The Black Stars News 2015 Annual Awards Dinner will honor Mayor David Dinkins, Rep. Charles Rangel, Rep. Yvette Clarke, R. Donahue Peebles, Barbara Arnwine, Inez Barron, Sabrina Lamb, Dr. Rudy Crew, Stephen Byrd, Alia Jones, and the Central Park Five survivors of gross injustice on December 18 from 6:00pm – 10:00pm at MIST Harlem, 46 West 116th Street.
Each honoree chosen for recognition has demonstrated exceptional leadership and vision in her or his respective profession or endeavor and in some significant measure has contributed towards creating a more just society in this country,” says Black Star News founder and publisher Milton Allimadi. “Obviously much work needs to be done here and around the world.”
The gala starts at 6:00pm with a cocktail hour to be followed by the dinner and awards ceremonies. There will be musical entertainment by opera singer Cassandra Douglas and from harmonica phenomenon William Galison. David Dinkins is honored for Lifetime Achievement — he was New York City’s first African American mayor and also welcomed Nelson Mandela to the city after his release in 1990.
- Rep. Charles Rangel, also honored for Lifetime Achievement, has served in Congress since 1971. He is a recipient of The Bronze medal for helping save soldiers behind enemy line during the Korean War.
- Rep. Yvette Clarke is a Democratic member of the US House of Representatives from New York whose 9th district covers much of central Brooklyn. Before entering Congress in 2007, she was a member of the New York City Council, representing the 40th council district in Brooklyn, succeeding her mother, Una S. T. Clarke. In the current 114th Congress Clarke serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee, responsible for consumer protection, food safety, energy development, public health, communications, the environment, and interstate and international commerce.
- R. Donahue Peebles, honoree, is a leading developer and founder of The Peebles Co., the nation’s largest African American-owned real estate firm with $3.5 billion worth of properties under development or management–he was one of the pioneering developerswho helped turn around and revitalize the once-blighted Anacostia neighborhood in Washington, D.C. A champion of African-American economic empowerment Peebles’ is contemplating a possible run for NYC mayor in 2017.
- Honoree Barbara Arnwine, civil rights lawyer, is a champion of protecting voting rights of ethnic minority groups –the emerging majority. She now leads The Transformative Justice Coalition. Arnwine was for 26 years executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law.
- Inez Barron, honoree, formerly a State Assemblymember, is now a New York City council member and a champion of education for our youth.
- Honoree Imhotep Gary Byrd is a legendary radio talk show host and executive producer, radio DJ, poet, songwriter, music recording artist and producer, rapper, writer and community activist. He began his career as a radio DJ in Buffalo at age 15. For over 30 years, he’s been a talk show host at WBLS and WLIB radio in New York City.
- Honoree Sabrina Lamb, founder of World of Money, is a champion of financial literacy for youth– she teaches knowledge about handling money, budgeting and planning.
- Dr. Rudy Crew, honoree, is one of the nation’s leading educators. He’s president of Medgar Evers College of The City University of New York and a former chancellor of the New York public schools system.
- Pioneering producers Stephen Byrd and Alia Jones, through their company Front Row Production, brought “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “A Streetcar Named Desire” with a multi-ethnic cast to Broadway. In 2016 they bring “Eclipsed” with Oscar Winner Lupita Nyong’O to Broadway.
- Honorees, the so-called Central Park 5, are collectively and individually heroes. They are survivors of one of the ugliest miscarriage of justice in New York’s history; having been railroaded and unjustly convicted for a crime they did not commit and for which they served long prison sentences ranging from seven years to 13 years before being exonerated when the actual rapist confessed. They are: Yusef Abdus Salaam; Raymond Santana Jr., Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, and Kharey Wise.
The Black Star News, which focuses on investigative journalism, has been featured as a result of some if its news scoops, on CNN, The New York Daily News, The New York Post, The Village Voice, and Brill’s Content magazine.
Past Black Star News honorees have included: Gil Noble (Like It Is), Rep. Maxine Waters, Soledad O’Brien (CNN), Ms. Camille Cosby, Voza Rivers (New Heritage Theatre), Errol Louis (NY1 News), Amel Larrieux (Entertainer), Dr. William Pollard (Medgar Evers College), Herm Edwards (NY Jets), Nayaba Arinde (Amsterdam News), La-Verna Fountain (Columbia University), Lillian Roberts (DC37), Desiree Dancy (New York Times), Greg Floyd (Local 237), Rev. Al Sharpton (National Action Network), and many others.