Cause Celeb

Can star power create social change?


Celeb: Lauryn Hill, hip-hop, reggae, and R&B artist

Cause: The Refugee Project (TRP), an outreach program for at-risk urban youths from New York and New Jersey

What she’s done: Hill founded TRP in 1996 and serves as chair of the board of directors. She also made an appearance at the August 1998 Camp Hill, a two-week recreational camp in the Catskill Mountains for kids between 10 and 13 years old.

What celeb gets: Spiritual fulfillment and publicity

What cause gets: Camp Hill, a mentorship program, a reading club, and an annual Halloween party, not to mention support from such superstar trustees as Sean “Puffy” Combs, Cornel West, and Spike Lee

Connection between celeb and cause: Hill grew up in a working-class section of South Orange, N.J., and knows from personal experience that dead-end inertia can be overcome.

Chance celeb will humiliate cause: Slim. Hill is known to be dedicated and socially aware. Plus, the kids love her.

What good came of this? More than 100 urban kids got the chance to escape to the Catskills. Says one of the camp’s sponsors: “[It gave] kids a great opportunity to get out into the country, and to learn skills through a structured curriculum of seminars in music, accounting, and marketing.”

THANK YOU.

We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.