May 24, 2018
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Stars line up for "Power of a Dream Gala" for at-risk youth

TODAY – Lou Gossett, Jr., Taraji Henson, Chris Tucker, and BeBe Winans to bring star power to “Power of a Dream Gala” to benefit U.S. Dream Academy’s after-school programs for children of incarcerated parents.


WHAT:            The “Power of a Dream Gala” will benefit the U.S. Dream Academy’s urgently needed after-school programs dedicated to breaking the cycle of incarceration and poverty through an academic, social and emotional skill-building curriculum for children of incarcerated parents.  More than 1,000 children are currently enrolled in its learning centers in 10 communities with high incarceration and poverty rates – DC, Baltimore, East Orange, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Memphis, Orlando, Philadelphia, and Salt Lake City.  The goal is to double the number of at-risk youth they serve by 2012. 


Headlining this evening’s gala will be Academy Award-winning actor Lou Gossett, Jr., Academy Award-nominated actress (Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and DC native Taraji P. Henson, Essence Magazine Editor-in-Chief Emeritus and National Cares Mentoring Movement founder Susan L. Taylor, MTV Award-winning comedian-actor Chris Tucker, Grammy-Award winning vocalist-producer BeBe Winans, and the U.S. Dream Academy’s “DreamKids Choir.”


WHEN:            TODAY – Thursday, May 21, 2009

                        VIP Reception

                        – Dinner and Program


WHERE:         Ritz Carlton Hotel,

1150 22nd Street, NW, Washington, DC




U.S. Dream Academy 2009 honorees: 

â–º Legacy Award – Academy Award-winning actor Lou Gossett, Jr.

â–º President’s Award – Academy Award-nominated actress, Howard University graduate, and DC native Taraji P. Henson.

â–º Mentor of the Year Award – Keith Poelman (Salt Lake City).


Musical Performances by:

â–º BeBe Winans, Grammy Award-winning vocalist-producer.

â–º Wintley Phipps, Grammy Award-nominated gospel singer and Founder & CEO of the U.S. Dream Academy (

â–º U.S. Dream Academy “DreamKids Choir” of children from DC, Baltimore and Philadelphia who are benefiting from its after-school programs.


Keynote Speaker:

â–º Susan L. Taylor, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Essence Magazine, book author, and founder of the National Cares Mentoring Movement ( which is a massive campaign to recruit one million able Black adult mentors to work with at-risk Black youth across America.


Gala Emcees: 

â–º Actor and comedian Chris Tucker and WJLA TV news anchor Cynné Simpson.


Gala Co-Chairs:

â–º U.S. Senator John Ensign (R-Nevada) and U.S. Senator Mark L. Pryor (D-Arkansas).


WHY:               There is an urgent need to save our children who are most at risk of a life of incarceration and poverty. The fact is –

● One of every 3 ninth graders in the U.S. drops out of school.

● High school drop-outs are 8 times more likely to be incarcerated than a person with a high school diploma.

● 80 percent of the inmate population is comprised of high school dropouts.

● More than two-thirds of juveniles in the criminal justice system are children of prisoners or children with a family member in prison.

● A 10 percent increase in the high school graduation rate would cut the cost of crime by $14 billion.


The 8th Annual “Power of a Dream Gala” is produced and designed by Kyle Hutchinson and the Hutchinson Design Group (



Bill Bronrott, Bronrott Communications, 202-270-4415 and

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