Today is being marketed as a global day of giving.
Coffee drinkers and donors to a local nonprofit can enter to win a bike ride or a lunch with the mayor and his wife.
Here's how it works:
Gearing Up is a local nonprofit that provides bikes for women in transition from addiction, abuse and incarceration, and it's announced a partnership with Square One Coffee (249 S. 13th St.), in Midtown Village, for what's being designated as #GivingTuesday.
According to a news release, the coffee shop will give 5 percent of all sales earned today to Gearing Up, and for one day only, every donation made at Square One Coffee or through the Gearing Up website will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $10,000.
Incentives are being offered for different levels of giving. For example, a $100 donation earns you an Indego bike ride tomorrow with Mayor Nutter and wife Lisa around Midtown Village. A $250 donation or more earns you an exclusive "meet and greet" lunch with the Nutters tomorrow before the bike ride, provided by Cuba Libre (10 S. 2nd St.).
Visit Gearing-Up.org to donate today - every dollar will be matched!
Jazmine Sullivan and Mayor Nutter 'Need U Bad' at tree lighting
Philly R&B vocalist Jazmine Sullivan will be center stage for the city's annual tree-lighting on Thursday at City Hall, a special surprise announced just as the calendar turns to the month of holiday jubilee.
The Grammy-nominated 28-year-old, famous for her Missy Elliott-produced debut single, "Need U Bad," will headline the tree-lighting inside the City Hall courtyard, with a number of other local acts. Festivities kick off at 6 p.m. with the official ceremony at 7.
Mayor Nutter will light his last tree as mayor at 8 p.m.
Ralph applauds Sheen
Today marks the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day, which shines the spotlight on the fight against AIDS. Actress and activist Sheryl Lee Ralph has been a longtime supporter of AIDS awareness with her DIVA Foundation, which is an acronym for Divinely Inspired Victoriously Aware.
"Today's youth needs to work together to reduce the stigma around this disease - which unfortunately is still very much alive - and get tested," said Ralph, who encourages people to get tested together, whether it's mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, or lovers.
"I support Charlie Sheen's courage in getting tested for HIV and disclosing his HIV status," she said. "By disclosing his status, he is helping to reduce the stigma around HIV and AIDS, and this might open the door to others who are afraid to get tested, or might not have thought that they were at risk."
African dance still moving
Founded in 1969, the Kulu Mele African Dance & Drum Ensemble kicked off its big annual performance this weekend at the Painted Bride Art Center (230 Vine St.).
Saturday night, I had the pleasure of watching Kulu Mele celebrate Senegal and dance traditions of West Africa and the African diaspora. With no shortage of energy in the room, I was exhausted just watching the combination of acrobatics and dance moves that kept toes tapping and hands clapping in a packed Old City auditorium.
Kids as young as 5 were doing backflips on hardwood floors to the beat of drums - moves they learned under the tutelage of Kulu Mele's artistic director, Dorothy Wilkie, who's been doing it for almost 50 years.
"The kids are part of the children's education program called the Omo Kulu Mele, which means 'the voice of our ancestors,' " said Kulu Mele's executive director, David Harrison. "They train in traditional West African dance, in hip-hop and in drumming."
Visit kulumele.org to get your own kids involved and for more information.