Jada Pinkett Smith, MC Lyte, Deion Sanders among Ebony Power 100 nominees

This year's Power 100 ceremony aligns with Ebony's 75th anniversary.

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The Ebony Power 100 Awards ceremony is returning, reimagined for 2020.

The ceremony, slated for Oct. 23 in Los Angeles, will once again honor the achievements of Black people across multiple industries and professions. It will showcase our stories and achievements across all areas of American society and culture. Returning as a live ceremony in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Power 100 and will include feature award presentations, live performances, and a few onstage surprises.

Jada Pinkett Smith Mc Lyte thegrio.com
(Credit: Getty Images)

Awards will be distributed across 10 categories: Entertainment Powerhouse, Music Impact, Social Justice Champion, Excellence in Journalism, Ceiling Breaker, Game Changer, Innovation Leader, Community Builder, Breakthrough Creators and NextGen.

Ebony will also honor several recipients with its Special Awards: Honorees include actress Storm Reid (Rising Star Award); Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, viral immunologist and lead scientist of the Vaccine Research Center’s coronavirus team at the National Institutes of Health (Innovator of the Year); Hip-hop legend MC Lyte (Trailblazer Award); NFL Hall of Famer and Jackson State University head football coach Deion Sanders (Game Changer of the Year); Red Table Talk creators and hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris (Entertainer of the Year Award); and P&G Executives Marc Pritchard, Damon Jones and Stephanie Headley (Corporate Citizen Award).

Ebony’s Power 100 list evolved as an annual celebration of black excellence and achievement from its “Most Influential Black Americans” list, which was introduced in 1971.

“We are so proud to be able to bring the Ebony Power 100 back reimagined, refreshed, and standing as a true representation of today’s Black America! Ebony has always recognized all facets of Black life and, with this event marking a major milestone in the brand’s continued evolution, we are intent on making this Black culture’s biggest night,” said Ebony CEO Michele Ghee via press release.

“After what has been a most challenging and turbulent year, this year’s nominees and honorees represent a wide range of people who persevered and continue to do the work. And, in doing so, they have contributed immensely to their respective fields and communities – making a significant impact on the cultural landscape each in their own way.”

“From grassroots organizers to the arts and entertainment to the corporate boardrooms, we are very excited to shine a light on these amazing people because no one can celebrate Black excellence quite like Ebony!” Ghee said.

This year’s Ebony Power 100 will align with the 75th anniversary of the EBONY brand, which John H. Johnson founded in Chicago as a magazine in 1945.

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