NBA Legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and News Anchor Robin Roberts Receive 2017 Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Robin Roberts receive Ellis Island Heritage Awards for 2017 (photo via thepostgame.com)

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

On Tuesday, the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. honored basketball legend, author and activist Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and ABC’s Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts, among others at its 2017 Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards, held in the Great Hall at the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. Anchor and Managing Editor of ABC World News Tonight, David Muir, served as master of ceremonies.

Now in its 14th year, the Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards celebrates the extraordinary lives and heritage of selected citizens, or their descendants, who have made major contributions to the American experience. From sports heroes, entertainers and authors to former Secretaries of State and Nobel Prize winners, more than 50 esteemed citizens have been recognized by the Foundation.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the grandson of immigrants from Trinidad. Robin Roberts has roots in Virginia where her ancestors were slaves. When speaking at the event, according to thepostgame.com, Abdul-Jabbar said none of his success in the United States would have been possible if not for the leap of faith made by Abdul-Jabbar’s paternal grandparents, Cyrus and Venus Alcindor, 100 years ago, when they immigrated from Trinidad to the United States. “I’ve always understood myself to be a second-generation immigrant,” Abdul-Jabbar says. “It fits in with so many other stories like it.”

As reported by nj.com, Roberts captured the theme of the event best, when she said: “My mother had this wonderful way of saying: just look all around us … we all may have traveled here in different ways, but there are far more similarities than differences, so why not embrace and celebrate all of those many things that we have in common instead of those few differences.”

This year, the Family Heritage Awards also recognized the 125th anniversary of Ellis Island, which opened in 1892 as the nation’s preeminent immigration station.

Robin Roberts Presents New Series about Medical Breakthroughs

(Image: Facebook)

(Image: Facebook)

If you’re a big Robin Roberts fan and can’t get enough of the radiant personality, you can now catch her in a brand new web series. The Good Morning America host’s company Rock’n Robin Productions is teaming up with WebMD to premiere WebMD’s Future of Health with Robin Roberts. Each episode of the new digital series tells stories of “cutting-edge medical breakthroughs, inspiring individuals working to improve people’s lives, and the people that are benefiting from their efforts.”

In an official statement, Dr. Steven Zatz, President at WebMD, said “We want to create experiences that engage, inspire and motivate people, and we believe that working with great storytellers like Robin Roberts, and producing powerful video content like Future of Health, will enable us to do just that.”

Roberts leads viewers on a fascinating journey through cutting-edge research labs, playgrounds, classrooms and people’s homes as they explore the wonders of medicine and science. The series gives a front seat to the following: innovative use of 3-D printing for prosthetics and organ transplantation, a new obesity treatment that offers a much-needed alternative to highly invasive gastric surgery, transformative new technology that restores vision to the blind, a highly experimental procedure enabling women without a womb to carry and deliver babies of their own, and advances in wireless medicine that turn smartphones into life-saving devices.

Roberts said, “What’s on the medical horizon is incredible, and I hope this is just the first of many series that we will work on together.”

You can catch the five-part digital video series here.

article by Essence Gant via blackenterprise.com

Essence’s 20th Anniversary Festival Largest Ever With 550,000 Attendees

This past weekend’s Essence Festival surpassed its record setting attendance of last year’s 543,000 attendees by 7,000. At the 20th anniversary of the famed festival, more than 550,000 people attended and saw various performances, activities, and speakers throughout the Fourth of July weekend in New Orleans.

“Through a unique combination of entertainment and empowerment programming, the ESSENCE Festival has become the place where we come together to revel in culture and connect to our community,” said ESSENCE Communications President Michelle Ebanks. “In recognition of our 20-year milestone, we are tremendously proud to have offered more curated content than ever before—live in New Orleans for our more than 550,000 festival-goers and available digitally on multiple screens for our ESSENCE community of 11.5 million.”

