To commemorate the historic inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, black church leaders will have a gala celebration, the African American Church Inaugural Ball, Sunday, Jan. 18 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. The ball, themed “We Have Come This Far By Faith,” is slated to be a star-studded affair, with major world leaders in entertainment, religion, business, and the arts in attendance.
Keepers of the Flame awards will be given at the gala, and honorees include Donna Brazile, political analyst and author; Dorothy Height, civil rights activist and chair of the National Council of Negro Women; Congressman John Lewis, a leader of the Civil Rights Movement; the Rev. Al Sharpton, a political and civil rights activist; and Earl G. Graves Sr., chairman and publisher of Black Enterprise magazine.
“We must honor this time in our great history, struggles and strength as well as make a commitment to the future of our community,” the Rev. W. Franklyn Richardson II, chair of the inaugural ball and pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Mt. Vernon, New York said in a news release.
The black-tie gala’s fundraising beneficiary is the Balm in Gilead, an organization that provides HIV, AIDS, and other health issues education and awareness within African American faith communities. All proceeds from the event will go toward the organization.
A reception will precede a sit-down dinner before awards are presented. Performances by nationally and internationally known music artists are also scheduled.
For information on purchasing tickets, visit the African American Church Inauguration Ball Website.