PROLIFIC, AWARD-WINNING DIRECTOR/PRODUCER ANTHONY HEMINGWAY AMONG HONOREES AT THE FIFTH ANNUAL TRUTH AWARDS
The Annual Awards Show to Honor and Recognize LGBTQ + African Americans and Their Allies
LOS ANGELES – The Better Brothers Los Angeles (BBLA) in association with award-winning actress/activist Sheryl Lee Ralph and her non-profit organization, The DIVA Foundation, are excited to announce that the award-winning director/producer Anthony Hemingway will round out this year’s impressive list of award-winning honorees for the fifth annual Truth Awards. The Truth Awards will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at the Taglyan Cultural Complex, located at 1201 Vine Street in Los Angeles. The private and ticketed festivities will kick off at 6 p.m. with red carpet arrivals and a VIP reception. The event will be hosted by actress Angela Robinson of Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and Have Nots,” which airs on OWN. Special musical guest performance will be made by R&B singer/songwriter Tweet.
The black-tie affair will honor trailblazing LGBTQ+ African-Americans whose personal and professional accomplishments have positively impacted the perception and image of the Black LGBTQ+ community. The Truth Awards embody the belief that members of the Black LGBTQ+ community and its allies who embrace and live their truth should be celebrated and honored.
Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning director/producer Anthony Hemingway will be feted for his work in film and television with a History Maker Award. A cutting-edge creative, Hemingway became the youngest second assistant director (A.D.) at the age of 19 and the youngest first A.D. at age 22, respectively, in the history of the Directors Guild of America (DGA). He quickly rose through the ranks, eventually achieving his directorial debut with the universally, critically-acclaimed fourth season of “The Wire” on HBO.
Since then, Hemingway’s work is in constant demand, directing and telling stories to some of our favorite shows on network and cable TV, including “Unsolved: the Murder of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.,” “The Purge,” “Underground,” “Power,” “The Newsroom,” “ER,” “Empire,” “Glee,” “Orange Is the New Black,” and “American Horror Story” – and the list goes on. In 2016, he directed and co-executive produced the award-winning FX hit series, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” which garnered him a plethora of awards, including an Emmy® Award for “Outstanding Limited Series,” as well as a Golden Globe and NAACP Image Award for “Best Miniseries or Television Film,” and an Emmy nomination in the “Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or a Dramatic Special” category.
In 2018, Hemingway launched his eponymous production shingle Anthony Hemingway Productions (AHP). Under the direction of this visionary, AHP stands on this idea with its mission being to – through storytelling and content – revolutionize and add dimension to the human story, be the ears for the unheard, a microphone for the voiceless and a lens for the unseen, while liberating others to do the same in their own lives. Under his AHP banner, Hemingway will helm the college football drama film “Work Horses” for Amazon Studios, alongside Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Heisman Trophy winner and Super Bowl MVP Desmond Howard, and others. He is currently in prep on the ABC reboot of “New York Undercover” with Dick Wolf, where he will direct the pilot and serve as an executive producer, coming full circle, as he was a set production assistant on the series in the early1990s.
Alongside Hemingway, the Truth Awards will honor founder, former president and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute (BAI), Phill Wilson with a Lifetime Achievement Award; three-time Emmy-winning writer, director and producer Tajamika “Taj” Paxton with a Media & Arts Award; Emmy-winning host Karamo Brown of Netflix’s “Queer Eye” with a Culture & Arts Award; viral sensation and food critic Kalen Allen with the Social Influencer Award; Eric Jones, a three-time Emmy Award-winning entertainment booker and producer for ABC’s “Good Morning America (GMA)” with the Passing the Torch Award; and the In the Meantime Men’s Group (ITMT), a 21-year old, 501(c)(3) community service organization, with the Advocate Award.
The DIVA Foundation and its founder Sheryl Lee Ralph are especially pleased to continue their partnership with Better Brothers Los Angeles (BBLA) on this effort. Both organizations believe a healthy Black community – one where individuals are allowed to live their truth, free of shame and stigma, and are recognized as equal and rightful members of the community – is a critical piece in the fight to also end HIV/AIDS. This year’s honorees were picked from various fields, including entertainment, fashion, beauty, business, finance and media.
“Times are certainly changing!” said Ralph. “In this current political environment, it’s important that we continue to support our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ+ community, and make it possible for them to live out loud and openly for the world to see.” She added, “Our acceptance and understanding of the LGBTQ+ community will encourage, inspire and motivate others to live their truth, unapologetically.”
Past honorees include Emmy-winning actress Loretta Devine, award-winning actor Rockmond Dunbar, the first female NBA referee Violet Palmer, celebrated make up artist Sam Fine, author/writer James Earl Hardy, transgender model Tracey “Africa” Norman, transgender reality star and activist Chandi Moore, Grammy-nominated producer/singer/songwriter B. Slade, advertising executive Aaron Walton of Walton Isaacson (WI), and activist and night club owner Jewel Thais-Williams – just to name a few.
