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June 5th, 2011
07:20 PM ET

AIDS: 30 Years Later

CNN's Don Lemon speaks with a HIV-positive woman who memorializes loved ones on a quilt.

Filed under: CNN Newsroom • Don Lemon • In the Newsroom • What Matters
December 22nd, 2010
03:01 PM ET

Your Fresh Start for 2011

As the end of the year approaches, many of you may be sitting by the lava lamp and writing down your resolutions for the new year: 

Do you plan to get back into your "skinny jeans"? 

Be more plugged in to social media... or less? 

Quit smoking once and for all? 

Manage stress better? 

Drink less alcohol?

Make more time for your family, friends, loved ones? 

Finally go after that master's degree you've been putting off? 

Make a barbeque recipe to rival Uncle Jack's secret sauce?

Hone on your DIY skills to become a "Mister or Miss Fix-it"?   

As you reflect on the days that have passed in 2010, and set the bar high for yourself, share your plans with us. 

We want to hear not only what your goals are, but what your game plan is for achieving them. 

How do you plan to keep the goal in mind, and not have it dissolve at the first whiff of a hot Krispy Kreme donut?
We'd like to help. 

Your project could become the focus of a CNN Newsroom segment, complete with expert advice, and planning tips to help you and those inspired by you... to succeed.

So rather than spend the next 12 months ruminating about what you didn't achieve last year...  plug-in and prepare for a fresh start and share your plan with CNN Newsroom.

November 28th, 2010
02:30 PM ET

Avoid the Debt Trap this Holiday

It's easy - too easy - to get caught up buying gifts during the holidays and end up overspending and piling up big debts, which can lead to depression and self-recrimination when the bills come due. Psychiatrist Mark Goulston discusses how trying to buy happiness can leave us more miserable. Dr. Goulston says some of the simplest ways to enjoy the holidays are also the cheapest. He is the author of "Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone." Read his entire blog at

Filed under: CNN Newsroom • What Matters
August 15th, 2010
01:30 PM ET
June 18th, 2010
12:25 PM ET

The Color of Beauty

'The Color of Beauty' is a documentary that looks at what many consider institutionalized racism in the fashion industry. Black models struggle to find work. The first African-American to grace the cover of Vogue magazine supermodel Beverly Johnson and model/actor Renauld White join Tony Harris to discuss the documentary. The definition of beauty and fashion is what we're talking about in our 'What Matters' segment.

June 14th, 2010
02:08 PM ET

Artists: Racism Behind Request to Change Children's Skin Color

From CNN Intern Rachel Gaynes:

The “Go On Green” mural outside the Miller Valley Elementary School in Prescott, Arizona, is at the center of a debate over racism. The artists defied demands to lighten the complexions of two minority children featured in their painting. Of the four children from the school featured in the mural, two are white.

CNN’s Don Lemon spoke with the artists, Pamela Smith and R.E. Wall, who said the demands were the result of racism. All of this as Arizona is in the national spotlight for its new immigration law, which critics call racial profiling.

The mural –- meant to promote environmentally sustainable transportation –- instead was attacked by City Councilman Steve Blair. On his radio show, Blair said, "Personally, I think it's pathetic. You have changed the ambience of that building to excite some kind of diversity power struggle that doesn't exist in Prescott, Arizona. And I'm ashamed of that."

One of the artists, Wall, said the mural depicts “real children that go to that school. … They have feelings; they have been affected by this.”

Watch CNN's Don Lemon interview with the two artists:

Filed under: CNN Newsroom • Don Lemon • What Matters
May 21st, 2010
07:50 AM ET

Teen fights mental illness stigma

Jordan Burnham is a suicide survivor living with depression.  Two years ago, he jumped from his 9th floor bedroom window and broke almost every bone in his body.  He is African-American and felt that being a minority he carried a burden to excel.  Now, he encourages students across the U.S. to speak up about depression and the pressures of being a teen. 

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Filed under: Anchors • CNN Newsroom • Tony Harris • What Matters
December 11th, 2009
11:47 AM ET

"Hope or Die": A Prince Among Men

Jonathon Prince lives a life larger than himself, chasing a dream to make the world a little better for the less fortunate - one running stride at a time. Right now he's running, in the dead of winter, to raise money for six nonprofits. CNN Producer Annika Young recently caught up with Prince as he ran across the freezing Texas plains. Watch his inspiring story below.

