On Sunday, January 18, ESSENCE and Perennial Sports and Entertainment partnered to host a special awards brunch and reception. The event was held to commemorate the historical inaugural weekend and President Obama’s National Weekend of Service.
ESSENCE Editor-in Chief Angela Burt-Murray, left, T.D. Jakes, Sylvia Rhone and ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks.
A talented and beautiful Kerry Washington was on hand at the ESSENCE Brunch. Kerry accepted the Advocate Award for her distinguished achievements on and off camera during President Obama’s campaign.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee received the Leadership Award for her outstanding work in Congress, as well as chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Music industry ground-breaker Rhone accepted the Trailblazer Award during the celebratory brunch.
Hollywood producer and casting director Reuben Cannon was honored with the vision award. Cannon’s casting director credits include the films “Deliver Us From Eva” and “Why Do Fools Fall In Love.”
Spiritual leader Jakes and actor/author Hill Harper share camera time during the brunch. Harper accepted an Advocate Award and also reminisced on his Harvard days with our new President during the brunch.
Gwen Ifill, veteran journalist and author of the new book “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama,” showed support for the ESSENCE brunch.
T.V. guys Jeff Johnson and A.J. Calloway are all smiles for the camera.
Lamell McMorris, right, and Harper get their swagger on during the joyous event. McMorris is the founder and CEO of Perennial Sports and Entertainment.
Lifelong children’s advocate Marian Wright Edelman offers the crowd a few wise words during the brunch. Edelman is the founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund.
McMorris is typically working behind the scenes as leader of Perennial Sports and Entertainment but managed to break away to share a few kind words during the program.
Megapastor Jakes stopped by. His heartfelt prayer during the program moved many to tears.
McMorris, Washington and Jakes celebrated with hundreds of guests at the brunch, which was held at D.C.’s swanky House of Sweden overlooking the Potomac River.
NBA vet Alonzo Mourning and wife Tracy stopped by the brunch to help celebrate the achievements of our community’s role models.
ESSENCE.com blogger Roland S. Martin and his wife, minister Jacquie Hood Martin, worked the room during the celeb-filled brunch.