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2016 Foundation for Letters ‘Distinguished Service Award’ recipients include actress, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Vivica A. Fox (_Empire, Resurgence, Crossbreed_)

ACTRESS VIVICA A. FOX TO BE HONORED AT 5TH ANNUAL FOUNDATION FOR LETTERS BENEFIT GALA OCTOBER 19TH IN NEW YORK CITY

TRAILBLAZING WOMEN OF COLOR, DR. NADIA LOPEZ AND TWEEN SOCIAL ACTIVIST, MARLEY DIAS TO BE RECOGNIZED

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Program Concludes with Presidential Debate Watch Party

NEW YORK, October 7, 2016The Foundation For Letters (www.foundationforletters.net) announces the 5th Annual Fall Benefit Gala on October 19, 2016 in New York City. This year’s event is dedicated to young voices and trailblazers forging paths for women of color in literature and media. The event will be held from 6-9:30 p.m. in Manhattan at the stunning Frank Gehry-designed IAC Center Lobby. Tickets are available at www.EventBrite.com.

The 2016 Foundation For Letters ‘Distinguished Service Award’ recipients include actress, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Vivica A. Fox (“Empire”, “Resurgence”, “Crossbreed”), social activist, Marley Dias, the promising 11 year-old behind #1000BlackGirlBooks, an international movement to collect and donate children’s books that feature Black girls as lead characters, renowned Brooklyn principal, community leader and author, Dr. Nadia Lopez (Humans of New York, TED Talks), New York Times reporter, Catherine Saint Louis and novelist, philanthropist and television personality, Carmen Rita Wong (‘Never Too Real’), among others.

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Renowned Brooklyn principal, community leader and author, Dr. Nadia Lopez (Humans of New York, TED Talks) (Credit: Andrew Fennell)

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Novelist, philanthropist and television personality, Carmen Rita Wong (‘Never Too Real’).

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New York Times reporter, Catherine Saint Louis

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Social activist, Marley Dias, the promising 11 year-old behind #1000BlackGirlBooks, an international movement to collect and donate children’s books that feature Black girls as lead characters.

One hundred young scholars studying with the Foundation today, from schools throughout the city, will be in attendance. Serving as on-the-scene reporters, students will write reviews as young style, design and food critics, streaming and blogging from the red carpet, reading their work on stage, and celebrating and sharing their stories.

For young girls of color, many of whom attend schools in underserved urban communities, externally provided writing and mentorship programs can be especially impactful. With the future of our youth taking center stage, the Foundation For Letters award ceremony will conclude with a Presidential Debate viewing party, unifying its community of education ambassadors during one of the most pivotal times in modern American history.

Lagunitas Brewing Company, Western Grace, and Reservoir Bar will provide complimentary beverages during the cocktail reception. Guests, encouraged to don hues of fall, will nosh on gourmet New York City food truck dishes from sponsors Neapolitan Express, El Olomega Salvadoran pupusas, and Treats Truck. Additional supporters include Leota, Supernova Companies, International Youth Leadership Institute, and Guernica Magazine.

For more information about the 2016 Foundation For Letters fall benefit gala visitwww.foundationforletters.net or follow #FFLGala.

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/foundation-for-letters-5th-annual-fall-gala-tickets-27995531388?aff=es2.

About the Foundation For Letters: Founded by young, African-American social entrepreneur Mike Jackson in 2002, the predecessor organization started its work as the founding Advisory Board of the acclaimed Bronx Academy of Letters, ranked in 2013 by the Daily News as one of NYC’s top 25 High Schools. The Foundation, incorporated in 2012, now offers six unique writing programs for underserved populations throughout the city, including literary workshops that connect students with personal mentors and provide literary coaching by everyone from writers, reporters and editors at publications ranging from The Daily Beast to The New York Times. In 2017, TheFoundation For Letters is raising funds to build external support organizations in five NYC schools, send 25 high school students abroad to write, open five new writing centers, expand its successful college literacy and Bronx Loaf writing workshops to the Los Angeles and Chicago areas.

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Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and Entertainment Critic at TheHollywoodTimes.today, a website that aggregates showbiz news curated for, and written by, insiders of the entertainment industry. (@HwoodTimes @TheHollywood.Times) Milano, whose extraordinary talents for networking in the famously tight-clad enclave of Hollywood have placed her at the center of the industry’s top red carpets and events since 1984, heads daily operations of a uniquely accessible, yet carefully targeted publication. For years, Milano sat on the board and tour coordinator of the Television Critics Association’s press tours. She has written for Communications Daily, Discover Hollywood, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International, and contributed to countless other magazines and digests. Valerie works closely with the Human Rights Campaign as a distinguished Fed Club Council Member. She also works with GLSEN, GLAAD, Outfest, NCLR, LAMBDA Legal, and DAP Health, in addition to donating both time and finances to high-profile nonprofits. She has been a member of the Los Angeles Press Club for a couple of years and looks forward to the possibility of contributing to the future success of its endeavors. Milano’s passion for meeting people extends from Los Feliz to her favorite getaway, Palm Springs. There, she is a member of the Palm Springs Museum of Art and a prominent Old Las Palmas-area patron.