We Dream in Color Awards honor notable Chicagoans

The We Dream in Color Foundation hosted it's annual Humanitarian Celebration at the DuSable Museum of African American History on Saturday, July 15. The evening included a Red Carpet meet-and-greet and a reception before the program began in the auditorium theatre.

The purpose of the evening was summed up in founder Quinton d' Alexander's comments. "Tonight, we celebrate individuals throughout our community who give deeply and freely from their hearts to encourage and enrich the lives of others, people I've seen who have turned all stones to ensure effective and positive outcomes for those less fortunate. Then I took a second look only to realize that the same individuals who were doing the enriching and uplifting needed a touch of the same. I then began to take a look at all of the people in my life who have touched my heart in one way or another only to see the struggles and pains of life they were going through too and decided I had to do something to take some of that pain away, if only for a minute." He dedicated the evening to the memory of his parents, William Gordy and Yvonne Nunn-Henry.

I was honored to co-host this inspiring event with actress/singer Cynda Williams. During the evening, a variety of live entertainment thrilled the crowd. Performers included Calvin Judah Bridges (singer/musician/songwriter); Victoria Brady (who performed a stirring gospel tribute) and dynamic singers Tony Grant and Johnny G. A performance by darling, talented students from Premier One Dance Academy brought the house down as did a Whitney Houston tribute by look-a-like artist Sherie Yvette Withers-Banks, who was also a presenter.

Honorees this evening included two dear friends, photographer/artist Mila Samokhina, who was presented with the Eunice W. Johnson Visionary Award and WBBM-TV's Suzanne LeMignot, who received the Michelle Obama Humanitarian of the Year Award. Other honorees included entertainer/inspirational speaker Trisha Mann-Grant (Ruby Dee Excellence in the Performing Arts Award); Chinta Strausberg (Maya Angelou Literary Award); Director of Health Education and Community Outreach at the Puerto Rican Cultural Center Maritxa Vidal (Rosa Parks Equality Award); D. Channsin Berry (Sidney Poitier Excellence in Performing Arts Award); Michael Bart Mathews (John H. Johnson Businessman of the Year Award); Dr. Eunice M. Dudley (Oprah Winfrey Entrepreneur of the Year Award) and Dr. Peter Boateng (Martin Luther King Leadership Award), among others. (See entire list here).

A sensational fashion presentation set to the "La Vie en Rose" soundtrack featured designs by d'Alexander and pint-size bow-tie fashion designer Maverick Mecheau.  The evening was a wonderful success honoring those in the community who are making a positive impact.

Congrats to Quinton and all the honorees on an inspiring night!

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