Saturday, September 23, 2017
Young Professionals Soar ‘To the Nines’
By Troy TieuelSentinel Contributing Writer
Published May 3, 2013

The Divine Nine Honorees- from left to right Starlett Quarles of Urban X Marketing, Jameeka Green Aaron of the Urban League Young Professionals, Larenz Tate of the BLOOM initiative, Breanna Morrison of Community Health Councils, Andre Johnson of Magic Johnson Enterprises, Camille Townsend of the Los Angeles County Office of the County Counsel Labor and Employment Division, Michelle Merriweather of Starbuck’s Coffee Company, Malcolm Darrell of the Ebony Repertory Theater and Joshua Fredenburg ofthe Circle of Change Leadership Conference (photo: Troy Tieuel)

Larenz Tate (photo: Troy Tieuel

Tate, among others, Speaks at Young Professionals event

The Third Annual To the Nines After-party

 On April 26, the Third Annual To the Nines after party, hosted by the LA Urban League Young Professionals, soared into the night with drinks, smiles and positive messages from all of the ‘2013 Devine 9’ honorees.  The ‘Devine 9’ were nominated for exceptional work ethics, leadership, charitable and civic contribution to the Los Angeles community.


Dressed in semi-formal attire, attendees, some of whom were arriving after the Urban League’s 40th Annual Whitney Young Awards Dinner, converged on the Beverly Hilton Ballroom where they socialized, mingled and listened to the nominees give inspirational antidotes.

Emceeing the event was USC Professor and National Poetry Slam Champion Dr. Javon Johnson.  Music was provided by 93.5 K-DAY’s own DJ Dense, who spun a blend of classic rhythm and blues plus a current mix of hip hop tracks that had the dance floor packed. 

Among the honorees was ‘Devine 9’ Celebrity honoree, Lorenz Tate, spokesperson for the B.L.O.O.M. Initiative (Building a Lifetime Of Opportunities for Men), and is an actor best known for his stand out rolls in ‘Love Jones’ and ‘Menace to Society.’  Tate, who attended the Young Professionals event with his father, stated “I want to salute you all [Urban League’s Young Professionals], for all the work that you’re doing in the communities, not only here in Los Angeles, but throughout the country, all the things that you are doing to empower our youth, and all the things that you are doing to change those lives.”

Also receiving an honoree award was the son of Erving ‘Magic’ Johnson and Executive Vice President of Magic Johnson Enterprises, Andre Johnson.  “It’s an honor to receive this award from this organization,” said Johnson, “We [Magic Johnson Enterprises] definitely try to give back to the community in all that we do and definitely empower them with the best of entertainment products and services.  We are really proud of the fact that we put over twenty-eight thousand people in the community to work through the lifetime of our organization.” 

Honoree Joshua Fredenburg, a national speaker, author and relationship expert, explained what the award meant to him with, “This award represents us, as leaders, going out and making a difference in our community, our nation, in our world.” Fredenburg ended with, “and whatever you do, continue to do your part in making an impact in your community, in your nation and your world.”

“I just want to thank the Urban League Young Professionals for recognizing me and the work that I’m doing,” said Honoree Breanna Morrison, a South Los Angeles Stakeholder and Health Policy Analyst for Community Health Councils, “not because of my own personal satisfaction, but because of the fact that it really does give an opportunity to shed light on the work that we all are doing as a community to help uplift each other and to help uplift our village and out community.”

“Three years ago, when we [Urban League Young Professionals] created this award,” said Western Region Vice President for the National Urban League Young Professionals and Honoree Jameeka Green Aaron, “We created it for those people you saw before me, those people that are doing wonderful things in the community.”

Also receiving Honoree Awards were Malcolm Darrell, the founding General manager of the Ebony Repertory Theater, and Michelle Merriweather, Business Development Manager with Starbucks Coffee Company.

According to the Los Angeles Urban League’s website, the Los Angeles Urban League Young Professionals is an auxiliary group of the Los Angeles Urban League and is made up of African-American professionals ages 21-40, committed to corporate, social and community activism and improving L.A.’s African-American business climate through networking and business development. 

For more information on the Young Professionals, go to


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