Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Comedian, actor, and humanitarian, Chris Tucker officially launched The Chris Tucker Foundation to much fanfare Saturday night in Atlanta, GA. The black-tie gala took place at the Astor Ballroom of the St. Regis Hotel, which was transformed into the famed Cotton Club of the Harlem Renaissance including a live band, dancers, and showgirls.

The Chris Tucker Foundation is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to making a positive impact in youth and family’s locally, nationally, and internationally through implementing innovative initiatives and funding life-changing programs. Tucker’s vision is to make a positive global impact on youth by galvanizing community leaders and engaging a collective community to address critical needs affecting future generations. While he has long been known for his humanitarian efforts around the world and in his hometown of Atlanta, Tucker is now positioning the foundation to make a bigger impact through his new partnership with The U.S. Dream Academy.

Chris Tucker sit down interview photo

 Chris Tucker during exclusive interview

“I was traveling and taking a lot of great trips around the world early in my career and it just broadened my perspective of how good we have it in America, says Tucker during an exclusive interview prior to the event.  “I took for granted the simple things like clean water. But I always knew I wanted to start a foundation to do more about these issues globally and here in the U.S.”

The evening began with opening remarks from Tucker and The U.S. Dream Academy Founder, Wintley Phipps, who applauded the actor for his years of philanthropy. Additional remarks were given by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, The Carver Boys & Girls Club, and members of the NFL Y.E.T Boys & Girls Club. Musical tributes were given by Phipps; trumpeter, Melvin Miller; and members of the Youth Ensemble of Atlanta (YEA). There were also special video presentations by some of Tucker’s celebrity mentors including music legend Quincy Jones.

Chris Tucker with the Brown Sisters and Karla Redding

 Tucker with Karla Redding-Andrews and Deanna Brown and Dr. Yamma Brown

A number of Tucker’s celebrity friends were also in attendance including Judge Glenda Hatchett, actresses Keshia Knight-Pulliam and Terri J. Vaughn; James Brown’s daughters, Dr. Yamma and Deanna Brown; and Otis Redding’s daughter, Karla Redding-Andrews. Atlanta notables Mrs. Valerie Jackson; Atlanta City Council President, Ceasar Mitchell; Atlanta City Councilman, Kwanza Hall;  former Atlanta Mayor, Bill Campbell; media personality, Frank Ski; Fulton County Chairman, John Eaves; and Ambassador Andrew Young’s wife, Mrs. Carolyn Young were also spotted.

The evening closed out with a champagne dessert reception on the St. Regis Grand Terrace.

Check out more photos below:

Chris Tucker with Carolyn Young

 Tucker with Mrs. Carolyn Young

The Jacksons

 Former Atlanta First Lady Valerie Jackson and family

Harlem Renaissance Dancers

 Harlem Renaissance inspired dancers

Chris walking his parents in

 Chris and his parents making a grand entrance

Mayor Reed gving Chris his props

 Mayor Kasim Reed acknowledging Chris for his year’s of philanthropy to the entire Atlanta community

Wintley Phipps

 The U.S. Dream Academy founder and Grammy-nominated singer Wintley Phipps saluting Chris

Quincy Jones

 Special video presentation featuring Quincy Jones

Youth Empowered by Chris 2

 Remarks from a Member of Carver Boys and Girls Club

YEA singers

 Musical tribute from members of YEA

Tuckers and Chris' son

 Chris Tucker’s parents and son

Mayor and First Lady Reed with Susan Ross Chelsye Burrows and guest

 Mayor Kasim and Sarah Reed with Susan Ross, Chelsye Burrows and guest  

Judge Hatchett and friends

 Judge Glenda Hatchett and guest with the evening commentator Angela Robinson

Chris with K.Knight Pulliam

Chris with Keshia Knight-Pullman

Imara sharing a laugh with Chris

 Chris cutting up with event producer Imara Canady

Chris Tucker with the Halls

 Chris with City Councilman Kwanza Hall and his wife Natalie Hall

Chris with Mali Hunter and Terri J. Vaughn

 Chris with Tree Sound Studios’ Mali Hunter and actress Terri J. Vaughn

Egypt with Chris Tucker

 Chris with HGTV’s Egypt Sherrod

Chris with Bill Campbell and Frank Ski

 Chris with former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell and WHUR’s Frank Ski

Team Tucker

Chris with Foundation Event team

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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