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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Calling all celebrities! Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed needs you

The mayor has totally got to get one of these

The mayor has totally got to get one of these

You know how in Gotham City when Commissioner Gordon’s in a jam, he shines that giant bat signal in the sky to summon Batman? (Luckily trouble never strikes during daylight hours).

Well, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is doing something kind of like that today.

Here’s a bulletin just issued on behalf of hizzoner:

“The Mayor’s Office is looking for any celebs/artists to stand with Mayor Kasim Reed today at 2:30pm at a Back-to-School Pep Rally at Jean Childs Young Middle School, 3116 Benjamin E. Mays Drive SW, Atlanta GA 30311.”

Kasim Reed and Jay-Z during the rapper's recent visit

Kasim Reed and Jay-Z during the rapper's recent visit

If your famous self is interested, here’s what they need from you:

“The celeb/artist would need to attend for an hour (2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.) and give a 2-3 minute pep talk to encourage kids to work hard this school year.”

Come on, how hard is that?

If your arm needs any more twisting, the call for celebs dangles this tantalizing carrot: “Press will be in attendance.”

Reed surely has a few chits he can call in, having appeared with many prominent people in the past. Here’s an article about him hanging with Jay-Z when the rapper came to town, possibly to talk about opening a club at the airport.

And just the other day, Reed appeared with Tyler Perry at the Atlanta Urban Entrepreneurship Forum. The mayor presented Perry with a proclamation and floated the idea of renaming Greenbriar Parkway to Tyler Perry Parkway. Here’s that story.

Reed’s not unique in looking to star power to inspire young people, of course. The highly acclaimed Ron Clark Academy in southwest Atlanta welcomed its benefactor Oprah Winfrey to its 2010 graduation ceremony. Here’s a link to that story. And the RCA students’ election-themed song, using the melody of T.I.’s “However You Like,” was a 2008 viral hit. Here’s a clip of them performing on CNN – almost 3 million hits!

So if you’re sufficiently prominent and want to lend an hour of your time to inspire Atlanta’s kids to do their best this year, call 404-330-6023 or e-mail ABoone@AtlantaGa.Gov.

- Jennifer Brett/The Buzz/jbrett@ajc.com

55 comments Add your comment

Jim Brams

August 12th, 2011
10:17 am

Now the mayor is a Fame Wh*re?

OJ Simpson

August 12th, 2011
10:25 am

I’ll be there, gimme about 4yrs..

Lori

August 12th, 2011
10:28 am

It says a lot about society today that the mayor is calling on celebrities to encourage kids to do their best. Shouldn’t their parents have already been doing that?? So sad.

Dwayne

August 12th, 2011
10:33 am

Those guys are celebrities? LMAO

Mr. Ed

August 12th, 2011
10:33 am

Let’s give Kasim some credit. At least he’s trying. Best I can tell, his prior counterparts either stole the city blind or were aloof to the many problems facing the city.

DTru

August 12th, 2011
10:34 am

Mr. Mayor, Please do not invite the celebrities! They’re not a good role model…”most” of them have criminal & drug records. Select your celebrities, like MJ, Hank Aaron etc. or someone who works hard and who is successful.

ATL

August 12th, 2011
10:36 am

These kids need there PARENTS NOT CELEBRITIES.
Parents please step up and take control of your kids.

beebee

August 12th, 2011
10:36 am

What’s screwed up is, he and so many of us have our priorities all mixed up!

It would be MUCH BETTER if professional men and women, like doctors, lawyers, engineers, nurses, business owners, spoke to these kids. They all have countless times more of a chance to succeed if they sought similar career paths, instead of everybody trying to be the next JayZee or you-name-it-rap artist or even Tyler Perry.

Mayor Kasim, get some decent-looking, well-dressed and well-spoken professional, working people in with these kids.

How much real, lasting, educational impact is a Rap’nglish-speaking, arrogant-looking/sounding JayZee is going to have on them?

bee

RAMZAD

August 12th, 2011
10:42 am

I just don’t know about that man. Is that his idea of having a vision for the city of Atlanta? I said vision Mayor not frame…

Old Boy

August 12th, 2011
10:43 am

Right or wrong, urban middle schoolers are more inclined to listen to a Jay-Z or Ludacris than they are a doctor or lawyer. These are middle schoolers and this is exciting for them. Pep talks are supposed to pep people up; the opportunity to hear someone they have only seen on TV is exciting for them. I heard some fantastic speakers in my day, but one of the ones I remember best was Colin Powell because he was someone whom I had heard of for years (that and he was a damn good speaker). Give the mayor credit for trying to do something outside of the normal routine.

