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Home > Press Releases > March 5, 2024



LOS ANGELES (March 5, 2024) – Today, BET, CBS, and NAACP announced that GRAMMY® award-winning musician, critically acclaimed Emmy® and Golden Globe®-winning and Academy Award®-nominated actor and producer Queen Latifah (series star/executive producer of The Equalizer, CBS) will return to host the prestigious “55th NAACP Image Awards” airing LIVE on Saturday, March 16, at 8:00 PM ET/PT on BET and the CBS Television Network. Award-winning writer, double poet laureate, and activist Amanda Gorman will be honored with the prestigious Chairman’s Award during the live telecast. It was also announced that award-winning creative director and costume designer June Ambrose will receive the Vanguard Award at the “55th NAACP Image Awards” Fashion Show on Friday, March 15.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with groundbreaking megastar Queen Latifah and are elated to welcome her again as this year’s host. We also look forward to honoring changemaker and poet Amanda Gorman and fashion icon June Ambrose for their tremendous cultural impact,” said Connie Orlando, EVP Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy at BET. “Queen Latifah, NAACP, and Pastis have been such incredible partners in amplifying Black culture, excellence, creativity, and ingenuity, and this year’s unforgettable show will be no different.”

“The NAACP Image Awards is an important celebration for our community and industry every year. We get the opportunity to highlight the major accomplishments of artists, writers, entertainers, activists and other change makers that push Black excellence forward in a powerful way,” said Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO.

Known for her stirring performance at the presidential inauguration in 2021, Gorman has become a beacon of hope and inspiration. Her inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb,” debut picture book, Change Sings, and her poetry collection Call Us What We Carry, all debuted at #1 on New York TimesWall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller lists. Beyond her poetry, Gorman has embraced her role as a symbol of the next generation’s potential, advocating for literacy, education, and civic engagement. As a committed advocate for the environment, racial equity, and gender justice, Gorman’s activism led to her becoming the first Global Changemaker for Estee Lauder. In this position, Gorman created the Writing Change initiative to support grassroots organizations dedicated to advancing literacy as a pathway to equality, access, and social change through young voices.

“Amanda Gorman stands as one of the brightest young voices in our nation and has emerged as a formidable force inspiring a new generation of leaders towards transformative change through her advocacy efforts and poetic brilliance,” said Leon W. Russell, Chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors. “With her exceptional talent and unwavering commitment to positive change, Gorman continues to leave an indelible mark on the literary and social landscape, proving that words have the power to shape a better future.”

The Chairman’s Award is bestowed in recognition of individuals who demonstrate exemplary public service and use their distinct platforms to create agents of change. Past honorees of the Chairman’s Award include U.S. Congressman Bennie G. Thompson, Samuel L. Jackson, the late U.S. Congressman John Lewis and Ruby Dee, Danny Glover, Rev. James Lawson, Tyler Perry, then-Senator Barack Obama, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and former Surgeon General Regina Benjamin.

This year’s Vanguard Award will go to renowned costume designer, designer, and tastemaker June Ambrose. With an illustrious career spanning decades, Ambrose has created iconic looks for some of the biggest names in music, film, and sports, showcasing her ability to blend innovation with timeless elegance. As an established businesswoman, Ambrose has taken on roles as a costume designer, fashion designer, and creative director. Subsequently, she has expanded her influence in the design sphere by creating collections that embody her diverse aesthetic and commitment to pushing boundaries. Previous honorees include Bethann Hardison and Ruth E. Carter.

“As a fashion icon and cultural pioneer, June Ambrose has not only shaped the visual landscape of pop culture but has also elevated the conversation around the importance of diversity and inclusion in the world of fashion and entertainment,” said Karen Boykin-Towns, Vice Chair of the NAACP National Board of Directors, and Chairman of the Image Awards Committee. “Her multifaceted contributions have left an enduring legacy that transcends fashion, paving the way for a more representative and dynamic industry.”

Spanning a career of over 25 years, Ambrose has created her own lane in the fashion industry, making her mark as a costume designer and creative director. She is known for costume designing for Hype Williams’ film Belly and styling hip-hop icons like Missy Elliott and Jay-Z. In 2020, Ambrose became the creative director for Puma launching the company’s women’s basketball division and released a number of collections over her four-year tenure, including “High Court,” “Keeping Score,” and a Ferrari collection with Puma motorsport – she also brought Puma back to New York Fashion Week with an out of this world show experience in fall 2022.

The “55th NAACP Image Awards” will premiere LIVE on Saturday, March 16, 2024, at 8:00 PM ET/PT on BET and CBS. NAACP will also recognize winners in non–televised Image Awards categories from March 11-13 on, during the Awards Dinner on March 14 and Fashion Show on March 15. For information and updates, please follow NAACP Image Awards on Instagram @NAACPImageAwards.

The “55th NAACP Image Awards” is proudly presented by this year’s incredible partners and sponsors, including Wells Fargo, Google, Bank of America, Gushers, FedEx, Airbnb, Amazon, Diageo, Denny’s, Alaska Airlines, and American Airlines.

Globally recognized as one of the most distinguished multicultural award shows, the “55th NAACP Image Awards” will continue its tradition of excellence, uplifting values that inspire equality, justice, and progressive change, and highlighting artists committed to these values.

