Presenters

2017: TBD

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Thank you to Our Past Presenters:

Loretta Devine

Loretta Devine

Valarie Pettiford

Valarie Pettiford

Pettiford has illuminated stage, screen and television as one of the finest actress/singer/dancers today, a true triple threat.

Pettiford is currently recurring as Victorine Fornerat-Williams in the HBO series TREME and can be seen this spring guest starring in the new CW series HART OF DIXIE and FOX’s THE FINDER opposite her longtime friend Michael Clark-Duncan.

On the big screen, Pettiford was recently seen starring opposite Angela Basset and Paula Patton in the Sony feature JUMPING THE BROOM. Pettiford played Patton’s wise cracking ‘Aunt Geneva’. She also recently completed a musical short film opposite Jason Alexander, which won the Boston International Film Festival.

read more about Valarie Pettiford. . .

Omarosa

Omarosa

(Celebrity Apprentice)

Dawnn Lewis

Dawnn Lewis

Dawnn Lewis is a multitalented and multifaceted individual. Perhaps best known for her roles on the hit TV shows A DIFFERENT WORLD (composer of shows theme song) and HANGIN’ WITH MR. COOPER, she is also a Grammy Award-winning singer, a multiple ASCAP & BMI Award-winning songwriter, a film actor I’M GONNA GIT U SUCKA, DREAMGIRLS . A TV creator/producer (BLACK JAQ) for ABC. She gives voice to the title character in the animated feature film DINO MOM! She just finished principal photography on the new film “LET IT SHINE”” co-starring with Courtney B Vance & Tyler Williams, while filming guest spots on CBS CSI: MIAMI, FOX BREAKING IN & BET REED BETWEEN THE LINES. She also continues her recurring role on the ABC Family’s The Secret Life of An American Teenager and until recently the CW Network series One Tree Hill. She was featured in the Warner Bros. feature film THE PREACHERS KID, & the Fox animated film FUTURAMA: INTO THE WILD GREEN YONDER.. Dawnn also starred in the 2009 NYC City Center “Encore’s” presentation of THE WIZ as Addapearle.

read more about Dawnn Lewis. . .

Vivica Fox

Vivica Fox

Tanika Ray

Tanika Ray

Entertainment journalist & TV personality Tanika Ray, known for her quick and witty on‐air banter, is truly a renaissance woman. Not only does she deftly handle the multi‐layered responsibility of hosting and producing a live red carpet, but she has a unique ability to connect with guests one‐on‐one and can hold her own whenever appearing as a panelist, with a group or in a talk show format. A pop culture expert, Tanika often appears as a guest herself on popular news shows where she sassily dishes about currently trending topics.

Most recently seen on HGTV where she hosted two of their most exciting shows – Season 6 of DESIGN STAR, the fast‐paced interior design reality competition, and Season 1 of HGTV’d, their fun makeover show that criss‐crossed the country surprising viewers with a new room by their favorite designer – Tanika also blogs about hair, interior design, manifesting your dreams and keeping your soul happy on her new website mindbodycasa.com. Always entertaining and accessible, Tanika has become an audience favorite and continues to build a strong following in world social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, where she chooses to post photos, notes and quotes that spread positive energy and focus on elevating your mind, loving your body and beautifying your home.

read more about Tanika Ray. . .

Jenifer Lewis

Jenifer Lewis

Think Like A Man

Mistress of Ceremonies

Elise Neal

Elise Neal

TV One’s Hollywood Divas

Neal’s feature credits include “Love Ranch” with Helen Mirren and Joe Pesci, her starring role in “Rosewood”, her first role, “Money Talks, “Scream 2” as Neve Campbell’s roommate and target of the copycat killer, “Paid in Full”, “Mission to Mars” and “Restaurant” starring opposite Adrien Brody.

read more about Elise Neal . . .

LisaRaye McCoy

LisaRaye McCoy

Single Ladies

Bio Coming Soon . . .

Cocoa Brown

Cocoa Brown

Tyler’s Perry’s For Better or Worse

When actress and comedian Cocoa Brown takes the stage, the world stands still.

Brown is undeniably one of the most talented comics and performers of this generation. The Newport News, Virginia native, born Farah Brown, assails her craft with such passion and soul-searching veracity, when she claims a stage the ensuing act is nothing short of a force of a nature. Cocoa Brown audaciously draws from painful reminiscences and hard-knocked lessons, bravely weaving humorous tales that uplift, upend, and upgrade everything you thought you knew about comedy. What drives the comic who female fans nationwide have nicknamed the “The Truth”? The sheer will of a woman who survived the worst life had to offer and is still standing.

read more about Cocoa Brown . . .

