Ava DuVernay, an award-winning writer, producer, director and distributor of independent films, was recently inducted into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., as an honorary member.
Presiding over the formal induction was Alpha Kappa Alpha’s International President Attorney Carolyn House Stewart.
In making the announcement, Stewart explained that an honorary membership is the highest membership category the Sorority presents. “Those who are inducted,” she said, “represent the highest standards of character, courage and womanhood. Through her creativity, trailblazing work in film, and her passion towards her craft, Ava DuVernay embodies the Alpha Kappa Alpha ideal. Most of all, through her work, she serves the worldwide community. This commitment is captured in Alpha Kappa Alpha’s credo: ‘Providing service to all mankind.’” Stewart stressed that service is the core mission upon which the Sorority was founded in 1908.”
DuVernay’s achievements make her an ideal candidate for honorary membership. She has gained worldwide acclaim as a director, for which she has earned the highest industry awards. She was the winner of the Best Director Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, was honored with the 2013 John Cassavetes Independent Spirit Award and presented the Tribeca Film Institute 2013 Affinity Award for her second feature film “Middle of Nowhere.”
Currently, she is in production on the upcoming feature film SELMA, which chronicles the historic 1965 voting rights campaign led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. DuVernay is directing the film from her screenplay, with Oprah Winfrey and Brad Pitt’s Academy Award winning company Plan B serving as producers. The film will debut on December 25, 2014.
DuVernay made her directorial debut with the critically-acclaimed 2008 hip hop documentary, “This is The Life.” Winner of Audience Awards in Toronto, Los Angeles and Seattle, the film debuted on Showtime in April 2009. In 2010, she wrote, produced and directed her first narrative feature, “I Will Follow”, which won high praise from the late film critic Roger Ebert.
Also included in her body of directorial work are network documentaries “Venus Vs” for ESPN and “My Mic Sounds Nice” for BET, and “Faith Through The Storm” for TV One. In 2013, she directed an episode of ABC’s top-rated drama series, SCANDAL. She’s also directed films for fashion and beauty giants Prada and Fashion Fair.
Prior to becoming an industry-acclaimed director, DuVernay was an award-winning film marketer and publicist for more than 14 years. Her firm DVA Media + Marketing provided strategy and execution for more than 120 film and television campaigns. Among the films she publicized and marketed included those directed by icons Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Michael Mann and Bill Condon.
A graduate of UCLA, DuVernay is the founder of AFFRM, the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement.
“We are honored and proud to have Ava DuVernay join our illustrious sisterhood,” said Stewart. “Her devotion to directing award-winning films, which portray positive images and convey uplifting messages, embodies the qualities of the Alpha Kappa Alpha woman. She will make a great addition to our Sorority and we look forward to supporting and embracing her.”
Honorary Sorority Members
1. Soledad O'Brien - honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta1 of 14
2. Gladys Knight - honorary Alpha Kappa Alpha2 of 14
3. Jada Pinkett Smith - honorary member Alpha Kappa Alpha3 of 14
4. Dionne Warwick - honorary member of Zeta Phi Be4 of 14
5. Alicia Keys- honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha5 of 14
6. Lynn Whitfield - honorary Alpha Kappa Alpha6 of 14
7. Alice Walker - honorary Alpha Kappa Alpha7 of 14
8. Kelly Price - honorary member of Sigma Gamma Rho8 of 14
9. Rosa Parks - honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha9 of 14
10. Toni Morrison - honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha10 of 14
11. Holly Robinson-Peete- honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha11 of 14
12. Aretha Franklin - honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta12 of 14
13. Iyanla Vanzant - honorary Alpha Kappa Alpha13 of 14
14. Ella Fitzgerald - honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha14 of 14
ACTION! Our Favorite Black Film Directors
1. Dr. Maya Angelou: "Down In The Delta"Source:PR Photos 1 of 25
2. Steve McQueen: "12 Years A Slave"Source:PR Photos 2 of 25
3. Bishop T.D. Jakes: "Jumping The Broom", "Heaven Is For Real" and moreSource:PR Photos 3 of 25
4. Mara Brock Akil: "Being Mary Jane", "Girlfriends", "The Game" and moreSource:PR Photos 4 of 25
5. Shonda Rhimes: ScandalSource:PR Photos 5 of 25
6. Debbie AllenSource:PR Photos 6 of 25
7. Ryan Coogler: "Fruitvale Station"7 of 25
8. Gina Prince-Bythewood: "Love & Basketball", "Disappearing Acts" and more8 of 25
9. F. Gary Gray: "Friday", "Set It Off" and more9 of 25
10. Spike Lee: "Do the Right Thing", "School Daze", and much more10 of 25
11. Ava Duvernay: "Middle of Nowhere" and more11 of 25
12. Reginald Hudlin: "Boomerang", "House Party" and more12 of 25
13. Tyler Perry: "Good Deeds", the "Madea" films and much more13 of 25
14. John Singleton: "Boyz in the Hood", "Baby Boy" and more14 of 25
15. Antoine Fuqua: "Training Day" and more15 of 25
16. Malcolm D. Lee: "The Best Man", "the Best Man Holiday" and more16 of 25
17. Kasi Lemmons: "Eve's Bayou", "Black Nativity" and more17 of 25
18. Keenan Ivory Wayans: "Scary Movie" and more18 of 25
19. Lee Daniels: "Lee Daniels' The Butler", "Precious" and more19 of 25
20. Tim Story: "Think Like a Man", "Fantastic Four" and more20 of 25
21. Forest Whitaker: "Waiting to Exhale", "Hope Floats" and more21 of 25
22. Patrick Ramsey: "Rise of the Guardians" and more22 of 25
23. Mario Van Peebles: "New Jack City" and more23 of 25
24. Robert Townsend: "Hollywood Shuffle", "The Five Heartbeats" and more24 of 25
25. Denzel Washington: "Antwone Fisher" and "The Great Debaters"25 of 25
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(Photo Source: Instagram)