Atlanta Rapper

August 12th, 2011
10:43 am

I be a rappa. I be dere.

Seriously, I believe it’s the parents job to get their kids motivated for school, not worthless “celeberties” that most likely never completed their education. Hey mayor, turn your focus and energy towards the parents instead. Quite your hobnobbing Kasim and concentrate on getting rid of crime in Atlanta.

DTru

August 12th, 2011
10:47 am

Mr. Mayor, Do you want a celebrity who has a criminal & drug records to give your own kids advice? “Most” of the celebrities thinks that they are intelligent because they made $millions. But the sad truth is… most of them have no education. The records speak for itself…. most of them file bankruptcy after or before their career is over! Let’s get some “Educated Professionals” involved with these kids! Remember without education, we will not have cars, computers, medicine etc…

Hilliard Crump

August 12th, 2011
10:51 am

Where are all the white people?

Brian

August 12th, 2011
10:51 am

Kudos to the mayor for trying something! However, ask the mayor who inspired him to want to become mayor. Do you think it was the celebrities of the 80s or local business and church folk?

Lady Italiano

August 12th, 2011
10:57 am

Why doesn’t the Mayor get some of his celebrity buddies to make a donation to the city that they reap so many rewards from? How about a couple million from Tyler Perry to the general fund? Or from Ted Turner for Reed’s blessed Centers of Hope? If these people love Atlanta so much, why don’t they help us out of the jam of having no money? Too busy trying to run for office????

AJC Negative Blogger

August 12th, 2011
10:58 am

HA! That’s funny. Invite doctors, lawyers, engineers, nurses, and business owners to come speak with kids? Shouldn’t those people already be doing that since many are either parents or otherwise directly part of their respective communities? Nothing is stopping people from volunteering their time to kids whether it’s a school function or even a parks and recreation role (i.e. coaching). Regular working professionals should already be involved in some fashion and don’t need an invite from the mayor because every school district I know of maintains an open invite for people to contribute!

Stop casting blame on politicians and celebrities. I think people call that being hater these days. Failure starts at home. I can’t think of a single case where parents have done a great job with their kids at home only for a teacher to corrupt the children and make them fail.

Jennifer Brett

August 12th, 2011
11:00 am

Whoever posted that disgusting comment about Mr. Hank Aaron: Your comment has been removed and you’re banned from this blog.

Jennifer

KGray

August 12th, 2011
11:03 am

Dwayne, are you hating on Jay-Z and Tyler Perry because they both have lots more money than you have and more that you will make in a lifetime. It’s for a good cause, so why hate on the effort of the Mayor initiative in trying to help children. To the rest of your negative haters that don’t live within the city of Atlanta get a life and let the Mayor do what he doing.

DWinDec

August 12th, 2011
11:04 am

Should these kids be able to count on their parents? Yes, in a perfect world.
Will having these celebrities there discourage kids from working at school? Probably not.
Might it make a difference in some kid’s life? Might not, but it’s happened before.
Seems like the Atlanta School system has nothing but bad news of late, and with little money to work with, this might help the mood. At least he’s trying something, instead of just grousing like your average commenter.

Loving This Opp!

August 12th, 2011
11:06 am

WAY TO GO, Ms. Brett!!!

I have to give the Mayor a few brownie points in trying to creative in ways to talk to our middle schoolers. Sure, it’s te parents job to motivate their children to want to do better. But, we all know that our kids listen to those in the streets far more than they do their parents. Most education is learn from the streets and not from the classroom. Why not enlist celebrities which some of our children look up to. This is the 21st century and new tactics are needed no matter what corner you turn onto!!!

BFBryan

August 12th, 2011
11:08 am

@beebee and all other who have something to say about rappers

Let’s be real, I even agree that having doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc would be good choices but who are the kids going to listen too more. Them or the folks they see on tv? I know when I was a kid I know I would listen more to people that were famous versus just a doctor who was still a regular person. Again let’s be real and remember that we all were once kids.

Two these “rappers” just don’t do that anymore. Most of them are successful business men and women. Doesn’t Jay Z have his own record label and clothing line? Yes. Didn’t 50 Cent just sell his shares in Vitamin water for 300 million dollars AND has a deal with Paula Deen to work with G-Unit, his record label? Yes. Didn’t Dr. Dre just sell Beats by Dre for over 300 million? Yes. Didn’t Ice Cube start his own production company and has had a successful line of movies in the Friday series, Barbershop series, and Are We There Yet series? Yes.

