NEW YORK (February 2, 2016)—Today, Time Inc.’s (NYSE:TIME) ESSENCE announced the exceptional honorees for its 9th annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon, underscoring the spirit of diversity in one of Oscar week’s highly anticipated and star-studded events. The 2016 Black Women in HollywoodAward will be presented to powerhouse actress Tracee Ellis Ross (Fierce & Fearless Award); multi-talented producer, director and actress Debbie Allen (Legend Award); and entertainment attorney Nina Shaw (Lincoln Power Award). The event will take place on Thursday, February 25.
“We are delighted to continue the tradition of honoring exceptionally talented women who are making significant contributions as creators and performers in Hollywood,” noted ESSENCE Editor-in-Chief Vanessa De Luca. “At a time when the conversation about diversity in Hollywood remains prevalent, recognizing the indomitable power and presence of Tracee Ellis Ross, Debbie Allen and Nina Shaw at our annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon embraces an inclusive and diverse Hollywood community.”
As a part of ESSENCE’s commitment to creating opportunities for women in Hollywood, the brand is hosting its third annual Black Women in Hollywood Short Film Contest and will announce the winning filmmaker at this year’s event.
The event will also feature appearances by Oprah Winfrey, Shonda Rhimes, Nick Cannon, Ryan Coogler, Zendaya and others to be announced. Acclaimed R&B artist Leon Bridges will perform. The ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon will be televised as an ESSENCE and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network special, airing on Saturday, February 27 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on OWN.
Essence.com is giving fans exclusive access to the style and substance of the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon by live streaming all the red-carpet action, including interviews with the stars, starting at 12:15 p.m. PT/3:15 p.m. ET.
Since its debut in 2008, the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon has honored some of the most cherished figures in the industry, including Oprah Winfrey, Lupita Nyong’o, Ava DuVernay, Halle Berry, Viola Davis, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Angela Bassett, Queen Latifah, Alfre Woodard, Regina King, Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson, Jennifer Hudson, Zoe Saldana, Mary J. Blige, Gabourey Sidibe, Quvenzhané Wallis, Jurnee Smollett, Ruby Dee, Diahann Carroll, Cicely Tyson, Loretta Devine, Naomie Harris, Gabrielle Union, Mara Brock Akil, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ruth E. Carter, Gina Prince-Bythewood and Suzanne de Passe.
As a highlight of Oscar week, this elegant luncheon has hosted many of Hollywood’s elite, including Tom Cruise, Will Smith, Amy Adams, Emma Stone, Samuel L. Jackson, Forest Whitaker, James Cameron, Terrence Howard and Laurence Fishburne, among many others.
Stay tuned to Essence.com for highlights and behind-the-scenes access to the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @essencemag #BlackWomeninHollywood. Join in the discussion on Facebook.
The ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon is presented by The Lincoln Motor Company and sponsored by L’Oréal Paris, Colgate® Optic White®, Geico, Walmart and AT&T.