Anthony Anderson, who is set to host the 49th NAACP Image Awards on Monday, Jan. 15, kicked off the weekend taking on the role as Master of Ceremonies at the 5th Anniversary of MLK Community Health Foundation’s “Sharing the Dream” Luncheon, held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles.
The annual luncheon, which recognizes individuals who have made a difference through community activism and philanthropic efforts, honored award-winning KCBS news anchor, Pat Harvey, with the Advocate Award and NBC’s Emmy-nominated “This Is Us” star, Susan Kelechi Watson, with the Game Changer Award.
Friday’s event included a number of prominent civic, business and philanthropic vanguards who all showed up in support of the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital and its efforts. Serving over 1 million residents in South Los Angeles including Compton, Inglewood, Watts-Willowbroook and Lynwood, the hospital has not only helped saved countless lives, it’s also created over 1,000 jobs in the area since its opening in 2015.
The Latin Grammy-nominated ensemble, Quattrosound, who was there to perform at the event, stopped to speak with AXS to discuss the incredible transformation that’s happened at the hospital in recent years. “It’s just a really inspiring thing to see the state-of-the-art facility and to see so many people come together to support a community that’s really in need,” Giovanna Moraga Clayton said.
Pat Harvey, who has hosted the program over the last several years, said she was surprised when they contacted her with the news that she was being honored this year. She pointed out that although she tries not to take herself too seriously, she’s proud of the work she does and is excited that this foundation wants to recognize that. She went on to talk about the Martin Luther King Hospital once being a beacon of hope for a community that is in such dire of need healthcare. Since its reopening, she describes it as a vibrant place filled with dedicated, bright, educated people who are saving lives. “Positive change can happen,” Harvey tells AXS. Her advice is to give it a try. “You might be surprised what you find, what you may come back with, but you have to start.”
“This Is Us” star Susan Kelechi Watson agrees. To inspire social change through the medium of entertainment, Watson says happens through honesty. She believes that is what strikes a chord in people and inspires change. “There is just something about being true to something, regardless of what you’re talking about, that becomes so universal that it begins to make a statement of its own,” she expressed. “Be honest rather than sensational. Just stick to the truth. That is what binds us more than separates us.”
Click here to find out more about the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital.
Anthony Anderson will resume his hosting duties once again for the 49th NAACP Image Awards. It airs live on TV One, Monday, Jan. 15, the federal holiday honoring the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The red carpet begins at 8 p.m/7c with the awards show starting at 9 p.m./8c.
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