The Truth Awards are made possible with the support of Kaiser Permanente, LeadersUp, Northrup Grumman, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, In the Meantime Men's Group, New York Life and KTLA TV.
KTLA 4th Annual Truth Awards Recap Video:
3rd Annual Truth Awards Recap Video:
2nd Annual Truth Awards Recap Video:
Ticket prices range from $150 for general admission to $250 for premier seating. Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite at truthawards5.eventbrite.com or https://www.eventbrite.com/e/5th-annual-truth-awards-presented-by-better-brothers-los-angeles-and-the-diva-foundation-tickets-53624633723
The Truth Awards will benefit the DIVA Foundation and its partnership with BBLA, which has initiated several initiatives aimed at affirming and strengthening the African American LGBTQ+ community educationally, financially, physically and socially. For more information about the organization and its scholarship program, visit www.BetterBrothersLA.com
For more information about the Truth Awards and its honorees, visit www.BetterBrothersLA.com/truthawards
2019 TRUTH AWARDS HONOREES:
· PHILL WILSON – Lifetime Achievement Award – is the founder, former president and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute (BAI), the only national HIV/AIDS think tank focused exclusively on the needs of Black people. BAI’s mission is to stop the AIDS pandemic in Black communities by engaging and mobilizing Black leaders, institutions and individuals in efforts to confront HIV. Prior to founding BAI, Wilson served as the AIDS coordinator for the City of Los Angeles (1990-1993), the director of policy and planning at APLA (1993-1996), and an appointee to the HRSA AIDS Advisory Committee (1995-1998). From 2010 to 2014, he was a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). In addition to co-founding the National Black Lesbian & Gay Leadership Forum and the National Task Force on AIDS Prevention, he has been involved in the founding of other notable AIDS-service and community-based organizations, including Chris Brownlie Hospice, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, National Minority AIDS Council, Los Angeles County Gay Men of Color Consortium, and CAEAR Coalition.
· ANTHONY HEMINGWAY – History Maker Award – is a prolific, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning director/producer. He made his directorial debut with the universally, critically-acclaimed fourth season of “The Wire” on HBO. His credits include “Unsolved: the Murder of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.,” “The Purge,” “Underground,” “Power,” “The Newsroom,” “ER,” “Empire,” “Glee,” “Orange Is the New Black,” and “American Horror Story” – and the list goes on. In 2016, he directed and co-executive produced the award-winning FX hit series, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” which garnered him a plethora of awards, including Emmy® Award for “Outstanding Limited Series,” as well as Golden Globe and NAACP Image award for “Best Miniseries or Television Film,” and an Emmy nomination in the “Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or a Dramatic Special” category. In 2018, he launched his eponymous production shingle Anthony Hemingway Productions (AHP). Under his AHP banner, Hemingway will helm the college football drama film “Work Horses” for Amazon Studios, alongside Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Heisman Trophy winner and Super Bowl MVP Desmond Howard, and others. He is currently in prep on the ABC reboot of “New York Undercover” with Dick Wolf, where he will direct the pilot and serve as an executive producer, coming full circle, as he was a set production assistant on the series in the early 1990s. Photo by Wes Klain.
· TAJAMIKA “Taj” PAXTON – Media & Arts Award – is an award-winning writer, director and producer, who has nabbed three consecutive Emmy Awards in the documentary category. She’s produced such documentaries as “Out of Iraq,” “The IF Project,” “Hungry” and “Light in the Water.” Her work has been screened on the floors of the United Nations and the U.S. Congress as well as more than 50 film festivals, and traveled with the State Department to enhance cross-cultural understanding. Plus, she’s also been awarded the Humanitas Prize, given to works that inspire human freedom, for producing the independent feature film, “Green Dragon.” For more than 15 years, Paxton has stood on the frontline of inclusion and representation as one of the few openly LBGTQ+ executives and producers. Recently, she served as the head of Logo Documentary Films, where she oversaw the premiere of more than 14 films. Of those 14, nine were directed by first time-filmmakers, and of those first-time filmmakers, eight were women. She’s excited about transitioning into a new role at Logo with more announcements to come. Interestingly, she and her mother – that is, TV Judge Mablean Ephriam of “Justice With Judge Mablean” -- made television history when the mother-daughter duo nabbed Daytime Emmy nominations in 2018.
