New york city

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund is turning 80 – That’s 80 years of
speaking truth to power, fighting for our fundamental freedoms,
and demanding justice for all. join us as
we celebrate all we’ve accomplished


LDF is honored to present its inaugural Icon Award to Stevie Wonder,
Grammy, Academy Award, Golden Globe, American Music and Soul
Train Award winning singer and songwriter, as well as a United Nations
Messenger of Peace.

stevie wonder

Stevie Wonder’s steadfast work throughout his illustrious career, spanning over half a century, embodies LDF’s values and demonstrates his commitment to confronting the barriers that face Black Americans and other marginalized communities

performances by

Cynthia Erivo

Cynthia Erivo is a multihyphenate tour deforce, captivating audiences with her award-winning music and acting, both on the stage and the screen. Currently, Erivo can be seen as “Holly Gibney” in the chilling HBO miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s, The Outsider, which garnered a record 19 million viewers in the first four episodes. Next up, Erivo is set to portray Aretha Franklin in the third season of National Geographic’s Emmy® Award-winning global anthology series, Genius, with her episode titled “Genius: Aretha.”


In 2019, Erivo received two Oscar® nominations—one for her role as Harriet Tubman in the Focus Features biopic Harriet, and the other for the film’s title track “Stand Up,” which she co-wrote. Her prolific performance as the American hero abolitionist also garnered nominations from the Golden Globes®, Screen Actors Guild and NAACP Image Awards. Erivo enthralled audiences in 2016 with her revelatory and star-making turn as “Celie” in the hit Broadway revival of The Color Purple, for which she won a Tony®, Emmy® and Grammy®.

Beyond her influential and critically acclaimed performances, Erivo is a fearless voice for women and People of Color, raising awareness and setting new standards for diversity across the arts.. As Erivo looks ahead, she is passionate about producing the stories that people need to hear—ensuring underrepresented groups have a presence at every step in the production process.


Photo by:Terrell Mullin

Yolanda Adams

Photo by:Terrell Mullin

After twelve albums, five Grammys and performing for several U. S. presidents, she still wows audiences all over the world, ever since her 1988 debut album, “Just As I Am.” Yolanda Adams is renowned for pioneering the blend of modern gospel music infused with soul and jazz. For decades, she has empowered fans through her inspirational and contemporary music.

Her brilliant follow-up albums have earned her multiple awards from music’s highest honors such as the Stellars, Grammys, BMI, Soul Train Awards, NAACP Image, BET, and more. In 2001, she opened a new category and was the first artist to receive an American Music Award for “Favorite Contemporary Inspirational Artist.” Although the Gospel Music Association has continuously honored Yolanda through multiple Dove Awards, on May 9, 2017, she was inducted into GMA’s Hall of Fame for her outstanding achievements in the Christian music

Honorary Co-Chairs

LDF is grateful to it’s 80th Anniversary Honorary Chairs and Gala Co-Chairs for
their dedication, support, and leadership.

  • Billye Suber Aaron and Hank Aaron
  • Mellody Hobson and George Lucas
  • LaTanya Richardson Jackson and Samuel L. Jackson
  • Cookie and Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jr.
  • John Legend
  • Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds
  • Cecilia S. Marshall.

Gala Co-Chairs

  • Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros
  • Kathryn and Kenneth Chenault
  • Robyn and Tony Coles
  • Andréa and Kenneth Frazier
  • Kim Koopersmith and Bill Borner
  • Amelia and Adebayo Ogunlesi
  • Annie Small
  • Deborah Hayes Stone and Max Stone
  • Angela Vallot and James Basker

LDF’s mission-critical work and 80th Anniversary
Events are generously sponsored by: