The 2016 Triumph Awards presented by Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network returns to TV One, tomorrow night, Sunday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. ET, to recognize the accomplishments of change agents through civil rights, the arts, entertainment and business. Actress and advocate Tichina Arnold returns to host this year’s broadcast, filmed at the historic Tabernacle in Atlanta, Ga.
“Our commitment now is to protect the legacy of Barack Obama and fulfill the dream of Martin Luther King,” said Rev. Al Sharpton. “Some of our honorees’ works and activism have been displayed on the center stage for all the world to experience firsthand, while other’s efforts have lacked the oh-so worthy public exposure. We will be spotlighting these special individuals and their many contributions to the advancement of African Americans everywhere.”
Attorney Benjamin Crump is presented the “Chairman’s Award for Historic and Transformative Service” for his dedication to fighting and defending the masses – including Trayvon Martin and Tobbie Tolan – against the legal injustices that plague their communities. Terri J. Vaughn and Rev. Dr. Toussaint King Hill, Jr. introduce evangelist and accomplished gospel music artist Jekalyn Carr who gives a performance of “You Are Bigger.”
In a stirring speech, Crump issues a rallying cry to the community at large to advocate for our youth, stating, “It’s not enough just to try to stop the killing of our children, but we must also fight for the life of our children and give them the promise that is guaranteed by the Constitution.”
An emotional highlight of the evening honors Gwen Carr (mother of Eric Garner), Lesley McSpadden (mother of Mike Brown) and Sybrina Fulton (mother of Trayvon Martin), collectively known as Mothers of the Movement, who share their heart-wrenching experiences of loss and tragedy in hopes of empowering the nation. Paying tribute to these women of strength, resilience and unique purpose brought together by unspeakable tragedy, BJ The Chicago Kid performs a soul-stirring rendition of his hit single “Woman’s World.”
Larenz Tate presents the “Triumphant Man of the Year” award to Jermaine Dupri for his contributions in music and artist development as well as mentorship of young artists. The SoSo Def Dancers perform their way through a musical timeline including the biggest hit singles Dupri produced over his career which began when, as a 12-year-old child, he went on his first concert tour.
The honor of “Triumphant Woman of the Year” is introduced by Erica Ash and Dondre Whitield, while legendary singer Dionne Warwick takes the stage to share a few words of admiration for FedEx executive Gina F. Adams for her work progressing her industry and lending support to causes targeting education, youth and arts within their curriculum.
Actor and recording artist Fonzworth Bentley is on hand to present the “President’s Award for Service and Humanitarian Efforts” to Sean “Diddy” Combs who recently used his platform as entertainment icon for greater good by co-founding the opening of Capital Prepatory Harlem charter school based in his childhood neighborhood.
Tim Murray of Mastercard accepts the honor of “Corporate Partner of The Year Award” as a result of their efforts educating and empowering middle and low income communities to attain financial stability.
The final award of the evening is the “Activism in the Arts Award” presented to Spike Lee by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Vietta Johnson, President of Spellman College Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell and actress Teyonah Parris for his generous contribution of time and resources to support the education and production of original films by aspiring filmmakers.
Rev. Sharpton gives special recognition to several Take Action Heroes, the unsung champions whose quiet but impactful efforts supporting the mission of the National Action Network in their communities have warranted public exposure. Erica Thomas is acknowledged by Denise Boutee and Pooch Hall from the upcoming TV One film “Media,” for her work guiding important discussions between young people on solutions to their pressing issues. Rev. Dr. Steffie Bartley, Sr. is thanked for his work with law enforcement encouraging diversity. Political journalist and activist Marc Lamont Hill praises Jennifer Jones Austin for her work focused on securing positive policy reforms for human services throughout New York City and New York State.
The evening includes live performances to punctuate the inspirational mood, including a spoken word performance by Nick Cannon who delivers an original spoken word piece titled “Too Broke To Vote” to passionately communicate his discontent with the current state of the campaign season. R&B crooner Joe takes the stage to perform “Mercy Mercy Me.” Eric Benet performs a touching memorial tribute to many notable individuals who have passed this year by singing “Keep Your Head To The Sky.”
Juan and Deborah Joy Winans, two members of the Winans gospel music dynasty, keep the spirit-filled vibe going with their performance of “Lord Lift Us Up.”
Cee-Lo Green introduces the rising music star V-Bozeman, who performs “Race Jones,” a pro-black anthem on self-love. The James Brown Academy of Music Pupils performs “Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud,” encouraging the audience to stand up for their rights. Tichina Arnold, JB Smoove, Carl Payne, Erica Ash and Teyonah Parris joined forces to perform “Spike Lee Joint Medley,” a musical tribute.
Singer Fantasia brings the evening to a climactic and uplifting finale with the performance of her hit single “Lose to Win.”
The night of excellence includes additional appearances by actor JB Smoove and WNBA Atlanta Dream player Angel McCoughtry. Radio personality Ebonie Steel serves as the voice of the show, keeping the pace moving and giving viewers a rare glimpse of the activity backstage between segments.
The 2016 Triumph Awards is Executive Prodcued by Bart Phillips of Sunseeker Media and Eric Tomosunas with Keith Neal of Swirl Films. Robyn Greene Arrington is Executive in Charge of Production. Lamar Chase serves as Producer and D’Angela Proctor is Head of Original Programing and Production for TV One.
For more information about The 2016 Triumph Awards visit the network’s companion website at www.tvone.tv. TV One viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@tvonetv) using the hashtag #TriumphAwards and catch clips and promos on TV One’s YouTube Channel.