TV One and Boys & Girls Clubs of America to be saluted at 35th Annual Walter Kaitz Foundation Fundraising Dinner

TV One, the network designed to entertain and inform a diverse audience of adult Black viewers, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the national organization that has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens, will be honored for their commitment to diversity and inclusion at the 35th Anniversary Walter Kaitz Foundation Fundraising Dinner on Wednesday, October 17, in New York City.

Proceeds from the event will support the programs and initiatives of three key industry organizations: the Emma L. Bowen Foundation, the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC), and Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT). Each year, while bringing together media and telecommunications leaders to advance diversity, equity and inclusion across the industry, the dinner raises more than $1 million in support of the programs and initiatives of these key groups.

This year’s Annual Dinner is being spearheaded by a distinguished committee of industry visionaries co-chaired by Josh Sapan, president & CEO, AMC Networks and Dave Watson, president & CEO, Comcast Cable, and Senior EVP, Comcast Corporation. The dinner committee also includes Dexter Goei, president, Altice NV, and chairman & CEO, Altice USA; David Levy, president, Turner; David Nevins, president & CEO, Showtime Networks, Inc.; Michael K. Powell, president & CEO, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association; and Tom Rutledge, chairman & CEO, Charter Communications.

2018 Diversity Champion is TV One
TV One will be honored as the 2018 Diversity Champion, an award given to organizations that act as catalysts for diversity throughout the media and telecommunications industry. Diversity Champions motivate the industry to embrace and value diversity by serving as role models, inspiring and encouraging excellence, removing barriers that hinder progress, and empowering others with opportunities. HBO was the recipient of the 2017 award.

From the provocative original programming it produces to the bold REPRESENT men’s health and Hurricane Harvey relief initiatives it has recently launched, TV One exemplifies the values articulated by the Walter Kaitz Foundation. TV One’s commitment to these values is reflected across the entire organization, influencing not just in the on-screen content that captivates audiences, but also in the internal mechanisms that ensure diversity of thought and contribution in every aspect of day-to-day operations.

“Opportunity is the great equalizer in business and in life,” said Michelle Rice, general manager at TV One. “Our CEO, Alfred Liggins has been a huge champion of diversity in our industry, and certainly, TV One has provided many opportunities to our employees, vendors, and partners that have made real impact on their lives, businesses and in the community.  With TV One, Alfred continues to build upon the legacy of his mother, Cathy Hughes, Urban One, Inc. founder and chairperson. TV One is thrilled and incredibly humbled by this recognition and we share this honor with every employee at the company.”

2018 Diversity Advocate is Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Boys & Girls Clubs of America will be honored as the 2018 Diversity Advocate, an award presented to an individual or organization outside of the media and telecommunications industry that has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to diversity. The award recognizes visionary leadership that fosters a more embracing and inclusive environment. Honorees over the last two years have included Girls Who Code and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP).

The focus of Boys & Girls Clubs of America is to ensure that young people graduate from high school with a plan for the future that focuses on developing skills, thinking independently and cultivating self-esteem. Its programs are varied and encourage participation in STEM, technology for girls, support for grieving students and inclusion for LGBTQ young people and those with disabilities.

“Over the last 150 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has constantly changed to meet the needs of kids and teens in an ever-changing world. We believe where a child is from, or the circumstances surrounding them, must not limit their access to opportunities that can change their lives for the better,” said Jim Clark, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “We want to close the opportunity gap for all young people, preparing them to be innovators and leaders who shape our world. Thank you to the Walter Kaitz Foundation for recognizing our focus on diversity and commitment to inclusion.”

“These two organizations epitomize the Walter Kaitz Foundation’s belief that a demonstrated commitment to enhance diversity and inclusion can be achieved in ground-breaking and innovative ways across all organizations,” said Michelle Ray, Executive Director of the Walter Kaitz Foundation. “This 35th Anniversary milestone offers our industry a unique opportunity to reflect upon the work we’ve all done to make diversity and inclusion one of the cornerstones of our industry while we chart a course for the future.”

For information on sponsorship opportunities or for questions about the dinner, contact the Walter Kaitz Foundation at (202) 222-2490 or email Jackie Szmaja at JSzmaja@walterkaitz.org. Additional information about the dinner can also can be found at www.walterkaitz.org.