(ATLANTA) – The HBCU Power Awards has announced that actress, singer-songwriter, director, and philanthropist Jada Pinkett Smith will receive the “Icon Award” on the evening of excellence on Friday, October 20, 7PM at Morehouse College (Martin Luther King Jr Chapel – 830 Westview Dr SW, Atlanta GA 30314).
Smith began her acting career as the feisty “Lena” from the 80s sitcom “A Different World,” a show that brought HBCU life to tv screens across the country 30 years ago. Since then, Smith has curated a successful career in film and music while giving back to the community through the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation.
The HBCU Power Awards is also proud to announce that RCA recording artist H.E.R. has been added to the show. The mysterious singer-songwriter will perform songs from the much-buzzed-about EP, H.E.R., Vol 2.
Co-founded by Watkins along with event producer Jash’d Kambui Belcher (Morehouse c/o ’99) and Wall Street executive Roderick Hardamon (Morehouse c/o ’98), the HBCU Power Awards honors the achievements and accomplishments of HBCU alumni and supporters who are making innovative and leading-edge achievements in business, sports, philanthropy, media, music, technology, TV, film, politics, civil service and fashion.
“We created the HBCU Power Awards to serve as a platform to celebrate black excellence and to highlight the importance of HBCUs in our communities,” says Belcher. “Our honorees embody the spirit of success and commitment to community that HBCUs have instilled in students for decades.”
Adds Watkins: “In a time when the existence of our HBCUs is being threatened, the Power Awards is a shining reminder of the genius and innovation that black colleges generate every year.”
Smith joins an impressive list of honorees, including: Coltrane Curtis (founder, Team Epiphany), Kyle Hagler (president, Next Management), Nzinga Shaw (Chief Diversity Officer, Atlanta Hawks), Keinon Johnson (VP, Urban Promotions, Interscope Records), Phylicia Fant (SVP, Publicity, Warner Bros Records), Beverly Anderson (EVP, Cards & Retail Services, Wells Fargo) and Rob Rumley (Chair, Atlanta Housing Authority).
Sponsors of the 2017 HBCU Power Awards include Morehouse College, the Atlanta Hawks, Radio One, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Experience Grands Rapids and the Lowman Group/ dba the Athletes Foot.
Ticket prices start at $20 and are available at HBCUPowerAwards.com.
Will Smith & Jada Pinkett Smith Through The Years
1. Crazy In LoveSource:SplashNews 1 of 24
2. Love & LaughsSource:SplashNews 2 of 24
3. Carpet KissesSource:SplashNews 3 of 24
4. Jada’s Knight In Shining Armor.Source:SplashNews 4 of 24
5. Couples That Attend Sporting Events Together…Stay Together.Source:Getty 5 of 24
6. FreshSource:Getty 6 of 24
7. Love So DeepSource:Getty 7 of 24
8. Fixing Her ManSource:Getty 8 of 24
9. Traveling LoversSource:Getty 9 of 24
10. Such A Beautiful CoupleSource:Getty 10 of 24
11. Family TimeSource:Getty 11 of 24
12. ThrowbackSource:Getty 12 of 24
13. King & QueenSource:Getty 13 of 24
14. Red Carpet ReadySource:Getty 14 of 24
15. JokesSource:Getty 15 of 24
16. Black Girls Rock Red CarpetSource:Getty 16 of 24
17. Black Couples RockSource:Getty 17 of 24
18. FamilySource:Getty 18 of 24
19. Out & AboutSource:Getty 19 of 24
20. Remember When?Source:Getty 20 of 24
21. Perfect SmilesSource:Getty 21 of 24
22. Car LaughsSource:Getty 22 of 24
23. Cheering On TreySource:Getty 23 of 24
24. Fun & GamesSource:Getty 24 of 24
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(Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images for CinemaCon)