On Saturday, October 17, 2009 the stars aligned at the illustrious Times Center in the heart of New York City for the 4th Annual 2009 BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Awards co-hosted by esteemed actresses Regina King and Tracee Ellis Ross. Tapping into her list of diverse philanthropic friends Black Girls Rock! Inc. founder Beverly Bond gathered a stellar and diverse array of presenters and supporters included noted entertainment attorney Londell McMillan, public relations maven and author Terrie Williams, philanthropist Jessica Seinfeld, Essence magazine’s Emil Wilbekin, Hip Hop Icon Doug E. Fresh, celebrity stylist and author June Ambrose, actor Columbus Short, Phil Collen-lead guitarist of the legendary English rock band Def Leppard, Black Enterprise television host and journalist Ed Gordon, Fox News correspondent Lisa Evers, BET News correspondent Jacque Reid, NYC mayoral candidate Bill Thompson, world-renowned fashion designer Catherine Malandrino, music mogul Andre Harrell, DJ Jazzy Joyce, Bethann Hardison and many others. Head HERE for awesome video coverage of the awards done by VH1.
The evening kicked off with a VIP cocktail reception and silent auction featuring many items donated by the night’s honorees, presenters and supporters. New York City’s Mayor Mike Bloomberg opened the awards show via a personal letter expressing a warm welcome, sincere congratulations, and a heartfelt thank you to BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Inc. founder Beverly Bond. Mayor Bloomberg recognized and exalted Ms. Bond’s efforts in helping to empower young girls of color and for helping to build “a brighter city.”
The effortless chemistry between entertaining hosts Regina King and Tracee Ellis Ross resonated throughout the event. Their serious voices of reason pertaining to the importance of the evening and their impromptu comedy sketches molded seamlessly together, creating an atmosphere that buzzed with excitement. The night was truly ablaze as inspired honorees and presenters delved deep within themselves and gave personal testimonials from their own lives to coincide with the night’s festivities.
For the past four years the BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Awards show has served as the premiere fundraising event for BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Inc., a non-profit, youth-empowerment mentoring organization founded by celebrity DJ Beverly Bond. All of the proceeds will go towards operational funding for BLACK GIRLS ROCK! programs. The BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Awards honors the influential achievements of exceptional women of color in fashion, media, business, the arts and entertainment, and public service.
Universal support for the organization was personified as Phil Collen of Def Leppard and hip hop icon Doug E. Fresh presented the Black Girls Rock! ‘Rock Star’ Award to Queen Latifah. Following a crowd-shaking, musical ode to hip hop icons intro by Doug E. Fresh, an overwhelmed Queen Latifah entered the stage to a standing ovation. The Queen delivered a rousing, emotionally charged acceptance speech in which she reminisced about her childhood years, which ultimately influenced her direction as she morphed into hip hop royalty. She placed special emphasis on the importance of the exceptional and unique programming offered by BLACK GIRLS ROCK!, Inc. Queen Latifah asked for more awareness, sympathy, and prohibitive action towards victims of sexual abuse. Uplifted, she then passionately matched an earlier donation of $25,000 made to the organization.
A silent auction also took place, with the following items up for grabs: a Catherine Malandrino mosaic necklace and bracelet set, a Tracy Reese sequin chemise dress, and a Gucci patent leather clutch amongst other items. A Gibson guitar will also be auctioned online later this month, which was signed by many of the celebs that attended, incl. Phil Collen, Mary J. Blige, Raven Symone, Anthony Hamilton, Queen Latifah, Tracee Ellis Ross, Regina King , Janelle Monae and many others.
- Dr. Mehret Mandefro: the Black Girls Rock! “Community Service” Award
- Naomi Campbell: the Black Girls Rock! “Fashionista” Award
- Janelle Monáe: the Black Girls Rock! “Who Got Next” Award
- Spinderella: the Black Girls Rock! “Jazzy Joyce DJ” Award
- Raven-Symoné: the Black Girls Rock! “Young, Gifted and Black” Award
- Anthony Hamilton: the Black Girls Rock! “Soul Brother #1″ Award
- Dr. Sonia Sanchez: the Black Girls Rock! “Living Legend” Award
- Iyanla Vanzant: the Black Girls Rock! “Shot Caller” Award
- Queen Latifah: the Black Girls Rock! “Rock Star” Award
- Mary J. Blige: the Black Girls Rock! “Icon” Award
“BLACK GIRLS ROCK! is undergoing a strategic shift towards national expansion, answering the call of service made by President Barack Obama through mentoring, educating, and empowering young girls.”- Founder Beverly Bond
Additional information on the annual gala and BLACK GIRLS ROCK! can be found at http://www.blackgirlsrockinc.com/Officials.
Miatta@mvdinc.usoffice : 212.244.5436 fax:212.244.5439