Actor/singer Jussie Smollett will be bestowed with quite the honor: receiving one of eight Chairman’s Awards at the 47th annual NAACP Image Awards next month.
You may know Smollett as Jamal Lyon on the Fox drama Empire, but he’s also an activist for various social causes, including civil rights and HIV/AIDS awareness. Along with those things, since age 15, Smollett has volunteered with Black AIDS Institute, Artists for a New South Africa and United Negro College Fund.
“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.’”
Other recipients of the Chairman’s’ Award are Justice League NYC, The University of Mississippi NAACP College Chapter, The University of Missouri Concerned Student 1950 Collective, Confederate flag-remover Brittany “Bree” Newsome, Rev. Dr. Jamal Harrison Bryant, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, and Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley.