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Activist Raises Funds for Black Girls & “Mermaid” (Video)

(ATLANTA, Ga.) — Spelman activist Taylor Richardson, popularly known as AstronautStarBright on social media, has sparked a viral sensation with the Little Mermaid Challenge. Richardson has been rallying support from the public to fund the opportunity for one thousand black girls to watch the highly anticipated live-action Disney film, “The Little Mermaid,” featuring Halle Bailey. The screenings are scheduled for May 26.

“When I initially saw the teaser of the film of course I saw a candid shot of Halle and her being in the water and seeing her beautiful hair and her angelic voice, and also just recognizing a black girl has taken on such an iconic role in such an empowering and uplifting way, and I knew immediately that I not only wanted to support this film,” Richardson said.

After initiating a GoFundMe campaign with an initial target of $25,000, Richardson has surpassed expectations and successfully raised $45,000. The generous contributions have poured in from various sources, including Melissa McCarthy, who portrays Ursula in the film, and Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack Foundation, both of whom made substantial donations. These are just a few examples among the many individuals and organizations that have graciously contributed to the cause.

“I do have a stem background. So, I think the technology aspect grabbed me as well. I’m really excited to see how they incorporated CGI (Computer-generated imagery) to create this diverse cast of sea creatures. But also, just recognizing the importance of the film and the potential impact it could have in crafting such a compelling and positive narrative for girls and boys, especially those from black and brown communities,” Richardson said.

This Saturday, a total of 300 girls will have the privilege of watching the film at the AMC North DeKalb 16 theater. On Sunday, another 200 girls will enjoy the movie at the AMC Parkway Pointe location. Additionally, 500 lucky individuals are set to attend the screening during the first weekend of June.

According to Richardson’s mother, the screenings are generously sponsored by the Cactus Jack Foundation. The events are strictly private, and attendees are required to possess Eventbrite tickets for entry. It’s worth noting that all ticketed events have already been sold out and accounted for.

Richardson has gained significant experience in crowdsourcing and organizing such challenges, which have empowered thousands of Black girls. These initiatives provide them with the opportunity to witness the representation of Black women and girls in the field of STEM on the big screen. She previously orchestrated a similar challenge for the movie “A Wrinkle in Time,” raising an impressive $150,000, and even had the chance to meet Oprah Winfrey.

Reflecting on her previous campaigns, Richardson shared, “I believe I raised about $150,000 for those campaigns and had the opportunity to send thousands of kids both internationally and nationally to see those films.”



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