Host & Special Honorees

Home / Host & Special Honorees


Anthony Anderson

anthony-andersonEmmy nominated, Anthony Anderson is star and executive producer of ABC’s sitcom “black-ish,” one of the breakout comedies of the 2014-2015 season. He plays the main character in the series; a family man that struggles to gain a sense of cultural identity while raising his kids in a predominantly white, upper-middle class neighborhood. He stars opposite Tracee Ellis Ross and Laurence Fishburne.

Anthony was recently seen hosting The NAACP Image Awards, and is set to continue his hosting duties through 2017.  This year, Anthony won his second individual Image Award in the category of “Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series.” Anderson has also been nominated, for his role as Dre on ABC’s “black-ish,” for both an Emmy Award and a Critic’s Choice Award in 2015.

Born in Compton, California in 1970, Anderson has appeared in over 20 films. His performance on “Law & Order” earned him his fourth consecutive NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series for the 2010 season. He has received 8 total Image Award nominations in his career. Before joining Law & Order, Anderson starred in the New Orleans-based drama “K-Ville.”  Over the years, he has displayed his bountiful talent in the DreamWorks’ blockbuster “Transformers,” directed by Michael Bay, as well as in Martin Scorsese’s Oscar winning feature, “The Departed,” alongside a stellar cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson. Most recently he has been seen in the Sundance film “Goats” and 20th Century Fox’s “The Big Year” starring Jack Black, Owen Wilson and Steve Martin, directed by David Frankel.

Anderson first gained attention as one of Jim Carrey’s sons in “Me, Myself, and Irene,” and has subsequently appeared in such films as “Scary Movie 3,” “Barbershop,” “Kangaroo Jack,” “Exit Wounds,” “Cradle 2 the Grave,” “Two Can Play That Game,” and “Malibu’s Most Wanted.” He also starred opposite Eddie Griffin and Michael Imperioli in “My Baby’s Daddy,” opposite Frankie Muniz in “Agent Cody Banks 2” and had a cameo in “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle.” Anderson brought his talent and humor to the small screen in his own WB sitcom “All About the Andersons” which was loosely based on his life. Anderson appeared in the police-drama television series, “The Shield,” opposite Michael Chiklis and Glenn Close and in NBC’s “Guys with Kids.”

Anderson grew up in Los Angeles. While pursuing his acting career, he continued his education by attending the High School for the Performing Arts, where he earned first place in the NAACP’s ACTSO Awards with his performance of the classic monologue from “The Great White Hope.” That performance, along with his dedication to his craft, earned him an arts scholarship to Howard University.

Anderson currently lives in Los Angeles.

… Read More


Nischelle Turner

cohost-360Nischelle Turner is a correspondent for Emmy Award-winning ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT.

Turner is an award-winning journalist and was formally a correspondent for CNN Entertainment reporting for “Showbiz Tonight” and contributing entertainment segments to the New York-based morning program “New Day.” While at CNN, Turner’s work included leading the network’s coverage from the red carpet at the Grammys, Golden Globes and Oscars as well as her live coverage of breaking news, including the death of music legend Whitney Houston.

Turner began her journalism career in 1998 when she joined WEHT as a reporter and fill-in anchor in Evansville, Ind. In 2000, Turner was a weekday reporter and weekend anchor for WVUE-TV FOX8 in New Orleans. After establishing a presence in news, Turner joined KTTV in Los Angeles in 2004 as a reporter on “Good Day LA” and host/anchor for “Good Day LA Weekend.” Just a few months after leaving, she returned to New Orleans to cover Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Her coverage of the disaster won several journalism awards.

As an avid sports fan, Turner’s passion and knowledge came in handy when she joined FOX NFL Sunday as a sideline reporter for national football broadcasts in 2007. In addition to covering football, major league baseball and basketball for FOX, Turner became a host for “Extra on Essence” in 2009, an online entertainment show focusing on Hollywood’s most elite stars. Turner also has served as a freelance reporter and host for KNBC.

In addition to appearing as an entertainment news expert for CNN and HLN’s The Dr. Drew Show and The Daily Share, Turner was featured in a cameo role on The Young and the Restless.

Turner attended the University of Missouri where she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and broadcast news.

ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT is a multi-platform entertainment news brand, with a cross-screen portfolio that includes the #1 entertainment newsmagazine on television, averaging 4.4 million viewers daily, and the #1 outlet for entertainment news video online, reaching nearly half of all US entertainment news video viewers each month per comScore, more than double its nearest competitor. is also a top-five entertainment news website, and ET’s social audience reaches more than 70 million U.S. users monthly.

Produced and distributed by CBS Television Distribution, ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT is hosted by Nancy O’Dell and Kevin Frazier with Sharon Hoffman serving as Executive Producer and Rick Joyce as co-executive producer. Nischelle Turner, Cameron Mathison and Carly Steel are correspondents, with Mathison serving as co-anchor of ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT WEEKEND.

… Read More

Special Honorees

The Jackie Robinson Sports Award:
Lebron James

Lebron JamesLeBron James is widely considered one of the greatest athletes of his generation. James’ extraordinary basketball skills and dedication to the game have won him the admiration of fans across the globe, and have made him an international icon. James’ NBA career began as a Cleveland Cavalier when he was drafted out of high school by his hometown team with the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. In 2010, James joined the Miami Heat where he led the team to four straight NBA finals appearances that included back-to-back NBA Championships and consecutive NBA Finals MVPs.

The 2011-2012 season was a historic year for James as he earned his third league MVP award, NBA Finals MVP, and his first NBA Championship. James capped that landmark season by leading the United States to a gold medal at the summer Olympics in London, his second gold medal as a member of Team USA.

Prior to the 2014-2015 season, James rejoined the Cleveland Cavaliers to pursue a bigger mission in the region that raised him. In his second season back in Cleveland, James helped the Cavs deliver the city its first professional sports championship in more than 52 years. Following his team’s unprecedented comeback in the NBA Finals, James was named the NBA Finals MVP for the third time in his career.Throughout his career, James has made charitable efforts a priority, namely through the LeBron James Family Foundation (LJFF). Founded by James in 2004, the program strives to positively affect the lives of children and young adults through education and co-curricular educational initiatives. In 2011, in partnership with Akron Public Schools, the Foundation began working on the high school dropout crisis facing the Akron community and launched its “Wheels for Education” program. This groundbreaking initiative targets third graders and provides them with the programs, support and mentors they need for success in school. The Foundation has taken the core values of the Wheels for Education program and tailored them to middle school children to create the Akron I PROMISE Network, which will follow the students through graduation. In partnership with The University of Akron, LeBron has guaranteed college educations for thousands of Akron Public School students that complete the Foundation’s programs and meet certain academic and philanthropic criteria.Coupled with his success on the court, James’ diverse business portfolio of innovative endorsements and authentic investments has established him as one of the most influential figures in all of sports. In 2014, Forbes ranked James as the top athlete on their list of the world’s most powerful celebrities for his influence beyond the sports landscape. James has also appeared on TIME’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s 100 Most Influential People in Sports, and the Sports Business Journal’s 50 Most Influential People in Sports Business.

Also adding to his off-the-court portfolio is James’ increasing influence in the entertainment industry, namely through his own SpringHill Entertainment. Named after the public housing complex where James grew up in Akron, Ohio, SpringHill Entertainment is an entertainment and content company that develops creative content across a variety of platforms including digital, documentary and feature films, and scripted and unscripted TV. Since launching the company in 2008 with James’ longtime friend and business partner Maverick Carter, SpringHill has spearheaded a number of projects including “Becoming,” a collaboration with ESPN Films and Disney XD on a half-hour show for kids and families profiling the inspirational journeys of today’s top athletes with James’ story being featured in the pilot episode. During NBA All-Star 2015, SpringHill executive produced the NBA’s first ever “All-Star All-Style” fashion competition featuring top talent in the NBA and entertainment industries. SpringHill is also behind the breakout Starz scripted comedy series “Survivor’s Remorse,” with James executive producing along with Carter and legendary producer and Chairman of the Boston Red Sox, Tom Werner. One of SpringHill Entertainment’s fastest growing ventures is UNINTERRUPTED, the digital media company created by Carter and James that provides unique personalities in sports and entertainment the platform to develop and amplify their stories. In 2015, SpringHill Entertainment joined global entertainment leader Warner Bros. Entertainment in an unprecedented, long-term partnership spanning all areas of content creation. SpringHill is currently producing several projects including “The Wall,” a primetime network game show for NBC, the aspiring unscripted CNBC series, “Cleveland Hustles,” and an untitled upcoming feature film with New Line Cinema.

