(Los Angeles, CA) – The renowned Debbie Allen, actress, dancer, choreographer, television director and producer will receive the Icon Award at LA Focus’ 21st Annual First Ladies High Tea on Saturday, September 8, 2018 @ 11 AM, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, 9876 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210.
Other honorees include; Jennifer S. Newsom; wife of Lt. Governor Gavin Newson, Xernona Clayton; Founder/CEO, Trumpet Awards Foundation, and Gwen Troy, Community Bible Study. LA Focus honors First ladies who have served their communities well, through activism and charitable contributions this year’s honorees are: Dr. Shalonda K. Crawford; The Experience Christian Ministries, Osie L. Hill; Love & Unity Christian Fellowship and Hyepin C. IM; President/CEO, Faith & Community Empowerment. Gospel legend Dorinda Clark Cole will be the Special guest performer for the event.
Gospel Legend Dr. Bobby Jones and Apostle Beverly “BAM” Crawford, Pastor, Bible Enrichment Fellowship International Church will return as Co-Hosts.
“The First Ladies High Tea’ was conceived in 1997 to celebrate and embrace the role first ladies and women in the church play in providing services to the community and shaping the lives of young girls and youth,” explains Publisher Lisa Collins. “So often the work that they do goes overlooked and we wanted to change that and provide a forum to recognize them for all that they do and all that they are to us.”
The First Ladies High Tea awards scholarships to participants, this year’s essay theme is, “On Becoming: Finding My Strength”. Four teenage girls will be awarded a $ 1,000 scholarship and (1) winner $1500.
The Afternoon Tea event will host 1000 plus attendees and will serve a traditional Afternoon Tea Menu.
About First Ladies High Tea
This afternoon tea is a red carpet affair for the Who’s Who of women in the church and black community, featuring celebrity guests, community leaders and honorees. In the decade since its inception, the tea has served to inspire women, both young and old, to join forces and create a movement of service towards each other, the communities in which they live and to God. Past honorees include former California First Lady Maria Shriver, Oscar Nominee Cicely Tyson, former LA County Supervisor Yvonne Burke, renown vocalist Nancy Wilson, gospel recording duo Mary Mary, TV One founder Cathy Hughes, actor/activist Hill Harper and The Honorable Kamala Harris, Attorney General of California, to name a few.
About L.A. Focus and Lisa Collins
Founded in 1995, L.A. focus Newspaper–which boasts a readership of 120,000+ provides coverage that mirrors the concerns and issues facing the African American community, reflecting the importance of the church as both its heart and cornerstone. In addition to traditional circulation stops, L.A. Focus gets to the heart of the African American Community via its strongest institution: the church, with distribution in more than 350 churches. No other newspaper can make that claim. We, however, can back it up with numbers, with influence, and with trusted relationships, while our “Ultimate Guide To Churches in Los Angeles” has become a key resource for those seeking to understand and navigate L.A.’s black faith community. If you’re targeting faith-based community.
Lisa Collins is a publisher, senior editor for GMCtv.com, syndicated columnist, writer and former Billboard Magazine columnist. In 1995, frustrated by a void in quality publications serving the African-American community and the church as well, Ms. Collins founded L.A. Focus. A community-based publication, L.A. Focus On The Word strives to acknowledge the role of the church—and it’s growing clout—in the progress, state and politics of L.A.’s African-American community, while spotlighting news and issues of interest to the Black community at large. In 1998, L.A. Focus established its first annual First Ladies High Tea, which draws upwards of 1,000 women and 90 churches together each year for an afternoon of inspiration and praise. In April 2005, the newspaper launched its first annual “Ultimate Guide To Churches In Los Angeles.”
Collins, a Los Angeles native and resident, also publishes “The Gospel Music Industry Roundup (dubbed “the Bible of the gospel music industry) and has served as a segment producer for BET while contributing well over 300 articles on a variety of issues for a number of national publications from Essence to Upscale, including a 12- year stint at Billboard Magazine. Her background in the field of entertainment reporting is extensive, featuring cover stories and interviews with the likes of Richard Pryor, Michael Jackson and Prince.
Her career in gospel began in 1988, with her creation of “Inside Gospel”, a daily/weekly syndicated radio series that provided news, profiles and product updates relative to the gospel music community. For the next eight years, she would also serve as executive producer of the show that was broadcast in more than 100 markets nationwide.