ISSA RAE, TABITHA BROWN, MAYOR LATOYA CANTRELL, KYM WHITLEY, MARC MORIAL, MICKEY GUYTON AND MORE TO BE HONORED AT THE 2nd ANNUAL “CROWN AWARDS” DURING NATIONAL CROWN DAY WEEKEND IN NEW ORLEANS JULY 1 – 3, 2022
Dove announced the talent line-up for National CROWN Day’s weekend celebration. Since 2018, Dove along with the CROWN Coalition have championed the CROWN Act; a tremendous and active movement, resulting in 17 states officially enacting the CROWN Act legislation into law, U.S. (United States) Virgin Islands, first U.S. territory to make hair discrimination illegal; grown the CROWN Coalition from 4 members to 90+ and secured over 400K petition signatures. Now, it’s time to celebrate Black Hair Independence!
Hosted by Emmy Award winning journalist and community activist Tashara Parker, this year’s awards will celebrate these achievements and honor Black women and girls who have significantly shaped the beauty landscape at the 2nd Annual “CROWN AWARDS” taking place Sunday, July 3, 2022.
National CROWN Day is gearing up to be an incredible, star-studded event this year. The following talent has been confirmed for National CROWN Day weekend:
- Esi Eggleston Bracey, CEO, Unilever North America Personal Care and President of Unilever USA, “Wealth & Power Stage” Panelist
- Dre Brown, Dove Self-Esteem Project Educator, “Wealth & Power Stage” Panelist
- Tabitha Brown, actor and entrepreneur, “Wealth & Power Stage” Panelist
“CROWN AWARDS” presenters, honorees, and special guests:
- Karma Bridges, actor and entrepreneur, “Karma’s World”
- Novi Brown, actor, “Tyler Perry’s Sistas” – BET
- Tabitha Brown, actor and entrepreneur
- New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell
- Michaela Angela Davis, author and activist
- Faith Fennidy, student activist
- Figure Skating in Harlem
- Mickey Guyton, country music starlet
- Alaya “Lay Lay” High, rapper and actress, “That Girl Lay Lay” – Nickelodeon
- Tina Lifford, author and actor, “Queen Sugar” – OWN
- Marc Morial, President, National Urban League
- Ebony Obsidian, actor, “Tyler Perry’s Sistas” – BET
- Tashara Parker, Emmy Award Winning Journalist/ Community activist | “CROWN Awards” host
- Issa Rae, producer, writer, director, actor and entrepreneur
- Crystal Renee, actor, “Tyler Perry’s Sistas” – BET
- The Shindellas, Female Vocal Group – Disney
- KJ Smith, actor, “Tyler Perry’s Sistas” – BET
- Mignon Von, actor, “Tyler Perry’s Sistas” – BET
- Kym Whitley, actor and comedian, “Two Funny Mamas”
JOY Collective will once again produce this year’s “CROWN Awards.”
Media interested in media credentials for the various events in New Orleans, should contact Yulisa Sanchez, email@example.com.
About The CROWN Coalition
The CROWN Coalition is the official national supporter of the CROWN Act movement; an alliance founded by Dove, National Urban League, Western Center on Law & Poverty and Color Of Change, along with 100+ CROWN Act supporting organizations. The CROWN Act movement is led by a team of Black women: Esi Eggleston Bracey (CEO of Unilever North America Personal Care), JOY Collective Agency leaders Kelli Richardson Lawson and Orlena Nwokah Blanchard (CEO and President), and ABA Consulting CEO, Adjoa B. Asamoah working with a village of Black leaders and the community who share a desire to end discrimination.
On March 18, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the CROWN Act, and if a companion bill passes in the Senate, it would make hair discrimination based on the texture of natural hair illegal under Titles VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, and other Federal civil rights laws. The CROWN Act and laws inspired by the CROWN Act have been enacted in 17 states: California (2019), New York (2019), New Jersey (2019), Virginia (2020), Colorado (2020), Washington (2020), Maryland (2020), Connecticut (2021), Delaware (2021), New Mexico* (2021), Nebraska* (2021), Nevada (2021), Oregon* (2021), Illinois* (2021), Maine (2022), Tennessee* (2022), and Louisiana (2022). Three additional bills are awaiting governor’s signature in Alaska, Illinois* and Massachusetts. In 2021, Illinois original bill, Senate Bill 3616 was a protection for schools ONLY; the new amendment to SB3616 would add the protection of workplaces as well.
*Legislation inspired by the CROWN ACT
Dove has also expanded its work to incorporate diversity in swimming, ensuring an end to hair discrimination in the workplace, schools, and pools. The CROWN Coalition members believe diversity and inclusion are key drivers of success across all industries and sectors. For a full list of CROWN Coalition members and Dove research studies that quantify the issue of hair discrimination, visit www.thecrownact.com
Dove.com/CROWN and theCROWNAct.com
Celebrating Hip-Hop’s Golden Anniversary at National Battle of the Bands
The 2023 Pepsi National Battle of the Bands (NBOTB) is turning up the heat to celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. The event organizers announced an all-star lineup featuring Doug E. Fresh, aka “Human Beat Box,” Slim Thug, Choppa, Lil Keke, Z-Ro, DJ Mr. Rogers, and a special artist announcement on August 26. These artists will join the nation’s top Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) marching bands for an unforgettable musical experience.
