Mielle Organics Acquisition
On Jan. 11, P&G announced its acquisition of Mielle Organics, a Black-owned textured hair care brand. Berkshire Partners, a previous investor, sold its stake to P&G for an undisclosed amount. As part of the deal, P&G and Mielle Organics will commit $10 million to the nonprofit Mielle Cares, which supports educational and economic initiatives in Black and Brown communities. Monique and Melvin Rodriguez, the co-founders of Mielle Organics, will retain their respective CEO and COO roles. Users of Mielle Organics are worried the transition will mean changes to the formula. However, Monique Rodriguez took to Instagram to reassure consumers that the formula would remain the same. Mielle Organics will operate as an independent subsidiary of P&G as its production expands.
On Jan. 11, the 80th Annual Golden Globes Awards took place. The winners were chosen by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). Zendaya won a Golden Globe for Best Television Actress in a Drama Series for her portrayal of Rue in “Euphoria.” The “Everything Everywhere All at Once” actors Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan received Golden Globes for Best Actress in a musical/comedy Motion Picture and Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture, respectively. The sitcom, “Abbot Elementary,” won three Golden Globes, including Best Comedy in the Television Series category. The show’s creator, Quinta Brunson, and actor, Tyler James Williams, also won awards for their roles. Other wins include Angela Bassett for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and M.M. Keeravani and Chandrabose for “Naatu Naatu” from “RRR.”
Florida Bans AP African American Studies
On Jan. 12, the Florida Department of Education rejected the teaching of AP African American History. They rejected the course because it was “historically inaccurate” and contradicted Florida state law. The letter written to the Florida College Board Partnership that runs the AP program did not cite the law it was referring to. This decision comes after Gov. Ron DeSantis passed the Stop WOKE Act, restricting the teaching of Critical Race Theory in Florida schools in 2022. The White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, stated that the ban was “incomprehensible.” The Florida Department of Education says they are willing to reopen the discussion if the College Board proposes “lawful, historical accurate content.” Florida schools will continue to offer courses in European History, Japanese Language and Culture, German Language and Culture, Spanish Language and Culture and Italian Language and Culture.
Maya Moore Retires
On Jan. 16, Maya Moore, a 4-Time WNBA Champion, announced her retirement from the league. Moore, 33, announced on Good Morning America that “‘it is time to put a close to the pro basketball life.” She stopped playing four years ago to assist in the release of Jonathan Irons. After Irons’ exoneration, the two had a child and became married. The Minnesota Lynx initially recruited Moore in 2011, where she led them to four championships in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017. She also has two Olympic gold medals. When asked about retiring, Moore said she wants “to continue to be present at home, for our community, and also doing work with our nonprofit — hangin’ it up.”
Greta Thunberg Arrest
On Jan. 17, German police detained climate activist Greta Thunberg. The interaction took place near the German village of Lüetzerath. Thunberg and others were protesting the planned demolition of a town to build a coal mine. Christof Hüls, the police spokesperson, says that the protesters broke through a police barrier towards an unsecured coal pit. She addressed the incident on Twitter by saying, “Yesterday I was part of a group that peacefully protested the expansion of a coal mine in Germany. We were kettled by police and then detained but were let go later that evening.” German authorities released Thunberg after performing an identity check. The protest is ongoing.
French Workers Strike
On Jan. 19, over a million workers went on strike in France. The protests started in response to President Macron’s plan to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64. He says that the reform is necessary to keep the pension system viable, especially as life expectancy in France increases. French people are eligible for retirement after working a specified amount of years. Many French individuals who take time off will have to work more years. France’s eight biggest unions participated in the demonstrations. Police have detained 30 protesters. Some French unions suggest a higher tax on the wealthy and higher payroll contributions from employers. Unions are calling for another strike on Jan. 31.