LOS ANGELES , May 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Independent School Alliance for Minority Affairs (The Alliance) celebrated its 2022 Impact Awards honoring outstanding leaders in the Los Angeles community, returning in person on Thursday evening, May 19, at the Skirball Cultural Center. The event raised generous funds for the Independent School Alliance and its mission to provide access opportunities and education support for racially underrepresented and under resourced students in the greater Los Angeles area. www.independentschoolalliance.org
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Honorees included Saladin Patterson, executive producer, creator and writer for "The Wonder Years"; Prentice Penny, Emmy®-nominated executive producer, writer and director for "Insecure"; and Nina Shaw, founding partner, Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein Lezcano Bobb & Dang. Actor Wren T. Brown ("Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story") hosted; presenters include actor Dulé Hill ("Wonder Years"), producer and founder of Blue Marble Pictures Theresa Kang-Lowe (Pachinko, White Darkness) and Mark McKee, president of the Alliance Board and head of Viewpoint School.
Host Wren T. Brown gave a warm welcome to the 350-person audience and noted, "This event is always a celebration of infinite possibilities — clear proof of what an eager, curious student can accomplish when societal barriers are removed."
The event was co-chaired by Alliance Board Members Mira Lee, ShoeDazzle Co-Founder, and Monica Mange Johnson, Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel at Introsight Advisors. They spotlighted the 2020 Legacy Awards, which had been curtailed due to the Covid -19 pandemic. Honors were handed out to the Crossroads School, accepted by Jessica Ngo; Latham & Watkins LLP, accepted by Josh Hamilton; and Mahal Dahkil Jackson and Matt Jackson.
Alliance Board Chair Mark McKee presented the inaugural Alliance Legacy Award to Nina Shaw, entertainment attorney and founding partner at Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein Lezcano Bobb & Dang law firm. Shaw has been a long-standing advocate for the education of girls and women. She is currently Vice President of the Board of Directors of The Alliance.
Upon accepting her honor, Shaw said, "There are so many lessons learned over these last few years… Chief among those lessons is the importance of education and of educators. The Alliance and supporters play a role in providing access that would not otherwise exist to students who want to be a part of the Independent School Community."
Dulé Hill presented the 2022 Impact Award to Saladin K. Patterson. In addition to "The Wonder Years," Patterson’s other impressive TV series credits include "Frasier," "Psych," "Dave," "The Big Bang Theory" and "Two and a Half Men." While presenting the award to Patterson, Hill shared that his daughter is a member of The Alliance and stated, "The Alliance is giving the gift of exceptional students to these schools. The independent schools and the existing student bodies benefit equally, if not more, from the rich and compelling contributions of our children of color, bringing a kaleidoscope of knowledge and experience that would greatly be lacking without The Alliance."
Patterson accepted his honor and said, "In the entertainment industry, we are discovering that one way people feel equity is for people to feel seen. Seen in front of the camera, seen behind the camera, and seen in the offices at the studios and networks. That’s also the brilliance of what The Alliance does for the underrepresented families in our city – it makes them feel seen."
Theresa Kang-Lowe presented the second 2022 Impact Award to Prentice Penny. In addition to Penny’s roles on "Insecure," Penny is the writer and director of the Netflix film "Uncorked," and writer and producer on the series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," "The Hustle" and "Scrubs," among others.
Said Kang-Lowe: "On his first TV writing job, Prentice was the only African American writer in the room. Alliance students need to see themselves represented onscreen. It not only helps the cause of diversity, it makes TV and film more interesting and honest. Prentice has always been a champion of that."
Upon accepting his honor, Penny said, "In order to have an impact, you must be impacted first. Future generations will benefit from us having opened doors. That’s real impact. The Alliance provides the highest level of education as the norm, and not the exception."
Each year the ISA recognized four graduating senior students with scholarships for their future college support. Rob Evans, the Alliance Executive Director, presented checks to students Jaylah Lewis (Crossroads School for the Arts & Sciences), Amelia "Milly" Mitchell (Pacifica Christian High School), Fanuel Alemayehu (Vistamar School) and Kennedy Reynolds (Oakwood School).
The Impact Awards gala was generously sponsored by Latham and Watkins LLP, C&D Global Humanity Foundation, and Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein Lezcano Bobb & Dang LLP. Impact Awards Event Coordination was by Marsha Grant, Grant Associates Event Management, and Event Production by Erick Weiss, Honeysweet Creative.
The Independent School Alliance is an organization with 50 independent schools in the Greater Los Angeles area committed to serve and strengthen equity, inclusion, multiculturalism, and racial justice. ISA seeks students from underrepresented racial backgrounds whose school records demonstrate significant ability, achievement, motivation and good citizenshipFor further information on The Independent School Alliance, please visit independentschoolalliance.org.
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Independent School Alliance for Minority Affairs Contact:
Tiffany Alexander Aldridge
Director of Advancement
SOURCE The Independent School Alliance for Minority Affairs