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Lamell McMorris and Perennial Sports, Entertainment Co-Sponsor Alfre Woodard’s 7th Annual Oscars Sistahs Soiree

SoriePerennial Sports & Entertainment’s CEO Lamell McMorris and Tanqueray No. Ten joined together on Wednesday, Feb. 24 to sponsor Alfre Woodard’s Seventh Annual Oscars Sistahs Soiree at the Vivienne Westwood Penthouse, attended by several notable and influential women of color in the entertainment industry including Rosario Dawson, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aisha Tyler and Lorraine Toussaint.

The event provides an avenue for women of color in Hollywood to come together in celebration of their achievements and discussion of future opportunities in the industry. This year’s event is particularly poignant as the 2016 Oscars have come under immense scrutiny for lack of diversity in nominations. Woodard’s gathering aims to create a sense of sisterhood between invitees, acknowledging those who have been recognized by Hollywood’s most prestigious awards ceremony, and in her words, “in a perfect world, those who should have been.”

McMorris’ involvement rests on his ongoing support of civil and human rights initiatives and his aim to see these efforts pervade throughout the entertainment industry, and beyond. In his work with professional athletes, McMorris has seen the impact that young African American men have on their communities and sees the same reach stemming from these women. His sponsorship was inspired by this alignment and his belief that Woodard’s event provides recognition and a voice to a group that deserves to be heard.

“By setting the stage to empower women of color, Alfre has fostered a key channel for changing the tone toward minorities in entertainment, and I couldn’t be more proud to support her and the women here tonight,” McMorris stated. “Now more than ever, African American women are given a unique platform to be positive role models both on and off the screen and I have no doubt that the conversations held tonight will reverberate far past Hollywood.”

The high-profile affair attracted significant press interest with coverage in The Hollywood Reporter, Variety and InStyle. These articles captured the sentiments and goals of attendees through words and images, before doors were closed and the women moved to share their experiences privately. The coverage isn’t limited to the written word; US Weekly and People Magazine both shared images from the event, and HipHollywood released a video that compiles guests’ reactions.

These Hallowed Grounds and Underground Screening

The cast of "Underground" gather for a photo outside of the White House. Pictured left to right: Alano Miller, Amirah Vann, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge, Jessica de Gouw, Christopher Meloni (PRNewsFoto/WGN America)

The cast of “Underground” gather for a photo outside of the White House. Pictured left to right: Alano Miller, Amirah Vann, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge, Jessica de Gouw, Christopher Meloni (PRNewsFoto/WGN America)

LOS ANGELES, CA- In celebration of Black History Month, the White House Office of Public Engagement hosted a panel and screening event for WGN America’s “Underground,” the upcoming original series, produced by Sony Pictures Television and Tribune Studios, set to premiere Wednesday, March 9 on WGN America. The February 22 White House event was attended by Senior Administration Officials including Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President of the United States of America, who welcomed attendees with opening remarks about the powerful and gripping new series being a perfect fit for the Black History Month event entitled “These Hallowed Grounds and Underground Screening.”

Cast and creative team from WGN America’s “Underground” participated in two panel discussions that included executive producers John Legend and Akiva Goldsman, creators Misha Green and Joe Pokaski and director and executive producer Anthony Hemingway, and cast including Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge, Christopher Meloni, Alano Miller, Jessica de Gouw and Amirah Vann, along with president and general manager, WGN America/ Tribune Studios, Matt Cherniss. The event was also attended by Peter Liguori, President and Chief Executive Officer, Tribune Media Company and Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, Presidents, Programming & Production, Sony Pictures Television, as well as leadership from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).