Tony and Emmy Award recipient, teacher and youth advocate Debbie Allen was honored by the Equal Employment Opportunity committees of Equity, AFTRA and SAG at the 6th Annual Ivy Bethune Tri-Union Diversity Awards on June 23, 2008 at East West Players in downtown Los Angeles.
The three union EEO committees present this annual award to recognize and show appreciation for those who helped build a foundation for diversity in the entertainment industry. In 2005, it was formally named for Ivy Bethune, a tireless member of all three unions and former Equity Councilor, who has devoted more than 80 years to fighting for civil rights and equal opportunity.
The theme this year is Dream Makers: Foundations for the Future, acknowledging those who reach out into the community to create opportunity and alternatives, sharing common stories and celebrating differences. In addition to Ms. Allen, each union chooses its own recipient. Equity selected East LA Classic Theatre's Tony Plana.
Each of the honorees has used his or her success to create avenues of dialogue, creativity, discipline, self-esteem and peace for young people.
These member-driven awards commend individuals and organizations that have taken an active stand to make a more representational, multicultural community in the performing arts and broadcasting. Those selected have set a standard to which all should aspire, deliberately breaking down barriers and opening doors for those who follow, generating work for performers across a wider, cross-cultural base.