African American Church Inaugural Ball Souvenir Journal
The official Souvenir Journal from the African American Church Inaugural Ball held on Sunday, January 20, 2013 in Washington, DC at the Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel.
To commemorate the Second Term and Inauguration of President Barack H. Obama, The Balm In Gilead and leaders of African American Churches will mark this moment with great jubilation and honor legends of our time with the once in a life-time KEEPERS OF THE FLAME AWARD. Honorees represent a diverse discipline of knowledge and achievement. These dedicated men and women represent those struggles and achievements that paved the way to the commemorative moments of which we celebrate. There are two distinct purposes for The African American Church Inaugural Ball: Allow the collective community of the African American Church to join in the congratulatory efforts of our nation. To support the charity, The Balm In Gilead, whose mission is to prevent diseases and to improve the health of individuals who are disproportionately affected by high rates of health disparities, especially HIV, hepatitis C, cervical cancer and sexual violence. Over 1100 Celebrate the 2009 Inauguration of President Barack H. Obama and The Keepers of the Flame!! The evening was filled with excitement and celebration as over 1100 people, including a large media contingent, watched as leaders of African American churches honored legends of our time with the once in a life-time Keepers of the Flame Award. Honorees represented a diverse discipline of knowledge and achievement. These dedicated men and women represent those whose struggles and achievements paved the way to the commemorative moment and national celebration of the inauguration of the first African American president, Barack Obama and the first family. The number of those who have made sacrifices for our opportunities is legion. However, on that night, homage was paid to men and women who represent the best of us and who have carried the torch and kept the flame burning. Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson. II Chair, The African American Church Inaugural Ball Chair, Conference of National Black Churches Greetings: I am delighted to welcome you to the African American Church Inaugural Ball 2013. Tonight, we, once again, celebrate America! The coming together of African American faith communities in celebration of the first African American President of the United States of America is indeed historic. What has been achieved in this re-election of President Barack Obama is the ultimate manifestation of the long struggle of Black people in this country and the realization of our greatest hope. There are untold numbers of men and women whose sacrifice, achievement and faith have paved the way for this marvelous day. The 16 individuals we honor here are among those who have kept the flame of hope alive and have been custodians of the legacy of struggle. We also pay tribute to all of whom we are indebted as we honor these keepers of the flame tonight. The Black church has been an advocate and incubator for the dreams and hopes of Black people. It is right at that the church pauses and gives thanks for what God has done. We see the alignment of the grace of God in the sequence of events which have brought us to this glorious hour. Moreover, beyond our tribute to those who have preceded us, our coming together here, helps equip the Black church to continue in the fight for the advancement of all people everywhere. Our embrace for The Balm In Gilead through the proceeds from tonight’s festivities is a clear indication of our commitment to the future of our children and their children. I, therefore, pause here to pay tribute to Pernessa Seele, CEO and Founder of The Balm In Gilead. She is the “general” of faith communities across denominations and throughout the world to improve the health of our people. We salute her! Thank you for joining us tonight as we celebrate our history and our hope. God bless President Barack Obama and God bless America! W. Franklyn Richardson, II 5 AACIB| Souvenir Journal www.AACIB.com Erline Belton Chair of the Board of Directors The Balm in Gilead It is an honor and a blessing to welcome you on behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of The Balm In Gilead to The African American Church Inaugural Ball. We are especially grateful and appreciative of your generous support of The Balm In Gilead’s work over that past 24 years. I believe it is our collected destiny to gather at this time to celebrate and bear witness to our rich legacy and greatness as a people. Tonight, we honor the voices of 16 individuals that continue to speak to our legacy and to our souls. To all of our Keepers of the Flame, we thank you. I wish to thank every faith leader here in the United States and throughout Africa that have joined The Balm In Gilead’s crusade to provide education and health services within their communities. We believe that faith communities must be on the front line of addressing the multitude of health challenges that Africans and African Americans face, globally. As we honor our legacy this evening, we thank all of our faith partners throughout the United States and Africa for their courage and commitment to specifically fight AIDS stigma and provide compassionate service and education. As we move in the New Year before us, may each of us commit to making the space we occupy in the universe, loving, beautiful, healthy and economically sustainable for all. Let us pray for President Barack Obama every day and may we do all that we can to make this time in our history meaningful to our children and their children’s children. May God always bless you with wisdom and love, Erline