Fan favorite tv personality Karamo Brown of Netflix’s “Queer Eye;” along with food critic and viral sensation Kalen Allen of “OMKalen,” on Ellen DeGeneres’ ellentube.com and YouTube channel; and veteran television producer Tajamika “Taj” Paxton, a three-time Emmy winner, are among the honorees at the fifth annual Truth Awards to be held on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at the Taglyan Cultural Complex, located at 1201 Vine Street in Los Angeles.
Festivities will kick off at 6 p.m. with red carpet arrivals and a VIP reception. The event will be hosted by actress Angela Robinson of Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and Have Nots,” which airs on OWN.
The black-tie affair will honor African-American, trailblazing men and women whose personal and professional accomplishments have positively impacted the perception and image of the Black LGBTQ community. The Truth Awards embody the belief that members of the Black LGBTQ community and its allies who embrace and live their truth should be recognized and honored.
This trifecta of honorees are making their mark in entertainment while creating a positive dialogue in the space of the African American LGBTQ community. In 2004, Brown became a familiar face to viewers as a housemate on the hit MTV reality series, “The Real World.” He was the first openly-gay African American in reality television history. Last year, he started as the culture expert on the Netflix’s reboot, “Queer Eye,” where his job is to make over the hearts and minds individuals, working through some internal issues. Brown will receive the Culture & Arts Award.
Just 22-years old, the viral videos of fresh-faced food critic and YouTube sensation Kalen Allen caught the attention of talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. His “Kalen Reacts” videos went viral with millions of views on Facebook and YouTube and thousands of retweets on Twitter. In addition to being a frequent guest on the ”Ellen DeGeneres Show,” Allen also landed a deal with the popular host and LGBT activist, and now creates new content for the original series, “OMKalen,” on ellentube.com and Ellen’s YouTube channel. As Allen continues to entertain in the digital space, his videos boast an impressive 500+ million views across all branded Ellen platforms, and his social reach is a whopping 3+ million across all platforms. He’s set to star alongside Seth Rogen in an upcoming comedy about pickles. Allen will receive the Social Influencer Award.
Paxton is an award-winning writer, director and producer, who’s nabbed three consecutive Emmy Awards in the documentary category. Interestingly, she and her mother – that is, tv judge Mablean Ephriam of “Justice With Judge Mablean” — made television history when the mother-daughter duo nabbed Daytime Emmy nominations in 2018. Recipient of the Media & Arts Award, Paxton formerly served as the head of Logo Documentary Films at the Logo Network. She’s excited about transitioning into a new role at the network with more announcements to come.
The DIVA Foundation and its founder Sheryl Lee Ralph are especially pleased to continue their partnership with Better Brothers Los Angeles (BBLA) on this effort. Both organizations believe a healthy Black community – one where individuals are allowed to live their truth, free of shame and stigma, and are recognized as equal and rightful members of the community – is a critical piece in the fight to also end HIV/AIDS. This year’s honorees were picked from various fields, including entertainment, fashion, beauty, business, finance and media.
“Times are certainly changing!” says Ralph. “In this current political environment, it’s important that we continue to support our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community, and make it possible for them to live out loud and openly for the world to see.” “Our acceptance and understanding of the LGBTQ community will encourage, inspire and motivate others to live their truth, unapologetically.”
Past honorees include Emmy-winning actress Loretta Devine, award-winning actor Rockmond Dunbar, the first female NBA referee Violet Palmer, celebrated make up artist Sam Fine, author/writer James Earl Hardy, transgender model Tracey “Africa” Norman, transgender reality star and activist Chandi Moore, Grammy-nominated producer/singer/songwriter B. Slade, advertising executive Aaron Walton of Walton Isaacson (WI), and activist and night club owner Jewel Thais-Williams – just to name a few.
The Truth Awards are made possible with the support of Kaiser Permanente, LeadersUp, In the Meantime Men’s Group, New York Life and KTLA TV.
Ticket prices range from $150 for general admission to $250 for premier seating. Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite at truthawards5.eventbrite.com
The Truth Awards will benefit the DIVA Foundation and its partnership with BBLA, which has initiated several initiatives aimed at affirming and strengthening the African American LGBTQ community educationally, financially, physically and socially. For more information about the organization and its scholarship program, visit www.BetterBrothersLA.com
For more information about the Truth Awards and its honorees, visit www.BetterBrothersLA.com/truthawards