On Saturday, November 7, 2015, the Chicago Urban League will host its 54th Annual Golden Fellowship Dinner at the Hilton Chicago located at 720 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago. The dinner supports the League’s education, economic empowerment, and social justice programs. For nearly 100 years, the organization has been on the front lines advocating for equal representation for African American Chicagoans.

This year’s gala, themed Inspiration for the Next Generation, will be headlined by multi-talented R&B Grammy® Award-winning entertainer, songwriter and actress Brandy and is chaired by one of Chicago’s outstanding corporate leaders: Melvin D. Williams, president, Nicor Gas and senior vice president, AGL Resources.

“The Golden Fellowship Dinner helps us fulfill our mission to strengthen individuals, families, neighborhoods and the city of Chicago,” said Shari Runner, interim president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League. “We work each day to remove barriers that hinder self-sustainability and growth. We are committed to providing opportunities and resources so African American Chicagoans are future-ready.”

A sell-out crowd of more than 1,600 of Chicago’s business, civic and elected leaders are expected to attend the Golden Fellowship Dinner. Since its inception in 1951, the charitable dinner has become one of the most anticipated gatherings of diverse leaders who are committed to the success of Chicago’s African American communities and the city of Chicago.

Brandy is one of America’s most popular and recognized R&B entertainers that has continued to expand her career to include television, movies, and most recently, the Broadway stage in Chicago. Having sold more than 40 million albums worldwide, Brandy is ranked as one of the best-selling female artists in American music history by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In addition to her Grammy® Award, she has earned numerous other awards including an MTV, BMI, Billboard, AMA, Soul Train Music, and NAACP Image Awards.

Timuel Black, noted Chicago historian, activist, philanthropist and philosopher and Pulitzer Prize Winner and critically acclaimed Warmth of Other Suns author Isabel Wilkerson will accept the Edwin C. “Bill” Berry Civil Rights Award at the 54th Annual Golden Fellowship Dinner. Named for Bill Berry, who led the Chicago Urban League from 1956-1969 and was a key leader in the Civil Rights Movement, the award is given annually to leaders who make a mark locally and nationally through hard work, perseverance and creativity.

Previous Edwin C. “Bill” Berry Award winners include legendary opera diva Jessye Norman, civil rights activists Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., Rev. Willie T. Barrow, Hank R. Schwab, and Rev. Addie L. Wyatt; legendary actors Louis Gossett, Jr., Phylicia Rashad and Cicely Tyson; Johnson Publishing Company Chairman Linda Johnson Rice; and James W. Compton, president of the Chicago Urban League from 1972-2006.

The 54th Annual Golden Fellowship Dinner will be hosted by Chicago funnyman Damon Williams. Williams’ numerous television appearances include BET’s Comicview, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, and The Tom Joyner Morning Show. Lead sponsors for the 54th Annual Golden Fellowship Dinner include Nicor Gas, BMO Harris Bank, Boeing, GCM GROSVENOR, ITW, Loop Capital, McDonald’s, and Wintrust.

For more information about the Chicago Urban League’s 54th Annual Golden Fellowship Dinner, call Erika Soria at 773-624-8815 or visit www.TheChicagoUrbanLeague.org.

About the Chicago Urban League
Established in 1916, the Chicago Urban League works for economic, educational and social progress for African Americans and promotes strong sustainable communities through advocacy, collaboration and innovation. For more information, visit www.thechicagourbanleague.org.



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