Friday, June 20, 2014

Photos of the Day: Andrew J. Young Foundation, Apollo Theater 80th Anniversary & More

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Billye Aaron, Hank Aaron, Ambassador Andrew Young and Carolyn Young
Photo Credit:  Willie Tucker

The Andrew J. Young Foundation celebrated the 82nd birthday of its founder and chair, Ambassador Andrew Young, with the second Pass on Blessings Awards ceremony held Sunday, May 18, 2014 at the Buckhead Theatre in Atlanta.  The Pass on Blessings Award was created to affirm the giving spirit and actions of accomplished people who have used the bounty of their blessing to make a difference in the lives of others.

Nearly 600 guests attended the ceremony that honored President Lyndon Baines Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson (posthumously), Henry “Hank” Aaron and Billye Suber Aaron, John C. Portman, Jr. and Jan Portman, and Herman J. Russell, Sr. and Sylvia E. Russell.  The awards ceremony was emceed by Atlanta personality Monica Pearson and actors Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe.  The event was co-chaired by Alexander B. Cummings, Jr., executive vice president and chief administrative officer, The Coca-Cola Company; Vicki R. Palmer, retired Coca-Cola executive and president of The Palmer Group; Nick C. Sellers, vice president of regulatory and corporate affairs, Alabama Power; and Carolyn McClain Young, vice chair of the Andrew J. Young Foundation and wife of Ambassador Young.  For more information on the Foundation, visit

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Ford Foundation President Darren Walker, BNY Mellon Chairman/CEO Gerald Hassel, Apollo Theater Foundation President Jonelle Procope, Apollo Theater Board Chairman Dick Parsons 
and Apollo Theater Board Vice Chairman Ronald Perelman backstage at the Apollo Spring Gala 2014. Photo Credit: Shahar Azran

On June 10, 2014, the Apollo Theater held its annual Spring Gala in Harlem, NY that was transformed into an epic birthday celebration in honor of the storied theater’s 80th anniversary.  Departing from its tradition of inducting legends into the Apollo Hall of Fame, this year’s Gala celebrated eight decades of artistic brilliance that have been presented on the Apollo stage since 1934.  The evening included special tribute performances by the music industry’s biggest artists, some of whom call the Apollo their musical home, including Gladys Knight, Natalie Cole, The Isley Brothers (2014 Apollo Walk of Fame honorees), and more.  Emmy Award-winning and Grammy nominated entertainer Wayne Brady served as the evening’s host.

The Gala’s honorees were Richard D. Parsons, presented with the Leadership Award in honor of his many years of leadership and service as chairman of the board for the Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc. and BNY Mellon, presented with the Corporate Award.  This year’s event raised a record breaking $2.3 million, which will support the Apollo’s year-round performing arts programming, innovative education initiatives, and community programs.

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Ford Motor Company continued its commitment to community by serving as the automotive exclusive sponsor for the 2014 Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend for Young Men for the fifth year in a row. Held in Dallas, Texas, the interactive weekend consisted of workshops and team building activities led by business, entertainment and military leaders.

Among the mentors was Burt Jordan, Ford’s Vice President of Global Vehicle and Powertrain Purchasing & Supplier Diversity, who spoke with the young men in a networking roundtable discussion on June 13, 2014.  The young men also competed in the “Ford Go Further Challenge” that fostered creativity by having groups create commercials for select Ford vehicles.

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Students from Richard Wright Public Charter School for Journalism and Media Arts (RWPCS) in Washington, DC walk the red carpet at the school’s annual Black Tie Gala, held at the Newseum on June 14, 2014.  The fundraiser included a reception and live performances by hip hop icon and pioneer Doug E. Fresh, and local all female band Be’la Dona.

RWPCS is the only DC public charter high school with a focus on journalism and media arts, and was the only school in the nation invited to the White House for the first-ever “Careers in Film Symposium” hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama last November.  Proceeds from the gala event benefited the school’s journalism and media arts curriculum.

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Hip Hop 4 Life Founder Tamekia Flowers (center) with honorees Monique Hunt, Ursula Stephen, 
Charlene Mitchell, Chanei Anderson, Kheperah Kearse and Ianna Small

Celebrity hairstylist Ursula Stephen was among the women honored at Hip Hop 4 Life’s annual Shades of Beauty Women of Inspiration Brunch & Awards Ceremony on June 14, 2014 in New York City.  The event recognized phenomenal women and girls who positively impact their community, personify self-esteem and self-respect, and continue to be an inspiration to girls everywhere.  This year’s event was sponsored by Pantene Pro-V, Shea Moisture, Oyin Handmade and Sassaries.

Founded in 2003 by Tamekia Flowers, Hip Hop 4 Life provides year-round programs that aid in developing and fostering educational values, life skills, leadership, strength, self-esteem, goal-setting skills and most importantly, confidence in one’s capabilities.  Hip Hop 4 Life has had the honor of working with Gabrielle Union, Chrisette Michele, NBA All-Star Dwyane Wade and his Wade’s World Foundation, NBA Legend Alonzo Mourning, and Black Entertainment Television/Rap-It-Up. To learn more visit:

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