By Yussuf J. Simmonds
Sentinel Assistant Managing Editor
Known to the world as Ashford and Simpson, Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson, who have enjoyed tremendous success as writers, producers and recording artists, will add another notch to their superstar resume when they perform at the Brotherhood Crusade’s 2007 Walter Bremond Pioneer of African American Achievement Award on November 2, 2007, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. This year’s award will be presented to Cathy Hughes, founder and chairwoman of Radio TV One, and the first lady of communications. She is the first African American woman to head a publicly traded company in the United States that owns over 65 radio stations across the country.
The husband-and-wife song writing team has been making beautiful music for themselves and others for more than four decades. They’re inexhaustible list of mega hits include “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, “You’re All I Need To Get By”, “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand”, “I’m Every Woman”, “Solid” and hundreds more. They have performed before sold out audiences all over the world and have managed to remain a step ahead of trends in Pop, R&B and Dance music. “We are delighted to have them as this year’s special entertainment. I know that Ashford and Simpson will have everyone standing on their feet,” said Brotherhood Crusade president and CEO, Charisse Bremond Weaver.
The night is expected to be filled with wonderful music and songs, and the outpouring of special accolades to the remarkable Ms. Cathy Hughes. Bremond Weaver added, “Corporate partnership is a critical aspect of Brotherhood Crusade’s expanded reach in the community. Our alliances with Platinum level sponsor, Washington Mutual; and Diamond level sponsors, NBC 4, Northern Trust Northrop Grumman, Verizon, Microsoft, Bank of America and the Gas Company enable us to continue the vital work of helping people help themselves” concluded Bremond Weaver.
The Brotherhood Crusade’s past honorees have included the best of the best, a veritable lineup of who’s who in Black America including Rev. Jesse Jackson, president of Rainbow/PUSH and two-time presidential contender; Quincy Jones, music impresario; Spike Lee, film-maker extraordinaire; Congress-woman Maxine Waters; Berry Gordy, founder and former chairman of Motown; Willie Brown, former Assembly speaker and mayor of San Francisco; Tavis Smiley, radio and television host; Earvin “Magic” Johnson, basketball great and super businessman; Stevie Wonder, the music genius; the late Attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr.; Muhammad Ali, the “Greatest” heavyweight boxing champion; Clarence Avant, the “Godfather,” Rosa Parks, Mother of the Civil Rights Movement and the Brotherhood Crusade’s “own” institution builder, Danny J. Bakewell, Sr.
The Brotherhood Crusade is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit institution founded in 1968 to provide necessary resources, program services and a voice of advocacy to traditionally underserved communities. Our mission is to remove and/or help individuals overcome the barriers that deter their pursuit of success and facilitate opportunities for a better quality of life, by promoting health and wellness, enhancing educational opportunities, cultivating economic growth and building community agencies and institutions.
The annual dinner is one of the invaluable fund-raising tools the Brotherhood Crusade uses to insure vital and continuous funding for programs and services to under-served communities in the Southern California area. For the past 39 years, the Brotherhood Crusade has funded and provided technical support to more than 1000 projects, agencies and organizations including Challengers’ Boys & Girls Club, Jenesse Center, Bridgeback, the Shelter for Battered Women, Mothers in Action, Chinatown Senior Citizens’ Center, Sabriya’s Castle of Fun, Marcus Garvey School and the African American Unity Center.
This gala affair is one of the most highly anticipated events in the Los Angeles community and it attracts the stars, in all their splendor, elected and public officials, professionals, business-people, clergy and community folks.
The Brotherhood Crusade is the largest and most successful Black philanthropic institution in the nation. The Pioneer Achievement Award is named after the late founder, Walter Bremond, who was the father of Bremond Weaver, the first African American woman to lead the Brotherhood Crusade. Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. has assumed the role of chairman of the board of trustees.
The Brotherhood Crusade accepts tax-deductible gifts and contributions at the following addresses: Brotherhood Crusade, 200 E. Slauson Avenue, Los Angeles, Ca 90011 or visit the website: www.brotherhoodcrusade.org.