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Los Angeles UrbanLeague Honors Bernard & Shirley Kinsey And Myrlie Evers-Williams At 42nd Annual Whitney M. Young Jr. Awards On May 15


The Los Angeles Urban League (LAUL) celebrates a host of civil rights pioneers at the 2015 Whitney M. Young, Jr. Awards Dinner on May 15, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.  Themed "Dawn of a New Day" to signify LAUL's continuous efforts to empower the underserved, the dinner honors local leaders who have emulated the values of Whitney M. Young, who focused the National Urban League on socioeconomic issues.  

The Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award, the League's highest honor, is given to individuals who exemplify outstanding community spirit and provide significant leadership to advance equal opportunities for African-Americans and other minorities. Power LA couple Bernard and Shirley Kinsey are the 2015 Whitney M. Young, Jr. honorees, noted for their unwavering commitment to preserve African-American art, history and culture. The Kinsey Collection is one of the largest private collections of artifacts tracing African-American history.  Among the collection is a rare letter written from Malcolm X to Alex Haley.

The John W. Mack Lifetime Achievement Award is given to individuals who have demonstrated a historical commitment to positive outcomes for our diverse communities, accomplished with purposeful intent and humility. Civil rights heroine, innovative educator and courageous leader Myrlie Evers-Williams is this year's John W. Mack Lifetime Achievement awardee.  The award is named after Angeleno John W. Mack, former CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League. From personal tragedy with the murder of her husband, civil rights leader Medgar Evers to triumph, Evers-Williams is a symbol of courage and perseverance in the march towards social justice in her life's work. Evers-Williams was the first chairperson emeritus of the NAACP, founder and CEO of the Medgar Evers Institute.

"Our 2015 honorees are dedicated, sincere and passionate public servants," said Nolan Rollins, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League. "Professionally and personally, each of them has demonstrated decades of determined commitment to improving lives through education, advocating for those without voices, and modeling the collaborative leadership needed to confront civil rights issues. We are pleased to applaud these outstanding contributors in the spirit and legacy of Whitney M. Young, Jr." 

Also on the program this year will be the awarding of the Chairman's Award.  Los Angeles Urban League Chairman, Noel Massie, president of UPS Southern California District, has nominated three of the city's leading Foundations to receive this award:  The California Community Foundation, The California Endowment, and the Weingart Foundation.  "All three organizations, and their leaders - Antonia Hernandez (CCF), Bob Ross (Cal Endowment) and Fred Ali (Weingart) - have supported the Urban League through the challenges of the 2008 recession, ensuring its survival to this day," said Noel Massie.

The evening will culminate in a performance from the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (ICOYLA), conducted by Charles Dickerson III. ICYOLA was founded in 2009 by Dickerson who was inspired to transform the lives and minds of students through high quality music education. With over 60 members, ICYOLA has performed great music of the world on great stages of the world, nurturing talent, musicianship and community.  ICYOLA will be joined for this special evening of music by Katalyst, one of Los Angeles' hottest bands, and TJ Wilkins, a finalist on season six of "The Voice", in performances of "Benny and the Jets", "All I Do", "What's Goin' On", and other hits.

This year's presenting sponsor is a long time corporate supporter and friend of the League, Toyota. The Dinner Committee is comprised of representatives from TWC, UPS, AIG, Enterprise and members of the Los Angeles Urban League's Guild and Young Professionals auxiliary.  Those interested in buying tickets can contact, (323) 299-9660 x2242 or visit www.laul.org. To stay informed with updates on LAUl's movement like them at www.facebook.com/laurbanleague and follow them on Instagram and Twitter @laurbanleague.

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About the Los Angeles Urban League

Founded in 1921, the Los Angeles Urban League is recognizing 94 years of service to Los Angeles communities. The League is the city's premier community organization in advancing equal opportunities on behalf of African Americans and other minority youths and adults through innovative job training, job placement, youth achievement and business development programs. Nolan V. Rollins serves as President & CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League, one of the largest and most successful affiliates of the National Urban League.

About the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Awards Dinner

The Whitney M. Young, Jr. Awards Dinner - a Los Angeles tradition - serves as the League's signature fundraiser.  The Awards Dinner was launched in 1974 and is considered one of the most highly anticipated annual fundraising events in Los Angeles.

Previous recipients of the Whitney M. Young Award include legends of Hollywood, educators, politics, faith and business leaders such as:  Bishop Charles E. Blake, Steven Bochco, Mayor Thomas Bradley, Sammy Davis, Jr., Winston Doby, Ella Fitzgerald, Berry Gordy, Earvin "Magic" Johnson,  Quincy Jones, Gladys Knight, Norman Lear, John W. Mack, Sidney Poitier, Michelle Rhee, Dionne Warwick, Denzel Washington, Stevie Wonder and John Wooden.

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