Atlanta lived up to its reputation as the Hollywood of the South on Sunday, with the live taping of the 36th annual UNCF An Evening of Stars.
The event at Atlanta Civic Center, hosted for the third consecutive year by ‘Black-ish’ producer/actor Anthony Anderson, featured celebrities such as Estelle, Toni Braxton and Kenneth ”Babyface” Edmonds.
Other artists who took to the stage included Big Sean, K. Michelle, Yolanda Adams and Jussie Smollett to name a few.
But the real stars of the night were the UNCF “rising stars”; students who often overcame adversity to earn UNCF scholarships to support their college degrees at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
During the show, celebs presented scholarships to numerous students attending HBCUs. Kevin Hart, Chris Paul, Usher Raymond and Pharrell Williams also featured in pre-recorded videos to surprise exemplary students with notable awards to help fund their education and future career paths.
“UNCF and its celebrity partners and sponsors, understand now is a crucial moment in which we all must recognize and demonstrate by our actions and deeds, that ‘Black Lives Matter’. Perhaps more than ever, we must continue to fill the need UNCF has been bringing to light since its inception,” said UNCF president and CEO Dr. Michael L. Lomax. “I am immeasurably grateful to these young artists and philanthropists who are stepping up and answering our call.”
“Through the work of UNCF and countless supporters, thousands of our young people are receiving educational opportunities and resources to complete their education and continue along the road to achieving their dreams,” said Mayor Kasim Reed, City of Atlanta. “I applaud this year’s performers and sponsors for their unwavering commitment to invest in future generations by ensuring they have access to a high-quality education.”
UNCF An Evening of Stars, formerly the Lou Rawls Parade of Stars, first aired in 1979. Since then, it has become one of the longest running and most successful televised events, raising over $200 million for students to attend college and graduate programs over its 36-year history.
The United Negro College Fund, or UNCF, is a philanthropic organization that funds scholarships for black students and general scholarship funds for 37 member HBCUs.
UNCF An Evening of Stars will air nationally on Sunday, April 26 10p/9c on the BET Network.
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Check out these Red Carpet photos by ‘InDaHouseMedia’ Jerome Dorn below: