth building, and career and entrepreneurial paths.

“Having Alicia and Kevin on campus underscores for everyone the importance of educating the black community,” said Welch, a Stone Mountain math student. “Although loved by everyone, their mission is to give back to where they came from.”

Hart told the students he was a high school dropout who spent every check on new sneakers. When he started making real money, he got into debt and had tax problems because he didn’t know how to manage his finances.

“I messed it up. Everything that was financial I did wrong because nobody told me what was right. ‘ Hart told the students. “I take my time to be here because my words have value. You don’t have to make the same mistakes I did. I tell you that my frivolous nature has doomed me.”

Hart is estimated to be worth between $200 million and $450 million. He also owns an 85 percent stake in Hartbeat, his new multimedia company, which is valued at $650 million.

“When you come to a place of success, you should share it,” Hart said. “That is the real work that needs to be done. Today it is about using and passing on this staff. Hopefully the students will go home with motivation and determination for tomorrow.”

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