The Brotherhood/Sister Sol (BHSS) held its VOICES 10 annual benefit on May 8, 2014, at 6:30pm at the Edison Ballroom in NYC. Nearly 500 people were in attendance to celebrate The Brotherhood/Sister Sol, our honorees, and the young people who inspire and empower our work.
VOICES is our signature annual benefit highlighting our youth and life changing programming. The event provided an extraordinary opportunity for supporters to celebrate BHSS’s commitment to helping youth develop into critical thinkers and community leaders.
Our honorees for the evening were Lee Daniels, Academy Award nominated filmmaker, Catherine L. Hughes, Founder and Chairperson of Radio One, Inc and Michael Ealy, Golden Globe Nominated Actor. Our host for the evening was the Award-Winning Journalist T.J. Holmes (HLN, CNN, MSNBC) and our special guest presenter was Beverly Bond. Our Event Co-Chairs were our Board Chairman Rahsan-Rahsan Lindsay and our Board Co-Secretary Clara Markowicz. Our Fundraising Co-Chairs were Michael J. O’Brien, Craig S. Phillips and Liz Phillips.
This special evening featured an awards reception, a silent auction, and words & performances by our youth members and alumni.
Chairman, Board of Directors, BHSS
Co-Secretary, Board of Directors, BHSS
Michael J. O’Brien*
Craig & Liz Phillips
B. Alan Echtenkamp*
Nicole G. Valentine*
Tiffany R. Warren*
Gia Cavellini Guzman
Rabbi Rachel Cowan*
Stephen C. Graham*
* BHSS Board of Directors Member
Rashida La Lande
Ellen McClain Haime
Pedro A. Noguera*
Lisa Oppenheim Schultz
Reverend John Vaughn*
Douglas H. White*
Catherine L. Hughes
Founder and Chairperson, Radio One, Inc.
Cathy Hughes is the Founder and Chairperson of Radio One, Inc., the largest African American owned and operated broadcast-company in the nation. Radio One is the parent corporation of TV One, a partnership with Comcast, and Syndication One, the media home of Rev. Al Sharpton, Yolanda Adams, Russ Parr, Rickey Smiley, Lonnie Hunter and CoCo Brother, as well as Reach Media, the home of the Tom Joyner Morning Show, Music One, home of Harpist Jeff Majors, Interactive One, home of Black Planet, NewsOne and Hello Beautiful, plus Distribution One where CD’s and DVD’s are marketed. Radio One is also the first African American company in radio history to dominate several major markets simultaneously and possesses the first woman-owned radio station to rank #1 in any major market.
Born in Omaha, Nebraska, she moved to Washington, D.C. in 1971 and became a lecturer in the newly established School of Communications at Howard University. She entered radio in 1973 as the General Sales Manager at WHUR, Howard University Radio, increasing station revenue from $250,000 to $3 million in her first year. In 1975, Hughes became the first woman Vice President and General Manager of a station in the nation’s capital and created the format known as the “Quiet Storm,” which revolutionized urban radio and was aired on over 480 stations nationwide. Purchasing her first station in 1980, WOL-AM (D.C.), Cathy Hughes pioneered yet another innovative format -- “24 hour Talk from a Black Perspective.” With the theme, “Information is Power,” Hughes served as the stations Morning Show Host for 11 years. WOL is still the most listened to talk radio station in the nation’s capital. Hughes’ dedication to minority communities, entrepreneurial spirit, and mentoring of women are manifested in every aspect of her work and life. As such, she was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Washington Area Broadcasters Association and The Seventh Congressional District Humanitarian Award.
Radio One is now a public company, making Cathy Hughes the first, and only, African American woman to chair a publicly held corporation. As Radio One continues to expand its media presence the foundation has remained based on the spirit of family and commitment to the community.
Academy Award Nominated Filmmaker
Lee Daniels is an Academy Award® nominated filmmaker whose work is trademarked by authenticity and candor, providing audiences with a unique and refreshing experience and character insight with each of his projects. Most recently he released LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER. The film, released by the Weinstein Company in August 2013, held the number one box office spot for three consecutive weekends, and has to date grossed over $113 million worldwide.
