Byron Allen, founder/chairman/CEO of Entertainment Studios, was honored with the 2019 Whitney M. Young, Jr., Award at the 46th annual Los Angeles Urban League Awards dinner in Hollywood on Thursday night.
“We are incredibly grateful to this year’s honorees and extremely proud to have Byron Allenaccept this year’s Whitney M. Young, Jr., Award,” said Michael Lawson, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League.
“Byron Allen exemplifies excellence and this award is just a small token recognizing his success as well as our appreciation for his generous support of our mission and our communities.”
The founder/chairman, and CEO of Entertainment Studios delivered an inspiring acceptance speech at the dinner attended by several familiar faces including celebrities, activists, and Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
Byron Allen explained that this award was particularly personal because the Los Angeles Urban League helped his mother get her first job when they moved from Detroit to LA in 1968. “That assist changed the course of our lives,” he said.
He also spoke candidly about our political system and the way our community continues to fight for equality on all fronts, highlighting his ongoing work to make economic equality a reality.
The award, named after the venerable civil rights leader who pushed the Urban League to new heights, is given to a recognized leader who has demonstrated an outstanding ability to advance the causes of equality and access. Allen’s content production and distribution company Entertainment Studios (ES) has more than $1 billion in assets, and in 2018 he made national headlines when he acquired the Weather Channel TV network for a reported $300 million dollars.
As the founder, CEO and sole shareholder of ES, the 57-year old also controls networks behind shows such as Funny You Should Ask, Beautiful Homes & Great Estates, Animal Control Patrol and Entertainers with Byron Allen.
The Whitney M. Young, Jr., Awards Dinner raises funds for Los Angeles Urban League and several of its community outreach programs. Past winners of the Whitney M. Young, Jr., Award include Van Jones , Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Denzel Washington, Natalie Cole, Sidney Poitier, and Stevie Wonder.