‘The Hill with April Ryan’ explores role of LA mayor in Hollywood strike and more

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On this week’s edition of “The Hill With April Ryan,” theGrio’s Washington Bureau Chief and White House Correspondent, April D. Ryan, discusses the latest on a lawsuit brought by conservative Edward Blum against the Fearless Fund, a venture capital firm focused on providing grants to businesses owned by women of color.

A public hearing is underway in Atlanta on Sept. 26. The women who lead the financial engine tell theGrio the lawsuit does not daunt them. Blum, 72, is also behind the 2013 lawsuit that led to the Supreme Court striking down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He is also behind the recent decision to overturn affirmative action in college admissions. 

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Edward Blum, the affirmative action opponent behind the lawsuit challenging Harvard and the University of North Carolina’s consideration of race in student admissions, leaves Supreme Court back in October. Blum has now filed a lawsuit in Atlanta focused on the support Black women business owners receive. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

In Washington, D.C., the 52nd Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Caucus drew thousands worldwide. The 58 members of the CBC hosted various sessions focused on myriad issues impacting Black communities across the country, from criminal justice to gender equality and infant mortality. 

Celebrities such as Taraji P. Henson, Amanda Seales, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Anthony Anderson Boys II Men, and others participated in the widely attended three-day conference. 

New Edition was the featured entertainment for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual Phoenix Awards dinner, where President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris delivered remarks. 

Ronnie DeVoe of New Edition spoke with theGrio about the importance of the moment and his group’s performance. DeVoe said the group’s song, “Can You Stand The Rain,” has a new meaning in the current economic and political climate.    

“It is really about love and relationships, but can you really stand the rain in those moments in life with some challenges and obstacles that you need to overcome and push through?” said the legendary performer who, along with his New Edition members, celebrated 40 years in the music industry.

The CBC told theGrio that it selected New Edition as this year’s entertainment, not just because of their star power but the civic work they are doing off the stage. DeVoe, for example, is working in real estate to increase the rate of Black homeownership. 

And from Hollywood, actress and SAG-AFTRA national board member Sheryl Lee Ralph told theGrio that she met with Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, who is ready to help end the actors and writers strike that is impacting the city economically. 

2023 Milken Institute Global Conference
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – MAY 01: Los Angeles Mayor, Karen Bass attends the 2023 Milken Institute Global Conference at The Beverly Hilton on May 01, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)

Ralph acknowledged the mayor said she was not trying to “negotiate“ an end to the strike, but she would like to “mediate” between both sides: the actors and writers on one side and Hollywood executives on the other. 

According to Ralph, the mayor said it was for “the good of the city.” The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce said the entertainment industry makes a “significant” contribution to Los Angeles County. 

Ralph represents 80,000 SAG-AFTRA members in L.A. alone. The Emmy Award-winning star said she will use the mayor as her secret weapon when needed, but she is also calling on the governor and the California legislature to create a law that would allow those striking to receive unemployment benefits.

Watch this and more on this week’s episode of “The Hill with April Ryan.” Look out for new episodes every Thursday on theGrio.com and theGrio’s social media platforms.

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