Queen Latifah Returns to Host "55th NAACP Image Awards"

At the upcoming celebration, the NAACP will honor Amanda Gorman with the Chairman's Award and June Ambrose with the Vanguard Award.

Today, BET, CBS, and NAACP announced that GRAMMY® award-winning musician, critically acclaimed Emmy® and Golden Globe®-winning and Academy Award®-nominated actor and producer Queen Latifah (series star/executive producer of The Equalizer, CBS) will return to host the prestigious “55th NAACP Image Awards” airing LIVE on Saturday, March 16, at 8:00 PM ET/PT on BET and the CBS Television Network. Award-winning writer, double poet laureate, and activist Amanda Gorman will be honored with the prestigious Chairman’s Award during the live telecast. It was also announced that award-winning creative director and costume designer June Ambrose will receive the Vanguard Award at the “55th NAACP Image Awards” Fashion Show on Friday, March 15.

"We are thrilled to collaborate with groundbreaking megastar Queen Latifah and are elated to welcome her again as this year's host. We also look forward to honoring changemaker and poet Amanda Gorman and fashion icon June Ambrose for their tremendous cultural impact,” said Connie Orlando, EVP Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy at BET. “Queen Latifah, NAACP, and Pastis have been such incredible partners in amplifying Black culture, excellence, creativity, and ingenuity, and this year’s unforgettable show will be no different.”

“The NAACP Image Awards is an important celebration for our community and industry every year. We get the opportunity to highlight the major accomplishments of artists, writers, entertainers, activists and other change makers that push Black excellence forward in a powerful way,” said Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO.

Known for her stirring performance at the presidential inauguration in 2021, Gorman has become a beacon of hope and inspiration. Her inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb,” debut picture book, Change Sings, and her poetry collection Call Us What We Carry, all debuted at #1 on New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller lists. Beyond her poetry, Gorman has embraced her role as a symbol of the next generation's potential, advocating for literacy, education, and civic engagement. As a committed advocate for the environment, racial equity, and gender justice, Gorman’s activism led to her becoming the first Global Changemaker for Estee Lauder. In this position, Gorman created the Writing Change initiative to support grassroots organizations dedicated to advancing literacy as a pathway to equality, access, and social change through young voices.

"Amanda Gorman stands as one of the brightest young voices in our nation and has emerged as a formidable force inspiring a new generation of leaders towards transformative change through her advocacy efforts and poetic brilliance," said Leon W. Russell, Chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors. "With her exceptional talent and unwavering commitment to positive change, Gorman continues to leave an indelible mark on the literary and social landscape, proving that words have the power to shape a better future.”

The Chairman's Award is bestowed in recognition of individuals who demonstrate exemplary public service and use their distinct platforms to create agents of change. Past honorees of the Chairman's Award include U.S. Congressman Bennie G. Thompson, Samuel L. Jackson, the late U.S. Congressman John Lewis and Ruby Dee, Danny Glover, Rev. James Lawson, Tyler Perry, then-Senator Barack Obama, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and former Surgeon General Regina Benjamin.

This year’s Vanguard Award will go to renowned costume designer, designer, and tastemaker June Ambrose. With an illustrious career spanning decades, Ambrose has created iconic looks for some of the biggest names in music, film, and sports, showcasing her ability to blend innovation with timeless elegance. As an established businesswoman, Ambrose has taken on roles as a costume designer, fashion designer, and creative director. Subsequently, she has expanded her influence in the design sphere by creating collections that embody her diverse aesthetic and commitment to pushing boundaries. Previous honorees include Bethann Hardison and Ruth E. Carter.

“As a fashion icon and cultural pioneer, June Ambrose has not only shaped the visual landscape of pop culture but has also elevated the conversation around the importance of diversity and inclusion in the world of fashion and entertainment,” said Karen Boykin-Towns, Vice Chair of the NAACP National Board of Directors, and Chairman of the Image Awards Committee. “Her multifaceted contributions have left an enduring legacy that transcends fashion, paving the way for a more representative and dynamic industry.”

Spanning a career of over 25 years, Ambrose has created her own lane in the fashion industry, making her mark as a costume designer and creative director. She is known for costume designing for Hype Williams’ film Belly and styling hip-hop icons like Missy Elliott and Jay-Z. In 2020, Ambrose became the creative director for Puma launching the company’s women's basketball division and released a number of collections over her four-year tenure, including “High Court,” “Keeping Score,” and a Ferrari collection with Puma motorsport – she also brought Puma back to New York Fashion Week with an out of this world show experience in fall 2022.

The “55th NAACP Image Awards” will premiere LIVE on Saturday, March 16, 2024, at 8:00 PM ET/PT on BET and CBS. NAACP will also recognize winners in non–televised Image Awards categories from March 11-13 on, during the Awards Dinner on March 14 and Fashion Show on March 15. For information and updates, please follow NAACP Image Awards on Instagram @NAACPImageAwards.


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