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2019 Torch Awards

Get familiar with the Torch Awards honorees and view photos from the ceremony.

Andre Farr

Trailblazer Award

André is an entrepreneurial executive of 30 years in the business of sports and entertainment. Andre first gained acclaim as the President and CEO of House of Blues Sports; and again as the Chairman and CEO of the Black Sports Agents Association (BSAA).  After being invited by Rev. Jesse Jackson to attend a meeting of top black professionals in sport, André was elected Chairman of the Board for the Black Sports Agents Association. As an agent, Mr. Farr has guided the careers of several athletes including D’Marco Farr, a Super Bowl Champion with the St. Louis Rams as well as Alvin and Calvin Harrison, the Olympic Gold Medal twins. From the inception of the BSAA, Mr. Farr has sought to establish a higher standard of integrity for athletes and sports professionals; promote increased African-American and female representation among athletes; and create broader ventures with the professional leagues and franchises.  Andre’s impact on the sports and entertainment community has also awarded him the winner of the Innovative Entrepreneur of the Year by the Los Angeles Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA).

Mattie McFadden-Lawson

President’s Public Service Award

Mattie is a scholar, philanthropist and patron of the Arts whose primary goal is to make a difference in the world.  Her extensive work in the arts, women’s leadership, politics and political fundraising has established her as a philanthropic force to be reckoned with.  She currently serves as the President of the MML Group, which specializes in strategic partnerships for her clients and philanthropic advisory services. Recently, Mattie was appointed to the Smithsonian Institution/National Museum of African American History and Culture Steering Committee.  She was also appointed by former President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts. Mattie’s philanthropic efforts know no borders, as she also serves on the Advisory Board of the International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute.  Mattie graduated magna cum laude with a Master of Arts degree from Howard University and she holds a M.P.A. degree with honors from Harvard University’s prestigious John Fitzgerald Kennedy School of Government.

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Michael Anderson Lawson

President’s Public Service Award

Michael currently serves as the President & CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League (LAUL), one of the oldest and most respected civil rights organizations in the United States dedicated to providing economic empowerment, educational opportunities and the guarantee of civil rights for underserved communities in the Los Angeles area. Prior to his appointment as President & CEO of LAUL, Michael was nominated by former President Barack Obama to serve as the United States Ambassador to the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Michael received his Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School and has held positions of significant responsibility on numerous charitable, educational and administrative boards.

Mr. Quintin Primo​

Living Legend Award

The incomparable Quintin Primo, III, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago-based, Capri Investment Group, will be the recipient of the Living Legend Award.  Mr Primo is the owner of one of the largest minority owned invest firms in the United States.  Under his leadership, the mission of the Capri Investment Group is to improve overlooked communities.  In 2006, Capri Investment Group purchased Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Plaza, a Los Angeles regional mall.  As a result, the Capri Investment Group is at the heart of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza investment project. In addition to the upgrades already made to the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, the projects on the horizon include building a 400-room hotel, a 10-story office building, a new grocery store and much more. Mr. Primo and his team are leading this project which will change the quality of our community and the quality of lives for many that live in the Baldwin Hills and Crenshaw area.  Despite Mr. Primo's national and international projects, he is also active in civic and charitable organizations. Most notably, he serves as Chairman of The Primo Center for Women and Children, a transitional shelter serving the homeless.

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Wendy Racquel Robinson​

Co-Founder - Amazing Grace Conservatory​

Wendy Raquel Robinson, NAACP Image Award recipient for “Best Actress in a Comedy Series”. is known for portraying groundbreaking roles as ambitious, leading women on television. This multi-talented woman is also the successful business owner of Amazing Grace Conservatory (AGC) providing a theatrical training institute reaching youth and young adult artists in the community; offering various entertainment and theatrical opportunities for youth and young adults interested in the performing arts here in Los Angeles, California. A cum laude graduate of Howard University, Robinson’s artistic background in acting, directing, writing, and choreographing displays her passion for performing arts. She continues to strive for excellence in her career as an artist, scholar, and mentor. Ms. Robinson is known as one of Hollywood’s busiest actors in the entertainment industry and lets no grass grow under her feet. With her incandescent personality and upbeat spirit, she has been the recipient of various awards for her acting and has received several accolades for her outstanding entrepreneurship and for her work with youth in the community from various organizations and city/county dignitaries.

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