Black Girls Rock!

BET Ad for the 2015 Black Girls Rock Award show

Last Night, BET network aired the 2015 Black Girls Rock!™ awards hosted by actresses Regina King, the voice of Cartoon Network’s, Riley and Huey of The Boondocks, and Tracee Ellis Ross of ABC’s Blackish. The star-studded event was held in honor of the evenings celebrants to pay respects for the continued work and dedication to showing women and girls of color that it is possible to be successful and empowered.

Black Girls Rock!™ is 501(c)3 non-profit youth empowerment and mentoring organization established to “promote the arts for young women of color, as well as to encourage dialog and analysis of the ways women of color are portrayed in the media.

Since 2006, BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™ has been dedicated to the healthy development of young women and girls, by changing the conversation on self-esteem and self-worth. By partnering with BET Network BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™ has sought to change the outlook on life for young women of color by broadening their horizons and helping them to empower themselves. For the past five years, Black Girls Rock has enjoyed the opportunity to enrich the lives of girls aged 12 to 17 years old through mentorship, arts education, cultural exploration and public service. At BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™, young women are offered access to enrichment programs and opportunities that place special emphasis on personal development through the arts and cooperative learning.

BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™ Inc. continues to partner with BET Networks in the worldwide broadcast of the BLACK GIRLS ROCK! awards. And the event continues to be historic and monumental highlighting the accomplishments of exceptional women of color who have made outstanding contributions in their careers, and who stand as inspirational and positive role models in their communities.

This year’s line up of award winners and performers are just that.

And in true award style the red carpet was awash with celebrities out to take in the nights festivities.

CEO of BET Network Debra Lee on the Black Girls Rock red carpet

CEO of BET Network Debra Lee on the Black Girls Rock red carpet

Mayor Ras Baraka of Newark, NJ and his daughters

Mayor Ras Baraka of Newark, NJ and his daughters

Ciara on the Black Girls Rock red carpet - one of the evenings perfomers

Ciara on the Black Girls Rock red carpet – one of the evenings perfomers

Janelle Monae was in attendance to present the award to her mentor, Erykah BAdu

Janelle Monae was in attendance to present the award to her mentor, Erykah BAdu

Jad Pinkett Smith, another of the evening's celebrants and family; her mother, Willow and husband Will, who presented her award

Jad Pinkett Smith, another of the evening’s celebrants and family; her mother, Willow and husband Will, who presented her award

Celebrity stylist June Ambrose in attendance with her daughter

Celebrity stylist June Ambrose in attendance with her daughter

blackgirlsrock2015

The eveningsbosts, Regina King and Tracee Ellis Ross, performer Jill Scott and Black Girls Rock Founder, Beverly Bond

Danielle Brooks of Netflixs Orange is the New Black and blogger GabiFresh on the Black Girls Rock red carpet

With an amazing line up of performances and presenters there was no greater way to honor the nights celebrants than in true style with a night of glamour and fan fare. The night’s festivities started of with a bang with Sheila E introducing us to the Glamorous Life with an amazing set on the drums representative of her Afro-Latina roots mingled with the sounds of pop, jazz and funk.

Sheila E opening the 2015 Black Girls Rock Awards

The festivities continued with several fabulous outfit changes by the hosts and even an impromptu performance by “T-Murda” and “Queen Floetic”.

Regina King and Tracee Ellis a Queen Floetic and T-Murda give an impromptu rap performance

Regina King and Tracee Ellis a Queen Floetic and T-Murda give an impromptu rap performance

hosts Regina King and Tracee Ellis Ross backstage after an outfit change

Hosts Regina King and Tracee Ellis Ross backstage after an outfit change

One of hosts Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina Kings outfit changes

Among the guests being honored, Cicely Tyson who received the Living Legend award for her work in the arts, and heralded as the “rose that grew from the concrete“. She was introduced by

Black Girls Rock Living Legend award winner Cicely Tyson

Joining the legendary New Yorker, Ms. Tyson, was Dr. Helen D. Gayle, who received the award for Social Humanitarianism. Journalist and politicl correspondent, Melissa Harris-Perry joined the audience in welcoming Dr. Gayle by giving a brief review of her work in her long career of social activism.

Dr. Helene D. Gayle the 2015 Black Girls Rock Social Humanitarian award winner

Among the ranks of great women honored was actress Jada Pinkett-Smith who received her award from hubby, Will Smith. Pinkett-Smith was heralded for her work in film and media and her continued depiction of women in significant roles in media.

Jada-Pinkett-Smith-Black-Girls-Rock-2015

Also being honored was director Ava Duvernay who was dubbed the Shot Caller for her groundbreaking work on the film Selma and her continued work to tell stories with her influence in film.

Award winner Ava Duvernay

Also in the ranks was this years “rockstar” awardee, Miss Erykah Badu introduced by her mentee and friend, Janelle Monae. Badu was honored for pushing the envelope with her music and being a force to reckon with, always telling a story and never ceasing to seek the empowerment of women.

Eryhak Badu receives her award from her mentee and friend Janelle Monae

Other award winners were Nadia Lopez, founder of the Brooklyn’s Mott Hall Bridges Academy who has helped change the face of one of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods forgotten by the system. Not only has she helped shape social change in the lives of this neighborhood’s young ones but she has also broadened their horizons and given hope to future generations.

2015 Black Girls Rock award winner Nadia Lopez

Amongst these great women were three young women honored as M.A.D Girls who had the honor of sharing the stage with one of the most powerful women of color in the country, first lady Michelle Obama, who was also in attendance. The first lady shared in the excitement of this night of female empowerment and urged for the continuance of work like that of the organization and reminded everyone of the importance of events like this in the lives of women of color. She also reminded that all girls rock and shared the capacity for greatness.

Michelle Obama with the ladies of M.A.D. Girls;

Each of these young women were honored for their contributions to youth empowerment. Chental Song-Bembry is the creator, author and illustrator of the Honey Bunch Kids series, and has used her platform to encourage youth literacy and academic success through reading. Gabrielle Jordan is the founder of ExCEL Youth Mentoring Institute, a youth entrepreneurship program and is the youngest member of the Great Black Speakers Bureau. Kaya Thomas is a vlogger and tech advocate who has developed a literacy app which allows reader to find material for and by people of color, she also currently runs a vlog giving coding and tech tutorials.

Also hitting the stage was Black Girls Rock founder Beverly Bond who shared words of encouragement to all of the awardees and girls everywhere and reminded all girls to keep on rocking!

Black Girls Rock Founder Beverly Bond

Amidst the evenings recognition of these amazing ladies, performances by Alicia Meyers, Cheryl Lynn, Ciara, Erykah Badu, Estelle, Faith Evans, Fantasia, Jill Scott, Kathy Sledge and Lalah Hathaway continued to wow and entertain the guests as the nights celebrants were honored.

Faith Evans at the 2015 Black Girls Rock awards

Erykah Badu performing at the 2015 Black Girls Rock Awards

Ciara at the 2015 Black Girls Rock

Fantasia performing at the 2015 Black Girls Rock awards

The night closed with all the ladies of the night gathering on one stage to remind the world and women of color that motivation, upliftment and encouragement of their achievements and successes are the real reason why Black Girls – all girls – ROCK!

The ladies of 2015 Black Girls Rock    Thank you for stopping by. Be sure to let e know what you think and don’t forget to like, share, comment and subscribe.

Livi.

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