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    Posted August 19, 2010

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LOS ANGELES (August 10, 2010) - The Equal Employment Opportunities Committees of Actors' Equity Association (AEA), the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) announced the 8th Annual Ivy Bethune Tri-Union Diversity Awards, recognizing performers and arts organizations who, through their work and activism, have fostered diversity within the entertainment and news media industries and their communities. The theme of the 2010 program is a celebration of those who challenge and change preconceptions. Honorees include actor and artist CCH Pounder (Brothers, Avatar); actor and activist Kal Penn (Harold and Kumar, House); Deaf West Theatre Company; writer/producer Yvette Lee Bowser (Living Single, Half & Half). The awards will be presented on August 23 at 8 p.m. at the Colony Theatre, 555 North Third Street, Burbank, CA.

Veteran union member actor/artist CCH Pounder (Tri-Union honoree) is being honored for her global work with Arts for a New South Africa and her support of HIV/AIDS awareness programs; Kal Penn (SAG honoree) will be recognized for his groundbreaking achievements as a pioneering Indian American actor in film and television, and also for his diverse advocacy work as a documentary filmmaker focused on malaria eradication in Ethiopia, his service on an advocacy Board of the American Red Cross, and his recently wrapped post as President Barack Obama's Associate Director of Public Engagement, where he served as liaison to the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities; Deaf West Theatre Company (AEA honoree) was selected in recognition of its work to re-conceive outdated definitions of deaf artists; writer/producer Yvette Lee Bowser (AFTRA honoree), the first African-American woman to develop her own primetime television shows, Living Single, and later Half & Half, which were produced under AFTRA contracts, among other producing and writing credits, is being recognized for the success of her shows in encouraging a generation of young adults to reach their full potential and achieve their goals.

Scheduled performances include actress/dancer Zina Bethune and wheelchair artist Lindsay Berkovitz in a signature work from Bethune TheatreDanse actors; Shoshannah Stern and Matt Jaeger; America's Got Talent semi-finalist Hannibal Means; and performer Mylo Ironbear.

The Ivy Awards were named in honor of actress Ivy Bethune, a veteran member of all three unions who has devoted more than 80 years of her life to civil rights activism and equal opportunity rights. Honorees are selected by a committee of members from each of the three unions. Attendance is free for members of the three unions (space permitting) who RSVP to or 323-634-8262.

Previous honorees include Ossie Davis, Edward James Olmos, Robert Guillaume, George Takei, dancer Cheryl Burke, April Webster, Debbie Allen, Beulah Quo, Raven-Symoné, lyricist E. Y. Harburg, Margo Albert, Tim Dang, Will Sampson, Sheldon Epps, broadcasters Beverly White and Belva Davis, and Tony Plana and Wendy Raquel Robinson.

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