Belton, Chairperson The Balm In Gilead Pernessa C. Seele Founder and CEO The Balm in Gilead Executive Producer, The African American Church Inaugural Ball I greet each of you with tremendous Joy! Welcome to the African American Church Inaugural Ball 2013. What great jubilation and pride we continue to feel as we come to the Second Inauguration of the first US President of African Descent. Stand with me this evening as we bestow the once in a lifetime Keepers of the Flame Award to 16 extraordinary individuals! We honor you this evening for your gifts of excellence, courage and strength, which you continue to exemplify throughout your living. I am forever grateful to those â€œKeepersâ€? whose names will never be spoken loudly this evening except in the minds and hearts of those who love them in spirit and in truth. I pause to punctuate this moment by acknowledging the life of Dorothy I. Height, Benjamin Hooks and John Hope Franklin. These three 2009 Keeper of the Flame Honorees now live in the realm of eternal life as brilliant stars in the heavens. The Balm In Gilead is grateful for your generous support and hope you will continue to help to advance our work by contributing your resources to help us engage Africans and African Americans in improving their health and preventing life-threatening diseases, especially HIV, hepatitis C, cervical cancer and sexual violence. We believe that faith leaders and institutions are uniquely positioned to play a major role in efforts to improve the health conditions of people living in communities they have been called to serve. The next four years are upon us. We honor and appreciate the achievements of President Barack Obama during his first-term in office. For the next 1,460 days of his second term, we will stand by him in prayer and in action! Forever, I AM yours in the Consciousness of Abiding Faith and Love! Pernessa C. Seele Founder/CEO The Board of Directors wishes to thank you for your continued support of The Balm In Gilead Inc. Ms. Erline Belton, Chairperson Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. Bishop George E. Battle, Jr. Dr. Marilyn Valentine, MD Dr. Barbara L. Shaw Rev. Dr. William Lee Mr. Charles Owens Dr. Angela Aidala, PhD Dr. Elnora P. Hamb Global Health Bridging Solutions Between Africa and African American Communities in Fighting HIV/AIDS And Other Health Disparities The Balm In Gilead, Inc. is an international NGO based in Richmond, VA (USA) and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (Skyway Building). The mission of the organization is to improve the health status of people of the African Diaspora by building the capacity of faith communities to address life-threatening diseases, especially HIV/AIDS. As such, organizational objectives are to develop and/or strengthen the capacity of faith communities to: a. Deliver supportive services to those affected by HIV/AIDS and other diseases; b. Provide compassionate leadership in the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other diseases; and c. Disseminate and promote HIV/AIDS and other heath information. Now celebrating 24 years of service, The Balm In Gilead develops educational and training programs specifically designed to meet the unique needs of African American and African congregations that strive to become community centers for health education and disease prevention-especially AIDS education, testing, compassion and care. Working exclusively with both African and African American faith communities, The Balm In Gilead’s is known throughout Africa and the United States for its insightful understanding of religious cultures and values and extraordinary ability to build strong, trusted partnerships with faith communities. With these unique partnerships, The Balm In Gilead has been entrusted to build the capacity of national faith structures to utilize their existing tentacles that reach into every urban center and rural village to deliver comprehensive HIV services. African American Churches across the US have partnered with The Balm In Gilead to support the establishment of health programs within local congregations and communities. To date, over 2.5 million African Americans have been reached with life-saving information regarding HIV/AIDS via our congregations. The Balm In Gilead’s work in Tanzania is highlighted in The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief Report on Community and Faith-Based Organizations. In February 2007, The US Embassy in Tanzania selected The Balm In Gilead’s work with National Muslim Council of Tanzania as a site visit for First Lady Laura Bush to witness the successful work of PEPFAR in Tanzania and the integration of faith communities in addressing HIV/AIDS. Understanding the Regulations of the Affordable Care Act (UPACA) In the rapidly changing landscape of the American Health System, The Balm In Gilead is working to educate faith communities about the Affordable Care Act and its impact on disease prevention, care and treatment. The Balm In Gilead hosts public discussion forums and offers seminars, webinars and resource materials that explain the Affordable Care Act in plain language. Goal To equip faith and community leaders with basic, up-to-date information about the health care reform law and its National Prevention Strategy; and to make the primary aims of the ACA relevant to the work of faith institutions seeking to improve the health conditions of their communities. Objectives •Guide faith communities through the implementation of the ACA by providing relevant and current information. •Provide clarity to around provisions the of the ACA that are currently in effect and those to come •Encourage advocacy for the protection of Medicaid programs that may be threatened in states that refuse Medicaid expansion. •Assist faith institutions in developing clear strategies around how to use the ACA’s provisions to enhance the work of their existing health programs and ministries. To receive more information about Understanding the Regulations of the Affordable Care Act please visit us www.balmingilead.org or call Iman Shabazz at 888-225-6243. The African American Church Inaugural Ball Thank you to our Patrons Dr. Mildred Hall-Watson Venette Scalis Al Reid Cheri Reid Ophelia Gilliam Medical Notes, Inc. Ms. Libby Linebarger African American Church Inaugural Ball Executive Producer Pernessa C. Seele Event Team Phanalphie “Rhue” Still Event Planner Rev. Gay Tompson Steele Advertising Coordinator Suzanne Ishee Production Director Alan Washington Sponsor & Seating Director Sheila Baptista Music Producer Richard Smith Sponsor & Seating Coordinator James Rohlehr Music Director Joyce Powell & Yolanda Reed Volunteer Co-Directors Arlette Murrain Marketing Director Cary Goodman Assistant to the Executive Producer Media Team Public Relations Department The UNIWORLD Group Pauline Barfield Barfield Public Relations Phanalphie “Rhue” Still Square One Communications Jocelyn R. Coleman FavorPR Community Organizing Committee Dr. Marsha Martin Rev. Willis Steele VaShone Huff Rosa Baxter Doris Shaw Shelley Hayes, Esq. The Staff of The Balm in Gilead The Staff of The Balm In Gilead Graciously Honor your support of our work in the USA and Tanzania Pernessa C. Seele Founder/CEO Gertie Williams Chief Operating Officer Iman Shabazz Capacity Building Specialist Saidi Mpendu, MD Country Director, Tanzania Betty Stephens Director of Church and Community Mobilization Dr. Valerie AnnDenise Brown Director of Monitoring and Evaluation Ophelia Gilliam Receptionist Cary L. Goodman Executive Administrator Jeffrey Marlow Fiscal Director Rashida Mobley Senior Accountant Arlette Murrain Marketing and Business Development Ashley Ramsey Director of Capacity Building and Training Brittney Washington Junior Accountant Marco Wamara Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist John Ndoje Manager of Finance and Administration Magreth Manyanda Accountant Eshe Saidi Administrative Assistant Salum Salum Driver Master of Ceremony Roland S. Martin Roland S. Martin is a nationally award-winning and multifaceted journalist. A nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate, Mr. Martin is the author of Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith, and Speak, Brother! A Black Man’s View of America, and “The First: President Barack Obama’s Road to the White House as originally reported by Roland S. Martin.” Mr. Martin is a commentator for TV One Cable Network and host and managing editor of “Washington Watch with Roland Martin,” a one-hour Sunday morning news show. He is also a CNN Analyst, appearing on a variety of the network’s shows. In October 2008, he joined the Tom Joyner Morning Show as senior analyst. Named by Ebony Magazine in 2008, 2009 and 2010 as one of the 150 Most Influential African Americans in the United States, he is the 2009 winner of the NAACP Image Award for Best Interview for “In Conversation: The Michelle Obama Interview.” He is the 2008 winner of the NAACP Image Award for Best Interview for “In Conversation: The Sen. Barack Obama Interview.” “An insightful and provocative analyst” In 2009, CNN was awarded the Peabody Award for its outstanding 2008 election coverage, of which Martin was a member of the Best Political Team on Television. Martin, named one of the top 50 political pundits by the Daily Telegraph in the United Kingdom, was also awarded the 2008 President’s Award by the National Association of Black Journalists for his work in multiple media platforms. In 2008, he was also inducted into the Texas A&M University Journalism Hall of Honor. He has won more than 30 professional awards for journalistic excellence, including a regional Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television News Directors; top reporting honors from the National Association of Black Journalists; the National Association of Minorities in Cable and the National Associated Press-Managing Editors Conference. He previously served as owner/publisher of Dallas-Fort Worth Heritage, a Christian monthly newspaper. Mr. Martin is a life member of the National Association of Black Journalists, and a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He is married to the Rev. Jacquie Hood Martin, author of Fulfilled! The Art and Joy of Balanced Living. They reside in Washington, D.C. Distinguished Program Participants Robert J. Brown Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer B & C Associates, Inc. Robert J. Brown is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of B&C Associates, Inc., a management consulting, marketing research and public relations firm headquartered in High Point, North Carolina. He is also the Chairman and CEO of B&C International, Inc., and President of International BookSmart Foundation. Morris Chestnut Actor Morris Chestnut first came to be recognized by moviegoers starring as Ricky in Boyz n the Hood (1991). Two years later, he landed a lead role in Civil Rights Drama The Ernest Green Story (1993) (TV), showing courage and perseverance as one of the Arkansas Nine high school students. His film credits include: Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995), G.I. Jane (1997) and Half Past Dead (2002) as well The Best Man (1999), The Brothers (2001), Two Can Play That Game (2001), and Breakin’ All the Rules (2004). He can be seen in Universal‘s Identity Thief, opposite Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy. The Honorable Barbara Lee Member of Congress - California’s 13th District Barbara Jean Lee is the U.S. Representative for California’s 13th congressional district, serving East Bay voters from 1998 to 2013 during a time when the region was designated California’s 9th congressional district. Congresswoman Lee has established a reputation for principled and independent stands, unafraid to take on the tough issues and speak her mind for her constituents, for a more just America, and for a safer world. As a social worker by profession, being an advocate for people in dealing with the federal bureaucracy has been a priority. The Honorable Paul Mashatile Minister of Arts and Culture of the Republic of South Africa As a student, Mashatile was an activist in the struggle against apartheid as a member of the Congress of South African Students, and was the co-founder and first president of the Alexandra Youth Congress. He was detained without trial from 1985-1989, and participated in a nation-wide protest by engaging in an 18-day hunger strike. When the African National Congress and the South African Communist Party were unbanned in 1990, he helped re-establish them and continued to organize on their behalf. The African American Church Inaugural Ball Grand Hyatt Washington Sunday, January 20, 2013 Master of Ceremony.................................................................................................Roland S. Martin Journalist, Author, Analyst Processional...................................................................................Duke Ellington School of the Arts Show Choir Musical Selection...................................................................................................... Simone Joy Jones â€œGod Bless Americaâ€? The Negro National Anthem...................................................................... Lift Every Voice and Sing Invocation....................................................................................The Right Reverend Barbara Harris 2009 Keeper of the Flame Honoree Musical Presentation.....................................................................Duke Ellington School of the Arts Show Choir Welcome..........................................................................................................................Erline Belton Chair of the Board of Directors The Balm In Gilead, Incorporated Purpose of the Evening .............................................................Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, II Chairman, The African American Church Inaugural Ball Blessing of the Food Dinner and Jazz Music provided by The Soul Symphony Orchestra - featuring Sage Musical Presentation........................................................................................Pastor Charles Jenkins Gospel Recording Artist Welcome............................................................................................................. Dr. Pernessa C. Seele Founder & Chief Executive Officer - The Balm In Gilead, Incorporated Executive Producer, The African American Church Inaugural Ball Special Tribute to Rosa Parks in Honor of Her 100th Birthday The Right Reverend Teresa Snorton The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church Ski Johnson, Jazz Saxophonist Presentation of the Keepers of the Flame Morris Chestnut, Actor Mikki Taylor, Style Authority Roland S. Martin Social Justice Through MUSIC Social Justice Through STAGE & SCREEN Social Justice Through SPORTS & MEDICINE Social Justice Through ART & ACTIVISM Social Justice Through FAITH Musical Presentation..........................................................................................................Byron Cage Gospel Recording Artist South African National Anthem........................................................................Nâ€™Kosi Sikeleli Africa Special Tribute to the President Nelson Mandela and his Legacy The Honorable Barbara Lee Member of Congress, Californiaâ€™s 13th District Robert J. Brown 2009 Keeper of the Flame Honoree Founder, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, B & C Associates, Incorporated The Honorable Paul Mashatile Minister of Arts & Culture of the Republic of South Africa Hugh Masekela 2013 Keeper of the Flame Honoree Closing Remarks.......................................................................................................Roland S. Martin Benediction.................................................................................... The Right Reverend Darin Moore The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church The Keepers of the Flame!! This evening we are honored to present the once in a lifetime Keeper of the Flame Award to 16 extraordinary individuals who represent a diverse discipline of knowledge and achievement. These dedicated men and women represent those whose struggles and achievements paved the way to this commemorative moment of the second-term and inauguration of the first African American president, Barack Obama and our first family. The number of those who have made sacrifices for our opportunities is legendary. However, tonight we pay tribute to these 16 men and women who represent the best of us and who have carried the torch and kept the flame. Social Justice Through Music Andraé Edward Crouch Artist, Writer, Producer Andraé Edward Crouch is an award-winning gospel musician, recording artist, songwriter, arranger and producer. His impact on gospel music is still evident. Crouch is credited with revolutionizing the sound of contemporary gospel music and was one of the first black gospel artists to crossover to mainstream contemporary Christian music. His songs have become staples and popular hymns in churches all around the world. In addition to his GRAMMY® Awards and GMA Dove Awards, he has received ASCAP, Billboard and NAACP Image Awards. Hugh Masekela World Renown Musician and Musical Historian South African born Hugh Masekela is a world-renowned musician, composer and a defiant political voice who remains deeply connected to his homeland and the world. The agony, conflict, and exploitation South Africa faced during the 1950s and 1960s inspired the world. Masekela is known for his musical mix of jazz, bebop, funk and Afrobeat. He has won numerous awards, made countless records and established himself as a towering musical presence. Jessye Norman Artist, Writer, Producer JESSYE NORMAN is “one of those once-in-a-generation singers who is not simply following in the footsteps of others, but is staking out her own niche in the history of singing.” This rich history continues to be made as she brings her sumptuous sound, her joy of singing and spontaneous passion to recital performances, operatic portrayals and appearances with symphony orchestras and chamber music collaborators to audiences around the world. In December of 1997, she was invested with the United States highest award in the performing arts, the Kennedy Center Honor, making history as the youngest recipient in the Honors’ twenty-year existence. Social Justice Through Stage and Screen Cicely Tyson Actress, Activist and Humanitarian Cicely Tyson is renowned for her portrayals of strong female characters on stage, screen and television. From her stunning initial stage appearances in “Dark Of The Moon,” and Jean Genet’s “The Blacks” for which she received the prestigious Vernon Rice Award, to the Emmy-nominated 1999 Ernest Gaines’ HBO film “A Lesson Before Dying.” Hailed for her remarkable performance in the coveted title role of “The Autobiography of Miss. Jane Pittman,” playing a slave woman ranging in ages 19 to 110 for which she received an unprecedented two Emmy Awards for Best Actress and Actress of the Year. Her esteemed career has continually brought her critical praise, making her a much revered national treasure and creative force. Ruby Dee Award-winning Actress & Activist Ruby Dee is an American actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist and activist. She is perhaps best known for co-starring in the film A Raisin in the Sun (1961) and the film American Gangster (2007) for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She has won Grammy, Emmy, Obie, Drama Desk and Screen Actors Guild Awards, and Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Awards. She is a recipient of the National Medal of Arts and the Kennedy Center Honors, among scores of others awards. Social Justice Through Sports and Medicine Muhammed Ali The Greatest Muhammed Ali is still the most recognizable man on earth. Over forty years after he burst onto the scene as a gold-medal winner at the 1960 Rome Olympics, Muhammad Ali remains a magical figure, known and loved throughout the world. His success as a boxer is widely respected, but Ali’s greatest triumph lies in his legacy as a champion, leader, humanitarian, and artist. His work both inside and outside the ring truly makes Muhammad Ali “The Greatest of All Time.” Joycelyn Elders, MD Leading In Medicine A native of Schaal, Arkansas, Dr. Elders is now a Professor of Emeritus of pediatric endocrinology, at the University of Arkansas School of Medical Science. Dr. Elders never saw a physician prior to her first year in college. Joycelyn Elders, the first person in the state of Arkansas to become board certified in pediatric endocrinology, was the sixteenth Surgeon General of the United States, the first African American and only the second woman to head the U.S. Public Health Service. Elders, who is a dynamic advocate of public health, was appointed Surgeon General by President Bill Clinton in 1993. Beny J. Primm, MD Leading in AIDS Activism & Addiction Research Dr. Beny J. Primm, a medical consultant to several U.S. Presidents, might not be a doctor today if not for the University of Heidelberg in Germany and the University of Geneva in Switzerland, which welcomed Dr. Primm when U.S. medical schools routinely denied entrance to Blacks. Dr. Primm is internationally recognized as one of the world’s foremost experts on HIV and AIDS, an area of study he pursued initially due to the disease’s intimate relationship with addiction and the epidemic levels of infection among I.V. drug users. He has served on the Presidential Commission on the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Epidemic. Social Justice Through Art & Activism Ed Dwight Sculptor & Historian Air Force Pilot and Americaâ€™s First Black Astronaut Candidate Ed Dwight is one of the most prolific and insightful sculptors in America, creating fine art sculptures, large-scale memorials and public art projects. His works document significant Black contributions to American culture. He is creator of large scale works including the International Underground Railroad Memorial in Detroit and Battle Creek, MI and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial monument in Denver. Elaine R. Jones, Esq. A Dynamic Legal Eagle Elaine R. Jones is President and Director-Counsel, Emeritus of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), the nationâ€™s oldest law firm fighting for equal rights and justice for people of color, women, and the poor. When Ms. Jones took the helm of the Legal Defense Fund in 1993, she became the first woman to head the organization. She brought with her vast experience as a litigator and civil rights activist, as well as a passion for fairness and equality that dates back to her childhood. Vernon E. Jordan, Sr., Esq. Civil Rights Activist and Attorney Vernon E. Jordan, Sr. is a business executive and civil rights activist. He is a leading figure in the civil rights movement, and was chosen by President Bill Clinton as a close adviser. Jordan is one of the most influential figures