Unlike the profession people that were mention, which are all great jobs, they make millions on millions of dollars a year, or as the young folks say they got “Racks on Racks on Racks!” For an adult this may not be as appealing to do what some of these famous people do but for a kid that has their whole like ahead, they want to hear that going to school and working hard and following their dreams may one day pay off, no matter what they want to do and more ears are going to tune in for someone famous than just a “regular” person or a parent. That doesn’t mean they should not say nothing that just means kids are kids and are more intrigued by being famous and having a lot of money at that age.

APS3

August 12th, 2011
11:25 am

Interesting Mayor Reed nor anyone from his office showed up at the rally that the Atlanta Council for PTA held. I called his office and received no comment. This was the same reason I received regarding his failure to show up at Grady High School last year and address the students. I voted for you but your creditabilty with me is waning.
What APS needs is more celebrities to get their additional moments of fame and press opps- Way to Go Mayor Reed…

APS3

August 12th, 2011
11:28 am

correction- reason should be response

ECM

August 12th, 2011
11:36 am

Its not going to help anything. When they see the rappers, they might want to become them. So lets say these celebrities come, ok, then what???? Like one blogger said, donote some money to some of the schools. That would be more helpful.

Dr. pending

August 12th, 2011
11:51 am

I have the best idea! Why don’t we just wait for TI to get out of jail again and let him stand in front of our children again? He usually goes to schools to supposedly talk positively; only to get caught with drugs or guns, and then back to jail again. JZ was a drug dealer, so he is no role model regardless of where he is now. Just because he has money does not mean that he is a positive role model for our children either. I am a professional person with years of graduate school, less than a year away from beina a Doctor. I believe professional people, such as doctors, lawyers, engineers, nurses, biologists, scientists, and such would be better on a platform together for our schools and children. After all, celebrities with no education themselves cannot give kids a speech on it, or that would be hypocrisy.

Mo's mom

August 12th, 2011
11:56 am

The last person I want to encourage my child about excelling in education is a pseudo-celebrity rapper who spends the majority of his time making “music” that tells kids that your level of success is measured by how many hoes, whips, & Jesus pieces you can acquire by jacking, drug dealing and not snitching.

I’ll pass on this gathering of “role models” and do a better job of teaching my child how to be a respectable man in society.

middle class and single

August 12th, 2011
11:57 am

Mayor only cares about himself, the media and his next goal…won’t happen in GA KASIM!

Loving This Opp!

August 12th, 2011
12:13 pm

@Mo’s mom – that’s my stance as well. If this was happening at my child’s school, I would keep him/her home that day. I only commented on the tactic the Mayor is trying. I teach character, right and wrong, motivation at home! I’m not one of those parents looking toward another to guide my child(ren).

AJC Negative Blogger

August 12th, 2011
12:22 pm

Dr. Pending,

So by that logic parents who have not completed high school or college have no grounds to lecture their children to achieve those goals…

Also, parents who have ever been convicted of a crime from jaywalking to DUI to possession have no grounds to tell their children that they shouldn’t do the same.

What happened to learning from your mistakes then using that knowledge to help others not make the same mistakes in their lives? People are so self-righteous. I know a lot of working professionals who did crazy things in high school, college, or even their professional lives and have grown up and are upstanding people today. If everyone’s closet was wide open there wouldn’t be many people who are acceptable to give speeches to kids. We don’t even need to discuss the countless teachers who get in trouble every year for some kind of wrong doing do we? These are the same people who have had direct access to our kids for years before their inproprieties became known.

Besides, if you bring in a working professional, how do you know that person isn’t dealing on the side or committing violent crimes like rape? There’s plenty of parents and childless professionals who get busted on DUI and do drugs but these people are acceptable because their transgressions haven’t appeared on TMZ?

Ignorance is not bliss…

MikeB

August 12th, 2011
12:23 pm

While most kids are more likely to listen to a rapper vs. a doctor or lawyer, we should not give up the important task of managing/adjusting a childs focus/priorities. That is parenting at its essence.

As adults we can have enough experience to understand who JayZ was back in the day (a drug dealing criminal) to who he is now (an entrepenuer and promoter of images, who effectively trades on his street cred derived from his previous life).

Teach your child the difference between one who works hard academically, and earns the right to enter a legitimate profession vs. one who sells drugs, does minimal time, and uses his drug proceeds to finance legitimate ventures.

