Mayor Karen Bass (Courtesy photo)

Newly elected Mayor Karen Bass will deliver the keynote address at the 29th Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce Economic Awards Dinner. The event recognizes individuals, small businesses and corporations who have contributed to the economic growth and development of the African American small business community.

The GLAAACC Economic Awards Dinner will be held on Thursday, March 30, at the JW Marriott LA Live, 900 West Olympic Boulevard in downtown Los Angeles. The VIP reception beginning at 5:30 p.m.

For nearly three decades, GLAAACC’s Annual Economic Awards Dinner has been the premiere event of the African American business community. The awards dinner has honored top corporate leaders such as L.A. Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins and L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, as well as political leaders at the local, state and federal level.

“During Women’s History Month, we are honored to have as our keynote speaker, a woman who has not only made history in Los Angeles, but in the nation,” GLAAACC Chairman Gene Hale said. “Mayor Bass is a groundbreaker in so many ways. I invite business owners, community leaders and corporate executives to attend GLAAACC’s Economic Awards Dinner to hear her message.”

Karen Bass grew up in the Venice-Fairfax area of LA. In the 1990s, she helped gather a group of African-American and Latino community organizers to found Community Coalition – CoCo – in an effort to improve social and economic conditions in South Los Angeles neighborhoods.

Bass served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2011 to 2022, representing California’s 33rd congressional district from 2011 to 2013 and California’s 37th congressional district from 2013 to 2022. She also served in the California State Assembly from 2004 to 2010 and spent her final term serving as speaker. Bass became the 43rd mayor of the City of Los Angeles on December 11, 2022. She was the first woman and the second African American to be elected as the city chief executive.

On her first day in office, she declared a state of emergency on homelessness. Her pledge is to get 17,000 people off the streets during her first year in office.

“My top priority as Mayor of Los Angeles is to get Angelenos housed and to make our city safer and more affordable for all,” Bass said.

As keynote speaker at GLAAACC’s Economic Awards Dinner, Bass joins an illustrious list of Who’s Who in appointed and elected officials and corporate executives. Past keynote speakers have included Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, Los Angeles County Supervisor (1998); California Governor Gray Davis (2001); Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (2008), Earvin “Magic” Johnson, chairman & CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises (2009); U.S. Small Business Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet (2011); U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis (2012); U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale (2013), and Steve Ballmer, owner of the LA Clippers (2017).

Radio Free 102.3 FM KJLH’s early morning on-air personality Adai Lamar will be the Mistress of Ceremonies. Lamar is a broadcast journalist and the local producer-host of the nationally syndicated Steve Harvey Morning Show. She has been the morning voice of KJLH since 2005 and became the first African American woman to lead a morning show in Los Angeles. Prior to working at KJLH, Lamar worked in the legal department for Tracy and Kenny “Babyface” Edmunds’ business.


Mistress and masters of ceremonies provide the levity, continuity and grace that keeps GLAAACC’s Economic Awards Dinner a premiere event. The late Johnnie Cochran, the legendary defense attorney for Michael Jackson and O.J. Simpson, was the first master of ceremonies. Actresses Dawn Lewis (“A Different World,” “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper”), Vivica A. Fox (“Independence Day,” “Soul Food,” “Set it off”), Terri J. Vaughn (“Steve Harvey Show,” “All of Us”), actor and comedian Flex Alexander (“Uptown Comedy Club,” “Girlfriends”), KABC7 Anchor Mark Brown and Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson are a few of the personalities that have kept the audience entertained and engaged over the years.

For tickets or sponsorship information on GLAAACC’s 29th Annual Economic Awards Dinner, visit or call (323) 292-1297.