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Cicely Tyson, Tom Joyner Will Be Recognized During National Council Of Negro Women Gala

Cicely Tyson

Washington, DC – Cicely Tyson will receive the Crystal Stair Award and Tom Joyner will be recognized as the NCNW Man of the Year during the National Council of Negro Women’s 15th Uncommon Height Gala on November 3 in Washington, DC.

For Cicely Tyson, reaching farther and climbing higher is the story of her achieving greatness as an actor, advocate, and humanitarian. She has ascended to unparalleled heights portraying strong female characters on stage, screen and television. She is the recipient of the National Council of Negro Women’s (NCNW) highest honor, the Crystal Stair Award.

Tom Joyner, host of the syndicated radio “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” will be recognized as the NCNW Man of the Year for his steadfast support of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

“We are pleased to present Cicely Tyson with our highest honor. She is known as a trailblazer in the entertainment industry, but her advocacy and humanitarian work uplifts and inspires. She has always been actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Since 1996, she served as the guiding force of the Cicely L. Tyson Community School of Performing and Fine Arts, a $143 million institution of academic and creative expression that serves 1,200 students from K through 12th grade,” said Ingrid Saunders Jones, national chair of NCNW. “Ms. Tyson is a role model to all.”

The Crystal Stair Award is presented to an individual who demonstrates a lifetime of service and achievement exemplified in the spirit and tradition of what the late Dr. Dorothy Irene Height, former chair of NCNW, described as ‘the ability to extend far above and beyond oneself to achieve greatness.” Past recipients have included Congressman John Lewis, Dr. Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey, and Quincy Jones.

Recognition as NCNW Man of the Year Award will be presented to legendary radio personality Tom Joyner for his focus on the community while entertaining and informing audiences and, through The Tom Joyner Foundation, raising over $65 million to support HBCUs and the students who attend them.

The gala weekend wraps up on Saturday, November 4, with the day-long NCNW Biennial Affiliate Assembly. Women leaders from every state in the country will meet to prioritize, discuss, and chart a course that leads toward achieving sound public policy.

Founded in 1935 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, NCNW is a coalition of some the nation’s most powerful and influential women’s groups. Its mission is to lead, advocate for and empower women of African descent, their families and communities. To learn more about the organization, please visit


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Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show. With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham's Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

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