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Kerry Washington to receive independence award

Sunday, June 02, 2019

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Emmy and Golden Globe nominated American/Jamaican actress Kerry Washington will this year be honoured with the Artistic Achievement Award at Jamaica's 57th Independence Black Tie Gala, slated for the Hilton Westchester hotel, Rye Brook, in New York on August 10.

Born in New York City to parents Valerie (Moss) from St Elizabeth, Jamaica and Earl Washington, from South Carolina, Washington's first gained notice in 2004 when she appeared as Della Bea Robinson, the wife of musician Ray Charles, in the biopic Ray. She won Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for Ray at the NAACP Image Awards in 2005. Washington is best known for her portrayal of Olivia Pope in the ABC TV drama Scandal — that has earned her several Emmy, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and Golden Globe nominations. She is also recognised for her portrayal of lawyer and academic Anita Hill in the 2016 HBO film Confirmation, which she executive produced under the banner of her production company Simpson Street.

In 2018, Washington starred on Broadway in American Son, which has since been shot as a movie and will première on Netflix in fall of 2019. Washington serves as executive producer. She also recently appeared in ABC's live presentation of The Jeffersons as Helen Willis alongside Wanda Sykes, Will Ferrell and Jamie Foxx and is currently in production on Little Fires Everywhere for Hulu, which she and Reese Witherspoon both executive produce and star in.

“We are extremely proud to honour the talented Kerry Washington at our Jamaica Independence Gala,” said event chairman and producer Sephron Mair.

“Kerry is an outstanding actress and movie director, and is the first woman of colour to headline a network TV drama since 1974, when she starred in Scandal. In 2013 she was ranked number two on the 100 Most Beautiful People list by People magazine,” he added.

The Black Tie Gala — Jamaica's marquee Independence celebration in New York - is being held under the distinguished patronage of the Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett. This year Member of Parliament and Opposition spokesman on foreign affairs and foreign trade Lisa Hanna will be brand ambassador for the event. The keynote address will be delivered by United States federal judge, Norman Hemming.

Part proceeds from the gala will be donated to Food For the Poor Jamaica, the largest charity organisation in Jamaica, and Food For the Poor Inc, located in Florida, USA, the largest international relief and development organisation in the United States.


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