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Even when they’ve reached the top of the corporate hierarchy, our Power Players have not forgotten their roots.  They leverage their power and influence to fund new initiatives and to empower a new generation of leadership. Thanks to these leaders, African-American issues are represented in boardrooms around the world.  

Social change often grows from the ground up.  With their roots firmly anchored in the community, these powerful leaders ensure that the soil is fertile and the water is plentiful. 

PowerPlayers-Mara-Brock-Akil.jpgMara Brock Akil

Screenwriter and producer and founder of Akil Productions

Creator of hit TV shows Girlfriends, The Game, and Being Mary Jane.  She is a tireless advocate of women’s health and rights.


PowerPlayers-Ava-Duvernay.jpgAva DuVernay

Award-winning writer, director, producer, and distributor of independent film

DuVernay is the founder of the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM).  She is the director of the movie Selma, which chronicles the historic 1965 voting rights campaign led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


PowerPlayers-Jeff-Friday.jpgJeff Friday

Founder and CEO, Film Life, Inc.

Friday founded the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) to promote diversity and social responsibility. Having showcased over 800 films and shorts and redefining excellence in
independent filmmaking, it is considered the premier international festival for African-American film and television content.


PowerPlayers-Catherine-Hughes.jpgCatherine L. Hughes

Chairperson and Founder of Radio One, Inc.

Hughes was the first African-American woman to head a publicly traded corporation.  She founded the media giant Radio One, Inc., serving a predominantly African-American audience with radio stations in 16 cities and a controlling interest in the television station TV One.

PowerPlayers-Cheryl-BooneIsaacs.jpgCheryl Boone Isaacs

President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Isaacs is the first African American, and the third woman, elected president of the academy since its founding in 1927.


PowerPlayers-Debra-L-Lee.jpgDebra L. Lee

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET Networks, the parent company of Black Entertainment Television

Lee sits at the intersection of entertainment, politics, and philanthropy.  In her nearly 30-year career at BET, she has remained committed to empowering young women, youth, and the black community.


PowerPlayers-Nzinga-Shaw.jpgNzinga Shaw

Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer - Atlanta Hawks & Philips Arena

Shaw supports the Atlanta Hawks’ partnership with those in the community to ensure that everyone’s voices heard.

PowerPlayers-Bevy-Smith.jpgBevy Smith

CEO and Founder of Dinner with Bevy

A Harlem native and New York fashion fixture, Smith is outspoken about women’s empowerment and social justice.  She gives back by connecting and engaging a network of top
leaders to promote social change.


PowerPlayers-Trish-Smith.jpeg.jpgTrisch Smith

Executive Vice President and Group Head, Edelman Washington, DC

Smith assists the world’s largest PR firm provide counsel in their multicultural practice.


PowerPlayers-Tracy-Wilson-Mourning.jpgTracy Wilson Mourning

Founder of Honey Shine Mentoring Program and the President and Creative Director of lifestyle brand Honey Child

Mourning’s organization Honey Shine mentors young women of color in their personal, professional, and sexual health development to become the future leaders.


Tags: African Americans for Planned Parenthood, Black History Month, Dreamkeepers, 99 Dreamkeepers, PP Black Community

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