Esteemed actor, producer, director and social activist Laurence Fishburne will deliver the keynote address, as well as present MCCA’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the MCCA Diversity Gala on July 25, 2014 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The Gala is MCCA’s premier award program honoring leaders in the legal profession for diversity and inclusion. The gala recognizes legal departments and law firms from across the country.
Fishburne has established himself as one of the premiere actors working today. He has earned multiple NAACP Image Awards for his contributions to the entertainment business and has served as a UNICEF ambassador since 1996, traveling around the world on behalf of the organization.
He was an Emmy Award nominee and an NAACP Image Award winner for his starring role in the telefilm Miss Evers’ Boys, which he executive-produced. Based on the true story of the Tuskegee Study, Miss Evers’ Boys won five Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Made for Television Movie and the coveted President’s Award, which honors a program that illuminates a social or educational issue. He loaned his distinctive voice as narrator for the riveting 2012 PBS documentary Slavery By Another Name that chronicled the insidious forms of forced labor that exploited African Americans in the decades after the Civil War and continuing through World War II.
Fishburne has been acting since the age of 10, starring on the daily television drama One Life to Live before making his feature film debut at age 12 in Cornbread, Earl and Me. At 14, he was cast in a show being staged by the Negro Ensemble Company and was also accepted to the High School of Performing Arts. At age 15, he was cast in Francis Ford Coppola’s classic Apocalypse Now. This followed with featured roles in Rumble Fish, The Cotton Club, and Gardens of Stone. Fishburne truly broke out as a star in the early 1990s thanks to a lead role in John Singleton‘s Boyz n the Hood. He received further acclaim for a powerful performance as an ex-con in the play Two Trains Running, which won him a Tony Award in 1992. A year later, Fishburne won an Emmy for the pilot episode of the series Tribeca, and on the big screen Fishburne received an Oscar nomination for his role as Ike Turner in What’s Love Got to Do with It.
Fishburne’s most-popular role to date is Morpheus in the sci-fi classic The Matrix and its sequels The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. He has also had noteworthy roles in movies like Searching for Bobby Fischer, Bad Company, Othello, Hoodlum, Mystic River, Akeelah and the Bee, Mission: Impossible III, Bobby,21, Predators, and Contagion.
Currently, he is starring in the NBC-TV series “Hannibal.” Fishburne will reprise his role of Perry White, initially seen in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman motion picture.
Fishburne’s production company, Cinema Gypsy Productions, has made the movies Akeelah and the Bee, Five Fingers, and Once in the Life. The latter was adapted and directed by Mr. Fishburne from his acclaimed stage playRiff Raff, which he had written and directed as the first production under his LOA Productions banner, in Los Angeles and at New York’s Circle Repertory Company.
“Laurence Fishburne is truly one of the world’s finest representatives for diversity and inclusion and is an acknowledged international ambassador of good will,” said Joseph K. West, MCCA President and CEO. “It’s an honor for MCCA to have Mr. Fishburne present the Lifetime Achievement Award at our gala.”
The gala is preceded on Thursday, July 24, 2014 by The Creating Pathways to Diversity® Conference to be held at the Washington Hilton. The conference spotlights initiatives and promotes best practices for diversity and inclusion. It provides practical tools and resources that attorneys need to further career growth and meet organizational diversity goals. The conference also presents programs designed to help legal employers build a more inclusive workplace and teaches them how to take advantage of greater opportunities to develop leadership.
MCCA, the nation’s leading advocate for the expanded hiring, retention, and promotion of minority attorneys, will also recognize diversity innovators, corporate legal departments, law firms or legal bar associations that implement outstanding diversity programs.
To learn more about the MCCA Diversity Gala and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.mcca.com/gala.