One of the most iconic annual celebrations of Black excellence, the NAACP Image Awards draws Hollywood’s biggest and brightest stars. Previous years’ attendees and winners include Angela Bassett, Will Smith, Viola Davis, Beyoncé, Nicco Annan, Ruth E. Carter, Glynn Turman, Quinta Brunson, Nia Long, Keith David, Jennifer Hudson, Stacey Abrams, Tabitha Brown, Dwayne Wade & Gabrielle Union, Tems, Erica Campbell, Chris Brown, Bruno Mars, Anderson Paak, Silk Sonic, Rihanna, Quavo, Takeoff, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Zendaya, Yara Shahidi, Issa Rae, Janelle Monáe, Tracee Ellis Ross, Serena Williams, Kerry Washington, Method Man, Dominique Thorne, Austin Scott, Tyler James Williams, Kyla Pratt, Jabari Banks, and many more.

Instagram: @naacpimageawardsX: @naacpimageaward | Facebook: /naacpimageaward

For talent ticket inquiries, please contact, and they will respond to you with all ticket-related information. Please note that the red carpet is reserved for select nominees and participating show talent only.

About Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah is a GRAMMY® award-winning musician, critically acclaimed television and Oscar®-nominated film actress, producer, record label president, author, and entrepreneur. Queen Latifah has had amazing success since her career began in Hollywood, becoming the first hip-hop artist to be crowned with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006. She received rave reviews, an Academy Award® nomination for Best Supporting Actress, a Golden Globe® nomination, and a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards® nomination for her portrayal of Mama Morton in the feature musical “Chicago.” She also received an Emmy® Award nomination, a Golden Globe® win, and a SAG Award® win for her role in the cable film “Life Support.”

Making her big screen debut in Spike Lee’s 1991 film, “Jungle Fever,” Queen Latifah then starred in “Set It Off” and co-starred with Holly Hunter and Danny DeVito in the critically acclaimed “Living Out Loud.” From 1993-1998, Latifah starred in the network comedy “Living Single.” Following “Chicago,” she starred in and executive-produced the box office hit “Bringing Down the House.” Her additional film credits include “The Secret Life of Bees,” alongside Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys and Dakota Fanning; Neil Meron and Craig Zadan’s “Hairspray”; “Mad Money,” opposite Diane Keaton and Katie Holmes; “Just Wright”; “Joyful Noise”; “The Last Holiday”; and “Beauty Shop.” She also starred in and executive-produced the cable movie “Life Support” and the cable movie adaptation of “Steel Magnolias.” From 2013-2014, she was the host of “The Queen Latifah Show,” which she produced with partner Shakim Compere and Overbrook Entertainment’s Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, and James Lassiter.

In May 2015, Queen Latifah made her way back to the small screen, earning an Emmy® Award nomination, Golden Globe® nomination and a SAG Award® for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for her role in the cable film “Bessie,” which she also produced.

In 2017, Queen Latifah co-starred in the hit comedy “Girls Trip” with Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall and Tiffany Haddish. She also starred in the 2016 faith-based movie “Miracles from Heaven,” opposite Jennifer Garner, and returned as the voice of wooly mammoth “Ellie” in “Ice Age: Collision Course.” Additionally, she took to the stage and small screen performing as the title character in the television musical “The Wiz Live!,” co-starring Uzo Aduba, Mary J. Blige, Ne-Yo, Common and David Alan Grier. She can also be seen in the FOX hit series “STAR”, which had its series finale May 2019.

Recognition for Queen Latifah’s recording artistry includes six GRAMMY® Award nominations, as well as a win for Best Solo Rap Performance in 1994. In 2004, she was nominated for Best Female Rap Solo Performance for “Go Head.” In 2005, she was nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album for “The Dana Owens Album,” and in 2008, she was nominated for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for “Trav’lin Light.”

Flavor Unit Entertainment, the production company owned and operated by Queen Latifah and Shakim Compere, released hit feature comedies “Bringing Down the House,” “Beauty Shop” and “The Perfect Holiday.” Flavor Unit also produced the films “The Cookout” and “Just Wright,” as well as cable films “Bessie” and “Life Support.” Together, Queen Latifah and Compere produced “The Real MVP: The Wanda Pratt Story,” “The Best Place to Be,” “Curvy Style with Timothy Snell,” “The Perfect Match” and “The Rap Game.”

In November of 2019, Queen Latifah starred as Ursula in ABC’s live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid”. In April 2020, she starred in the Quibi drama “When the Street Lights Go On,” and executive produced Lifetime’s top-rated original movie “The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel”.

Queen Latifah currently stars in and executive produces the CBS series “The Equalizer.” The season four premiere delivered 9.0m viewers in Live +7 day viewing across linear and streaming platforms.


The NAACP advocates, agitates, and litigates for civil rights due to Black America. Our legacy is built on the foundation of grassroots activism by the biggest civil rights pioneers of the 20th century and is sustained by 21st century activists. From classrooms and courtrooms to city halls and Congress, our network of members across the country works to secure the social and political power that will end race–based discrimination. That work is rooted in racial equity, civic engagement, and supportive policies and institutions for all marginalized people. We are committed to a world without racism where Black people enjoy equitable opportunities in thriving communities.

NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP–LDF – was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but now operates as a completely separate entity.


The BET Media Group, a unit of Paramount (NASDAQ: PARAA; PARA; PARAP), is the world’s largest media company dedicated to entertaining, engaging, and empowering the Black community and championing Black culture. Connecting Black audiences through a portfolio of brands including BET, BET+, BET Gospel, BET HER, BET International, BET Jams, BET Soul, BET Studios, and VH1, the BET Media Group is a thriving media ecosystem of leading interconnected platforms across cable TV, streaming, digital, studios, live events and international.

For more information about BET, visit and follow @BET on social platforms. For more BET news announcements, visit

NAACP Image Awards Media Contacts: 

Sunshine Sachs Morgan & Lylis |

Luis Defrank |

Ariana Drummond |