Noel Massie (courtesy Image)

The Los Angeles Urban League is set to host its 49th Whitney M. Young, Jr. Awards Gala on Thursday, May 30, at the Fairmont Century Plaza, located at 2025 Avenue of the Stars in Los Angeles. The red-carpet arrivals begin at 5:30 p.m. and the awards celebration begins at 6:30 p.m.

The honorees include Noel Massie, chairman emeritus of the Los Angeles Urban League, who will receive the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award.  Robert Simonds, founder and chairman of STX Entertainment, and Anne Biondi Simonds, founder and CEO of Muse Systems Enterprises, will be the recipients of the John Mack Legacy Award.

Sandra Jackson-Dumont, director and CEO of Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, will be awarded the Trailblazer Award; and Ron Frierson, Amazon’s director of Economic Development of the Western U.S., will receive the Visionary Award.  David A. Thomas, PhD., president of Morehouse College, is the keynote speaker.

“We are thrilled to be celebrating the contribution of our honorees. Not only are they some of the best individuals who contribute immensely to our community, but their largess help empower the Los Angeles Urban League,” said Cynthia Mitchell-Heard, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League.

“We are grateful for the support that our sponsors continue to provide us to uplift Los Angeles County’s underserved community,” added Mitchell-Heard, who made history earlier this year by becoming the first woman president and CEO in nearly a century to lead the iconic civil rights organization.

Robert Simonds and Anne Bioni Simonds (Courtesy photo)

The Whitney M. Young, Jr., Awards Dinner, which raises funds for the Los Angeles Urban League and its community outreach programs, is considered one of the “must attend” annual events in Los Angeles. Past honorees include sports legends such as the late John Wooden and Earvin “Magic” Johnson, as well as entertainers such as Denzel Washington, the late Natalie Cole and Sidney Poitier, and  the legendary Stevie Wonder.

Ron Frierson (Courtesy photo)


Also honored in the past were businessman and media mogul Byron Allen, political commentator and author Van Jones, educator, historian and the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute Lonnie G. Bunch III, and community leaders from organizations such as Toyota, Disney, NBC Universal, Los Angeles Police Department, and Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

The 2024 gala ambassadors include Kathy Ireland, Jason Collins, Mattie McFadden Lawson, and Paula Madison.  The honorary committee includes Liza Minnelli, John Feltheimer, Irena and Mike Medavoy, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Carol Biondi, Lesie and Cliff Gilbert-Lurie, Tom Rothman, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., Michael Feinstein and Terrence Flannery, and many more.

Sandra Jackson-Dumont (Courtesy photo)


Sponsors include U.S. Bank, Amazon, American Airlines, Intuit, AT&T, Bank of America, UPS, The Annenberg Foundation, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, Honda, Lionsgate, NBC Universal, Ziffren Brittenham LLP, Los Angeles World Airports, California Community Foundation, Amgen, Cedar Sinai Medical Center, City National Bank, J.P. Morgan Chase, SoCal Gas, Health Net, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Los Angeles Rams, Macy’s, TPG Capital, Southern California Edison, Unibail | Rodamco | Westfield and many more.


Cynthia Mitchell Heard (Courtesy photo)

For Whitney M. Young, Jr. Awards Dinner sponsorship and ticket information, visit