Monday, 01 April 2024 05:49

Shining in Truth: A Decade of Excellence at the BBLA 10th Annual Truth Awards

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In the heart of Los Angeles, amidst the glitz and glamour that often defined Hollywood, a different kind of spotlight shone. It wasn't about blockbuster films or chart-topping hits; it was about celebrating something far more profound – excellence, empowerment, and the relentless pursuit of truth. The 10th Annual Truth Awards emerged on the horizon, an event transcending the ordinary to honor extraordinary individuals and their remarkable contributions to the LGBTQ+ community.

Spearheaded by Better Brothers Los Angeles (BBLA) and The DIVA Foundation under the guiding light of the incomparable Sheryl Lee Ralph, that year's Truth Awards promised nothing short of groundbreaking. With each passing year, the celebration of authenticity and achievement has grown in significance. The anticipation reached new heights as the Beverly Hilton Hotel prepared to open its doors on Saturday, March 30th. As the clock ticked closer to 5:30 pm, excitement brewed not just for a single evening but for an unprecedented trilogy of events, marking a historic first in the annals of the Truth Awards.

Wendy Raquel Robinson, the Emmy® Award-winning actress and producer renowned for her role as the indomitable Tasha Mack, stepped into the spotlight as the host, ready to guide attendees through an evening of inspiration and celebration. But the star-studded lineup didn't end there; it was a constellation of talent and advocacy.

"We are thrilled to have Emmy® Award-winning producer Wendy Raquel Robinson as our host for this special milestone event," said Vincent L. Holmes, co-founder of Better Brothers Los Angeles (BBLA). "Her talent and passion for supporting the community aligns perfectly with the mission of the Truth Awards."

 Wendy Raquel Robinson

Political advisor Karine Jean-Pierre was honored with the prestigious 'History Maker' Award, recognizing her tireless efforts in championing LGBTQ+ rights and unwavering commitment to civic duty. And the stage came alive with performances that stirred the soul and ignited the spirit. From the electrifying rhythms of GRAMMY® Award winner Big Freedia to the soul-stirring melodies of TONY AWARD nominee Hailey Kilgore, each moment left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of all who bore witness.

"The recognition of Karine Jean-Pierre is a testament to her unwavering dedication to social justice and equality," said Sheryl Lee Ralph, Founder of The DIVA Foundation. "Her voice resonates with clarity and purpose, inspiring others to take action in pursuit of a more just world."

As BBLA commemorated a decade of excellence, the 10th Annual Truth Awards stood not just as a celebration of the past but as a beacon of hope for the future – a testament to the power of truth, authenticity, and the enduring pursuit of a more inclusive world.


On Thursday, March 28, Kyle Price from "Make It a Moment" moderated an intergenerational conversation titled "The Black Queer Community: Then and Now." This conversation featured Black queer leaders, advocates, influencers, artists, and more who discussed how Black LGBTQ+ individuals have impacted society, pop culture, and the arts in the past. They also discussed how we can build upon this legacy to shape the future.


The Friday night gala, themed for this invite-only event, was aptly named 'Passing the Torch' and honored outstanding individuals for their remarkable achievements. The recipients of the evening included SHAR JOSSELL (Award-winning journalist), who received the prestigious Passing The Torch Award; Actress and Musician Bre-Z (All American), recognized with the Breakout Star Award; and Tobias Gilbert (IndigoWave Tech Back), honored with the Social Influencer Award. The charismatic Archie Jay hosted the gala. Presenting awards on this particular night were Novi Brown (Tyler Perry's Sistas) and Jonica Booth (Rap Sh!t). The stage came alive with captivating performances by Serpentwithfeet, Devin Tracy, and DJ Jash Jay.


The Saturday night gala was a star-studded event celebrating exceptional individuals who have made a lasting impact. Social media influencer and comedian Antonio "Tony Talks" Baldwin was set to host the red carpet. The distinguished honorees included Karine Jean-Pierre, who received the History Maker Award; Lena Waithe, who was acknowledged with the Culture & Arts Award; Patrik-Ian Polk, who was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award; Mona Scott-Young, who accepted the Ally Award; Bryon Javar, who received the Andre Leon Talley Style Purveyor Award; Dr. Bettina Love, who was recognized for the Education In Excellence Award; Dr. David Johns, who was distinguished with the Bayard Rustin Advocacy Award, and Sam Prater, who was touted with the Business Leadership Award. The presenters for this memorable evening included Janelle Monáe, Colman Domingo, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Jason Lee, Brian Jordan, Jr., Melvin Robert, Greg Mathis Jr, Tim Pulliam, Elliott Cooper, Darnell Moore, Dr. Shaun Harper, Armond Kinsey, and more.



The 10th Annual Truth Awards was co-presented by The DIVA Foundation and sponsored by Gilead, Atlantic Health Systems, SONY Pictures Entertainment, LeadersUp, STARZ, Nissan, USC Race & Equity Center, National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), California Community Foundation, Columbia University IRAAS, and Walmart.



Better Brothers Los Angeles (BBLA) is a 501(c)(3) organization that educates, inspires, and connects the Black LGBTQ+ community in Southern California and across the country.

Our mission is to develop a stronger sense of community and overcome cultural and religious challenges to our orientation.

BBLA's year-round social, educational, and overall affirming programming is anchored by the Truth Awards Ceremony, an annual recognition and celebration of the Black LGBTQ+ community and its allies.

To learn more, visit

Follow Better Brothers Los Angeles


The DIVA Foundation is a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded by humanitarian and Emmy Award-winning actress Sheryl Lee Ralph as a memorial and life-long pledge to the many friends she lost to AIDS while originating her iconic role in Dreamgirls on Broadway.

Pairing strong family values with rising fame, Ralph used her spotlight to mobilize resources, fight stigma, fundraise, and deliver urgent messaging around the awareness and prevention of transmission of HIV/AIDS.

To learn more, visit

Follow The DIVA Foundation


Read 428 times Last modified on Friday, 26 April 2024 07:03
Yuliya Suleymanova

About Yuliya Suleymanova:

Yuliya Suleymanova is Suley Era co-founder, editor, and a top contributor for Fashion World and Culture Land sections.

Yuliya is a Doctorate Candidate in Organizational Leadership. Professor. Marketing & Consumer Behavior Researcher. Public Speaker & Media personality.