in law and politics, whose advice is sought in all realms of endeavor including government, corporate, labor and legal. He has contributed his talent, wisdom and insight to leading civic organizations, such as the NAACP, as well as serving as President of the National Urban League and Executive Director of the United Negro College Fund. Social Justice Through Faith The Right Reverend George E. Battle, Jr. The Right Reverend George E. Battle, Jr. was elected and consecrated the 84th Bishop in succession at Shaw Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church, Atlanta, GA during the 44th General Conference on July 31, 1992. At the 2012 General Conference held in Charlotte, NC, George E. Battle, Jr. was elevated to the position of Senior Bishop. His academic life includes a B.A. Degree from Livingstone College, where he now serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees; M. Div. from Hood Theological Seminary; and D. Min. from Howard University School of Divinity. Having manifested unusual administrative abilities, he was elected a member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education in 1978 and served as its chairman from 1990, resigning in1995 because of his duties as Bishop. With numerous awards and recognitions, Bishop Battle is globally recognized for his spiritual leadership in stewardship and financial management. The Right Reverend Philip R. Cousin, Sr. The Right Reverend Philip R. Cousin, Sr. was elected and consecrated the 96th Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1976 and offered Episcopal Service for over 32 years, faithfully serving the 9th, 11th, 1st, and 4th Episcopal Districts. His legacy includes serving as president of the National Council of Churches, member of the National Board of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and President of Kittrell Junior College. He was the first African-American to teach at the Divinity School. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including an Ebony Magazine designation as one of the 100 most influential Black Americans. In 2008, to celebrate the election of President Obama, Bishop Cousin was afforded the honor of offering the prayer in Chicagoâ€™s Grant Park to mark the occasion. He was an early supporter of a qualified, young African-American possessing the audacity to dream. The Right Reverend William H. Graves, Sr. The Right Reverend William H. Graves, Sr. was elected and consecrated the 42nd Bishop of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. At the 2006 General Conference held in Memphis, Tennessee, William H. Graves was elevated to the position of Senior Bishop and CEO of the CME Denomination until his retirement in 2011. Upon receiving his B.A. degree from Lane College, he matriculated at Phillips School of Theology of the ITC in Atlanta, GA. He pursued his Doctor of Ministry degree from the Claremont School of Theology. He rose to prominence in the church during an outstanding pastorate at Phillips Temple CME Church of Los Angeles, CA, where he earned a reputation as an unusual leader in stewardship motivation of local congregations. Bishop Graves serves as a National Board Member of the NAACP and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale is the founding and Senior Pastor of the Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Georgia. The Ray of Hope Christian Church is a congregation that has a vision to “impact and transform this present world into the Kingdom of God” through Housing, Healthcare and Education Initiatives. As a recipient of numerous honors and recognitions, Dr. Hale was inducted into the African American Biographies Hall of Fame and the Martin Luther King Board of Preachers of Morehouse College. In July 2009, Dr. Hale was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. Dr. Hale is a dedicated active member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and is revered locally, nationally, and internationally for her leadership, integrity, and compassion. Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. Theologian, pastor, and civic leader, the Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. is one of America’s most influential religious leaders and highly sought-after public speakers. He is Pastor Emeritus at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio. President Barack Obama named him in February 2009 to serve on a newly established 25-member White House Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He also serves on the Board of Trustees at Morehouse College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1956. He earned a Masters of Divinity Degree from the Morehouse School of Religion/ITC and a Doctorate of Divinity degree from the United Theological Seminary. In 1971, he served as co-pastor, with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Sr., at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. In 1975, Moss was called to pastor the Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio. Distinguished musical Presenters Byron Cage “If people really want to know me, then listen to my music - my words especially,” says Byron Cage, one of the biggest names in urban praise and worship music. “If you want to know what my beliefs are, I always put that in my music.” The man who became known for his Top Ten worship anthems like “The Presence of the Lord” and “I Will Bless the Lord” is pouring his heart out in his new and ninth CD, “Memoirs of a Worshiper.” The eleven-track CD, recorded at Chicago’s Christ Universal Temple, pairs Cage with producer Aaron Lindsey (who is known for productions with Israel Houghton and Marvin Sapp, and who also produced Cage’s 2009 “Faithful To Believe” CD) and showcases his personal desire for a deeper relationship of