By Colette Paul
The Vision Community Foundation held its 8th annual Black-Tie Gala at Atlanta City Hall, hosted by Bishop OC Allen III, Rashad Burgess, and Dr. Lakara Foster. The exclusive gala honored a select group of individuals and organizations that have made outstanding achievements in the arts, media, ministry, community service, government arenas, including Harlem’s very own, Beverly “Bevy” Smith of Fashion Queens fame, and New York’s fashion designer, Venny Etienne, who launched a successful fashion career after being on the hit show, “Project Runway”.
The 2019 theme was “Royal Imagination: The Revolution of Fashion and Style” for this 8th annual gala that has been called the Urban MET Ball, as a nod to the huge impact the MET Gala in New York City has on the fashion and Visual Arts industries.
In addition to Venny Etienne (Lifetime’s Project Runway), Cast of TV’ One’s Sister Circle Live, and Bevy Smith (Sirius XM “Bevelations”), The other honorees recognized were, Anthony Henderson-Scott (Fashion Stylist) Kent Christian (Celebrity MUA/Recording Artist), Vaughn Henderson Strong, Vaughn Alzavez, (Celebrity Publicist) Nikki Nicole Watkins (Professional Stage Entertainer) G. Andre McNeil, JP Moore (CEO of JP Designs Art) August Fulton (Fashion Designer) Antonio Brown (Atlanta City Councilman), TS Madison (Influencer/Host of “Queens Supreme Court”), Terrell Smith (Celebrity Fashion Stylist), and Tim Arrington (Celebrity Fashion Designer).
“We pray every day at 8:30 a.m. for God to speak to use and through us. I’m so honored to be in this position. I make sure I shine at night every single day. I will put this award in our office.” — Rashan Ali.
“I was in a place to give up women and friendships. Sister Circle gave me so much more. I was going through. I want to be hope and promise for people going through and don’t allow anyone else to define who you are. Be proud of who you are and whose you are” — Miss Quad.
“I’m a newbie. I give thanks to every community.” — Trina Braxton.
”I’m honoring my gifts. I’m honoring my story. I realize the community I’m a part of. I start sewing because my mom was struggling when I was a child. The church gave us clothes. I decided to get a sewing machine and teach myself. A minister became my godfather. He raped me. My gift was my therapy as well as a weapon,” — Tim Arrington.
Other VIP’s in attendance included T.C. Carson (Living Single, Greenleaf”) Reco Chapple (Fashion Designer) Maryum Gibson, Antjuan Chalmers, Bishop David, Mother Mittie, Bishop Sawyer, and Atlanta’s Mayor – Keisha Lance Bottoms.
Dance performance by Infinity Dance Theater Group, and to kick the gala off, Ms. Sheryl Lee Ralph – the DIVA, performed.
The Vision Community Foundation’s Black-Tie Gala is part of the national iElevate Conference. For more information on Bishop Oliver Clyde Allen III and The Vision Community Foundation visit: ocallen.com.
Photo credit: 1) Honoree & Celebrity Publicist, Vaughn Alvarez with Actress, Sheryl Lee Ralph. 2) Singer – Trina Braxton. 3) The cast of TV One’s “Sister Circle” TV Show, Left Trina Braxton, middle, Miss Quad, right, Rashan Ali. 4) Nikki Watkins (Honoree) w/guest. 5) Dr. Lakara Foster (Gala Host). 6) Actor, T.C. Carson (Greenleaf & Livin’ Single). 7) New York Fashion Designer, Venny Etienne (‘Project Runway’). 8) Bishop OC Allen III (right) Rashad Burgess (left) The Host.