· KARAMO BROWN – Culture & Arts Award – is a familiar face to viewers as a housemate on the hit MTV reality series, “The Real World” in 2004. Brown was the first openly-gay African American in reality television history. Last year, he walked away with an Emmy as the culture expert on the Netflix reboot, “Queer Eye,” where his job is to make over the hearts and minds of individuals, working through some internal issues. Set for release in March is Brown’s autobiography, “Karamo, My Story of Embracing Purpose, Healing and Hope,” which is projected to be a New York Times best seller. The reality star-turned-author can add another title to his resume – that is, executive producer since he’s sold a scripted and two non-scripted projects to a major network. In this role, he vows to give opportunities to members of the LGBTQ+ community as well as men and women of color. Brown also co-founded 6in10.org, an organization that works to combat HIV stigma and provides tailored mental health support and HIV education to the Black LGBTQ+ community.
· KALEN ALLEN – Social Influencer Award – is a viral sensation! Just 22-years old, the fresh-faced food critic and YouTube sensation’s viral videos caught the attention of talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. His “Kalen Reacts” videos went viral garnering millions of views on Facebook and YouTube and thousands of retweets on Twitter. In addition to being a frequent guest on the ”Ellen DeGeneres Show,” Allen also landed a deal with the popular host and LGBTQ+ activist, and now creates new content for the original series, “OMKalen,” on ellentube.com and Ellen’s YouTube channel. As Allen continues to entertain in the digital space, his videos boast an impressive 500+ million views across all branded Ellen platforms, and his social reach is a whopping 3+ million across all platforms. He’s set to star alongside Seth Rogen in an upcoming comedy about pickles.
· ERIC D. JONES -- Passing the Torch Award -- is a three-time, Emmy Award-winning entertainment booker and producer for ABC’s “Good Morning America (GMA),” which ranks as the #1 morning show in the country. Jones books and produces major celebrities and talent for the morning popular program, which regularly entails coordinating across sister network platforms, such as “World News Tonight,” “Nightline,” “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” “The View” and the newly-minted, third-hour of GMA, titled “Strahan and Sarah.” During his time at GMA, Jones has produced some of the biggest names in entertainment, including Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lawrence, and Denzel Washington — just to name a few. In addition, he has traveled across the country and the world to produce ABC segments and specials for a number of prominent primetime award shows, including the Emmy Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, and the Academy Awards. Before securing his current position, Jones interned for the First Lady of the United States – that is, Michelle Obama in the Office of First Lady Correspondence, and interned for GMA under the umbrella of the 2011 International and Radio Television Society (IRTS) Summer Fellowship.
· IN THE MEANTIME MEN’S GROUP (ITMT) – Advocate Award -- is a 21-year old, 501(c)(3) community service organization, committed to the holistic wellness of Black gay, same-gender loving, and bisexual men. ITMT was founded by its executive director – that is, Jeffrey Carlton King -- a Social Architect, and nationally recognized social justice advocate, evidence-based interventionist, community-based researcher, HIV specialist, and disease prevention educator. ITMT’s mission is to enrich, empower, and extend the lives of intergenerational black men, respectful of sexual orientation, through social, educational, health and wellness programs and services. Over the past 21 years, ITMT has continued to forge a progressive wellness agenda that focuses on Black gay men while supporting the larger Black LGBTQ+ community and Black non-LGBTQ+ community through equal partnership and collaboration. The organization's programs and services include social support, HIV testing, linkage to STD screenings and linkage to medical care services. ITMT works directly with the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, Division of HIV/STD Programs and Services, the City AIDS Coordinators Office, the Los Angeles Commission on HIV and the Los Angeles Department of Public Health LGBTQI2 Mental Health Taskforce. ITMT publishes Message Magazine, the longest running Black LGBTQ publication on the West Coast.
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ABOUT THE DIVA FOUNDATION
The DIVA Foundation -- founded in 1990 by Tony-nominated actress and HIV/AIDS advocate Sheryl Lee Ralph -- is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, created as a living memorial to the many friends she lost to HIV/AIDS as an original cast member of the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls,” and because of her concern for the threat HIV/AIDS posed to women and children. Over the years, the DIVA Foundation has worked to break the silence and erase the stigma still connected to HIV/AIDS and encourage people to get tested in order to know their HIV status.
ABOUT BETTER BROTHERS LOS ANGELES (BBLA)
Better Brothers Los Angeles (BBLA) was created to provide spaces for members of the Black LGBTQ+ community to network, socialize and be BETTER – at life, love and community. Developing a sense of community has been a challenge for some within our community, given the cultural and religious opposition to our orientation and gender identity. As those challenges have receded in mainstream society, they still present significant difficulties and sometimes constrain a healthy sense of well-being. Since our inception, BBLA has sponsored cultural, informational, recreational, and social/networking events. We continue to sponsor and create opportunities that increase community confidence and pride. Visit www.BetterBrothersLA.com
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