“Annika, remember when you told me to keep running because it’s my passion? Well, I’m running again.” I read that text message from Jonathon Prince and thought, “Wow! Really?”

I met Jonathon, a native of Las Vegas, during his Run for Relief campaign back in 2005. He raised $20,000 for victims of Hurricane Katrina. I was impressed then. [cnn-photo-caption image=]And now that he’s on his third cross-country trek, I’m more than impressed. I’m dumbfounded. No. 1, it’s winter. No. 2, it’s winter. And No. 3, it's winter! Not to mention his latest philanthropic effort is lacking major sponsorship and a proper road crew.

He travels with two people: Mike Hansen and Andrea Batel. Mike worked in television and Andrea worked for an accounting firm. Both quit their 9-5 gigs to go on the road with Jonathon, all three of them, blankets, clothes and shoes packed tight in a little Hyundai Sonata. They often share a motel room. Right before his run in Pecos, Jonathon slept in a chair.

Yes, I had some concerns. But if I know anything about Jonathon, he can’t be deterred. If he says he’s going to do it. He does it. And I wanted to be there to see him do it. Jonathon launched the “Hope or Die” campaign earlier this year. The thought behind the concept is a choice. Hope or Die. According to Jonathon, if you’re not hoping for something you might as well be dead.

This time he’s running for six non-profit organizations: Habitat for Humanity, The Girl Effect,, Bread for Life, RAM (Remote Area Medical) and Global Greens. Jonathon kicked off his run on October 15 on the Santa Monica Pier. He’s already been through California, Arizona and New Mexico. I caught up with him in Texas. After the Lone Star State, it’s off to Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia and he’ll finish March 27 in Washington. He hopes President Obama runs the last mile with him. So do I.
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To say that Jonathon’s grandfather, mother, and two older brothers are proud of him is an understatement. But his dad thought he’d gone mad. During one of his earlier runs, his dad found Jonathon mid-run and tried to make him come home. Jonathon refused. With two runs under his belt and a third underway, his father is now a believer. I am too.

During his run in Pecos, Texas, I promised Jonathon I’d run the last two miles with him. I ran, walked, jogged and sucked in a chest full of freezing cold air. I thought, “How does he do this every day? It’s literally a marathon a day!”
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He warned me being on the road is…being on the road. We’re talking cheap motels, not so great meals, and no bathrooms. I found out about the latter the hard way. Let’s just say I’m grateful for baby wipes and hand sanitizer. While we were on that last lap together he turned to me and said, “You OK, cheeks? You’re a real trooper.” I wanted to say, “No, you are” but couldn’t find my voice. The wind ate it. I started to slow up a bit and he turned again and said, “I’m not finishing this last lap without you.”

That was all the motivation I needed. Here’s a man, who never ran track a day in his life but has run across the country twice, a man who runs six days a week for other people, a man so focused, so driven, so determined. Before I knew it, we had crossed over our makeshift finish line.

I’m inspired and encouraged by Jonathon Prince. It’s not just the six nonprofit organizations that benefit from his passion, it’s people like you and me who see his drive and commitment and it motivates us to cross our own personal finish lines.

So, hope or die? Which do you choose? I choose hope.

[cnn-photo-caption image=][cnn-photo-caption image=]

–CNN Producer Annika Young

To learn more, to donate, and to support Prince's cross-country run, visit his site:

May 8th, 2009
11:46 PM ET

CNN & Essence: What Matters

Join us every Friday as we launch a new series in partnership with Essence Magazine, called “What Matters.” We hope to focus on African American issues that inspire a broader discussion and “matter” to everyone.

We kick it off this week at the White House, where not one, but two Moms are being honored this Mother’s Day: first lady Michelle Obama and her mom, Marian Robinson. Mother and daughter recently gave their first interview together to Essence Magazine’s Editor-In-Chief Angela Burt-Murray.

Angela joined Tony Harris on Friday to share her experience with the White House moms.