worship with God. “I kind of chronicle my journey in ministry and it shows people basically where I’ve been,” Cage says of the new set. “My last CD was recorded when the Recession began and the struggles people began to go through made me write a little different on that CD. It was the type of album to build up the faith of God’s people. For this new CD, I collectively put songs together with Aaron Lindsey that I felt would be the next level of worship. The times are changing; the sounds of keyboards and instruments are changing. What I really wanted to bring out on this CD was to share with everybody what I’m writing and what’s in my memoirs. Although I’m still giving the message of faith and a message of hope, this is a stronger worship album. Some of the songs that I selected are so strong worship wise that it’s really a vertical message that I’m not talking about my problems anymore. I’m talking about God who can solve all problems.” Cage’s mother and the Motor City provided a rich musical outlet for Cage. He started playing the sax but switched to the piano. “My mom and I were at a funeral home waiting for a wake to start and she was back there talking to someone and I got up on the organ and stared playing,” he says. “She asked me when I learned to play the organ. I said it was something I learned in school. So there was a piano in the fellowship hall at church and I was always on that playing so my mom finally got me an upright piano when I was 13.” He basically taught himself to play by mimicking his favorite records and learning by ear. Cage also had a string of mentors who would become famous in their own rights such as Thomas “Maestro” Whitfield who took Cage under his wings. “When he moved to Detroit Donald Vails was my minister of music [at Greater Grace Temple on Seven Mile & Schaffer Streets],” Cage adds. “Fred Hammond played bass guitar, Charles Ellis who was is now Bishop Ellis was on drums. Mitch Jones from Commissioned was in the choir. I played the organ, directed and sang. It was a wonderful and enriching experience for me.” Pastor Charles Jenkins FAITH LEADER, SOCIAL ENGINEER, ENTREPRENEUR, IDEA MAKER, ARTIST, and COMMUNICATOR, are just some of the words that describe Charles Jenkins who is a leader widely respected and revered for his innovative thinking, contemporary leadership, business savvy and holistic approach to social change and large-scale community development. While Jenkins is widely known as the senior pastor of the historic Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, a rapidly growing multilocation congregation of over 8,000 members in the Chicagoland area, he is also a visionary, trailblazer, connector, community leader, advisor, GRAMMY® award-winning songwriter, author and dynamic communicator. Since taking the helm at Fellowship as senior pastor ten years ago, succeeding the church’s founder, Reverend Clay Evans, Jenkins has more than quadrupled weekend attendance and created a variety of life-changing programs and services for children, youth and adults. Under his leadership, Fellowship has profoundly and positively impacted the city by providing food, clothing, personal care items and critical assistance to tens of thousands of people in need through several of Fellowship’s outreach programs. Jenkins also created the Fellowship Educational and Economic Development Corporation to further focus on community improvement and empowerment. Additionally, Jenkins’ belief that a community’s strength and future is dependent on the wellbeing of its youth moved him to establish Maximum Exposure, a youth development entity designed to elevate the thinking, understanding and behavior of urban youth. He is also the founder Gladiators, a mentoring group that focuses on the growth and progress of young African-American boys. Ski Johnson Ski Johnson a Washington, DC based saxophonist has developed a captivating soulful jazz style that undisputedly makes him a musical force in the New Millennium. Artistically his creative, distinctive and versatile sound is comparable to renowned soul and legend jazz artists such as the late Grover Washington Jr., Gerald Albright, Najee and the late George Howard. Ski Johnson is accompanied by a seven-piece ensemble that includes some of the most talented and experienced musicians in the country. Together they have an energetic stage presence that makes them one of the most exciting groups of performers to hit the soul/jazz scene in recent history. Ski Johnson’s 9th Album UnderDogs on Top “is destined to be a #1 album on the Billboard charts as well as a top contender in the many upcoming award upcoming award shows” says mega producer Quincy Jones. The new album features award winning producers and Ski’s new Creation of his jazz brand he calls “Nu Jazz”. When asked about his goals, Ski responds, “I’d like to create my music with the satisfaction of knowing that the whole World is listening and enjoying” Simone Joy Jones Simone Joy Jones made her Broadway debut in March 2010 in the Tony Award-winning play The Miracle Worker, playing best friend Martha to Abigail Breslin’s Helen Keller. Simone Joy Jones is a multitalented young artist who is known in the industry as a “Triple Threat” – she acts, sings and dances. She made her film debut playing “young Vicky” in “Son of No One,” starring Al Pacino. A native of North Carolina, now living in Texas, this youthful professional enjoys reading, writing, and of course, singing, dancing and acting, and is grateful for the opportunity to do what she loves on stage and screen. The Soul Symphony Orchestra SAGE - featuring Lewis and Kirk Music Inc. of Mount Vernon is honored to be featured at the African American Church Inaugural Ball on January 20, 2013, celebrating the re-election of President