KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE – National Action Network


2011 Keepers of the Dream Awards

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The National Action Network held its 20th Anniversary Keepers of The Dream Awards Dinner last week in midtown at the Sheraton Hotel. It’s been 20 years since the founder and President, Reverend Al Sharpton, launched the organization to serve as a network of social consciousness.  He helped lead the struggle for justice in the racially motivated stabbing of a young black man named Yusef Hawkins. He initiated a non-violent march and vowed to keep the dream of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. alive by committing to non violent, direct action methods. Dr. King and others, including Jessie Jackson have always been on the front lines of the black community’s struggles against racism, gender bias, homophobia, mistreatment of physically challenged individuals and various forms of discrimination and oppression.  The National Action Network is committed to keeping the dream of equality for all Americans alive.    


The 2011 Keepers of the Dream Awards Dinner expressed gratitude to The National Action Network’s forbearers and celebrated the achievements of honorees that played a role in keeping the dream alive. President Barack Obama made an appearance to deliver remarks before the Awards Dinner began. “We will build an America where the ideals of justice and equality and opportunity are alive and well, and we will reclaim the American Dream in our time,” said the President during his final remarks.      


Dr. Bill Cosby delivered the keynote address and discussed issues that are prevalent within our communities. He stressed how various environmental factors within families and communities are a major influence on today’s youth. Among the honorees that evening was legendary NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown, founder of the Amer-I-Can foundation.  Amer-I-Can is a 15 chapter, 60 hour life management skills curriculum that is designed to empower individuals. Earvin “Magic” Johnson, chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises was recognized for his generous contributions to community based organizations that focus on HIV/AIDS education and prevention.      


Other 2011 Keeper of The Dream Awards recipients included Sylvia Rhone, President of Universal Motown Records. In the history of the music business, Rhone is regarded as the most influential female executive. Also recognized was Lamell  McMorris, founder of Perennial Strategy, Perennial Sports and Entertainment and Perennial Law Group. He is considered a leader, visionary and lifelong advocate dedicated to improving the condition of our nation’s communities.


All Honorees:  Jim Brown;  Phil Griffin;  Samuel  L. Jackson;  LaTanya Jackson;  Magic Johnson;  Lamell McMorris;  Sylvia Rhone;  Lee Saunders;  Pastor Ralph D. West




Image 1 – Jim Brown, Rev. Al Sharpton, Spike Lee

Image 2 – MSNBC President Phil Griffin

Image 3 – Dr. Bill Cosby

Image 4 – Earvin “Magic” Johnson

Image 5 – Sylvia Rhone, President of Universal Motown Records

Image 6 – Rev. Al Sharpton Closing Statements


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