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 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.
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:
Tucker with Mrs. Carolyn Young
Former Atlanta First Lady Valerie Jackson and family
Harlem Renaissance inspired dancers
Chris and his parents making a grand entrance
Mayor Kasim Reed acknowledging Chris for his year’s of philanthropy to the entire Atlanta community
The U.S. Dream Academy founder and Grammy-nominated singer Wintley Phipps saluting Chris
Special video presentation featuring Quincy Jones
Remarks from a Member of Carver Boys and Girls Club
Musical tribute from members of YEA
Chris Tucker’s parents and son
Mayor Kasim and Sarah Reed with Susan Ross, Chelsye Burrows and guest
Judge Glenda Hatchett and guest with the evening commentator Angela Robinson
Chris with Keshia Knight-Pullman
Chris cutting up with event producer Imara Canady
Chris with City Councilman Kwanza Hall and his wife Natalie Hall
Chris with Tree Sound Studios’ Mali Hunter and actress Terri J. Vaughn
Chris with HGTV’s Egypt Sherrod
Chris with former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell and WHUR’s Frank Ski
Chris with Foundation Event team
Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com