Barack Obama. The ensemble selected for this occasion is called “The Soul Symphony Orchestra” which features four members of the company’s all ladies ensemble SAGE, Andrea and James Rohlehr & the AndJam Band, harpist Brandee Younger and singers Nicole Phifer, Shevon Loftin and Larry Loftin. The Soul Symphony Orchestra will accompany master musician, Hugh Masekela, award winning gospel artist Byron Cage and Pastor Charles Jenkins. SAGE an amazing all ladies jazz ensemble that features, Miki Hayama on piano, Ragan Whiteside on flute and vocals, Lakecia Benjamin on alto saxophone, Shirazette Tinnen on drums and Miriam Sullivan on bass, and Kersten Stevens on violin, and this group has been identified as one the ensembles to launch this inaugural event. SAGE has appeared with Ray Charles, Jessye Norman, Denzel Washington, and many others, along with gracing the stages of venues from California to New York. Andrea & James and The AndJam Band, led by Andrea and James Rohlehr, is a unique ensemble that is diverse in talents as singers, songwriters and producers. The AndJam Band features the incomparable singer/pianist/songwriter Andrea Rohlehr, originally from St. Louis, currently residing in New York and guitarist/singer/songwriter James Rohlehr. This ensemble represents the best in their field and through their performances will deliver a new brand of “edutainment” with a repertoire that is unparalleled in substance and form. The group has enriched the American Music landscape with many compositions. Lewis and Kirk Music Duke Ellington School of the Arts Show Choir The Duke Ellington School of the Arts developed from the collaborative efforts between Peggy Cooper Cafritz and Mike Malone, founders of Workshops for Careers in the Arts in 1968. Workshops grew to become the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in 1974—an accredited four-year public high school combining arts and academics. In September 2000, the Ellington partnership evolved into the Duke Ellington School of the Arts Project (DESAP) to include the District of Columbia Public Schools, The Ellington Fund, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and The George Washington University. DESAP continues Ellington’s tradition of providing high school students with an educational experience that includes college preparatory academics, pre-professional artistic training, and access to the cultural and intellectual resources of the District of Columbia. In addition to the great history of the Ellington School, the internationally famous Duke Ellington School of the Arts Show Choir serves as one of the schools premier performing groups. Organized in 1986 by artistic director Samuel L.E. Bonds and currently under the direction of Ellington alum and former show choir member Dr. Monique Holmes. The highly acclaimed and national award winning Duke Ellington School of the Arts Show Choir has thrilled audiences throughout the United States, Germany, France, London, China, Japan and the Caribbean and have become favorites at the Obama White House. The ensemble’s incredible creativity and artistry so effectively combine singing, acting and dance that any performance space is virtually transformed into a Broadway stage. Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. 2013 Keeper of the Flame Award Faith Partnerships, Inc. Board of Directors Diana Jones Wilson, President Bishop George E. Battle, Jr. 2013 Keeper of the Flame Award Faith Partnerships, Inc. Board of Directors Diana Jones Wilson, President AMERICAN EXPRESS PRESENTS: ~ Another Cardmember Exclusive ~ ALSO STARRING BY DIRECTED BY LIMITED ENGAGEMENT BEGINS MARCH 31 212.239.6200 . TELECHARGE.COM . THE STEPHEN SONDHEIM THEATRE . 124 W. 43RD STREET . The TripTo B ounTiful Broadway. com BE THERE WHEN IT HAPPENS. GET ADVANCE TICKETS NOW THROUGH JANUARY 30. Use any American Express® Card to purchase tickets to this landmark Broadway event. Starring Academy Award® Nominee and Emmy® Award Winner Cicely Tyson, Academy Award Winner, Cuba Gooding Jr., Tony® and Emmy Award Nominee Vanessa Williams and Tony Nominee Condola Rashad. Preferred Seating is available to Gold Card, Platinum Card® and Centurion® members. For tickets, call (212) 239-6200 or visit Telecharge.com. The following American Express Card members are eligible for Preferred Seating: Gold Card, Platinum Card,® Centurion® Card, Corporate Platinum Card and the Executive Business Card, Business Gold Card, Business Platinum Card and the Business Centurion Card from OPEN: if issued by American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., American Express Centurion Bank, American Express Bank, FSB. For a complete listing of all eligible and non-eligible Card products, visit us at americanexpress.com/entertainment. American Express pre-sale tickets available from 1/16/13 at 10:00am EDT through 1/30/13 at 11:59pm EDT. Buy tickets at Telecharge.com or 212-239-6200. Tickets available to the general public on 2/1/13 at 10:00 am EDT. Tickets subject to applicable service charges. Offer may be revoked at any time at sole discretion of American Express. All sales final. No refunds. No exchanges. Offer subject to availability. Not all seats available and blackout dates apply. All dates, acts and ticket prices subject to change without notice. Tickets are from limited inventory and subject to availability. A total of 10 tickets may be purchased during the presale period, per name, credit card account, billing address, phone number, IP address, and/or e-mail address. Tickets purchased which exceed this limit will be returned. Certain types of seating may have a different ticket limit. Ticket limit subject to change without notice. Terms, conditions and restrictions apply. ©2013 American Express. All rights reserved.