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SCLC to host MLK Awards & Benefit Gala
By Amen Oyiboke, Staff Writer
Published January 14, 2016
2Jesse Williams, actor/activist 2016 Drum Major for Justice Award Recipient; Activists Robert Singleton 2015 Rosa Parks Humanitarian Award Recipient and Rev. K. W. Tuloss, 2015 Rev. Dr. Thomas Kilgore, Jr. Prophetic Witness Award Recipient Courtesy Photo

 Jesse Williams, actor/activist 2016 Drum Major for Justice Award Recipient; Activists Robert Singleton 2015 Rosa Parks Humanitarian Award Recipient and Rev. K. W. Tuloss, 2015 Rev. Dr. Thomas Kilgore, Jr. Prophetic Witness Award Recipient Courtesy Photo

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) of Southern California will honor four distinguished individuals at its Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Awards & Benefit Gala on Jan. 18 at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Los Angeles.

President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) Cheryl Boone Isaacs, President of Sony Studios and Pastor DeVon Franklin, Director of External Affairs Ken Maxey and President of Brotherhood Crusade Charisse Bremond Weaver were picked by SCLC officials for their outstanding work.

“This year’s King Legacy Awards recipients reflect excellence in promoting equality and justice in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said Matthew M. Johnson President of the L.A. Police Commission in the SCLC press release. Johnson is also an honorary chairperson for the benefit gala.

“I’m excited to be a part of such a prestigious event that supports the mission of continuing to uphold and expand Dr. King’s dream,” he said.

1Jesse Williams, actor/activist 2016 Drum Major for Justice Award Recipient; Alice Goff, Chairman SCLC-SC/President AFSCME 3090; Grammy-nominated singer, Antonique Smith; Pastor William D. Smart President & CEO, SCLC-SC Courtesy Photo

Jesse Williams, actor/activist 2016 Drum Major for Justice Award Recipient; Alice Goff, Chairman SCLC-SC/President AFSCME 3090; Grammy-nominated singer, Antonique Smith; Pastor William D. Smart President & CEO, SCLC-SC Courtesy Photo

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. established the SCLC in 1964 in Los Angeles with civil rights icon and USC stalwart Dr. Thomas Kilgore Jr., as well as Douglas Dollarhide. The organization was founded to provide special civil and human rights commemorative programs to help the African American community.

“We are attempting to involve more programs and people from a cross section of the community, because that is how Dr. King lived,” said Pastor William D. Smart Jr., President/CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Southern California. “As we rebuild the movement it takes all of us participating and working together.”

SCLC strives to stay engaged with the current issues that affect the community economically and socially, but its efforts are not limited to voter empowerment, employment help, and labor organizational programs.

“One of the things we want people to know is that we can have peace and grow with a purpose. That’s the way Dr. king did his works,” said Smart.

That is why SCLC picked the four individuals being honored this year, according to Smart.

Maya Holland, the Youth Speech Contest Winner and Rev. Lawson Courtesy Photo

Maya Holland, the Youth Speech Contest Winner and Rev. Lawson Courtesy Photo

“They all are doing different and outstanding things. Ms. Boone Isaacs is a pioneer. She is bringing creative change to the Oscars. Ms. Weaver has been on the front line for so long with the work that she does with kids. Mr. Maxey has had a long career of bringing access and revenue to the African American community. And Pastor Franklin, he is doing so many things as a pastor and president of a major company. It’s like his way of working in the new tradition ministry,” he said.

“Code Black” actor William Allen Young will host the “Bending the Arc & Breaking Barriers” themed gala.

Leading up to the gala SCLC will host a week full of events to recognize the legacy of Dr. King. The King Legacy Week Festival culminates on the King Holiday, Monday, Jan. 18 with the Kingdom Day Parade.

The SCLC will be a parade partner alongside the Congress of Racial Equality, California.

“It’s important that we keep Dr. King’s legacy well sounded. It’s important for people to see how hard people work in the community. Many of these people have done pivotal things to help keep his legacy alive,” said Smart.

For more information on SCLC-SC gala visit their website www.sclc-sc.org.

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