Honorable Elijah Cummings

Special Posthumous Award

City, State: Maryland
Occupation: Congressman

Elijah Cummings (January 18, 1951 – October 17, 2019) was an American politician and civil rights advocate who served in the United States House of Representatives for Maryland’s 7th congressional district from 1996 until his death in 2019. … He previously served in the Maryland House of Delegates.

Carl Lumbly

City, State: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Actor

Carl’s prolific career includes over 100 credits in television, film and theatre, along with extensive critical acclaim. He starred in the drama series “M.A.N.T.I.S.,” where he played an independently wealthy paraplegic scientist/crime fighter, marking him the first black superhero on series television. For the big screen, he stars as ‘Dick Hallorann,’ the role originally played by Scatman Crothers, in Warner Bros.’ supernatural thriller, “Doctor Sleep,” the imaginative continuation of “The Shining” storyline.

In the documentary “Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool,” Carl voices the iconic jazz musician. The film premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and is screening in theaters across the country. Produced by American Masters, it will make its television debut in February 2020 on PBS. He has a recurring role as classic DC character M’yrnn J’onzz, the father of J’onn J’onzz the Martian Manhunter on The CW series “Supergirl.” He previously voiced action hero J’onn J’onzz/Martian Manhunter in the Cartoon Network’s animated series “Justice League.”

He portrayed CIA agent ‘Marcus Dixon,’ the gentle, mild-mannered field partner to agent ‘Sydney Bristow’ (Jennifer Garner) for five seasons on ABC’s hit drama series, “Alias.”
Carl’s impressive feature credits include a role opposite Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding Jr. in “Men of Honor,” portraying the father of the first black diver in U.S. Navy history. Lumbly’s versatility spans a range of characters, from his NAACP Image Award-nominated work in TNT’s “Buffalo Soldiers,” produced by Danny Glover, to a wealthy, black entrepreneur in “Oprah Winfrey Presents: The Wedding.”

Simone Missick

City, State: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Actor

Simone made history for her powerful and extraordinary portrayal in Marvel’s Luke Cage on Netflix as TV’s first black female superhero, “Misty Knight.” She has been touted as the show’s “breakout star” and was featured as one of People Magazine’s “Ones to Watch” prior to the first season premiere. She continued to portray this impactful character in the other Netflix/Marvel shows The Defenders and Iron Fist. Currently, Simone headlines the upcoming CBS fall series, All Rise in the role of “Judge Lola Carmichael.” All Rise follows the dedicated, chaotic, hopeful, and sometimes absurd lives of the judges, assistant district attorneys, and public defenders as they work with bailiffs, clerks, cops and jurors to bring justice to the people of Los Angeles.

Simone will also be starring this year in Season 2 of the Netflix series, Altered Carbon, opposite Anthony Mackie. Previously, Simone filmed the lead in an independent film Jinn directed by Nijla Mumin which premiered at SXSW Festival in 2018. The film tells the deeply intimate and timely story of a woman that converts to Islam and how this affects her family dynamic.

Rita Loof

City, State: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Educator

Mrs. Fernandez-Loof was elected to the County Board of Education in 2018 representing Area B. She has been a long-time advocate for education particularly, special education. Mrs. Fernandez-Loof came to the U.S. from Cuba at the age of 13 and is the first Cuban-American to serve on the County Board of Education. She has extensive volunteer experience with various non-profits who advocate for the educational rights of children with disabilities. Mrs. Fernandez-Loof has led efforts to improve education for children with disabilities and educate parents about their children’s rights. She authored legislation (SB 1327—Soto) to strengthen protections for children with disabilities attending private schools, which ultimately became law with bi-partisan support. She has been awarded the prestigious “Mother of Achievement” award by the American Mothers Association and the Earth Day Hero Award by California Safe Schools as well as being recognized the by United States Department of Education, the California State Senate and the State Assembly.

In addition to her service on the County Board of Education, she serves various local government advisory committees. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from UCLA and has been representing private industry in the field of environmental consulting for the past 25 years. Prior to her private practice, Mrs. Fernandez-Loof was an Air Quality Engineer for the South Coast Air Quality Management District where she is registered as a Certified Permit Processor. Board Member Fernandez-Loof lives in Upland with her husband and three children.

Herb J. Wesson, Jr.

City, State: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Los Angeles City Council President

Council President Herb J. Wesson, Jr. was elected to the Los Angeles City Council’s 10th District in November 2005 and was elected President of the City Council 2012. During his tenure as Council President, Wesson has presided over monumental policy initiatives making Los Angeles a better place to live, work and raise a family. Not only have local policy initiatives —which include raising the minimum wage, pension reform, and consolidating city elections to increase voter turnout— positively affected local residents, but in many cases the city’s actions have spurred state and national response and served as a model for similar policies. As Chair of the AdHoc Committee on the 2028 Olympics, Council President Wesson was instrumental in providing leadership to ensure that the proposal was properly vetted and City residents will be protected. Wesson previously served as Speaker of the California State Assembly. He is married and the proud father of four sons and grandfather to four grandchildren. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

Sam Lewis

City, State: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Executive Director of the Anti Recidivism Coalition

Sam Lewis is the Executive Director of the Anti Recidivism Coalition (ARC). In 2017, Sam created the Hope And Redemption Team (HART), a first-of-its kind initiative that he built from scratch. Nine former Lifer Prisoners go back into California state prisons to provide hope, demonstrate that redemption is achievable, and prepare participants for successful reentry into our communities. His work on the HART team exemplifies what’s best about ARC: our desire to reach and walk with those who have been most marginalized by society. In 2018, he was the recipient of a Bank of America Neighborhood Builders Award and an Uncommon Law Heroes Award.

