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Merge Awards Hosts Star-Studded Ceremony Saluting Black Excellence
By Sentinel News Service
Published November 17, 2022

Suzanne de Passe (Rickey Brown/L.A. Sentinel)

Adam and Kaisha Blackstone (Rickey Brown/L.A. Sentinel)

The Merge Awards, embodiment of Black excellence, returned for its 13th year to honor industry icons in a star-studded ceremony. The highly anticipated event took place on November 5, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.  

Among Hollywood’s entertainers and professionals honored included Suzanne de Passe, PJ Morton, Charles D. King and Stacey Walker King, Israel Houghton, Romeo Miller, Adam Blackstone, James Dubose, Morgan DeBaun and Angelica Nwandu, and Stephanie Ike. 

Israel Houghton (Rickey Brown/L.A. Sentinel)

Angelica Nwandu, Stephanie Ike and Fatima. (Rickey Brown/L.A. Sentinel)]

“Fifteen years ago, we started the Merge Summit, to provide an opportunity for men and women of faith to learn from the entertainment industry’s top artists and executives as an effort to empower their dreams forward,” said Dr. Holly Carter, founder.  

“Our goal with the Merge Awards was to create a dynamic experience to celebrate and honor those who are making an impact in bridging the worlds of faith and entertainment – and today we have done just that. I am grateful to everyone who helped us create a memorable celebration to honor these amazing leaders, visionaries and pioneers.” 

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The event, which was produced by Wright Productions, garnered attendance from Michael Ealy, Essence Atkins, AJ Johnson, Pastor Toure Roberts, Shelea Alex Isley, Devika Parikh, Golden Brooks and more. Nine individuals were recognized for their accomplishments over the past year in the fields of film, music, tech, social influence, legacy and more. 

Morgan DeBaun (Rickey Brown/L.A. Sentinel)

Michael Ealy (Rickey Brown/L.A. Sentinel)

The honorees were Suzanne de Passe, Legacy Lifetime Achievement Award; PJ Morton, Artist of The Year Award; Charles D. King and Stacey Walker King, Trailblazer Award, Israel Houghton, 

Faith Music Award; Romeo Miller, Merger Award; Adam Blackstone, Musical Director of the Year Award; James DuBose, R.O.S.E. Award; Morgan DeBaun, Digital Tech Award; and Angelica Nwandu and Stephanie Ike, Disrupter Award. 

Pastor Toure Roberts (Rickey Brown/L.A. Sentinel)

Driven by a mission to celebrate, honor and bring together leaders in entertainment, arts and faith together; The Merge Awards is the key annual signature event of the bi-annual Merge Summit. 

Over the years, the Merge Awards has successfully gathered attendance from notable participants including; award-winning talent Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Marla Gibbs, Mary Mary, Laurence Fishburne, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Regina King along with noted industry executives DeVon Franklin, Ava DuVernay, Will Packer and Kenya Barris, among many others. 

Event sponsors included ATT’s Dream in Black and United Airlines, who sponsored two roundtrip tickets for the Freedom of Spirit giveaway. 

To learn more, visit mergesummit.com/experience 

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