Claudette Ortiz

Claudette Ortiz

TV One’s R&B Divas LA

At 16, a stunningly beautiful and vocally talented CLAUDETTE ORTIZ, was discovered by Wyclef Jean and Jerry Wonder becoming the third and only female member of City High. The hot young trio quickly took the world by storm with their poignantly conscious debut single, “What Would You Do.” The Grammy nominated group described as a “refreshingly innovative mix of R&B, Soul and a smattering of Hip- Hop” by Vibe magazine consisted of Claudette, Ryan Toby and Ryan Pardo.

read more about Claudette Ortiz . . .

Renée Lawless

Renée Lawless

TV One’s Hollywood Divas

Renee Lawless currently stars as Katheryn Cryer on Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and the Have Nots” on the OWN network . The highly anticipated second season is set to premiere May 27th. Renee is also in pre-­‐production of her own video blog series “Renee’s Way or the Highway.”

Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, Renee is a graduate of Stetson University and received her Masters at the University of Cincinnati in Vocal Performance. A seasoned theater actress, she recently performed with the Broadway national tour of Wicked as the Midwife and understudy for Madame Morrible. Renee also appeared on Broadway’s national tour of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast as Eggtimer, Ms. Potts and Madame de la Grande Bousch.

read more about Renée Lawless . . .

Sicily Johnson

Sicily Johnson

One on One

Sicily Sewell is an American actress. She is sometimes credited in film or television as simply with amononym Sicily.

She made her television appearance on an Emmy Award-winning episode of Sesame Street when she was eight years old.

She played “Young Aisha” in a two-part episode of Season 2 of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers called “Rangers Back In Time” prior to the season 2 finale, as well as in the 10 part mini series Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers. She also appeared in archive (also as Young Aisha) in the season following MMAR, Power Rangers Zeo.

read more about Sicily Johnson . . .

 

Presenter Michael Coylar

Michael Coylar

Master of Ceremonies

Comedian/Actor, Venice Beach Comic, Princess & the Frog

Presenter Edwina Finley

Edwina Finley

Actress

Artistry. Beauty. Passion. Faith. Can it all fit in one package?

Edwina Findley makes it happen.

Hailed by critics as “Impressive”, “Stellar”, “Vibrant”, and “A Marvel to Watch”, this versatile NYU-trained actress is currently filming her third season as “Davina Lambreaux” in HBO’sTreme,set in post-Katrina New Orleans, while simultaneously recurring last season as “Jill” on ABC’s hit series Brothers and Sisters, starring Sally Field and Calista Flockheart. Sherecently starred in Ava DuVernay’s upcoming movie, “Middle of Nowhere”, winner at Sundance 2012 and released in theatres last October.

read more about Edwina Findley . . .

Presenter Shari Headley

Shari Headley

Actress

Coming To America, All My Children

Presenter Elise Neal

Elise Neal

Actress

Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Elise Neal moved to New York to pursue her dreams of performing on stage in choreographed musicals. Her experience in dance and movement led her to easily make the transition to working in front of the camera first in commercials, then quickly landing her first acting role in the soap opera “Loving” for ABC.

Elise has starred alongside superstars like Helen Mirren, Chris Tucker, Oscar nominee Terrence Howard, and Oscar winner Adrien Brody. She has worked with notable directors Taylor Hackford, John Singleton, Brian De Palma and Craig Brewer.

read more about Elise Neal . . .

Presenter Vanessa Williams

Vanessa Williams

Actress

Vanessa Williams is one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in entertainment today. Born in Brooklyn, New York, this actor, writer, director, and producer has become a main stay in Hollywood appearing in film and television.

She made her film debut in 1991 in “New Jack City.” Williams appeared in “Law & Order,” “The Cosby Show,” “NYPD Blue,” and “Mother” playing opposite Lisa Kudrow and Albert Brooks. She garnered rave reviews for her performance in Steven Bochco’s critically acclaimed television drama “Murder One” and “Chicago Hope” (earning her first NAACP Image Award nomination). Moreover, she played diverse roles in productions such as FOX’s original hit series “Melrose Place,” Showtime’s longest running drama series “Soul Food” for which she won a NAACP Image Award (five nominations total), “Flirting With Forty,” which received impressive ratings and another Image Award nomination.read more about Vanessa Williams . . .

Mother Love Mother LoveThe multi-talented and “even more fabulous” Mother Love is on a mission to inform, educate and enlighten people everywhere on the importance of better managed diabetes.

Novo Nordisk, Inc presents her Diabetes Awareness Bus & Truck Tour in many health fairs, expos universities and other large venues.

Mother Love has lost over 100 pounds and has improved her diabetes management through hard choices and healthy lifestyle changes. She speaks to audiences across America on health, love and life issues. She is the 2009 Spokesperson for ADA’s Choose To LIVE! campaign geared towards women of color age 35 and over.

read more about Mother Love. . .