The musical showcase, hosted in collaboration between Webber Marketing and the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority, occurs annually in Houston, TX, at NRG stadium. Event organizers have generated nearly $1 million in scholarships for the participating colleges and universities.
Recognized as the annual kickoff to the fall marching band season, NBOTB spotlights hip-hop legends shaping the genre’s rich history. The special anniversary celebration seeks to pay tribute to the cultural impact of hip-hop, intertwining with the spirit and soul of HBCU marching bands.
“The 50th anniversary of hip-hop is a significant milestone in our musical heritage,” said Derek Webber, executive producer and creator of the National Battle of the Bands. “We’re ecstatic to bring together the vibrant energy of HBCU bands with hip-hop pioneers, creating a unique synergy that honors the past and fuels the future. This year’s lineup symbolizes the unbreakable bond between music, culture, and education.”
The rich history of HBCUs extends beyond academia to a thriving tradition of soulful marching bands and community activism. Their performances are not just about the music but also the movement, passion, and creativity that resonate with the essence of hip-hop. This shared heritage makes celebrating the 50th anniversary of hip-hop at NBOTB a momentous occasion in American culture.
For more details, including tickets and official event information, visit (NationalBattleOfTheBands.com) or follow.
Black in Gaming
The fast-paced gaming world will hit American movie theaters on Aug. 25 via the Sony movie “Gran Turismo.” The film is loosely based on the true story of gamer Jann Mardenborough (played by Archie Madekwe), a mixed-race teenager who becomes a real-life race car driver.
In 2011, Mardenborough became the third and youngest winner of the GT Academy competition, beating 90,000 entrants. Sony PlayStation used the Academy to help racing gamers become professional drivers.
Though his success is far and few between for Black gamers. Research shows that Black people make up a staggering 2% of the video game industry, and only 11% of Black characters are featured as the central player outside of athletes in sports games.
The nonprofit Black in Gaming Foundation is dedicated to cultivating, supporting, and promoting Black professionals in the video game industry. By actively working on creating opportunities for Black people in the video game industry, BIG also develops action plans to combat systemic institutionalized racism that manifests itself in unsafe spaces, microaggressions, and hidden discrimination in the workplace.
Also, soft-drink company Mountain Dew (MTN Dew) is doing its fair share to uplift minorities in Esports. The company is bringing back the MTN DEW Real Change Challenge in 2023, which focuses on promoting representation in Esports and gaming and supporting HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) student gamers.
MTN Dew is teaming up with Cxmmunity Media, a champion of diversity and equity in gaming and creators of the HBCU Esports League. The Real Change Challenge will be open to all current HBCU students. Contestants will compete for a share of the $500,000 prize pool, coaching, and exposure to esports professionals. The tournament will kick off in October, with sign-ups open to all current HBCU students through Sept. 8 at (HBCUESports.co/RealChange).
Black Weekend is Here!
The tax-free weekend is not only the best time to go shopping but THE prime time to socialize, network, and get involved in the community that we like to call Black Weekend.
Kicking off Black Weekend on Friday, Aug. 11, is the first annual Purchase Hire Black expo presented by Avista Products at the Freeman Expo Hall near the AT&T Center from 2 pm to 8 pm. The free expo is a great way to recognize Black Business Month as a way to celebrate and support Black-owned businesses. Later that night, check out famed jazz musician Najee, who will perform on Aug. 11 at 7:30 pm at the Buena Vista Theater downtown. He is a part of the 2023 jazz series dubbed “Jazz on the Water by Land & by Sea,” presented by Foster Perry Travel.
Then on Saturday, head over to the Renaissance with the Stars on Aug. 12 at the Tobin Center starting at 5 pm. This annual fundraiser supports the San Antonio Area African American Community Fund, which is a part of the San Antonio Area Foundation. This year’s dancers are Kit Mason, Jon Coker, Jacob Valenzuela, Juan Antonio Flores, George A. Williams, and Ryan Lugalia-Hollon.
After the Renaissance with the Stars, people can head to the 14th Annual All White Martini Party on Aug. 12, sponsored by Psi Alpha Scholarship Foundation, Inc., at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center from 8 pm to 2 am.
And then, on Sunday, Aug. 13, choose between two soulful brunches or hit both starting at 9 am with Tony G’s Soul Food at its Soulful Brunch featuring Southern favorites until 4 pm. Or, check out the R&B Brunch Bash on that same day from 2 pm to 5 pm at the Upstage Comedy Lounge presented by the Brunch Boss & Young Black San Antonio.
And if you have a little energy left from Friday, bowl for a good cause. The Obadiah Jo’el McCarthy Memorial Scholarship Bowl-A-Thon starts at 2 pm at Banderal Bow. This event provides academic scholarships to high school seniors and includes awareness about organ donation.
To learn more about all these events, visit (www.Weekend.Black).
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