Jussie Smollett is the Chairman of the awards…
The 32-year-old Brazilian-America actor/singer, who portrays singer-songwriter Jamal Lyon on Fox’s hit drama Empire, is set as one of eight recipients of the NAACP Chairman’s Award.
The honor, which will be presented at the 47th annual NAACP Image Awards next month, is given in recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service.
Along with his role on Empire, Smollett is a longtime activist on behalf of civil rights, HIV/AIDS awareness and other social justice causes since age 15. He volunteers with such nonprofits as the Black AIDS Institute, Artists for a New South Africa and United Negro College Fund. Recently he interrupted his performance at the BET Awards to speak out about the Supreme Court decision allowing gay marriage.
“It is a rare privilege for me to present the NAACP Chairman’s 2016 Award to an outstanding group of trailblazing leaders all under the age of 50 who have given voice and vision to the mantra that black lives matter,” said Roslyn Brock, Chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors. “The five individuals and three organizations have raised awareness of social, educational, and economic injustice from college campuses, church pulpits and the streets, and exemplify what this award symbolizes: ‘Courage Will Not Skip this Generation.’”
The Chairman’s Awards will be presented February 5 during the Image Awards ceremony at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. A two-hour version of the show will air at 9:00 pm ET on TV One.