In addition to LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER, Daniels is perhaps best known for his Academy Award winning film PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE. It was nominated for six Academy Awards, including nominations for Daniels in the category of "Achievement in Directing" and "Best Motion Picture of the Year, and wins in the categories of “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role” and “Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay.”
Daniels was the first African-American to be nominated for a Director's Guild of America Award for "Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film" on behalf of PRECIOUS. The film won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, only the third film in Festival history to do so. It was also nominated for three Golden Globe awards including "Best Picture Drama," and was nominated for eight NAACP Image Awards, six of which it won, in categories including "Outstanding Motion Picture" and "Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture, Theatrical or Television.” The film also garnered a total of five 2010 Independent Spirit Awards, including "Best Feature” and "Best Director.” In 2012, Daniels released THE PAPERBOY, which he wrote, directed, and also produced. The film premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, and was released by Millennium Entertainment.
Daniels’ production company, Lee Daniels Entertainment, made its feature film debut with MONSTER'S BALL, making Daniels the sole African-American producer of an Oscar®-winning and Oscar®-nominated film. Daniels also produced THE WOODSMAN, which was nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards. The film received the CICAE Arthouse Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the Jury Prize at the Deauville International Film Festival, and Special Mention for Excellence in Filmmaking from the National Board of Review.
SHADOWBOXER marked Daniels’ directorial debut. Following the film's world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Daniels was also nominated for the New Directors Award at the 2006 San Sebastian Film Festival.
Award Winning Journalist
T.J Holmes is an award-winning journalist and internationally recognized television personality. T.J. Holmes understands that an audience needs more than just a news story; they respond to a trustworthy individual who can deliver stories with candor, reliability, intelligence and passion.
T.J. began his career at KSNF Channel 16 in Missouri and then moved to his home state of Arkansas to join CBS affiliate KTHV as a general assignment reporter. Within a year he quickly ascended to weekend anchor. In 2003 Holmes moved on to KNTV, the NBC station in the San Francisco Bay Area, to become the evening news anchor. While at KNTV he traveled to Athens, Greece to cover the 2004 Olympics, the first Summer Games held after the September 11th attacks. Holmes covered an abundance of fast-breaking national news stories, including the historic recall election of California Governor Gray Davis that resulted in the election of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as the widely covered double murder trial of Scott Peterson.
By October of 2006, Holmes’ distinct talent and delivery earned him national praise and a position at CNN as a news anchor and correspondent. For four years, he hosted or co-hosted CNN Saturday & Sunday Morning.
At CNN reported on the scene from some of the most riveting news stories including the devastating Joplin, Missouri tornadoes, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in New Orleans, and the tragic shootings on the Virginia Tech campus in Blackburg, Virginia. He secured some of the first accounts from the survivors of the US Airways Flight 1549 that crash-landed in New York’s Hudson River in January 2009 and reported from the campus of the University of Mississippi during the first presidential debate between Senators John McCain and Barack Obama. Holmes anchored from Ground Zero to commemorate the emotional 10th Anniversary of the September 11th attacks. His contributions to the coverage of the oil spill and the Presidential campaigns both garnered the network prestigious Peabody Awards, which recognize distinguished and meritorious public service by radio and television stations, networks, producing organizations and individuals.
Holmes has anchored significant news stories and led public discourse on issues including Saddam Hussein’s execution in 2006 and the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India in 2008 and at Glasgow Airport in 2007. Holmes made history with his long- awaited foray into nighttime television on Viacom’s BET Network. In October 2012, he signed a multi-platform to host a new late-night hybrid talk show, “DON’T SLEEP!” which laid an inspiring foundation for thought-provoking programs for African American interests and earned him an NAACP Image Award Nomination shortly after its premiere.
After a successfully building awareness surrounding vital stories mainstream media tends to disregard, Holmes continues his journalistic aspirations covering the George Zimmerman trial on CNN’s Headline News (HLN) and has been a contributing anchor to MSNBC since 2013.
