(LOS ANGELES, CA) February 22, 2023 — Better Brothers Los Angeles (BBLA), in association with award-winning iconic actress/activist Sheryl Lee Ralph and her non-profit organization, The DIVA Foundation, are excited to announce that groundbreaking actress and LGBTQ+ advocate Raven-Symone´ is among this year’s impactful honorees at the “9th Annual Truth Awards” on Saturday, March 4, 2023, at the Taglyan Cultural Complex in Hollywood, CA. The awards will stream exclusively on Fox Soul, Saturday, March 18th.
The private and ticketed black-tie affair will begin at 5:00 pm with red-carpet arrivals and a VIP reception. Claudia Jordan (“Fox Soul’s Cocktails with Queens,” “Tea-G-I-F”) will host the event along with Marcus Washington (“NBC Bay Area News”). The “9th Annual Truth Awards” will feature live musical performances from R&B singer Avery Wilson, actor-singer-songwriter Terrell Carter, and more to be announced.
“This year’s honorees continue the Truth Award’s tradition of recognizing the diversity in our community, from educators to advocates to creatives to sports figures. Our community mirrors the larger Black Community, and the Truth Awards places this example of Black Excellence on display for all to see,” said Scott Hamilton, co-founder of Better Brothers Los Angeles.
The annual event will honor trailblazing LGBTQ+ African-Americans and allies whose personal and professional accomplishments have positively impacted the perception and image of the Black LGBTQ+ red-carpet 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.
Better Brothers Los Angeles (BBLA) will award over $25,000 in scholarships to students from the Los Angeles, Boston, Charlotte, and Chicago metropolitan areas this year. Fifty percent of the 2023 scholars are pursuing degrees in STEM fields. Since its inception, Better Brothers Los Angeles has provided over $150,000 in tuition assistance.
Raven-Symoné will be awarded the Icon Award celebrating her iconic career through the decades and commitment to LGBTQ+ visibility. Known for her unforgettable roles on shows like (“The Cosby Show”), (“That’s So Raven”), (“The Cheetah Girls”), (“Raven’s Home”). Raven-Symoné has been a persistent presence in kids, family, and family entertainment for over three decades, particularly on the Disney Channel, where she rebooted her 2003 family sitcom (“That’s So Raven”). She has received several accolades, including five NAACP Image Awards, two Kids’ Choice Awards, three Young Artist Awards, and three Daytime Emmy Award nominations.
The Upshaws, which just released new episodes on Netflix, will receive the Cultural Affirmation Award. The series is created by Regina Hicks and Wanda Sykes. The Cultural Affirmation Award recognizes television series that celebrate, encourage, and foster acceptance of Black Queer relationships, love, life, and family.
Daytime Emmy® Award-winning TV Judge, Judge Greg Mathis, is set to receive the annual Family Award, presented to a family who publicly provides unwavering love and support to LGBTQ+ family member(s) living their lives openly and unabashedly.
Social media personality Tabitha Brown will receive the Ally Award, presented to an individual who has been a beacon of support and comfort to the LGBTQ+ community through professional or personal actions and advocacy. Past recipients included Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, actor Rockmond Dunbar, and Emmy Award-winning actresses Loretta Devine and Sheryl Lee Ralph.
Alongside Raven-Symone´, the “9th Annual Truth Awards” will honor Hampton’s Byron Perkins, the first openly gay HBCU football player, with the Courage Award, UCLA’s executive vice chancellor and provost, Dr. Darnell Hunt, with the Excellence in Education Award, the Senior Director of Medical Affairs at Gilead Sciences Dr. David Malebranche and Unique Woman’s Coalition with the Advocate Award, and STARZ Network with the Corporate Diversity & Leadership Award.
The night’s presenters will include Emmy Award-winning actress Sheryl Lee Ralph (“Abbott Elementary”), Emmy-nominated tv Judge, Mablean Ephriam (“Justice with Judge Mablean”), Jason Lee (“Hollywood Unlocked,” “The Jason Lee Show”), Jerrie Johnson (“Amazon Prime’s Harlem”), Eric Scott Ways (“The Best Man: The Final Chapters”), Geffri Maya and Rhoyle Ivy King (“All American Homecoming”), Folake Olowofoyeku (CBS Bob Abishola) and more to be announced.
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 end HIV/AIDS. This year’s honorees were picked from various fields, including entertainment, fashion, beauty, business, finance, and media.
“The struggle continues!” said Sheryl Lee Ralph. “It’s important that we focus on supporting our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ+ community as they continue to fight for equality. Our public acknowledgment and partnership make it possible for them to live out loud and openly for the world to see.” She added, “The Truth Awards, along with our acceptance and understanding of the LGBTQ+ community, will encourage, inspire, and motivate others to live their truth unapologetically.”