There were more than 80 performers including such dignitaries as Prince, Mary J. Blige, Lionel Richie, Robin Roberts, Alicia Keys, Steve Harvey and Rev. Al Sharpton.

article by Cedric “BIG CED” Thornton via blackenterprise.com

Robin Roberts to Receive Walter Cronkite Journalism Award for Excellence from ASU

Robin Roberts“Good Morning America’’ co-anchor Robin Roberts will receive the 2014 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism from Arizona State University’s Cronkite School.

The university announced that Roberts will receive the award during an Oct. 6 luncheon in Phoenix, reports the AP. Past winners include Bernard Shaw, Tom Brokaw, Diane Sawyer, Jane Pauley, Brian Williams and Helen Thomas.

Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan says Roberts has made outstanding contributions to journalism and demonstrated great personal courage.

The Mississippi native, a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University, faced public battles with breast cancer in 2007 and a bone marrow disorder in 2012. She worked for several radio and television stations and ESPN before being named co-anchor of ABC’s ‘‘Good Morning America’’ in 2005.

article via eurweb.com

First Lady Supports Robin Roberts Coming Out As Gay

Robin Roberts and Michelle Obama

LOS ANGELES — Michelle Obama (pictured) is leading an outpouring of support for Robin Roberts, after the “Good Morning America” news anchor gave her first public acknowledgement of her 10-year, same-sex relationship with massage therapist Amber Laign.

The First Lady wrote Monday on Twitter:

I am so happy for you and Amber! You continue to make us all proud.

In a Facebook post Sunday, Roberts thanked her “longtime girlfriend” for providing encouragement during Roberts’ battle with myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare blood and bone marrow disease.  Many celebs also took to Twitter to send Roberts messages, including Ellen DeGeneres, who tweeted, “Good morning, America! Congratulations.”

Comedian Wanda Sykes wrote, “Go on with your bad self!”

Country singer Chely Wright, who came out in 2010, also expressed support through the social media site.

article via newsone.com

Robin Roberts Reaches New, Long-Term Deal With ABC

robin roberts abc deal

Good Morning America host Robin Roberts (pictured) has reached a new deal with ABC, according to the New York Post.  Per sources, the deal is worth between $13 and $14 million a year. However, another source closer to ABC says it is “less than $10 million.”  “Over a month ago, they quietly inked a new, long-term, very high seven-figure deal with Robin that will keep [her] at the company for years to come . . . it was a friendly negotiation,” commented a source with inside knowledge. “Robin’s been [at ABC News] for over 20 years . . . and will be a leader there for a very long time to come.”

The source says Roberts appreciated the network’s understanding of her recent medical issues.  In June 2012, Roberts announced on air that she had been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare blood disorder. After undergoing a successful bone marrow transplant in September of that year, Roberts took a six month sabbatical from GMA to convalesce. She returned to the show full time after Labor Day weekend.  “She made it clear to her reps that she wanted them to drive a fair deal but didn’t want to create any kind of bidding war,” the source revealed. Continue reading

Robin Roberts Returns To ‘Good Morning America’ Full Time

It seems like only yesterday that we bid farewell to Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America,” but it’s been a full year. The beautiful and inspiring anchor is set to make her full time comeback! Roberts came back to the show earlier this year, but is now back five days a week!  “The day after Labor Day, I’ll be back to a five-day a week schedule,” Roberts explained. “I’m looking forward to it. I want to get back to my full life.”

Roberts revealed, “I’m really at peace now. I’m not as frightened. I feel 90 percent of myself again, and that’s a great feeling.” September 20th marks a full year since Roberts’ bone marrow transplant and she’s apparently feeling closer to her old self!

Recently getting back from a Maui vacation with a close group of friends, Roberts used that time to renew and reflect and called the trip meaningful. “To be able to feel stronger and a little more active, it’s great to feel that way again,” Roberts said of her trip.  Roberts kept a photo of Maui up in her hospital room as motivation to get well. And it did the trick because we get to see her beautiful face every weekday morning.  Welcome back Robin!

article by Danielle Young via blackamericaweb.com