Loretta Devine Loretta DevineLoretta Devine born in Houston, Texas is a B.A. graduate of the University of Houston, she received her M.F.A from Brandeis University in Theatre Arts. Ms. Devine, and Actress, Singer, Poet and Creator of Wearable Art, also received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from her Alma Mater, The University of Houston and is a five time N.A.A.C.P Image Award Winner. Independent Spirit Awards Nominee, Winner of the Black film Festival’s Best Actress Award 2007 for independent film “Dirty Laundry”. She has created indelible roles on Broadway, in theatre, in film and television. Best known for Waiting to Exhale, Funny Valentine, Boston Public, Dream girls, Kingdom Come, Preacher’s Wife, Kings Ransom, Hoodlum, Woman Thou Art Loosed, Crash, Grey’s Anatomy, Eli Stone, This Christmas and First Sunday. (For a total body of work she must be googled.) “Love goes out to my Houston family, and Glenn Marshall, my love and life.” Representation: Essential Management and Innovative Artist
Demetria McKinney Demetria McKinneyDemetria Mc Kinney is a river with many streams–singer, actress, model, song writer, and dancer. Whether she is acting on stage to a sold out audience or a featured soloist at a major event, Demetria continues to receive admiration with standing ovations from her performances. Due to the consistent display of her talents, she will certainly become one of tomorrow’s brightest andmost sought after stars.

Demetria attended college in FortWalton Beach, Florida, and has had extensive vocal training. She earned a leading role in Mark E. Swinton’s “U Don’t Know Me,” themusical which received superb reviews. read more about Demetria. . .

Gary Sturgis Gary SturgisGary Anthony Sturgis is a New Orleans born actor/writer/director best known for his portrayal of the villain in two of Tyler Perry’s biggest hit films, “Diary of A Mad Black Woman” (as Jamison Jackson) and “Daddy’s Little Girls” (as Joseph Woods). He also co-starred opposite Terrence Howard in “Pride”, as the charming yet sinister pimp/drug dealer Franklin Washington. Recently, he has broken the mold of bad guy to co-star in the comedy “Chicago Pulaski Jones” with Kel Mitchell and Cedric the Entertainer. Also a professional voice artist, Sturgis has voiced network promos for UPN, CBS, PBS and ABC, cartoons and video games (Static Shock, Batman, Scooby Doo and The Cyber Chase, Fairly Odd Parents, Spiderman)and is heard on countless commercials for radio and television. His raspy bass-baritone voice that the women find hard to resist has even been heard on national movie trailers and promotions for; BONES, TWO CAN PLAY THAT GAME, THE OTHERS, THE BROTHERS and THE WOOD read more about Gary. . .
Kelly Price Kelly PriceBorn into a family of singers and preachers Kelly Cherelle Price entered the world on April 4, 1973 as the 2nd of 3 daughters to Rev Joseph and Mrs. Claudia Price. Kelly’s parents who were both Pentecostal preachers were also both singers however even to her mother’s surprise she began to show signs of a musically inclined ear at 9 months old when she could mimic the melodies she heard in church and those she sang to her at home by repeating them with the sound of a hum.

Public performances began in church at the age of two with the children’s choir with solos beginning by age 3. By age 6 Kelly was far advanced becoming the youngest member of the junior choir for teenaged kids. By age 7 Kelly had written her 1st song and by 9 years old she was singing lead vocals in the local church’s adult choir as well as the regional, state and national convention choirs before the 10’s of thousands of parishioners who attended the church’s worldwide conventions. In elementary school Kelly became the go to girl when a voice was needed, astounding her teachers who couldn’t believe the big voice that came from this young child. This resulting in her teachers and the other faculty members crowning her with the nickname “Little Mahalia”. read more about Kelly. . .

Rockmond Dunbar Rockmond DunbarThe essence of Rockmond Dunbar is as intriguing as his name and as captivating as his on-screen presence. Rockmond, whom many consider one of the industry¹s most talented actors, has mesmerized viewers on the small screen starring as the tough, mysterious inmate “C-Note,” on the hit Fox series, “Prison Break” (2006 People’s Choice Award for Best New Drama Series).

Named one of “Television’s 50 Sexiest Stars of All Time” by TV Guide, Rockmond is also known for his leading role as “Kenny Chadway,” the hard-working family man and entrepreneur on the long-running, critically-acclaimed Showtime drama series, “Soul Food.” A true renaissance man, he has hypnotized his audience not only theatrically, but in all realms of art. From his provocative mixed-media exhibit, “ARTHERAPY,” to his powerfully unforgettable guest appearance in Dylan McDermott’s directing debut of “The Practice,” Rockmond is undoubtedly one of Hollywood’s hottest up-and-coming artists.read more about Rockmond. . .