Soledad O'Brien, Rep. Waters, Rev. Sharpton, Other Honorees At Black Star News's Annual Dinner 2009 Friday

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"I am honored to accept this year's award for groundbreaking journalism,” Soledad O’Brien says. “I consider myself lucky to be able to do what I do - to shed light on those stories that need to be told. We received such extraordinary feedback after Black in America I, it was clear viewers had a great interest in the subject matter and that we needed a part II."

[Black Star News Annual Dinner 2009]

The new venue for The Black Star News's 2009 Annual Awards Dinner on November 20 is the MIDTOWN LOFT at 267 Fifth Avenue at 29th Street on the 11th floor (917) 710-5824.


This year's honorees include Rep. Maxine Waters, Rev. Al Sharpton, CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, Medgar Evers College President Dr. William Pollard, Teamsters Local 237 union leader Gregory Floyd, and other luminaries.
A special lifetime achievement award will also be presented to honor the contributions of Elombe Brath, the great historian and Pan-African.

Other Black Star Excellence Award Honorees at this years’ annual gala include Jamal Simmons (Political and Media Consultant and regular guest commentator on CNN and MSNBC); Dwight Raiford (MetLife Senior Financial Planner); Belynda M’Baye (Harlem real estate broker, Harlem Lofts); Lynda Ireland (CEO, NY & NJ Minority Supplier Development Council); Brandon Gibson, Entrepreneur (The Gibson Group); and, Ajene Watson, Entrepreneur (AJENE WATSON LLC).

“Towards the end of the year, we always think it’s good to pause and count life’s blessings, including waking up every morning,” says Milton Allimadi, Publisher and CEO of The Black Star News co.

“Even though the recession isn’t yet behind us, we felt it was worth acknowledging achievements made by our honorees and to get together with our readers for networking. We also want our supporters to join us in closing this year and praying for a better 2010.”

BSN’s Annual Awards Dinner recognizes exemplary women and men who excel in their professions and serve as inspiration to the younger generation. This year's Gala event will be held on Friday, November 20, 2009 from 6:30 PM to 11 PM at Midtown Loft, 267 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y., 10016.

Reserved Dinner tables seating 10 are still available at the discounted rate of $2,500. Individual tickets –open bar and dinner but no reserved seating— are also available at the discounted rate of $50 per ticket. Please call (212) 481-7745 to reserve tickets or send an e-mail with your name and phone number specifying how many tickets to milton@blackstarnews.com

The Awards Gala will include an Open Bar cocktail hour; dinner; musical entertainment by a live Jazz band.

Past BSN honorees have included Bill and Camille Cosby, for their philanthropy and very generous support of education. The theme for this year’s dinner is “Education, As the Key to Empowerment” and the honorees, including President Medgar Evers' President Pollard, will make brief remarks highlighting education's importance in determining their path.

Union leader Floyd will also speak on the challenges of protecting jobs and benefits in a recessionary environment.

Rev. Sharpton, Rep. Waters and Soledad O’Brien, CNN anchor and host of the widely celebrated series “Black In America,” and “Latino in America,” are featured speakers.

"I am honored to accept this year's award for groundbreaking journalism,” Soledad O’Brien says. “I consider myself lucky to be able to do what I do - to shed light on those stories that need to be told. We received such extraordinary feedback after Black in America I, it was clear viewers had a great interest in the subject matter and that we needed a part II."

O'Brien added: "Reporting for the Black in America series was an extremely rewarding experience for me personally. By highlighting issues throughout the black community and featuring successful community leaders who are improving the lives of African-Americans, I see the series as a starting point to generate dialogue about issues of race in this country that could lead to real change."

BSN's publisher spoke of the importance of recognizing young talent. “We honor Ajene Watson as a star on the rise,” Allimadi, noted, "He is a smart, innovative entrepreneur who is determined to leave his mark in the world of business. It is his professional achievements along with his advocacy for education that helped the Black Star News make the easy decision to select him as an honoree.” In January, Watson will be donating some much needed equipment to MS 390 in the Bronx, a school where his late  mother taught for many years. "And he’s just getting started,” Allimadi added.

Additional past Black Star News honorees have included Marian Wright Edelman; NY1 News’ Dominic Carter; The Daily News’ Errol Louis; “Like It Is” host and producer Gil Noble; The Amsterdam News's Herb Boyd and Nayaba Arinde; Columbia University’s LaVerna Fountain; NYC Councilman Charles Barron; The People's Attorney, Alton Maddox; legendary director Melvin Van Peebles; and many others.

The Black Star News is a weekly newspaper, also found online at www.blackstarnews.com with a focus on news impacting general readership with emphasis on underserved communities, African Americans, as well as immigrants from the Caribbean and Africa.

Seed funding was provided by Bill and Camille Cosby in 1997. Having earned a reputation for investigative journalism, BSN has been featured in articles in The Wall Street Journal, The Daily News, The New York Post, Brill’s Content magazine, The New York Observer. The newspaper’s publisher was profiled on CNN financial news.

Publisher Allimadi believes in giving back to the community in whatever shape or form and teaches a basic reporting and writing class, Guerrilla Journalism 101, to the Harlem community for free, every Saturday from 12PM-1 PM. "I urge others in other professions to do the same," he says.

This year’s dinner sponsors include Emblem Health; Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield; The City University of New York (CUNY); MetLife; Teamsters Local 237; The Gibson Group Inc.; Harlem Lofts; and, The NY & NJ Minority Supplier Development Council.

For dinner table reservations or individual tickets please call (212) 481-7745.


"Speaking Truth To Empowerment."

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