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April 23, 2014

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Spike Lee, Samuel L. Jackson to Honor Mary J. Blige, Others at Spelman College Fundraiser

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Academy Award nominated director Spike Lee and actor Samuel L. Jackson, who are both Morehouse College alum, are joining forces to raise money for their fellow Atlanta University Center school, Spelman College.

On Oct 4, the inaugural Blue Scholarship Black-Tie Gala will be held at New York's posh Plaza Hotel to benefit the prestigious black women's college and to salute the contributions of dynamic black women in music, business, law and education.

The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, Mary J. Blige, will receive the Marian Wright Edelman Service Award for her philanthropic work with her non-profit, Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now (FAWN).Spelman alumna, and founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman (class of 1960) and President of Walmart's South business unit and EVP of Walmart Stores, Inc. Rosalind Brewer (class of 1984) will also be honored along with attorney and philanthropist Kathryn C. Chenault.

Jackson, who met his wife LaTanya Richardson Jackson while she was a student at Spelman College and he attended Morehouse College across the street, will serve as Master of Ceremonies. Lee, whose grandmother and mother both attended the Atlanta liberal arts college, will host the reception.

Mrs. Jackson, who is a trustee of Spelman College, is an actress like her husband, and has appeared on television, film and Broadway. Most recently, she starred in the 2009 Broadway revival of August Wilson's 'Joe Turner's Come and Gone,' and previously had roles in 'The Fighting Temptations,' 'Introducing Dorothy Dandridge,' and 'Ally McBeal.' The Class of 1971 alumna co-founded the Blue Gala with former Verizon executive Jerri DeVard to assist students facing financial hardships with much needed scholarship money.

"We recognize the 2010 awardees for their tremendous contributions towards bettering our communities," Jackson said. "Their achievements motivate us to pave the way for the next generation to achieve goals that will change the world."

'Law & Order' actor Anthony Anderson will host the live auction and former television personality Star Jones will host the event's silent auction, which is already confirmed to include big-ticket items like a five night trip to Paris on American Airlines and Super Bowl XLV game packages, as well as Essence Music Festival packages, among other items.

Malaak Compton-Rock and Pauletta Washington, the wives of comedian Chris Rock and Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington, respectively, are two of the other notable 'Blue Champions' who are devoted to the cause of heralding educational excellence and supporting young women in their pursuit of higher education.

For more information about BLUE and to purchase tickets, please visit www.spelmanblue.com

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