Currently, he serves as member of the Chancellor’s Board of Advisors at the University of Arkansas and is on the Board of Visitors at Emory University in Atlanta. Holmes is a member of the 100 Black Men of Atlanta and the National Association of Black Journalists. He was selected as one of the Root 100 of 2012 (black achievers and influencers between the ages of 25 and 45 that represent the ideals of The Root) and is a recipient of the venerated 2012 Hennessy Privilege Award.
Golden Globe Nominated Actor
For the last few years, Ealy has been red-hot, jumping from TV to film and back to TV, seamlessly. He is is currently starring in the JJ Abrams’ produced sci-fi television series, “Almost Human,” for which he earned an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Leading Actor in a Drama Series. He most recently wrapped filming Think Like A Man Too, the sequel to the smash hit feature film, Think Like A Man, opposite Kevin Hart, for Sony Screen Gems. Prior to that, Ealy starred in the remake of About Last Night (the original starred Demi Moore and Rob Lowe), which was released earlier this year, also through Sony Screen Gems.
Last year, Ealy starred in the USA TV series, “Common Law” and completed impactful, multi- episode arcs on CBS’ hit series“The Good Wife,” and Showtime’s hit series, “Californication,” while concurrently shooting the feature adaptation of the renowned theatre production, For Colored Girl’s Only, Who Consider Committing Suicide When The Rainbow Is Not Enough for Tyler Perry Studios and Lionsgate Films. Previously, he was a lead in Seven Pounds for Sony Pictures, opposite Will Smith who handpicked Ealy to play the pivotal role of Smith’s younger brother in this dark drama. Additionally, Ealy starred in Spike Lee’s World War 2 picture, The Miracle at St. Anna for Walt Disney Pictures. His riveting performance was lauded in this true story of four buffalo soldiers who risked their lives to save a young, Italian boy, while in enemy territory. A student of history and supporter of education, Ealy also participated in the docu- mini-series The People Speak, based on Howard Zinn’s acclaimed book on History Channel. One of the historical figures he portrays is “Malcolm X”. Other star-studded performances include: Matt Damon, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Don Cheadle, to name a few.
One of Ealy’s most lauded and riveting roles was his starring turn in the Showtime mini-series, “Sleeper Cell,” where he portrayed Darwyn, a Muslim FBI agent sent undercover to infiltrate a terrorist cell in Los Angeles. “Sleeper Cell” quickly went on to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Miniseries and an AFI Honor for Best Program of the Year and Ealy also earned a nomination for a Golden Globe for his lead performance in the mini-series. Ealy was handpicked by Oprah Winfrey to star opposite Halle Berry in the ABC and Harpo Films telepic “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” The special received rave reviews and was viewed by over 26 million people. Ealy earned an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special for his portrayal of “Teacake”. Ealy also starred in a Sundance selection: the film noir Never Die Alone opposite DMX, for Fox Searchlight Pictures.
A native of Silver Spring, Maryland, Ealy graduated college with a degree in English. Shortly after, Ealy headed to New York where he performed in several stage productions, including the Off-Broadway hits Joe Fearless and Whoa Jack, for which he earned an Adelco Award nomination for his performance. It would not be long before Michael nabbed guest-starring roles in NBC’s “Law & Order,” Showtime’s hit series “Soul Food” and then cast in the critically- acclaimed film Kissing Jessica Stein for Fox Searchlight, and Bad Company for producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
While visiting his friends in Los Angeles, Michael heard about auditions for Barbershop. After placing a call to his manager and a few rounds of auditions, he landed the role of “Ricky Nash,” a two-strike offender working at the local barbershop. The film earned an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Motion Picture as well as a People’s Choice Award nomination for Favorite Comedy Motion Picture.
Ealy was named one of People’s “On the Verge” actors in the magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” 2002 and 2013 issue. He was also named one of E! Entertainment Television’s “Sizzlin’ 16” of 2004 and appeared on the cover of Essence magazine's "Hollywood Screen Gems" for their April 2004 issue.
Michael resides in Los Angeles.