November 19, 2015


LAWT News Service 



YWCA Greater Los Angeles recently honored Debra L. Lee, a woman who has led the global media and entertainment brand BET Networks as Chairman and CEO for nearly 30 years, with the Media Visionary Award, which was presented to her by Kelly Rowland.  The evening also honored Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas as Man of the Year, and Toyota's Tracey Underwood with the Corporate Champion Award.


The evening's  starry attendance included co-chairs:  YWCA GLA's Ambassador, Kathy Ireland, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who was recently named YWCA GLA's Advisory Commissioner.  Other participating stars and  dignitaries were Fabian Wesson, Chair, California Science Center and Exposition Park.   Also in attendance were "Entertainment Tonight's" Nischelle Turner who also served as the evening's emcee, Jacqueline Bisset, Jane Seymour, Tia Mowry-Hardic, Tichina Arnold, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., Dana Gourrier and Tiffany Haddish.


“Ms. Lee has set patterns of excellence for the entire spectrum of media with her BET Networks programming and corporate effort to have positive effect on how young minorities see themselves and their community, directing them to lives of success and contribution,” said Faye Washington, YWCA Greater Los Angeles' president and CEO.


“We are honored to present her with the Media Visionary Award.  She has been an inspiration for young people to celebrate life by defining and exploring their own personal assets. She has widened the impact and the social contribution of this magnificent communications empire.


According to Washington, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and the other honorees were equally deserving, for various reasons.


"Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas was honored with the Man of the Year Award to salute his programs of advancement for our least privileged children,” she said.


“It symbolizes his efforts to provide through legislation and through personal intervention, routes of self-worth for youngsters the prevailing system has used, abused and abandoned.”


Also, “The Corporate Champion Award is designed to celebrate business practice undertaken specifically to achieve social benefit. This is brilliantly exemplified in the award to Tracy Underwood for overseeing Toyota USA’s Social Innovation Division. Through its targeted efforts, Toyota USA is helping mediate the deprivation of opportunity these young people face before they come into our YWCA GLA programs,” Washington stated.


The Rhapsody Gala is the organization's main fundraising event which helps fund YWCA GLA assistance of the area’s most at-risk population, emancipated foster youth facing survival on their own with no resources and minimal training, and other underserved individuals in YWCA GLA’s program areas. 

Category: Arts & Culture

Taste of Soul Sponsors