Most Saturday nights, Sam leads the Hope and Redemption mentors who mentor youth currently housed at Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall. The unique mentors are trained in Transformative Mentering model to encourge incarcerated youth to believe in themselves, and pursure their education while incarcerated. As a former life prisoner himself, Sam understands the various obstacles, challenges, and difficulties the prison and reentry population may face. Sam transformed himself while in prison earning an AA in Paralegal Studies and a specialized degree in Business Management. Also while in prison he earned a BS/BA degree from Indiana Institute of Technology graduating Magna Cum Laude. He currently serves on the Los Angeles Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Employment Equity. He was granted parole in 2012.

Croyce Allen

City, State: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Youth Advocate

When the future comes to mind, we picture the most gifted young people posturing themselves with might bringing forth progressive change that shifts the paradigm of our world. Entrepreneur, Ambassador, philanthropist and film director, Croyce is the prototype for of our future leaders. A natural humanitarian who loves the Lord, he is committed to education and helping others excel.

Despite a learning disability, he found a way to excel, receiving several academic awards and aims to empower other children struggling with learning disabilities. Croyce accepts the challenge from former President Barack Obama to be accountable for ourselves. He agrees with the former president that it starts with our children and he felt obligated to work.

Jay King

City, State: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: CEO, CA Black Chamber

Mr. King is President of the California Black Chamber of Commerce (CALBCC). Jay took the reins on June 24, 2019. He was voted in as CEO by the board of directors and has taken the post in a permanent capacity. He hopes to expand on its vision and strengthen the organization’s connections with the chambers of commerce for other ethnic groups. Jay King adds his talents with three decades of continuous achievements in music, management, film/TV/radio, consulting and publishing; King has made an indelible impression as a veteran mogul and brings humility to the field as he does what has been called his genius. As his music and connections continued to develop, he found himself writing songs for Con Funk Shun. In 1986, King starting the independent record label JAY Records to release the Timex Social Club hit ‘Rumors’ and ushered in the biggest selling single of 1986 (3.5 million copies) and becoming the #1 R&B single on the Billboard Charts. Jay continues to do his morning radio talk show “kings in the morning” (11years running) Monday thru Friday from 8 to 10am PST at www.thejaykingnetwork.com. He’s also an on air radio personality doing a drive time radio show playing classic R&B music at 97.5fm a terrestrial radio station in Sacramento Tuesday thru Thursday 3-7pm PST it can also be heard at www.kdeefm.org. Jay King acts as Manager/Booking Agent for Cameo, Club Nouveau and Larry Dunn. For more information contact: 818-518-8062

Nicshelle Farrow

City, State: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Entertainment Broker

Nicshelle “GoDaWork” Farrow is an actor, radio host, public relations professional and a self-published author of over 30 books on Amazon.com. In her Journey to Stardom Productions, she designs lesson plans, does theater, tutors and creates instructional videos.

Her brand is GoDaWork and assists in education, talent development, and skills in communities at large and around the world via social media.

Adilah Barnes

City, State: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation:Writer, Actor, Coach

Adilah Barnes is an actor, writer, coach and best known for her recurring role of “Anne-Marie for 7 seasons on the hit ABC series, Roseanne. Ms. Barnes has guest-starred on such other TV series as Shameless, The Middle, Body of Proof, Harry’s Law and Prime Suspect. Her film credits include Murder By Numbers, the Universal blockbuster award-winning Erin Brockovich and the made-for-TV movies, Little John and Iron-Jawed Angels.

Barnes most recently performed on stage in the highly successful A Raisin in the Sun at UC Santa Cruz. She has also extensively toured her own one-woman play, I AM THAT I AM: WOMAN, BLACK, a historical journey into the lives of seven renowned African American women. The show has toured 40 states and three continents including the U.S/Caribbean, Africa, and Europe.

An acting instructor and coach, Barnes’ client list includes numerous celebrities including Kym Whitley and Toni Braxton. As a writer, her first book, ON MY OWN TERMS: One Actor’s Journey received the #3 non-fiction paperback rating in Essence Magazine’s June 2009 issue following President Obama’s two books. She is also founder of The Writer’s Well, an international literary writer’s retreat for women in Georgia. Guests have come from around the US and as far away as Ghana and Puerto Rico.Barnes is the Co-Founder of the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival, an international solo festival that has presented over 500 performers and celebrated its 25th Anniversary this year.

Ms. Barnes’ many honors include the 2018 UC Santa Cruz Distinguished Alumni Award, and Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival Trailblazer Award. She was also honored in 2010 with both the Stop The Violence Increase the Peace Foundation Spirit of Peace Award and was named one of the 50 Most Influential Alumni at UC Santa Cruz in the same year.

“Sista” Mary Davis

City, State: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Founder, Worthy Of Love

As the founder of Worthy of Love, Mary Davis also known as “Sista Mary” and is devoted to helping children experiencing homelessness feel loved and appreciated. Worthy of Love is a social venture dedicated to sponsoring unforgettable birthday parties for the children who live in Skid Row. The parties take place on the roof in a shelter for children and families who would otherwise not have the opportunity to celebrate. The idea for the parties originated after Mary had a miscarriage; she and her husband decided to help improve other children’s lives rather than focus on their grief. She is a welcomed face in the shelters and in the Skid row area.

Dangerman Hero Award Best Comedy Series HBO’s “Insecure”

Creator Issa Rae (The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl) stars as Issa Dee, who struggles to navigate the tricky professional and personal terrain of Los Angeles along with her best friend Molly (Yvonne Orji).