I like JayZ’s music, but he is the person described above. He is smart enough to be a lawyer or a doctor, but was not diciplined enough to channel his energy in those directions. Therefor he should not be glorified and legitimized by politicians who use our tax dollars to do so………..

terri

August 12th, 2011
12:53 pm

AJC Negative Blogger

August 12th, 2011
1:00 pm

Besides, I don’t know why people are harping on JayZ. Did everyone actually read this article? The JayZ reference is only to that of a meeting he had with the mayor about opening an establishment at the airport. It had nothing to do with JayZ speaking to school children. Further, JayZ does not reside in Atlanta so unless he happens to be in town today and sees this request it’s a good bet that he won’t be at the rally.

It’s also funny that many of you ignored the Tyler Perry connection since Mr Perry doesn’t support your hate position as well as JayZ. I’m not sure if Mr Perry has donated money directly to any school system but I’ve heard of him doing general charitable contributions to communities on several occassions so I think he’s doing his part. Remember what a donation is people, it is not a tax.

Dwayne

August 12th, 2011
1:14 pm

kgray, never said I hated them.

who cares?!

August 12th, 2011
1:18 pm

amazing- no police were invited? I guess they’d arrest the celebs with their rap sheet.
Where are the jobs for the unemployed THRASHERS workers, Mr. Mayor? Why are there no WHITE celebrities. Is Atlanta only black? That is why Atlanta is not progressing as it should. Same tune different singer. Time for anew song but unfortunately, people cannot vote for the person with the best plan, they have to vote for The BLACK man. How dumb can these voters be? VERY.

Dwayne

August 12th, 2011
1:20 pm

Parents that have not finished high school or have at one point run afoul of the law have the right to teach/lecture/discipline their OWN children. Not so sure I would have wanted then doing anything for my child(ren).

Dwayne

August 12th, 2011
1:23 pm

I got an idea!!! Lets invite all the teachers that cheated on the test scores so they could get those bonuses and all the Atlanta students could be “smart”….hahaha….LMAO again!!!!

Jennifer Brett

August 12th, 2011
1:41 pm

Come on you guys! I think it’s great for a back-to-school pep rally to get so much attention! I may check it out myself to see which celebs do attend!

Jennfier

MJ

August 12th, 2011
1:45 pm

I say why bother having anyone speak…….People are leaving Atlanta as the city is on a downward spiral anyway. Atlanta is not what it used to be and I surely won’t point the finger at any particular group or individuals. The Southern Hospitality definitely doesn’t exist anymore, so I wouldn’t waste any energy here. I’ve wasted enough time here and can’t wait to leave!!

MJ

August 12th, 2011
1:49 pm

@who cares?! – You obviously cared enough to comment…….SMH…..

Nat Turner

August 12th, 2011
2:10 pm

Who cares? All of the white people are in Alpharetta, Sandy Springs, Cherokee County, Kennesaw, and East Cobb. Go and sell that same message to them. They will scoff at you, and continue living in their homogeneous world.

As for the harping on rappers, rock bands are no better. How many of them do nothing but drugs? How many of them are positive? I love Nirvana and Motley Crue. But would I want Tommy Lee speaking to my middle schoolers?

Tertainmnt

August 12th, 2011
2:28 pm

If parents were parenting, the mayor wouldn’t have to call on the real role models to help him.
Admit it parents, you’re not doing as you should for your own children and social media has taken over.

Tertainmnt

August 12th, 2011
2:32 pm

Thanks for reporting on this effort Jennifer, Rally starts in minutes. No one knows if other celebrities were invited and declined. Obviously police presence will be and should be there.

scott&liz

August 12th, 2011
2:36 pm

its gotten to this huh??in this new Detroit of the south!!yes i said Detroit!!the handwriting is on the wall Atlanta has the same trimmings of detroit and the same path..Kasim REED not only cant speak well he has no clue on keeping Atlanta from its downward spiral from becoming Detroit act2

real housewives of Atlanta

August 12th, 2011
3:29 pm

We are available!

Loving This Opp!

August 12th, 2011
3:36 pm

Pure comedy…

SMH

August 12th, 2011
3:39 pm

While the mayor of Atlanta is so busy trying to invite celebrities to schools, he needs to find out what Atlanta Public Schools did with all of the money from the cheating…on another note..NO MORE STREET NAME CHANGES…GOSH!!

Rich Black

August 12th, 2011
4:30 pm

How the hell did I end up in this loser city???

DJ

August 12th, 2011
4:31 pm

Maybe I’m wrong, but aren’t most celebrities dropouts?? I think celebrities send the WRONG message to kids. Where are the Dr. Ben Carsons, Eric Holders, or Oprah Winfreys?

DJonesRN

August 12th, 2011
5:12 pm

i just wonder if they do show up, will they be doing it for the kids, or for publicity????

Puh-lease

August 12th, 2011
5:41 pm

where’s my excellent, profound post from earlier today?