Jussie Smollett To Receive NAACP Chairman Award

2015 was Jussie Smollett's breakout year with his role on Empire and 2016 is shaping up to be great as well.  Smollett will be presented with the chairman’s award at next week’s 2016 NAACP Image Awards.

The openly gay actor, and four other individuals and three organizations, will be honored for using ‘their distinct platforms to be agents of change.’

‘It is a rare privilege for me to present the NAACP Chairman’s 2016 Award to an outstanding group of trailblazing leaders all under the age of 50 who have given voice and vision to the mantra that black lives matter,’ stated Roslyn M Brock, chairman of the NAACP national board of directors.

Smollett – Jamal Lyons in Fox’s hit series Empire – volunteers with the Black AIDS Institute, Artists for a New South Africa and United Negro College Fund, and has been an outspoken advocate for LGBTI issues since coming out last year.

Smollett interrupted his performance at the 2015 BET Awards to speak out about the Supreme Court’s landmark decision legalizing gay marriage.

‘We live in a nation where freedom is what we represent, yet we are still fighting for basic freedoms for all of our people,’ he said.

‘Let the Supreme Court ruling be proof of how far we’ve come, let the deaths of our sisters and brothers be proof of how far we have to go. No one is free until we are all free.’

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