Selected by the National President of the NAACP, the President’s Award is presented to an individual or group to recognize special achievement in furthering the cause of civil rights and public service.
Living her life in the public has long been the existence for this caring, versatile and fearless actress who continues to shine on screen and in the community. A native New Yorker from The Bronx, Kerry Washington has received high acclaim for her work on stage, on television and on film. As a child, she was called to perform while dancing with the New York Negro Ballet. Following her dreams, she matriculated at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she earned a BA degree in 1998.
She debuted in her first performance in 2000 and has been on a screen every year subsequently. In 2000, Washington was in the highly acclaimed independent film Our Song and Save The Last Dance, for which she received a Teen Choice Award for Best Breakout Performance. Her performance in the 2002 film Lift earned her an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Actress. In the years following her debut, Kerry starred in several films including Bad Company, The United States Of Leland, The Human Stain, Sin, Against The Rope and She Hate Me.
In 2004, Washington starred alongside Jamie Foxx in Ray and her performance earned her the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture. She followed up her triumph with successes like Mr & Mrs Smith, Fantastic Four, I Think I Love My Wife, Fantastic 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer, Lakeview Terrace, Miracle At St. Anna, and Mother And Child. Washington received NAACP Image Award nominations for her performances in The Last King Of Scotland and the Night Catches Us.
Washington enjoyed a tremendous year in 2010 when she starred in the Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls and made her Broadway debut in David Mamet’s Race. Most recently, Washington was seen in The Details as well as A Thousand Words alongside Eddie Murphy. With all her screen work, Washington still found time to motivate and be a champion for those in need. The Americans for the Arts recognized her in 2005, with the Young Artist Award for artistic accomplishments and exemplary leadership. In 2008, she was awarded the Phoenix Award for commitment to social advocacy from the Congressional Black Caucus. Ms. Washington received the Artist-Citizen Award for public leadership in the arts from the US Conference of Mayors in 2009.
As an activist, Washington was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. The Committee bridges the interests of federal and private industry and supports special projects that increase participation and excellence in the arts and humanities. Washington has pledged to adopt some of the nation’s lowest performing schools through the Committee’s Turnaround Program. She enjoys being an active member of the V-Counsel, an esteemed group of advisors to V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls.
Currently seen on both the big and small screen starring in Image Awards and Golden Globe nominated Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and the ABC drama “Scandal.” In 2012, Washington broke barriers by becoming the first African American woman to headline a network TV show since 1974. “Scandal” continues to receive high acclaim from both critics and fans. Washington and the show were both nominated for NAACP Image Awards. Washington can next be seen in the movie, We The Peeples with Craig Robinson.
Selected by the National President/CEO of the NAACP, the President’s Award is presented to an individual or group to recognize their special achievement in public service and furthering the cause of civil rights.
About the President and CEO
Benjamin Todd Jealous is the 17th President and CEO of the NAACP. Appointed at age 35 in 2008, he is the youngest person to lead the century old organization. During his tenure, the NAACP’s online activists have swelled from 175,000 to more than 600,000; its donors have increased from 16,000 individuals per year to more than 120,000; and its membership has increased three years in a row for the first time in more than 20 years. Read More