1. Tatyana Ali- 2011 Young, Gifted & Black Award
Tatyana Ali is best known for her acting and singing abilities but she is much more than just a Hollywood star. She received her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in African-American studies and government and was a spokesperson for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, heading voter registration on colleges. Tatyana was 2011’s Young, Gifted & Black Award recipient.
2. Ruby Dee- 2010 Living Legend Award
Actress, journalist and activist, Ruby Dee, won the first Living Legend award in 2010. Her lengthy career has earned her Grammy, Emmy, Obie, Drama Desk, Screen Actors Guild Award, and Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Awards. Aside from her career in Hollywood, Ruby Dee and her late husband were heavily involved in the Civil Rights Movement and were close friends with Martin Luther King Jr. & Malcolm X.
3. Imani Walker and Malika Saada Saar– 2011 Trailblazer Awards
Imani Walker and Malika Saada Saar were recognized with the Trailblazer Award in 2011. As co-founders of the Rebecca Project for Human Rights, these ladies were honored for their efforts on behalf of women worldwide and for paving the way to advance the rights of vulnerable women in the US and in Africa through their organization.
4. Laurel Richie- 2011 Shot Caller Award
As the current president of the Women’s National Basketball Association, Laurel J. Richie received the 2011 Shot Caller Award. As an advocate for talented young women, Richie previously served as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Girl Scouts of the USA.
5. Taraji P. Henson- 2011 Star Power Award
As an actress and singer, Taraji P. Henson is best known for her role as Yvette in “Baby Boy” and Queenie in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” in which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Taraji received the Star Power Award in 2011.
She’s recently joined PETA for the 2013 campaign “Be an Angel for Animals”, prompting people to keep their animals warm and indoors.
6. Angela Davis- 2011 Icon Award
Activist, scholar, and author, Angela Davis, was 2011’s Icon Award recipient. She had close relations to the Black Panther Party during the Civil Rights Movement and is also the founder of Critical Resistance where she works to end the prison-industrial complex, a retired professor and a Feminist Studies director at University of California, Santa Cruz.
7. Kerry Washington- 2012 Star Power Award
Kerry Washington was last year’s Star Power Award recipient and as the lead actress in ABC’s highly rated and most Tweeted about series, “Scandal”, it’s obvious why she rocks! When she’s not acting, she’s often called a political activist. She spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention and is an avid supporter of President Obama. She’s also spent time volunteering through the Adopt-a-Classroom program.
8. Dionne Warwick- 2012 Living Legend Award
It’s quite obvious why Dionne Warwick received the Living Legend award at last year’s show. Not only is she amongst the 40 biggest hit makers of the entire rock era, but she’s also a humanitarian and participated heavily in AIDS research and was appointed a United Nations Global Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization by President Ronald Regan.
9. Marian Wright Edelman- 2013 Social Humanitarian
This year’s Social Humanitarian award will be received by none other than Marian Wright Edelman. At 74 years old, Marian Wright Edelman has seen it all. She was involved in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and is now an activist for children’s rights as well as the president and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, a voice for poor, minority and disabled children.
10. Mara Brock Akil- 2013 Shot Caller Award
Mara Brock Akil will be receiving this year’s Shot Caller Award for her successful career as a television writer and producer. As the producer of many of our favorite television shows including “Girlfriends”, “Moesha”, “The Game” and most recently, “Being Mary Jane”, Mara Brock Akil is without a doubt a black girl that rocks!
11. Misty Copeland- 2013 Young, Gifted & Black Award
Ground-breaking ballet dancer, Misty Copeland, is this year’s Young, Gifted & Black Award recipient and for good reason, too. At only 31 years old, she’s often referred to as the first black female soloist for the American Ballet Theater and a living inspiration to young ballerinas of color, everywhere!
12. Patti LaBelle- 2013 Living Legend Award
For almost 50 years, Patti LaBelle has been blessing us with her powerful vocals and star power! She’s a living legend and will be honored for her legendary status at this year’s BLACK GIRLS ROCK!
13. Venus Williams- 2013 Star Power Award
Venus Williams definitely has star power which is why she’s receiving the Star Power Awards at this year’s BLACK GIRLS ROCK! event. She’s a four-time Olympic gold medalist and a top ranked tennis star who’s been recognized as one of the greatest tennis players and athletes of all time!
14. Queen Latifah- 2013 Rock Star Award
Queen Latifah will be honored with the Rock Star Award at this year’s BLACK GIRLS ROCK! ceremony and it’s quite obvious why she’s considered a rock star! She’s responsible for delivering some of the most thought provoking and women empowering lyrics in hip-hop and for successfully crossing over to Hollywood, earning the title of a successful actress and television host! Queen Latifah is a true black girl who rocks!
15. Missy Elliott- 2010 Visionary Award
Known for her series of number one hits, Missy Elliott was the Visionary Award recipient in 2010. The rapper, singer, record producer and dancer is a five-time Grammy Award-winner and is the only female rapper to have six albums certified platinum by the RIAA.
16. Keke Palmer- 2010 Who Got Next?
Back in 2010, singer and actress Keke Palmer was on the brink of a successful career in Hollywood and was the obvious choice for the Who Got Next? award. Her roles on television made her the fourth highest-paid child star on the small screen. Keke is also involved in her community and works with the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs, speaking to children about the importance of learning.
17. Raven-Symone- 2010 Young, Gifted & Black Award
Raven-Symone received the Young, Gifted & Black Award in 2010 for her early work as an actress and singer. She’s an inspiration to young girls of color who aspire to reach their dreams, not only in acting or singing but in any facet of life!