The inaugural HBCU Honors™ honorees include Dr. Sheila Chamberlain, Michael S. Regan, Pinky Cole, Curtis Symonds, Aunjanue Ellis, Stephen A. Smith, Steve Pamon, and Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover.
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MIAMI, FL — Taped live from Miami’s Black Archives-Historic Lyric Theater, the inaugural HBCU Honors™ lauds eight extraordinary alumni from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) whose ground-breaking achievements have helped change the world. The televised event’s world-premiere is Wednesday, February 15, 2023, on streaming platforms including Crackle, Plex, and LG.
Emmy® award-winning producer and actress Wendy Raquel Robinson (“The Game”) hosts the star-studded Black-tie affair that is unapologetically all about the greatness of HBCUs. She is a proud cum laude graduate from Howard University.
The all-star night of Black excellence includes tributes, awards presentations, musical performances and featuring special guests Oprah Winfrey, Reverend Al Sharpton, and Tyler Perry’s House of Payne star Cassie Davis.
“I am so proud to join you all for this inaugural HBCU Honors Celebration as a proud HBCU alum myself. I have experienced firsthand how supportive and valuable an HBCU education is… and have been honored to give back and support throughout my career,” said Oprah Winfrey, talk show host, television producer, actress, author, and philanthropist. “I want to personally recognize all of the inaugural honorees, especially Dr. Glenda Glover of my alma mater TSU as our HBCU Honors Alumnus of the Year, as they have all certainly put in the important work of making sure these institutions continue to create safe spaces for excellence to flourish. I also want to thank you – Michelle Bailey and Jessica Garrett Modkins for your work in creating this special event,” the groundbreaking media executive added.
From well-known trailblazers and game changers to hidden figures, the inaugural awards show spotlights notable HBCU alumni who epitomize Black excellence. Having broken glass ceilings to reach the pinnacle in their respective fields, these titans are leaders in aviation, innovation, media and entertainment, entrepreneurship, business, public service, and academia.
“Our stories matter, and they need to be told through our cultural lens,” said North Carolina A&T alumna Jessica Garret Modkins, award show Executive Producer and Director. “As a fourth generation HBCU graduate, it was imperative that we produce an award show to amplify the greatness and the impact of HBCUs like never before,” the CEO and Founder of Hip Rock Star continued.
Dr. Sheila Chamberlain “Breaking Barriers Award” (Spelman College) – the first Black female combat intelligence Pilot
Curtis Symonds “Vanguard Award” (Central State University) – Cable Television pioneer, HBCUGo.TV founder and CEO
Aunjanue Ellis “Media & Entertainment Luminary Award” (Tougaloo College) – Oscar-nominated actress (“King Richard”), and producer
Steve Pamon “Cultural Innovator Award” (Morehouse College) – Verzuz President and Grammy award winner as executive producer of Beyonce’s Homecoming
Pinky Cole “Entrepreneur & Empowerment Award” (Clark Atlanta University) – founder/CEO, the $100 million-dollar Slutty Vegan restaurant chain and The Pinky Cole Foundation
Stephen A. Smith “HBCU Champion Award” (Winston-Salem State University) – ESPN commentator (“First Take” and “NBA Countdown”)
Michael S. Regan “Distinguished Public Service Award” (North Carolina A&T State University) – the first Black man to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover “HBCU Alumnus of the Year Award” (Tennessee State University & Clark Atlanta University) – the first female president of Tennessee State University and Vice-Chair of The White House Initiative on HBCUs
Viewers will also enjoy must see musical performances by Morehouse College alumnus and Grammy® nominated artist Canton Jones, the award-winning Bethune-Cookman Marching Wildcats, and the renowned 105 Voices of History National HBCU Choir, which is “the nation’s first and only national choir for HBCUs” according to Renata Roy the choir’s visionary and founder.
In partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), HBCU Honors™ is raising awareness about the greatness of HBCUs while raising needed funds (Text TMCF to 41444) to ensure students reach their HBCU graduation goal. George F. Spencer, TMCF Chief Development Officer speaks on the organization’s mission and its scholars at the award show.
Spelman alumna Michelle M. Bailey, HBCU Honors™ creator and Co-Executive Producer stated, “The award show is not just about amplifying current outstanding HBCU alumni.” In HBCU pride fashion, the award show was created with a multi-focused purpose. “But, it [HBCU Honors™] is also an opportunity to support future honorees…HBCU students who are our next gen leaders,” the former BET Networks Senior Vice-President continued.
The HBCU Honors™ is supported in partnership with the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), which is the official, accredited destination sales and marketing organization for Greater Miami and Miami Beach.
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