FOR THE CULTURE AWARD
Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke & Dominique Thorne
Through its groundbreaking representation of inclusivity, Marvel’s Black Panther (2018) sparked a phenomenon that spoke to the range that a predominantly Black cast could offer if afforded an opportunity to shine. Proclaiming “Wakanda Forever,” fans have excitedly welcomed the Black Panther universe into their homes and hearts since its inception.
A vanguard who has paved the way for creative minds over his 30-plus-year career, Spike Lee is a prolific filmmaker, director, documentarian, author, professor, philanthropist and actor who doesn’t take the Black artistic form lightly.
BLACK-OWNED BUSINESS AWARD
Cheryl McKissack Daniel
As president and CEO of McKissack & McKissack, Cheryl McKissack Daniel sits at the helm of the oldest minority- and woman-owned design and construction company in America. A civil engineer with over three decades of experience, McKissack Daniel is a fifth-generation construction magnate in the hard-knuckled, male-dominated trillion-dollar industry. Earning both her bachelor’s and master’s degree in civil engineering from Howard University, she has successfully contracted more than $50 billion dollars in construction over the past decade through the New York-based family business.
CORPORATE CITIZEN AWARD
Overseeing brand strategy and marketing efforts for Target, Maurice Cooper has been essential to the corporation’s commitment to better connect with Black audiences by creating guest-centric, culturally relevant and inclusive marketing strategies. Since joining the company in September 2020, the brand has grown its business tremendously while showing up in the spaces Black audiences find purpose in and value. This has been effectively done across all media activity while built on a $1 billion annual investment.
SOCIAL JUSTICE AWARD
Tamika Palmer grew up surrounded by extended family in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Popular in school, she loved to Double Dutch, a hobby she enjoyed sharing with her daughters. She got her first job as a babysitter at 15 and later worked as a nurse’s aide. Her first daughter, Breonna Taylor, was born on June 5, 1993, and her second daughter, Ju’Niyah Palmer, was born in 2000. A passionate motorcyclist, Tamika Palmer moved to Louisville, Kentucky, with her daughters in 2007 after visiting the city on a biking tour.
SOCIAL JUSTICE AWARD
Wanda Cooper-Jones hails from Waynesboro, Georgia, and is the mother of three young adults, Marcus, Jasmine and Ahmaud Arbery, her youngest, born 27 years ago on Mother’s Day. He was a kind, fun-loving young man with dreams, hopes and aspirations.
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD
With her own unique flare and infectious sense of humor, Issa Rae first received attention for her award-winning web series Awkward Black Girl and the accompanying New York Times best-seller, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. She created and starred in the Peabody Award-winning HBO series Insecure, which garnered her multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. Rae has also made her mark on the big screen, starring in The Photograph and The Lovebirds, which she also executive produced.