In addition to serving as an executive producer on a number of SpringHill’s projects, James made his major motion picture debut in 2015 with a major supporting role in Judd Apatow’s hit comedy, “Trainwreck.” Additionally, Universal has purchased the rights to an upcoming film about James’ formative years that will be scripted by Frank E. Flowers and produced by James and Carter, along with Academy Award-nominated producers Rachel Winter and Terence Winter.

… Read More

The Chairman’s Award:
Charles J. Ogletree, Jr.

Charles OgletreeCharles Ogletree, the Harvard Law School Jesse Climenko Professor of Law, and Founding and Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, is a prominent legal theorist who has made an international reputation by taking a hard look at complex issues of law and by working to secure the rights guaranteed by the Constitution for everyone equally under the law. Professor Ogletree opened the offices of The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice in September 2005 as a tribute to the legendary civil rights lawyer and mentor and teacher of such great civil rights lawyers as Thurgood Marshall and Oliver Hill. The Institute has engaged in a wide range of important educational, legal, and policy issues over the past 6 years.

Professor Ogletree is the author of several important books on race and justice. His most recent publication is a book co-edited with Professor Austin Sarat of Amherst College entitled Life without Parole: America’s New Death Penalty? (NYU Press, 2012). Other publications include The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Race, Class, and Crime in America (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).In November 2009, NYU Press published Professor Ogletree’s book, co-edited with Professor Austin Sarat, The Road to Abolition: The Future of Capital Punishment in the United States. Also edited with Austin Sarat, When Law Fails: Making Sense of Miscarriages of Justice and From Lynch Mobs to the Killing State: Race and the Death Penalty in America were published by NYU Press in January of 2009 and May of 2006 respectively. His historical memoir, All Deliberate Speed: Reflections on the First Half-Century of Brown v. Board of Education, was published by W.W. Norton & Company in April 2004. Professor Ogletree also co-authored Beyond the Rodney King Story: An Investigation of Police Conduct in Minority Communities (Northeastern University Press 1995).

Professor Ogletree is a native of Merced, California, where he attended public schools. Professor Ogletree earned an M.A. and B.A. (with distinction) in Political Science from Stanford University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa. He also holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

In 2009 Professor Ogletree was awarded the prestigious ABA Spirit of Excellence Award in recognition of his many contributions to the legal profession. In 2008, the National Law Journal named Professor Ogletree one of the 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America. Every year since 2006, Professor Ogletree has been named by Ebony Magazine as one of the 100+ Most Influential Black Americans. He was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the National Black Law Students Association, where he served as National President from 1977-1978. Professor Ogletree also received the first ever Rosa Parks Civil Rights Award given by the City of Boston, the Hugo A. Bedau Award given by the Massachusetts Anti-Death Penalty Coalition, and Morehouse College’s Gandhi, King, Ikeda Community Builders Prize. He has also received honorary doctorates from several universities and colleges including Cambridge College, Wilberforce University, the University of Miami, the New England School of Law, Lincoln College, Tougaloo College, Mount Holyoke College, and Amherst College.

Professor Ogletree has been married to his fellow Stanford graduate, Pamela Barnes, since 1975. They are the proud parents of two children, Charles Ogletree III and Rashida Ogletree, and grandparents to granddaughters, Marquelle, Nia Mae, Jamila Ogletree, and Makayla George. The Ogletrees live in Cambridge and are members of St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church.

… Read More

The President’s Award:
Lonnie G. Bunch, III


Historian, author, curator and educator, Lonnie G. Bunch, III is the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. In this position he is working to set the museum’s mission, coordinate its fundraising and membership campaigns, develop its collections, establish cultural partnerships and oversee the design and construction of the museum’s building. Rooted in his belief that the museum exists now although the building is not in place, he is designing a high-profile program of traveling exhibitions and public events ranging from panel discussions and seminars to oral history and collecting workshops.

The museum, the 19th to open as part of the Smithsonian Institution, is located on the national Mall where Smithsonian museums attracted more than 24 million visitors in 2005. It stands on a five-acre site adjacent to the Washington Monument and opposite the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC. The museum opened to critical and public acclaim on September 24, 2016.

