Whether it’s her own children, or the thousands of innocent women and children who are a victim of human trafficking and sexual slavery each year, actress Jada Pinkett Smith is there to lend her heart and protection.
TPEPost is proud to award the 2014 TPE Mother of the Year award to Jada Pinkett Smith for her work with Don’t Sell Bodies to raise awareness that slavery is still a reality for many in the modern day. Jada is married to star movie actor Will Smith (Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Men in Black, Hitch), and has two children, Jaden and Willow Smith. Jada also acts as a step-mother Willard “Trey” Smith, Will Smith’s son from a previous marriage.
“Jada Pinkett Smith is a strong woman and a strong mother to her children and makes an excellent role model for other women to follow,” said Trish Brown, Publisher of TPEPost.com “Her advocacy in women’s issues is another area where she stands out and we applaud her.”
Don’t Sell Bodies was launched by Pinkett Smith shortly after she spoke during a Senate Foreign Relations hearing in 2012, pressuring Congress to do more to eliminate human trafficking in America and abroad. According to the Don’t Sell Bodies website, there is an estimated 40,000 people enslaved in America and an estimated 600,000 humans trafficked worldwide annually.
The human trafficking and sexual slavery issue was brought to her attention by her daughter, Willow, who also attended the hearing in 2012.
The Don’t Sell Bodies movement incorporates the international symbol for currency into its website and marketing efforts. Don’t Sell Bodies chose this emblem because the cause wants to “emphasis that no human being is anyone else’s property” and that human beings are not a currency and not up for trade.
In addition to her work with Don’t Sell Bodies, Pinkett Smith and her husband have also contributed large amounts of money to a wide range of causes through their charity, the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation. Donations from the charity seek to help “individuals and organizations advance in areas where need is great; Education, empowerment, health, community development, sustainability, and the arts.”
Beneficiaries of donations from the Smith family include American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, HollyRod Foundation, and the Lupus Foundation of America. The Smiths have also donated to various organizations from many religions including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Scientology. For a longer list of charities and individuals that the Smith family has contributed money and resources towards, visit http://www.wjsff.com/.
Pinkett Smith came under fire from tabloids the past few days after a photo was posted to Hannah Montana star Moises Arias’s twitter showing 20 year-old Arias sitting on a bed, shirtless, with his back against the wall looking into the distance. Pinkett Smith’s 13 year-old daughter, Willow, is lying on the bed, fully-clothed, also looking off picture. She was criticized for letting her daughter hang out with a much older boy and the somewhat sexual nature of the photograph.
Pinkett Smith defended her daughter, angrily telling paparazzi, “There was nothing sexual about that picture or that situation… You guys are projecting your trash onto it.” Arias is friends with Willow’s older brother Jaden, and is a close family friend of the Smith’s, collaborating on many projects together. Arias and the Smith children have been photographed hanging out together on many occasions prior to this, with no outrage from tabloids or bloggers alike.
Her other accomplishments include being a part owner in the 76er’s professional basketball team, investor/spokesperson of Carol’s Daughter beauty line, and founder of 100% Womon Productions, her record label.
Pinkett Smith was born with a deep passion for performing arts and grew up playing the piano, tap dancing, and dancing ballet. She also honed her skills at the Baltimore School for the Arts and the North Carolina School of the Arts. Pinkett Smith received a degree from the Baltimore School for the Arts in 1989.
She began her acting career with guest star roles in popular television series like True Colors, Doogie Houser, M.D., and 21 Jump Street. Her break came when she was cast as Peaches in the action-comedy film A Low Down Dirty Shame (1994). Pinkett Smith never looked back after that, landing major roles in The Nutty Professor (1996), Scream 2 (1997), The Matrix Reloaded (2003), and The Matrix Revolutions (2003). As of late, Pinkett Smith is more active in the production of television and movies, like the movie The Karate Kid (2010) remake and the sci-fi action thriller After Earth (2013), both movies that starred her son, Jaden.
Pinkett Smith has another talent that the media tends to ignore—singing in a metal band. Pinkett Smith formed the “nu-metal” band Wicked Wisdom in 2002. Nu metal is a sub-genre of metal music categorized by combining metal with elements of hip-hop, punk, and grunge (The band Linkin Park is a popular example).
The metal genre of music has historically had low numbers of both female and black musicians compared to rap, hip-hop, and pop music, but Pinkett Smith doesn’t view them as obstacles.
“I listened to all kinds of metal as a kid. Metallica, Guns N’ Roses. I would always look at Axl Rose and say, ‘Why aren’t there any chicks out there doing this now?’ I always wanted an opportunity to get out there and rock out,” Pinkett Smith reminisced, when asked about the creation of Wicked Wisdom in an interview.
Pinkett Smith’s determination to make the issues important to her can be seen in her work with Wicked Wisdom as well. The song, Nada Se Compara (Nothing Compares), by Wicked Wisdom features a music video with anti-trafficking themes and imagery.
The band has relatively small following in the metal scene, but the band has participated in high-profile tours like the Onyx Hotel Tour in 2004 and Ozzfest in 2005. The band is currently working on a new album, and released a new single titled Stuck in November of 2013. Moises Arias directed the music video for Stuck.