As a public historian, a scholar who brings history to the people, Bunch has spent nearly 30 years in the museum field where he is regarded as one of the nation’s leading figures in the historical and museum community.

Prior to his July 2005 appointment as director of NMAAHC, Bunch, served as the president of the Chicago Historical Society, one of the nation’s oldest museums of history (January 2001-June 2005). There, he initiated an unprecedented outreach initiative to diverse communities and launched a much-applauded exhibition and program on teenage life titled “Teen Chicago.” He also led a successful capital campaign to transform the institution in celebration of its 150th anniversary and managed an institutional reorganization.

Bunch has held several positions at the Smithsonian. As the National Museum of American History’s (NMAH) Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs (1994-2000), he oversaw the curatorial and collections management staff of nearly 200. In addition to leading the curatorial team that developed the major permanent exhibition “American Presidency: A Glorious Burden,” he served as co-author of the exhibition’s companion book by the same name.

While assistant director for curatorial affairs at NMAH, (1992-1994), Bunch developed “Smithsonian’s America,” an exhibition that explored the history, culture and diversity of the United States; it was shown in Tokyo, Japan as part of the “American Festival Japan ’94.” He also supervised the planning and implementation of the museum’s research and collection agendas. As a supervising curator at NMAH, (1989-1992), he oversaw several of the museum’s divisions, including Community Life and Political History.

From 1978 to 1979, Bunch was an education specialist and historian at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, where he developed multi-cultural instructional programs and researched and wrote the history of African Americans in aviation.

Bunch served as the curator of history for the California Afro-American Museum in Los Angeles from 1983 to 1989. There he organized several award-winning exhibitions including “The Black Olympians, 1904-1950” and “Black Angelenos: The Afro-American in Los Angeles, 1850-1950.” Committed to making history accessible, he also produced several historical documentaries for public television.

A prolific and widely published author, Bunch has written on topics ranging from slavery, the black military experience, the American presidency and all black towns in the American west to diversity in museum management and the impact of funding and politics on American museums. In 2010, he published the award-winning book “Call the Lost dream Back: Essays on Race, History and Museums.” “Slave Culture: A Documentary Collection of the Slave Narratives” was published in 2014 and in 2015 he published “Memories of the Enslaved: Voices from the Slave Narratives.” In 2016, Bunch co-authored “From No Return: the 221-Year Journey of the Slave Ship Sao Jose.” Lectures and presentations to museum professionals and scholars have taken him to major cities in the United States and to many nations abroad including Australia, China, England, Italy, Japan, Scotland, South Africa, Sweden, Ghana, Senegal and Cuba. Since 2008, Bunch has served as the series co-editor of the “New Public Scholarship Edition” of the University of Michigan Press. During the inaugurations of President Barack Obama, Bunch served as an on-camera commentator for ABC News.

In service to the historical and cultural community, Bunch has served on the advisory boards of the American Association of Museums, the African American Association of Museums, the American Association of State and Local History, and the ICOM-US. Among his many awards, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Commission for the Preservation of the White House in 2002 and reappointed by President Barack Obama in 2009. In 2005, Bunch was named one of the 100 most influential museum professionals in the 20th century by the American Association of Museums and in 2009, Ebony Magazine named him one of its 150 most influential African Americans. Again, in 2016 he was chosen as one of the 100 most significant African Americans by Ebony Magazine. In 2011, BET (Black Entertainment Television) selected Bunch to receive its BET Honors for outstanding service to American education. In 2014, BET selected Bunch as one of its ICON Men for his work mentoring young African American men. In recent years, Bunch has been honored with: Visionary History Award, DC Historical Society (2016), Rainbow Push Torchbearer Award (2016), Delta Sigma Thea Remembering Our Heritage Award (2016), and National Newspaper Publishers Association Torch Award (2016). In 2016, Bunch was listed as #1 in the Washington Business Journal’s Power 100 ratings and in Vanity Fair’s Hall of Fame.

Born in the Newark, N.J. area, Bunch has held numerous teaching positions across the country including The American University in Washington, D.C. (1978-1979); the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth (1979-1981); and The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. (1989-2000). He received undergraduate and graduate degrees from The American University in Washington, D.C. in African American and American history.
He is married to Maria Marable Bunch, a museum educator. They have two daughters, Sarah and Katie.

… Read More